Are you dismayed, disturbed and totally disenchanted with what is happening to the only real planetary home we have? So are we.
But are you also excited by the opportunities and prospects this opens up for us to create a better, brighter and more beautiful world? So are we.
Then join us in this innovative new postgraduate programme from Schumacher College in collaboration with the School of Architecture, Design and Environment at Plymouth University, the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, the Dartington Hall Trust and surrounding communities.
Never has there been a more important time for a new approach for engaging with the challenging situations we face from the local to the global levels. In a rapidly changing dynamic situation, solutions rarely remain optimal for very long and continuous active participation is a necessary ingredient for success. Growing resilience in individuals and communities is the way to keep going despite the continuous change around us.
Our programme in Ecological Design Thinking embraces and explores this complex world of interactions with lively engagement and an optimistic approach. It offers powerful, practical and ecology-centred skills and knowledge to apply to a diverse range of practices from design, education and business to the more specific roles of leadership, management and consultancy.
The Ecological Design Thinking programme is trans-disciplinary, insightful and universal in its application; pragmatic and integrative in its operation. It brings together theoretical and practical discourses on ecologically inspired design, with methods of design thinking that are merged with the latest developments in anthropology, psychology and socio- political economics. It aims to create a novel ground for change makers at the forefront of our transition to sustainable societies.
Ecologically inspired design includes the study of ecological worldviews, systems dynamics and applied complexity theory alongside the philosophies and practices of permaculture and biomimetic design.
Design thinking is a well-established participatory technique grounded in the empathic understanding of the feelings, experiences and emotions of others. It engages people in lively conversations, visually stimulated interactions and playful prototyping. It frames problems as opportunities, forms insights and generates creative and collaborative solutions in complex situations.
The Ecological Design thinking programme aims to provide a nourishing environment for participants by incorporating short-courses led by internationally recognised thinkers, place-making projects in collaboration with the Dartington Hall Trust, the home of Schumacher College, and short placements offered by external partner organisations.
This programme is the fourth radical postgraduate programme developed at Schumacher College and contributes to and enhance the College’s ongoing collaborative inquiry into sustainable living – a live and networked inquiry of practice underway around the world by the College’s 20,000 alumni and others.
We would be delighted to receive your application whether you are coming directly from an undergraduate degree, taking time-out to study mid-career or wanting an opportunity to develop your understanding of a practice that is of great importance to all of our futures. We encourage applications from community practitioners and activists as well as planners, educators, architects, politicians and policy makers. You do not necessarily need a first degree in design to apply for this course. You only need to be enthusiastic, resilient and committed.
We are looking for enthusiastic agents of change who are ready to co-design new approaches to the way we live that are socially just and ecologically sustainable. We are looking for those prepared to take risks and stand on the cutting-edge of new practices in this area.
Schumacher College welcomes students from all over the world in a diverse mix of cultural experience and age that allows for rich peer- to- peer learning.
An interdisciplinary programme integrating design methods with those of ecology and the social sciences.
An integrative design programme rooted in deep ecological understanding and practice and informed by cutting edge thinking in new economic approaches and social dynamics.
A balanced distribution of time and resources on skill-based and cognitive-based knowledge and between practice and theory.
Access to some of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners in design, Gaia theory, complexity, climate science, systems thinking, new economics and social change.
Short courses led by internationally recognised thinkers and researchers.
Short practical placements with a range of partner organisations operating at the leading edge of social innovation.
An immersive, integrative and transformational teaching and learning approach rooted in the principles established by Schumacher College and Dartington Hall, and engaged in a living and working community on and around the Dartington Estate in Devon.
Ecological Design Thinking can be applied to a wide range of contexts, from the personal to the societal. This programme aims to create a new generation of designers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, educators, researchers, consultants and activists. Graduates will have the skills and knowledge to work for sustainable change in the public and private sectors as well as in civil society, or to set up their own projects or organisations that will contribute to the transformation of society.
The Master of Philosophy specialising in Inclusive Innovation (MPhil) is an interdisciplinary, research-based degree that leads to the development of novel and sustainable solutions for social challenges. Join like-minded visionaries on a rich learning journey, and spend a year working both individually and with others where expertise, life experience, passion and innovation converge to support new possibilities and ideas.
The MPhil Inclusive Innovation is a one-year modular programme designed to be a collaboration between GSB faculty and pass innovators. The MPhil curriculum is structured around three main components: learning, engaging, and reflecting and creating – this can be referred to as praxeology (the study of purposeful human action).
The programme provides a grounding in the fundamentals of inclusive innovation, as well as the challenges facing those working on social and environmental issues in Africa today. A typical class flows from student presentations and group feedback to focusing on topics such as values-based leadership and business model innovation, integrative thinking and design thinking.
From the start of the programme, innovators identify a problem of interest and start developing a deep understanding of the context behind the issue they’d like to address. They conduct independent research, including a literature review, field studies, interviews, observations and assessment of market needs. This scholarly approach leads to a fuller understanding of the practical possibilities for contributing to the issue concerned.
3. Reflecting and creating
Personal reflections and peer-to-peer feedback all help to spur on the intellectual development of inclusive innovators and their ideas.
The MPhil’s desired outcomes are:
Inclusive innovators who complete the MPhil will be skilled at:
You will gain the following during the MPhil in Inclusive Innovation programme:
This MPhil degree encourages inclusive innovators to think critically and innovatively to meet new demands. The programme gears participants towards becoming advanced strategic and systems thinkers.
Shorter invention cycles
MPhil innovators will test assumptions and prototype solutions in a “living lab” environment. It’s a free-thinking cross disciplinary space that helps shorten the cycle time from invention to application of innovations and solutions through interaction and debate with consumers, experts, industry and organisations in the relevant ecosystem.
Access to industry experts
Innovators will be exposed to key local and global specialists – from deep-content experts to market experts in the community. The insight and feedback they receive will help them iterate and improve their solutions at various stages.
Inclusive innovators will build personal relationships with leading experts across different industries and will be plugged into the next generation of African innovators.
Self-reflection, introspection and personal growth are core elements of the programme. The MPhil develops inclusive innovators who boldly pursue ambitious ideas and dreams.