Valerie Seitz

Valerie Seitz grew up in Vienna, the cultural capital of Austria, and developed a passionate interest in the artistic, social and ecological aspects of public life at an early age. This lead to her decision to study architecture, first in Vienna and later in Innsbruck. In the nineties, she traveled to the Netherlands, then the mecca for experimental architecture, to complete her studies. In 2001, she graduated with a Master of Architecture degree from the Delft University of Technology.

Upon graduation from Delft, Valerie directly became a part of the Delft Interfaculty Research Center, ‘The Green City’, and began to do research about green living environments and ecovillages. She also played a significant role in the design and planning of Alminde, an ecovillage project north of Amsterdam.
Valerie went on to teach and advise at the faculty for architecture for the Department of Sustainable Urbanism before  making her way to the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm community in Tennessee, USA, where she soon became part of the management and development team. Valerie was co-director of the Ecovillage Training Center when she was introduced to Gaia University co-founders, Andrew Langford and Liora Adler, and has been a key member of the development team ever since.

In order to best integrate Gaia University’s thinking and systems, Valerie pursued a post-graduate diploma in Organizing Learning for EcoSocial Regeneration. The heart of her degree project was to help lay the foundation for Gaia Southeast, the first Gaia University regional association in the United States. 

Since graduating from her program, Valerie has been involved in the development of the Permaculture Association of Austria, the Global Ecovillage Network, and different co-housing projects in Austria. 

For me, there is no separation between my private and work life, my life and my learning. These delineations within conventional universities feel like an artificial framework to me. Within the Gaia University system you can lay your whole life on the table and your entire life becomes your area of study.

Gaia University is a very special system with a lot of freedom that resonates with my need to think and act on my own. Yet when I need support, it is there. At Gaia University, I feel at home. I find it very inspiring – with tons of outlets for my creativity and thinking.