Why Gaia U?

Choosing how to go about your lifelong learning and finding the right support for this adventure requires a process of inquiry that involves both you and the various institutions that come across your radar as possibilities. Both parties are seeking a good, resonant match so that we all gain from the relationship.

How to find that resonance is the key question. From our experience over the last decade we are able to share with you observations about some of the characteristics of people who thrive with us.

Are you a spirited un-usualist?  You have probably already noticed that Gaia University is and continues to develop as " unusual". Our associates (students) are also often some way down the path of becoming spirited un-usualists themselves. That is, they are people who neither prefer nor see continued, uncritical conformity with the current, dominant ways of thinking as either useful to themselves (or enjoyable) or helpful in the process of transitioning human cultures towards ecological regeneration and social justice. Interestingly though, they are not simple rejectionists, rebels, and complainers. Instead, they are inclined to acknowledge their own part in the great human experiment to date and know they are seeking intelligent means to liberate themselves and others from the hegemony and change the story for everyone.

Are you eager to learn and willing to un-learn? Our associates are likely to have a strong sense that learning and unlearning are critical activities in this liberation process and, if they are not already vigorous, confident, emotionally literate, self-directed and engaged learners who are also capable of designing and delivering effective world-changing action, they are intent on developing these capacities as a priority. Some of them may not have done well or relished being in conventional educational settings. This may be because they were subjected to all manner of seemingly irrational 'discipline', thought control, bullying, isolation, prejudice and other oppressive behaviors and attitudes that blunted their genius and their appetite for learning. Yet they treat in unfamiliar territory with action learning, eager to learn its processes and patterns and equally willing to unlearn the old patterns of learning.

Are you self-motivated but understand the value of mentorship? Our associates tend to be intrinsically motivated in their work (they value the work for its own sake) rather than relying on extrinsic pressures (doing the work because someone else insists). Yet they eagerly seek out and valuthree explorerse peer and mentor support from our community of co-creators, mentors, and learners. 

Do you seek and enjoy collaboration? Our associates enjoy working towards being collaborative and adaptable fish swimming in myriad small seas and avoid (and seek to dismantle) situations in which they are rendered insignificant by scale and hierarchy. They may be unconcerned if the government, the state, the neighbors, the mayor, their teachers and, sometimes, their family, thinks that they are doing the right thing. They have noticed that the people who are in charge right now are the people who got us into this hole. What do they know about climbing out? They seek to develop new ways of being and doing so that as their relationships deepen, they support those close to them as well as the rest of humanity to also find new approaches.

Are you a skill-flex builder? Our associates like to add endless competencies to their skill-flexes, which may well include highly developed specialist skills, in order to have a broad generalist capability in the world. They agree, at least in spirit, if not in letter, with Robert A Heinlein who is reputed to have written "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

If you can recognize yourself in even just some of the notes above then you are likely to be a good fit within one of Gaia University's offerings.