learning experience for sustainable work in 4 workshops

Foresta Academy is an interdisciplinary collective that designs learning experiences contributing to more sustainability on personal and collective levels. Foresta’s workshops and courses are dedicated to the search of new forms of how we live, work and learn in more sustainable, honest and creative ways and are based on the principles of transdisciplinary engagement, collaboration, life poetry and embodied attention.

This course follows the subject of sustainable work from its personal to global aspects. It’s about human transformation along the digital one. Sustainability is usually described as taking care of the future, and is viewed from the standpoint of a societal development. In our approach to sustainability, we include taking care of the present too, and start with personal sustainability as a foundation for systems of larger societal impact. Sustainability for us is a fundamental transformation of thinking towards a more holistic worldview that takes into account and respects tangible and intangible qualities of being human, living on the planet Earth.

There is an increasing sensation that basic ideas we are guided by and those that shape structures we’ve built to make sense of the world are becoming outdated: the “factory model” of education systems, mindless overconsumption of planetary resources, intolerance to cultural pluralism, ways of production that lead to environmental degradation, superficial short-term profit and growth-driven politics, neoliberal mindset, cultural integrities challenged by the rapid digitalisation and slow catching up of social and emotional development, and so on. For many individuals and organisations the new mindset and practices come in place, and those are built on more attention to oneself and one’s environment, integration of personal and cultural diversities, wholeness, and other principles that lie in the roots of important changes in domains of education, organisational development and new business models.

This course is an invitation to look at the subject of sustainability as a phenomenon that is based on your personal experience, and see how this may develop into more sustainable relationships, organisations, and business models. It offers transdisciplinary perspectives from experts in these fields and is rooted in embodied perception, which facilitates an encounter between direct experience and philosophical concepts. We call it embodied culture and we introduce it in order to reverse the frequent situation when real life questions are dismissed while theoretical systems are treated as real.

We will look at sustainability on the three levels — individual, community and global. The individual or personal sustainability is where everything starts, it is also the one that is most directly affect-able by an individual. The individual then affects the community transformation by the way s/he lives, makes decisions, runs a business and so on. Transformation towards global sustainability happens when the first two are being proactively practiced worldwide, creating the needed structures for this change, and grow into a global movement.

This course is for you if:

* you want to learn what personal sustainability has to do with the global one

* you want to build a truly sustainable business

* you want to take care of your personal integrity and to find your voice in the world

* you want to work better with other people

* you want to look at your project closely from the perspectives of sustainability, to define your own challenges and find ways to turn them into opportunities 

* you are a curious soul, searching for new forms to organise your life and work

A more sustainable and holistic mindset is at our doorstep. Will we invite it into our living rooms, working studios, learning spaces? Join us in this learning-how-to adventure.

The Course Workshops

1. Personal Sustainability

In this first workshop we explore personal sustainability as a compilation of personal maturity, empowerment, confidence, ability to make decisions and take responsibility over one’s life, to be attentive to the world within and around and act accordingly. Personal sustainability is basically an ability to sustain yourself, to be well in any area of your experience. It has to do with being the leader of your own change. The first part of the workshop aims to raise participants’ awareness of personal sustainability and how it’s built of thousands daily decisions, and to develop personal sustainability as an attitude in life.

Global sustainability depends on the ideas and practices of personal sustainability and leads to what Sitra, the Finish innovation research institute, calls the new Era of Well-being. Wellbeing is a holistic concept, if we look at people as holistic systems within their environments. Physical wellbeing cannot be separated from the emotional, mental, social, or environmental wellbeing. Our wellbeing is inevitably connected to the wellbeing of the world around — the quality of food we eat, water we drink, air we breathe, the qualities of what we perceive, sense and interact with, including our relationships with other people. This workshop builds a link between personal and global sustainability and offers practical guidelines to integrating this mindset into everyday life for the long-term commitment.

2. Individual agency: Mapping your values - Finding your voice

This workshop is a continuation and deepening of the practice towards personal sustainability. It’s about finding your own agency: what do you stand for, what is your voice in the world. We look at human voice in direct and metaphorical terms. To find one’s real voice means finding one’s own inner compass instead of imitating heroes. As Parker J. Palmer writes: “before you tell your life what truths and values you want to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody”. The risk of a common “outside in” approach to mapping one’s personal values is that our efforts to express ourselves and build our way in life can remain separated from the roots of who we are. In this way, your voice also stands for personal integrity, for becoming more conscious of your own values and coming up with ways to integrate them into your life and work.

3. Team Sustainability — Sustainable Relationships

The ability to work well together is fundamental to the success of organisations and individuals alike. This workshop will look at the questions of what are the ingredients for a successful collaboration and how to cater for bringing those into your work with other people. We will look at subjects like communication, resilience, conflict-solving skills, self-awareness, trust, purpose, and others. We will also give you some tools you can use to build a sustainable collaborative culture in your own team, and a personal training plan to keep practicing key exercises from the workshop.

4. Designing a Culture for Sustainable Business

This workshop is dedicated to the topic of building an organisational culture that supports long-term sustainable development of your organisation within innovative business models. We will look into different aspects of “new work” phenomena, such as self-organisation, agile reaction to changes, wholeness and self-realisation at work, sustainable business models, more humane work spaces, coworking, worcations and how these can serve to build a healthy company culture where a deep need to do meaningful work can be collectively realised.

A selected team of trainers will come together to design this learning experience, depending on the specific circumstances of each individual client. To get to know the team behind Foresta Collective click here.

Experiences we design take place in the liminal spaces, close to the presence of nature. Natural environments provide for a higher-level concentration, deeper inner and outer awareness, and a healthy grounds for the flourishing of all senses.