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A 7-Week Online Course on Sustainability – Starts July 9th!

The Thrive Course is not an official part of the THRIVE movement.
For more information, please explore their Solutions Hub

Now You, Too, Can Make an Even Greater Impact on Our World’s
Most Pressing Issues. Join Other Like-Minded Global Citizens in the
Co-creation of a Sustainable Lifestyle, Community and World!

You’re doing your part: Reducing your carbon footprint; always on the lookout for ways to lighten the load on the planet; talking about the big issues with friends and family – even when they don’t seem to want to hear it!

And yet, you may have this nagging feeling that you could – and should – be doing more for our precious and threatened planet, and that it really could be enjoyable, inspiring, even exciting.

Are you really making a difference? Or are the problems just too big?

Or do you simply need a comprehensive toolkit, guidance and a community of support to discover and make your unique contribution?

It’s true. The problems we’re facing are complex. Systemic. And interconnected. Every action counts.

While the solutions may seem just as daunting, it is possible for you to affect, profound positive change.

Sometimes “doing enough” doesn’t mean doing more; but rather doing the thing you feel most called to do, within a community of supportive and like-minded souls.

In community, solutions you may have never considered can emerge, propelling you and others into action in new and deeply satisfying ways that benefit yourself, your family, your community and our planet.

Each one of us has a unique contribution to make to our world.

In this course, with the support of like-minded others and top sustainability leaders, you’ll have an opportunity to focus on what is YOURS to do in creating a sustainable future-through deepening your current efforts or realigning your actions with your authentic concerns for our future.

You’ll learn about clean energy, economics, social justice, and the vital role of community in conceiving new solutions and systems rooted in sustainability principles. You’ll explore enlightening views of how we got into this planet-wide mess, how we can get out of it, and
what your role might be.

In doing so, you’ll experience new levels of hope and optimism that are as essential to the future of the planet as your actions are.

During this 7-week course you will:

  • Discover your unique contribution, voice and actions needed to create a sustainable future.
  • Transform your frustration or fear into personal hope and actions that help heal the planet.
  • Gain the essential tools for engaging your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers in the use of sustainable energy sources – and strengthen your role as a community leader.
  • Network and collaborate with other passionate people on sustainable initiatives – from social justice to ecology.
  • Build a strong community to support you and others in your sustainability efforts
  • Understand the role of economics in creating a paradigm shift to sustainable social, political and ecological systems; and how you can make choices about your money that help the planet thrive.

Throughout the course that is guided by the international award-winning Sustainable World Sourcebook, you’ll participate in weekly 90-minute conference calls with world-renowned sustainability pioneers, and engage in personal reflections, experiential exercises and provocative dialogue. It’s not all work, though-you’ll also get to be creative... and have fun!

This course is your opportunity to zero in on the impact you’re here to make in co-creating a thriving new world! Join us.

What international bestselling author Marianne Williamson has to say about the Sustainable World Sourcebook, on which this course is based:

“I love The Sustainable World Sourcebook: it tells us everything we need to know to create a healthier, more just and more peaceful world. It’s a guidebook for going from unaware consumer to passionate world citizen.”

What You’ll Learn: Course Overview

Orientation Call: Laying the Foundation (July 9)

This beginning week we will spend time getting to know one another as we set our intentions as a transformational learning community and begin our co-creative process with one another. You’ll have the chance to share personally.

Week 1: How Do You Get There From Here? (July 16)

In our first week together, we will clarify the guiding inquiries for the course, which will lay the groundwork for all the future classes.

In addition, there will be a guest appearance by poet, teacher, writer and speaker, Drew Dellinger. Drew has inspired hearts and minds around the world through his poetry and keynotes on justice, ecology, cosmology, activism, democracy and compassion.

In Week 1, you’ll explore:

  • Your current connection to sustainability
  • The possibilities for our future and practical and hopeful ways we can green our world
  • What is yours to do in the area of sustainability – the place where your passion and the world’s needs intersect

Week 2: Your Part in Healing the Web of Life (July 23)

In our second week together, we will take the time to survey the state of our world-its climate, oceans, rivers, forests, and animal communities. We will feel into each one, like we would touch and feel our body after an accident. It can be scary, but we need to know how we are doing so we know what needs to be done. Special guest Brock Dolman, founding member and resident of a thriving intentional community, Sowing Circle LLC, will be joining us.

In Week 2, you’ll explore:

  • How you have responded to change in your life (successes and failures) and how you can become more resilient
  • Why it’s difficult for humans to respond quickly and effectively to environmental changes – and what we can do to navigate these collective challenges together

Week 3: Energizing and Empowering You to Help Solve the Crisis (July 30)

Energy! How we harness energy is the source of great promise and potential or destruction and demise. What exactly is our “energy crisis?” In many ways, it’s a crisis of imagination and will-power. Can we move toward clean and sustainable ways of powering our civilization and our lives? How?

This week we will explore what doesn’t work as well as renewable energy solutions, localization, and conservation efforts.

In Week 3, you’ll explore:

  • What energizes you in life and what depletes you – and how you can bring your life back into balance
  • The ways your personal relationship to energy informs what needs to change on a global level to achieve a more sustainable world
  • The energetic benefits of becoming more green

Week 4: Crafting Your Vision of a Just Society (Aug 6)

You are one of Earth’s 7 billion people. As a member of the human race, discovering the immense challenges – like overpopulation, hunger, global migration, extreme poverty, and human rights violations of women, children, immigrants and indigenous people – can be disturbing.

One way of holding and finding solutions to these difficult issues is to envision what a truly just society might look like. Consider this definition: A just society would share resources to meet every person’s basic needs, so that everyone in the world has access to adequate food, water, shelter, clothing and meaningful work.

To complement this conversation, in this session we will hear from guest faculty Andrew Harvey, an internationally acclaimed poet, novelist, translator and mystical scholar.

In Week 4, you’ll explore:

  • The role of social justice in your life – and why it’s important for our world
  • Ways you can align your life so that you are helping others not only meet their basic needs, but THRIVE
  • What our world could look like with everyone thriving

Week 5: Putting Your Money Where Your Heart Is (Aug 13)

Oikos (meaning “home”) is the root of both ECO-logy and ECO-nomy. This session involves re-connecting eco-logy and eco-nomy in ways that matter personally and globally. Rinaldo Brutoco, founding president of the World Business Academy, will join us for this session.

In Week 5, you’ll explore:

  • How assumptions around money = happiness, time = money, success = wealth affect you, your family and friends, your culture and the world
  • Your feelings around doing something useful and not being paid for it – and how you can make a shift
  • The interconnections between the economy, social justice and ecology
  • Personal choices you can make to contribute to a “new economy”

Week 6: It’s Your Community After All (Aug 20)

This week we will consider the “how to.” Communities can be designed and built with environmental sustainability, spiritual fulfillment and social justice as guiding and foundational principles. We will study emerging models that engage the imagination, skills, resources and sponsorship necessary for large-scale community change.

What does it mean for a community to support and embody the movement toward sustainable living? What, in all honesty, is the alternative?

During this session, we will have a special guest appearance by author, proponent and catalyst for inclusivity and spiritual transformation, Sharif Abdullah, whose work on inclusivity has taken him to more than two dozen countries playing a key role in several international forums.

In Week 6, you’ll explore:

  • How expected and unexpected changes emerge as human communities become inclusive and sustainable
  • Ways you can become more fulfilled in your work, church, school, neighborhood, sports club, etc. and what communal activities are ripe for revision, reform and renewal
  • Steps you can take now to create a thriving community for yourself and your family

Week 7: Getting Personal and Keeping It Real (Aug 27)

This week we embark upon a “no-impact” journey, where we experiment with daily actions that are respectful of “all our relations.” During the past seven weeks, we have explored myriad ways all of us- all human societies, ecological systems and every living being – are intricately connected.

We honor this wondrous interweaving by adopting, and adapting to, mutually beneficial (low-impact) lifestyles. Thus we co-create a thriving world, moment by moment and action by action-every day!

In Week 7, you’ll explore:

  • Where you experience ecological disconnects (where you cause harm) in your life – and what you can do about it
  • The role of spirituality and overall wellbeing in sustaining you in a no-impact way of life
  • The ways your lifestyle is already low-impact – take note and celebrate!

Bonus #1: Live Coaching Call with Spring of Sustainability Co-Producers Vinit Allen and Steve Motenko (August 9 at 12pm PDT)

During this live bonus session, Spring of Sustainability co-producers Vinit Allen and Steve Motenko will coach you on how you can bring to life your ecological values and truly implement them on a daily basis as well as answer your questions on how to live a life of engaged environmental activism.

Vinit will bring a fresh perspective as a recent delegate to the UN World Summit that just took place in Rio de Janeiro.

Vinit Allen is an educator and event producer, and has been an activist in environmental, peace and human rights arenas for about 30 years. He produced the Sustainable World Symposium twice in San Francisco and is a facilitator trainer for the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium. He was a delegate at the UN World Summit In Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002, where the Sustainable World Symposium and Sourcebook were conceived, and he also served as a delegate to the UN World Summit that just took place in Rio de Janeiro.

Steve Motenko is a certified personal coach and leadership trainer, and formerly an award-winning journalist, music teacher and advocate for educational reform. Steve’s passion for sustainability, for transformative education, and for an integral approach to the interdependence of all life led him to a leadership role in the Awakening the Dreamer facilitator community, and in 2011 to the Sustainable World Coalition.

Bonus #2: "Living in Alignment with Your Values" Audio

With Vicki Robin, coauthor of Your Money or Your Life, and Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director of Green America

In this Bonus Audio, you’ll learn how to bring your lifestyle choices into complete alignment with your values. You’ll learn remarkable tips and strategies that can save you money, streamline your life, and open up new possibilities. Benefits include:

  • How to go green without going broke
  • Using your social networks for collaborative consumption: meeting everyone’s needs together
  • Specific strategies for clothing, food, transportation, gifting and fun that save money (and the earth)

Vicki Robin is the coauthor of the international bestseller, Your Money or Your Life (5 years on the Business Week list) and is a leading voice for sustainable consumption. She was featured as one of 61 Visionaries by Utne Magazine, named the “prophet of consumption downsizers” by the NY Times, has received awards from Sustainable Northwest and Green America, and has appeared regularly for 20 years in the media including Oprah Winfrey show, NPR and PBS specials as well as over 1,000 other media stories. She is a member of a community choir and an improvisational theater troupe on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Alisa Gravitz has led Green America, the national green economy organization for more than 27 years. Green America (formerly Co-op America) develops marketplace solutions to social and environmental problems with a key focus on tackling climate change, building fair trading systems, stopping corporate abuse and growing the green economy. Alisa is a leading expert on how families and businesses can "go green," saving money and resources. She is also a nationally recognized leader in the social investment industry. She authored Green America’s acclaimed Guide to Social Investing, with over a million copies in print and the popular Guide to Community Investing. She earned her MBA from Harvard University and her BA in economics and environmental sciences from Brandeis University.

What Past Participants Say About This Course:

“My deepest gratitude for all your love and wonderful facilitation of this course. It was truly enriching!”
Jesus Nebot
“There was a wonderful sense of community that was created by the course – and this is what I had hoped for and it was achieved. My buddy discussions were a highlight for me bringing new insights and deepened my contemplation of the particular subject.”
Cynthias Frisch
“I broadened my experience of connecting with a small group and hearing from people all over the world who were committed to their own education and awareness around issues that most of the world is closing their eyes to. The love and courage and community was palpable on every call. The buddy calls added joy and purpose to my day. And the content was just great – I liked how I could do as much or as little as I had time for, but I always ended up doing way more than I thought I would.”
Gabrielle Sundra
“Ibroadened my awareness about sustainability and very much enjoyed the course and the participation of the group. The group discussions and the role plays were a fantastic learning tool.”
Elizabeth Weinberg
“I appreciated the wealth of resources offered in the form of videos, articles, blogs, etc. given in each of the assignments; having the opportunity to work through the SWS in its entirety; sharing the experiencing this with others who are on this path; using different techniques/ways of processing the information during the calls; the buddy system. The role playing was really helpful as I realized taking on the role of an activist will be a work in progress.
Elaine Lengyel
“While these issues/topics were not new to me, you provided many resources that I was previously unaware of. Participating in the course helped me to explore these more deeply than I otherwise might have.”
Chris Robedee
“Presented by talented and knowledgeable facilitators, this 7-week course begins with a deep exploration of the context within which we find ourselves, addressing the essential questions of where we are, how we got here, what’s possible for the future and where we can go from here. The conference calls, online forums and buddy meetings anchor a weekly focus that stretches from this base of understanding into exploring possibilities to heal the web of life.”
Natalie Janovak

What You Will Receive:

  1. Seven highly interactive 90-minute phone/webcast class sessions with ecopsychologist Renée Soule and guest faculty, including small-group dialogues and Q&A time.
  2. Bonus Coaching Call with the Spring of Sustainability co-producers Vinit Allen and Steve Motenko
  3. Bonus Audio Session with Vicki Robin and Alisa Gravitz
  4. Inspiring weekly exercises and practices for deep inquiry, action learning, and optional community engagement
  5. Online learning community connecting course participants for ongoing support and challenge
  6. Unlimited access to recordings of all class sessions (listen online or download the mp3 file to your computer, iPod, smart phone or audio player)
  7. PDF transcripts for each class session
  8. Online Course Book: 2011 International Book Award-winning Sustainable World Sourcebook
  9. The Sourcebook Learning & Engagement Guide (pdf)
Classes on Mondays, 5 p.m. Pacific / 8 p.m. Eastern, July 9 – August 27, 2012
Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed! See below for our refund policy.

About the Course Faculty

Renée Soule, PhD candidate, has been a pioneer in the field of ecopsychology for over 25 years. She engages environmental crises as a positive, though challenging, evolutionary force for human and cultural development. Renée teaches Nonviolent Communication (NVC) at San Quentin Prison, is adjunct faculty at California Institute of Integral Studies, and teaches part-time at San Francisco State University.

Randy Hayes, a renowned action-oriented organizer, is founder of the Rainforest Action Network and currently serves on its Board of Directors. Randy has worked in city government, as President to the City of San Francisco Commission on the Environment and Director of Sustainability in the office of Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown. Additionally, he worked at the International Forum on Globalization, a think-tank on the global economy based in San Francisco.

Sharif Abdullah is an author, proponent and catalyst for inclusivity and spiritual transformation. His work on inclusivity has taken him to more than two dozen countries playing a key role in several international forums. He is the author of The Power of One: Authentic Leadership in Turbulent Times and Creating a World That Works for All and is Director of Commonway Institute.

Andrew Harvey is an internationally acclaimed poet, novelist, translator and mystical scholar. He is the author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism and Founder of the Institute for Sacred Activism.

Rinaldo Brutoco is president of the World Business Academy, a leading international executive, writer and keynote speaker for over 25 years. He is widely recognized as a practical visionary, change agent and futurist, uniquely combining theory and practice to assist individuals, executives and organizations in adapting to change with breakthrough ideas. Deepak Chopra says Rinaldo Brutoco knows what he’s talking about when it comes to creating a vision for sustainable and responsible business.

Drew Dellinger has inspired hearts and minds around the world through his poetry and keynotes on justice, ecology, cosmology, activism, democracy and compassion. He is also a consultant, publisher and founder of Planetize the Movement Press. His award-winning book, love letter to the milky way, has thousands of devoted readers on five continents.

Brock Dolman is a founding member and resident of the Sowing Circle LLC, an intentional community where he lives and works in the Sonoma County hamlet of Occidental, California. He is Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s WATER (Watershed Advocacy Training Education & Research) Institute director. He also co-directs OAEC’s Permaculture design and wildlands biodiversity programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a virtual course?
A: It’s a great way to engage live teachings and each other from the comfort of your home! All you need is a phone line (or an equivalent voice service). If there is more than one person in your household taking the course, you will each need your own line. We use MaestroConference to make it just like an in-person event, where you can ask questions, participate in groups, and deepen your exploration of the course themes.

Please note that dialing MaestroConference from your phone is a regular toll call to California, and your telephone service provider will charge you according to your existing long-distance calling plan. You can also use Skype credit/subscription or Google Voice to dial in to MaestroConference, and you’ll need to use your virtual keypad to enter your PIN and to indicate that you want to ask a question. Other options include calling cards and discount long-distance carriers, and we also have a webcast which is free to use from anywhere in the world.

Q: Can I get benefit from the course if I miss the live classes?
A: Absolutely! You can download the recordings and transcripts of all course sessions from our online media archive, so you never need to worry about missing live calls. You can also engage the full community and leaders on our private community website.

Q: Can you tell me about the Private Course Group?
A: We will have a private community group for all course participants on our Shift Movement that will support you in making connections with others, sharing insights, engaging in discussions, completing homework assignments and exchanging information about events and other activities that can supplement your transformational journey. You’ll have the ability to share your experiences, projects, and growth throughout the Course.

Q: Are there scholarships available for this Training?
A: Yes, we always make a certain percentage of spaces available for partial scholarships, giving preference to those in developing countries or doing important but underpaid work to which they can apply the training material immediately. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please review our guidelines, which include a link to our online application form.

Q: What is your refund policy?
A: Your satisfaction with The Shift Network and this course is our highest priority! If you find that the course is not meeting your needs, please submit a request to support.theshiftnetwork.com so that we can address your concerns. We offer a satisfaction guarantee for a full 2 weeks so that you can try out the course risk-free. The deadline to receive a full refund is before the start of the 3rd class on July 23. Submit refund requests at support.theshiftnetwork.com with the subject "Refund request."

Q: How can I reach Customer Support?
A: Please visit our Customer Support Center, where you should be able to find the answer to your question or the solution to a problem. And if you can’t, you can submit an online request form and we’ll get right back to you.

Q: What are the benefits of telling my friends to join the program?
A: You can sign up as an Affiliate of The Shift Network and receive 20% for anyone that you introduce who registers for the virtual event. If you bring five friends into the event, you can cover your own! Register at theshiftnetwork.com/affiliate and you’ll receive a promotional link to use.