Einer der Lebensmittelpunkte Declan Kennedys seit 2009 die Unterstützung einer Gründergruppe zur Einrichtung eines neuen Permakulturparks neben der Siedlung: Lebensgarten.

Hier ist ein Luftbild von Peter Dörr von Mai 2012. Bis dahin war es ein anstrengenden Weg:


Das Projekt „Permakulturpark am Lebensgarten Steyerberg“ (PaLS) zeigt die praktische Anwendung von Permakulturprinzipien auf dem landwirtschaftlich genutzten Gelände neben der Siedlung Lebensgarten auf.

Es ist ein Forschungs- und Demonstrationsprojekt, welches gleichzeitig der Lebensmittelsicherung der Bewohner/Innen des Lebensgartens dienen soll. Die land- und forstwirtschaftlich genutzten  Flächen in Verbindung mit Wasser- und Energieversorgung ergeben zusammen  ein integriertes Forschungsprojekt für die Landwirtschaft.

Das Projekt wird der interessierten Öffentlichkeit zeigen, wie stark ein magerer Sandboden (18-25 Bodenpunkte) in unserem Klimabereich durch neue Bodenverbesserungs- und Anbauweisen aufgewertet  werden kann, so dass selbst anspruchsvolle Gemüsearten in Marktqualität erzeugt werden können.

In einem neuartigen, rein biologischen Verfahren namens „Terra Preta“ entsteht aus Pflanzenmaterial, Holzkohle und fermentiertem Urin hochwertige Erde, die einen wesentlichen Beitrag zu den geplanten Bodenverbesserungsmaßnahmen leistet.

Langfristig sollen im Rahmen der Realisierung dieses Projekts mehrere freiberufliche Arbeitsplätze entstehen.

Als weitere Vorarbeiten werden die  Erfahrungen auf dem jetzigen Zen-Permakultur Gelände genutzt. Hier wurden bereits  seit1987 verschiedene kleinere und größere Sonnenfallen und Hecken von Mitgliedern des Lebensgartens angepflanzt. In den folgenden Jahren konnten Erfahrungen mit diesen Strukturen gesammelt werden, die in die Planung des jetzigen Permakulturprojektes mit einfließen.


Gaia University

Gaia University  is opening new ways to Diploma, Bachelor and Master degrees. The associates (students) of Gaia Univerity can use the current project that they are working on for their learning process. read more

Up to 2012, the European provider for GAIA UNIVERSITY International was Gaia Action-Learning Academy for Sustainability (GALA) – – in Steyerberg, Germany and Vienna, Austria

Gaia University stands for the action-learning higher education for studying life and for world-changers – based on the permaculture ethics of:

1) care for the earth,

2) care for the people and


see more at:

Declan Kennedy created the International Advisory Board (as its chairman) for Gaia University which is a network university based on „action learning“ for ecological and social restoration of Planet Earth. Current programs lead to Bachelor and Master degrees as well as Graduate Diplomas. This international university without walls functions using learning designs with two prime elements being

  1. short, residential intensive workshops (8 to 9 days depending on content)  and
  2. extended, supported experiential e-learning.

Support is provided through process advising or coaching via the Internet and telephone from regional centres, mainly defined by language areas. The associates (Gaia University’s name for ’students‘) have significant freedom to design their own learning pathways and can choose their own projects and advisors (mentors).


Since May of 2006 Gaia University has been receiving worldwide Associates in Austria, Mexico, Chile, Israel, the US and Germany. It is internationally accredited by the IMCA Socrates™ dynamic quality assurance system for professional qualifications in the UK.

Gaia University has been designated a program in support of the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (DESD)

This is an important ground-breaking higher educational system, long awaited by action-oriented individuals.

For further details please visit the website

Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)

More people are turning to eco communities as a viable alternative to urban life. Are you nature-starved, lonely, and fed up with the materialism, stress, waste and pollution of modern urban life? If so, rest assured that the craving to live a greener life in a community, more connected to each other – and to the Earth – is entirely natural. It has a primal appeal.

In contrast with most local economies around the world, ecovillages tend to display a distinctive and uncommon level of vitality. One sees bakeries, theatres, shops, and cafés that draw in visitors from far and wide. Local organic cheeses, wines, fruit, and vegetables combine great quality with low food mileage (meaning the food was sold to customers a relatively short distance from where it was grown). Crafts studios turn out beautiful ceramics, textiles, carvings, and candles. Schools and training centres for both children and adults flourish. Publishing houses, printing presses, manufacturers of solar panels, waste-water system designers, consulting companies…

Danish Gaia Trust Award 2012

for Declan Kennedy and four others of the Global Ecovillage Network – GEN.

Gaia Trust presents the Gaia Award 2012 to two global peace and sustainability projects:

The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and Gaia Education, which has collected the experiences of GEN into one common curriculum for the whole Earth.

The 3 men, Declan Kennedy, Max Lindegger and Albert Bates travelled the 5 continents and created GEN networks in all parts of the world from 1995-2008. They share the prize with the present head of GEN, Kosha Joubert, who just set up an African network and May East who for 7 years now has been at the head of Gaia Education and facilitated a network in South America.Together they have been important midwifes in giving birth to a new global culture.

They got the award on the darkest afternoon, the 12th of Dec. 2012,‘ Lucia Day‘. That day the sun starts its return in the northern Hemisphere culminating on Dec. 21st., the shortest day of the year. The shortest morning is then one week later. We want to acknowledge this major turning of our sun and celebrate the birth of a new culture.

Idea and Text by Hildur and Ross Jackson on behalf of Gaia Trust, Stavnsholt Gydevej 52, 3460 Birkerød, Denmark +45 45 42 55 11


We are at the end of one calendar and the beginning of a new. Let us think of this as the beginning of a new era—the Gaian Age with the Gaian Calendar, when a new global sustainable culture will be born, a new beginning for humankind. It will be the beginning of a new consciousness, a consciousness of Oneness where we are at one with nature, each other and the cosmos. It will be a time where the planet and all the inhabitants of Mother Earth will finally understand our common responsibility to live within global boundaries and to change our philosophy, thinking, lifestyle, social organization, ecology, culture and politics.

A few people all over the world perceived these problems correctly many years ago and set out to build communities based on a worldview of oneness and with the vision of a double transformation of self and society. They pioneered defining a new lifestyle. Since 1995 they have built global networks of ecovillages (GEN, Global Ecovillage Network) all over the world.

Gaia Education, an organization of educators from ecovillages on 6 continents, has now collected and systematized all these experiences in one common curriculum for the whole world, now in 9 languages to download for free ( and in two educational programs:

– The EDE, Ecovillage Design Education, a four weeks course, which has been carried out 130 times on six continents in 30 countries since 2005 and endorsed by UNITAR and UNESCO.
– GEDS, Gaia Education Design for Sustainability, an 8 month virtual education through OUC, Open University of Catalonia—in Spanish and English since 2009.

To have one single curriculum for the whole world has by now proven its feasibility and justification. We have shown that we are capable of cooperating. We do not compete as we reject the neoliberalism and are proposing new ways of making the economy work for all. Ecovillages from all cultures and continents share a common worldview, vision and values. They are allowing a new global culture to be born, which minimizes the footprint while creating a more fun, creative and beautiful lifestyle that is possible for all.

Thousands of beautiful, courageous ecovillagers have been the pioneers of this movement and we want to celebrate them all and thank them all for giving this gift to the world—that it is possible to solve the global problems facing us. You may visit them and see for yourself. It is not just theory and good ideas; it is lived experiences.

As exponents of this huge group Gaia Trust has chosen to give 5 “Gaia 2012 Awards” of 10.000 DKK each to 5 key people of the movement:

  • The 3 men that travelled the planet and created the GEN networks on 5 continents from 1995-2008: Declan Kennedy (Lebensgarten, Germany), Max Lindegger (Crystal Waters, Australia) and Albert Bates (The Farm, USA)
  • The two women who are now at the head of respectively GEN International and Gaia Education: Kosha Joubert (Germany, South Africa and Findhorn), and May East (Brazil and Findhorn), the Mother Goose of Gaia Education since 2005.

The Gaia Awards was given at a celebration on Duemosegård on Dec 12, 2012 at 12.12. The presentation ceremony was video-recorded by Rolf Jackson, published on our website and sent to the GEN and Gaia Education networks.

About the 5 Award Winners:

Declan Kennedy, Lebensgarten, Germany

Former vice-president of the Technical University Berlin, he cofounded Lebensgarten ecovillage in 1985. For years he was president of the Permaculture Institute of Europe and taught in many countries. He was a cofounder of GEN, the Global Ecovillage Network—founded in Istanbul in 1996—and its first chairman. He travelled all over Europe to build national networks and was the head of GEN-Europe for several years as well as GEN International. Every day during the years and at all meetings of GEN he has been leading us in circle dancing, helping to create a culture where the whole body is alive. An architect, he has designed many energy-efficient houses and has developed his own Permaculture plot. Together with his wife Margrit he cofounded an NGO to promote local currencies in Germany. In recent years he has been the Chair of Gaia University, while healing has become his primary passion. See

Max Lindegger, Crystal Waters, Australia

Initiator of Crystal Waters, a model Permaculture ecovillage near Brisbane in Queensland, and consultant to several other ecological settlements in Asia, Max has taught Permaculture and ecovillage design in more than 60 countries, always starting with experiencing local nature in his very knowledgeable and humoristic way. He has a profound knowledge and love of plant and animal systems. During all these years he has been an invaluable member of and contributor to GEN, taking on the giant task of networking in Oceania. He now edits a newsletter “Ecovillage Musings”.

Albert Bates, The Farm, Tennessee

Albert has been Director of the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology since 1984 and the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Tennessee since 1994, where he has taught sustainable design, natural building, Permaculture and restoration ecology to students from more than 50 nations, and is also a former chair of GEN. For years he has been building ecovillage networks in North and South America. When travelling to meetings he used to film and videotape but now also makes blogs. At the Cop 15 in Copenhagen he sent out 500 photos as part of a daily blog about progress or lack of it. He has a brilliant mind capable of getting to the real heart of every issue, always focusing on solutions. He was one of the first to write about Climate problems 30 years ago. His latest book is The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change, a very important and interesting topic to get CO2 into the ground.

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Kosha Joubert, Findhorn, South Africa, Sieben Linden

Kosha is a fire soul charged by her childhood in South Africa and the injustices there. She recently was instrumental in building the new GEN-Africa network and has been teaching the EDE in many places in Africa as well as several times in Sieben Linden ecovillage, Germany, where she lived for many years and raised her children. She co-edited the Social Key, Beyond You and Me with Robin Alfred, her husband to be in the near future. For that reason she moved to Findhorn recently. This was the first of the Four Keys published to accompany the Gaia Education programs. She has been the chair of GEN-Europe and is at present the charismatic chair of GEN International. See:

May East, Findhorn, Brazil

Since 2005 May has been the program director of Gaia Education, our Mother Goose. (GEESE: Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth, flying in flock, helping each other). She has flown all over the world and been a teacher in many countries. Originally a Political Science graduate, she became a well-known singer in her native Brazil, writing and singing her own songs, before meeting Greg from Findhorn at the Rio meeting in 1992. She has brought the EDE to Brazil in a big way having, taught in many places, not least Rio and Sao Paulo. She was instrumental in setting up a South American network of Gaia Education in cooperation with the Transition Town Movement at the Rio + 20 UN Conference. For many years she has been the liaison to UN and was responsible for getting the endorsement of Gaia Education by UNITAR and patronage by UNESCO. Two years in a row she has been nominated one of the 100 most influential environmental leaders of the world. She is always a joy to work with and to listen to.

Designing Ecological Settlements –
Book by Margrit and Declan Kennedy

DESIGNING ECOLOGICAL SETTLEMENTS – Ecological Planning and Building: Experiences in new housing and in the renewal of existing housing quarters in European countries
This book by Margrit Kennedy & Declan Kennedy (eds.) on
Designing Ecological Settlements

has been re-printed (2nd. Printing) by

Dietrich Reimer Verlag,
Berlin (2001) in Hardcover ISBN 3-496-02630-8
Please send …. copies @ €44,-/ sFr 76
Designing Ecological Settlements
Code…………………….. County……………………………

Credit Card………..No.:………………………Expiry Date………..

To order it outside Europe, please add ¬ 3,- to the cover packaging and postal costs for the first book, and ¬1,- to the price for each additional copy and send to Declan Kennedy:

copy the above form and e-mail it to:

or fax it to +49 5764 2368

The German version is unfortunately no longer available (ISBN 3-496-02638-3) from the same publisher