Discussion Courses

Simply Living’s mission is to connect people to learning opportunities that promote sustainability, environmental justice, and our local economy. To that end, we have relaunched Simply Living Sustainable U to provide community education for a more sustainable and equitable world.

This page lists Simply Living discussion courses. We partner with EcoChallenge, formerly Northwest Earth Institute, on many of these courses, but we also offer original discussion courses created and facilitated by our members.

Interested in facilitating a discussion course? Reach out to Chuck Lynd at chuck@simplyliving.org or Cathy Cowan Becker at cathy@simplyliving.org.

ecochallenge choices sust living

Choices for Sustainable Living

EcoChallenge Course

The term “sustainability” is used so freely, it’s difficult to understand what it can mean. At its essence, sustainability embodies hope for a healthy, just and bright future for us all. Choices for Sustainable Living provides participants a powerful opportunity to explore sustainability more deeply and learn its unique meaning from individual, societal and global perspectives. Choices for Sustainable Living helps you discover new ways of living and together, make change more possible and powerful.

Length: Eight sessions
Course Book Format: Paperback or Ebook

Seeing_Systems_2019_cover_590x

Seeing Systems

EcoChallenge Course

Seeing Systems: Peace, Justice, and Sustainability: How does one mold such complex principles as peace, justice and sustainability into a coherent story? The difficulty reflects the media’s broader struggle to convey how these themes are mutually linked. Seeing Systems: Peace, Justice, and Sustainability connects the dots between three of society’s most pressing challenges and helps participants find pathways for powerful change in our everyday lives.

Length: Six sessions
Course Book Format: Paperback or Ebook

ecochallenge different way

A Different Way

EcoChallenge Course

A Different Way: Living Simply in a Complex World: The concept of “living simply so that others may simply live” has been around for hundreds of years. People choose to live simply for many reasons and as our world changes, the motivations for and benefits of living a simple life also evolve. Today, we choose simple living as a way to make our own paths in life, paths that allow for investing our time in the things that matter most to us, making choices that create less waste and more good, using (or not using) technology intentionally, and critically examining the messages that tell us what to believe, what to value, and who to be. A Different Way: Living Simply in a Complex World connects our individual values and actions to the larger picture and helps us to find power to make real change in our lives, communities, and in the world at large.

Length: Six sessions
Course Book Format: Paperback or Ebook

Path Ecological Culture

Path to a New Ecological Culture

With Chuck Lynd

Description
This is a 4-week discussion course based on the 4-part article “The Path to an Ecological Future for Humanity.” The article links here. It is not necessary to read the article but it will be helpful. It is not necessary to attend every class session.

Contents
Week 1: The Cultural Creatives – a Third Force in the Radical Middle
Week 2: Literacy, Traditional Science, and the Problem of Dualistic Thinking
Week 3: The Relational Shift to Ecological Sciences
Week 4: A New Era for Humanity: Technozoic Age or an Ecozoic Age?

Instructor
Chuck Lynd will begin with a short slide presentation and then facilitate the discussion of each topic.

The goal of the course is to deepen our understanding of what it means to co-evolve a new culture rooted in ecological values and understand the role of Simply Living in building sustainability in central Ohio.

economics happiness film

Economics of Happiness

With Chuck Lynd

Description
This discussion course is based on the award-winning film, Economics of Happiness (EOH), developed by Helena Norberg-Hodge and her team at the International Society for an Ecological Culture (LocalFutures.org).  Each session includes content from the EOH film or related media, a presentation that frames and explores the topic in greater depth, and class discussions based on selected readings in the booklet Localization: Essential Steps to an Economics of Happiness. Handouts will be made available.

Format
Five sessions, 1.5 hours each, with readings each week. Can be online or in person. Participants can attend any or all classes.

Course Facilitator
Chuck Lynd is an educator who is passionate about ecological systems and environmental issues. Chuck is a founding member and past board member of Simply Living. He serves on the board of the Ohio Sustainable Business Council, where he advocates for local economic development and efforts to create a new economy that works for everyone.  Chuck organized a coalition of local organizations and businesses committed to Supporting Our Local Economy.  He is a member and supporter of Local Futures, the developer of Economics of Happiness.

ecochallenge menu future

Menu for the Future

EcoChallenge Course

Over the last century, the way we grow, harvest, transport, and consume food has changed significantly. It’s easy to overlook the impact this process has on our environment. Menu for the Future helps you explore the connection between food and sustainability. Participants learn more about the many cultural, social, and ecological implications of what we eat and discuss the importance of our eating habits. Together, you discover food choices that are good for you and the health of our environment.

Length of Course: Six sessions
Course Book Format: Paperback or Ebook

ecochallenge change choice

Change is Our Choice

EcoChallenge Course

The science has long been settled: climate change is real and it’s happening all around us right now. Our five-session discussion course on climate action will help you take action to increase resilience and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Presented in an interactive ebook, this new discussion course experience integrates video, audio and printed content with action plans that help you roll your sleeves up and get started taking action toward a better tomorrow.

Length: Five sessions
Course Book Format: Ebook

ecochallenge reconnect earth

Reconnecting with Earth

EcoChallenge Course

Our world is changing at such an astoundingly fast pace. We get caught up in our daily lives and the problems we face—we end up losing touch with that deep connection we have to our planet. Reconnecting with Earth helps participants explore how our cultural beliefs and personal values affect the way we view and treat Earth. Together, you discuss how our well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of our planet. Participants discover a deeper respect for the planet and a renewed commitment to act—a shift that could be the key to real and lasting change.

Length of Course: Six sessions
Course Book Format: Ebook

ecochallenge powering bright future

Powering a Bright Future

EcoChallenge Course

Powering a Bright Future (2015) is a three session discussion course exploring issues related to energy use, and what we can do to take action as individuals and communities interested in promoting energy sustainability. This course contains solution-based content encouraging discourse on energy production and extraction, peak oil, fossil fuel subsidies, energy efficiency, equity, energy policy and environmental impacts.

Length: Three Sessions
Course Book Format: Ebook

ecochallenge world of heatlh

A World of Health

EcoChallenge Course

A healthy environment is essential for human health and well being. A World of Health helps participants explore the connections between the health of our communities and the health of our planet. You also learn about the limitations of the current medical model and the places where our personal health intersects with the environment—from our food and homes, to our communities and society. Together, you discover actions that promote good health and in turn, promote a healthier environment.

Length: Six sessions
Course Book Format: Paperback

Vol_Simplicity_cover_590x

Voluntary Simplicity

EcoChallenge Course

Our decisions on how we live and consume are not made in a vacuum. We are affected by the consumer culture and society around us. Voluntary Simplicity helps participants examine how modern society can interfere with caring for the planet. Together, you explore how consumption patterns have an impact on you and your relationships, as well as the environment. Discover ways to slow down and live simply.

Length of Course: Five sessions
Course Book Format: Paperback