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Natural Change Outdoor Education - Turning Personal Transformation into Social Action, Leadership and Sustainability

Training Course

12-19 September 2015 | Kisújbánya, Hungary

A training course for youth workers and group facilitators based on an innovative non-formal educational method that fosters personal transformation and leadership for sustainability.
The Natural Change Outdoor Education training course is for youth workers and group facilitators. It is based on an innovative non-formal educational method that fosters personal transformation and leadership for sustainability. You will learn methods to engage young people in meaningful outdoor activities which promote health, personal development and provide a holistic approach to learning from nature. You will experience elements of the core Natural Change process, you will learn to lead peer group sessions using Natural Change facilitation techniques, to work with reflective facilitation tools and become critically aware of your own facilitation style, its strengths and weaknesses and strategies for development. The Natural Change approach draws on a wide range of educational and therapeutic disciplines including developmental outdoor education, popular education, experiential learning, ecophilosophy and a number of psychotherapeutic traditions. It is also informed by practices and insights from ancient and indigenous cultures. Natural Change works at personal, cultural and structural levels simultaneously to catalyze change for sustainability. It engages people working with youth, communities and organisations (youth workers, educators, teachers). On the practical level, the process includes small and whole group work and individual practices - including intellectual, sensory, intuitive and emotional elements. The work includes structured wilderness ‘solo’ time, ‘story-telling’ and reviewing of experiences, spending time together outdoors working experientially, and short theory sessions on a wide variety of subjects. Throughout, the participants develop and learn from relationships with each other and with the natural environment. The process builds a highly cohesive community of people who explore lifestyle change and leadership towards sustainability in an authentic, inspiring and empowering way. This course is for you if: - you are a youth worker or facilitator active in non-formal education and/or in youth work - you are interested in facilitating group work and you have some experience of doing this already - you have a background in developmental outdoor education, transformative and experiential education, psychotherapy, counseling, social work or health care - you are intending to start working outdoors on personal change processes - you are emotionally mature, self-aware and have a good base of life experience - passionate about sustainability and the more-than-human environment - you have a very good understanding of English. The course aims to: - support the personal development of participants - translate personal transformation gained through this learning process into social action, leadership and innovation for a more sustainable future - create a cross-cultural community of peer youth workers and facilitators in transformative learning for sustainability - increase motivation and capacity for entrepreneurship and innovation amongst young people - introduce innovative non-formal educational methods in environmental/outdoor youth work and youth work for sustainability - build capacity and professional development of the partner organizations on an organizational level. The trainers: David Key is an outdoor educator and ecotherapist. He holds international qualifications in mountaineering and rock climbing and has 20 years experience leading groups in some of the world‘s wildest places. Dave also teaches ecopsychology and provides consultancy to organizations who want to design sustainability change programmes and campaigns. He is a teaching fellow of the Centre for Human Ecology and co-led the postgraduate course in Ecopsychology at the University of Strathclyde / Centre for Human Ecology for seven years. He now teaches Ecopsychology at Schumacher College in Devon. Dave has published numerous articles and papers on working therapeutically outdoors and has given keynote and plenary sessions to international audiences since 1997. In addition to teaching and professional practice as a therapist, Dave is also a Director of Natural Change Limited, a social enterprise which develops leadership for sustainability through outdoor experiences. Dave will work with three co-trainers: Osbert Lancaster is a consultant and facilitator crafting events, activities and programmes to foster a world where individuals, families, communities and organisations flourish in harmony with the rest of nature. For 20 years he has worked with inspiring thinkers and innovators, putting his learning into practice with government agencies, community groups, businesses, universities and NGOs. He lives in Edinburgh. Rob McKenna spent eight years working as the catering manager at the Buddhist Retreat Centre on Holy Isle, off the West coast of Scotland. He has many years of experience as a mindfulness practitioner. Rob is also a Shiatsu practitioner and is currently training as a Natural Change facilitator to develop his interest in working with the power of wild places. Richard Profit works for a leading multinational business helping them develop sustainability strategies. He has been on a number of wilderness expeditions taking him to Africa, South America and the North Pole, and is currently exploring the role the natural environment has on relationships, empowerment and collaboration for sustainable change. The venue: Kisújbánya, a beautiful remote village in the protected area of the Mecsek Mountain and its wild places in the South of Hungary. The majority of activities will take place outdoors.

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Training overview

This activity has already happened!

This Training Course is

for 20 participants

from Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Romania, Spain

and recommended for

Youth workers, Youth leaders, Group facilitators

Working language(s):



Pandora Association (Youth NGO)

Pandora Association is an NGO promoting deep ecology, voluntary simplicity and permaculture in Hungary and internationally. We stand for a holistic approach towards sustainability rooted in nature connection, community and personal well-being. We organise workshops, camps, events and international youth exchanges as well as training courses on topics of sustainable living, nature connection, organic food and participatory project design for different generations. Please, take a look at our website:

Contact for questions:

Krisztina Pasztor


Phone: +36 20 416 9183


The costs (the training course, food, accommodation) will be covered by the Erasmus+ Programme. Travel costs will be reimbursed up to the following amounts per person: Czech Republic 275 Euros Hungary 180 Euros Italy 275 Euros Liechtenstein 275 Euros Romania 180 Euros Spain 275 Euros We ask for a contribution of 50 – 100 euros, depending on your possibilities.

This training activity is funded by:

The Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme

Participants are entitled to receive a Youthpass certificate from the organiser, for recognition of their competence development during the activity. Read more about Youthpass:

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