New Haumea ONLINE 6-week course:

Following the Haumea Ecoliteracy course, Cathy Fitzgerald PhD shares a deeper understanding of how the Earth Charter can help us develop a holistic ecological worldview for sustainable, equitable living. For Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the UN recognises 'the Earth Charter will be integrated into professional training and community development programs as a guiding framework for implementing sustainable development, for education reform and curricula development. In 2019, UNESCO re-endorsed the peoples' Earth Charter (2000) as the pre-eminent ethical framework for individuals and organisations to simply and inclusively communicate universal common values to advance global engagement in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

Why think about education for sustainability and the Earth Charter?

The Earth Charter: four pillars and 16 principles

the four pillars and 16 principles of the Earth Chartercan help you more easily communicate universal shared values for sustainable, just living:– ecological integrity, social justice, equality and intergenerational sustainability, to advance an enduring culture of peace for all– for your creative practice and your audiences or community.

For institutional education reform, for local governance and for business, the Earth Charter has been seen as a crucial means for radically shifting 'whole institutions' cultures towards enduring sustainability and equality.

The Earth Charter is an inspiring, visionary grassroots' peoples planetary citizens' document that is strengthened by over two decades global citizens' contributions. It advances holistic, systemic thinking that is so urgently required to safeguard the wellbeing of Earth's diverse humanity and cultures and the greater community of  life now and for the future.

"The Earth Charter has a unique legitimacy as a peoples’ treaty..."

Earth Charter logo: "Turning Conscience into Action"

" The process that produced the Earth Charter is the primary source of its legitimacy. It was the most inclusive and participatory process ever associated with the drafting of an international declaration. 

Hundreds of organizations and many thousands of individuals became involved. Earth Charter committees were formed in forty-five countries. Large regional conferences were held in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Latin America. The drafting committee included representatives from various constituencies and diverse cultures and countries, and periodically issued new drafts for broad-based comment. The committee also worked closely with members of The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Commission on Environmental Law in order to build on and extend international environmental and sustainable development law, providing another important source of legitimacy."

Theologian Steven Rockefeller, 2015 –'The Earth Charter at 15: A Spiritual Lens on Sustainability '

Watch Intro Video

Why Jane Goodall DBE advocates the Earth Charter

In 1977, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which establishes innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and the Roots & Shoots youth education program that has 6,000 groups in more than 87 countries. In 2001 Jane Goodall participated in the celebration of the Earth Charter, which was being taken to the United Nations. Since then she has been an advocate. Roots & Shoots groups, many of whom incorporate the Earth Charter into their activities and classroom curricula, therefore understand the power of the Earth Charter’s call to “care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.”


PLEASE NOTE: As this a course in development, there is a reduced fee for your feedback. A self-paced ONLINE pilot course for ALL cultural workers. Each week participants will have access to video lessons and resources that can be engaged independently. There will be weekly group meetings via Zoom for valuable peer learning and networking with other creative workers across the world. We meet weekly 7pm Irish / UK time (the orientation, introductory module for the course will be released a week earlier)

Building on the popular 'Values module' of the Haumea Ecoliteracy course, learn with Cathy Fitzgerald about why the holistic ecosocial values of the Earth Charter, advanced by peoples' from diverse cultures from across Earth over two decades–have crucial relevance to us all, and particularly if you work in the cultural, creative, advertising or education sectors. The Earth Charter's four PILLARS, and 16 principles, are an accessible and inclusive means to consider what an ecological worldview entails and also how to communicate holistic ecosocial (ecological) values in whatever you do. READ MORE ABOUT WHY CATHY IS DEVELOPING THIS NEW COURSE BELOW


EACH WEEK WE USE ONE OF THE 4 PILLARS OF THE EARTH CHARTER TO UNDERSTAND THE HOLISTIC ECOSOCIAL VALUES THAT ARE NEEDED TO ADVANCE A JUST, FLOURISHING EARTH. Lessons, with exercises and resources, including articles, videos and podcasts on key topics and figures from the Earth Charter will provide an overview of the history, ambition and potential, for the Peoples' Earth Charter to help 'TURN CONSCIENCE INTO ACTION.

  • THE ORIENTATION WEEK. You will be emailed how to login to the course platform, how to access the Welcome Module and will be given an introduction to the Earth Charter. You will also receive instructions on how to join the LIVE GROUP MEETINGS (on Zoom). The first group ZOOM meeting is a 'GETTING TO KNOW YOU' (instructions to join from other timezones will be in the Welcome Module).


  • ZOOM MEETING DATES: We offer weekly Online Group Meetings (via ZOOM) as follows: tbc (WELCOME MEETING), tbc (WE DISCUSS MODULE 1); tbc (MODULE 2); tbc (MODULE 3); tbc (MODULE 4); tbc (MODULE 5) tbc (MODULE 6)

  • WEEK 1: PILLAR 1 OF THE EARTH CHARTER - Communicating values of 'Respect and Care for the Community of Life'

  • WEEK 2. PILLAR 2 OF THE EARTH CHARTER - Ecological Integrity - learn all about why respecting flourishing living ecosystems is a cornerstone of a better world

  • WEEK 3. PILLAR 3 OF THE EARTH CHARTER - we consider intersectionality through values for 'Social & Economic Justice'

  • WEEK 4. PILLAR 4 OF THE EARTH CHARTER - we consider 'Democracy, Non-Violence and Peace'


What people are saying about the Haumea ESD- Earth Charter course

a new 6-week online course on Education for Sustainability with Earth Charter values

“It is testament in itself that I take every opportunity to work with Cathy, Nikos and Haumea. Whilst I am not a 'perpetual course attendee', I have found a deep need to be present with what Haumea offer for learning. Having just completed the 'Earth Charter Values' course the richness and kind learning has served to offer me new forms of practice, new ways of considering and new connections to others with similar concerns. The course has had a marked, immediate impact on what and how I engage with others through my practice. Learning the guiding principles of The Earth Charter, acquiring the language to share them through discussion, dialogue, examples and research has had a profound change on how I view my practice and place within this living world. The philosophies of care and compassion that underpin the Earth Charter are beacons of hope and positivity in very challenging times. Cathy, Nikos and Martin have an ability to build positive, deeply rich courses that speak to the best within us. They recognise the capacity and creativity within participants as well as their voice as essential to shared learning and the creation of a peer learning environment. The (Peoples) Earth Charter is a rich andenlightening document drawn together by wise peoples from many traditions. It offers a pathway for co-existing in the living world. The Haumea Course navigates the course whilst embodying its principles. I am immensely grateful for having attended this course, learning a little of what was offered and sharing that journey with other travellers. Thank you.”

Tom Duffy: socially-engaged artist, art facilitator, visual and percussive artist, Ireland

“I was first introduced to the Earth Charter during one of Cathy's courses about Ecoliteracy, and immediately I wanted to learn more. Taking part in the Haumea Earth Charter course has helped me to understand the scope of the work of caring for our planet, and to begin to find a personal role I can take in the work. I met a wide range of people from all over the globe which helps me to understand the deep nature of the work, as well as sense the connections all around our globe.”

Judith Lardener: Non Violent Communication and Restorative Justice facilitator, Ireland

“I had not heard of the Earth Charter before. World religions and sustainability form the bones of the Earth Charter. Together with the UN Sustainability Development Goals –SDGs a more holistic worldview is created which gives me more confidence that their principles are sustainable and a higher chance they will be achieved, which will benefit all humanity and wildlife. I found this course incredibly informative and inspiring and have recommended them to several ecology friends.”

Mary Hoy, visual artist, gardener, Dublin

“I would like to thank Cathy for all her work on the Ecoliteracy and Earth Charter courses, for her generosity in sharing her knowledge and experiences, and for her energy and effort protecting the planet. It has been a truly transformational journey for me.”

Estibaliz Errazquin, Project Coordinator / Facilitator, Ireland

“My experience of the two courses with Cathy Fitzgerald and Nikos Patedakis is one of the most enriching of my life. I attended the Ecoliteracy for Arts Professionals and The Earth Charter courses this year (2021). The Haumea Ecoliteracy course first gave me a rich foundation in philosophical, scientific and cultural/arts practices, ideas and values. The Haumea Earth Charter course focussed on values and paradigms, those invisible things that wield their subtle power in the shaping of our world. It was encouraging to find out how much work has been done in developing these values in the Charter. To find out that there are so many groups and individuals working skilfully to bring about change and to restore our living world was uplifting. The wealth of resources shared by Cathy is vast and empowering. I am currently reading through some ofthe recommended books. The role of the arts in this crucial time of change is immense. As artists, creatives and educators we are storytellers, and stories and images are powerful tools for change. Cathy gave us a new language to share our experience of eco-related grief and gifted us with us a reservoir of practical and imaginative tools to share in our facilitation and art making. I am now more than ever aware of interconnectedness, of being part of a community of life on this planet. Nikos philosophical insights and the meditative practices he brought into the sessions grounded those ideas into experience. The ecological crisis is also a crisis of the imagination and the spirit. An “inner and outer” approach to ecological change made this course unique. The support of such a diverse and strong group was vital in bringing energy to the online sessions and in creating a sense of community, something much needed when confronting the reality of environmental collapse. The group discussions were fascinating. Thank you Cathy and Nikos for your important work.”

Paola Catizone: Visual/Performance Artist and Arts facilitator at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art). Creator of Breaking Cover, Art and Ecology Encounters Programme at IMMA

“As a teacher in the New Zealand vocational education sector I have for some time been wanting to find a way of encouraging learners to explore the wider environmental impacts of their chosen fields. I first heard of the Earth Charter through a conversation with Cathy and thought it might be provide a useful lens through which students could view and analyse the activities of the various industries they were hoping to work for in their careers. I’m very pleased to have then taken the Haumea Earth Charter course. The content of the course comprehensively covered the EC pillars in a way that was both engaging and sympathetic to the audience. I particularly enjoyed being part of the eclectic group taking the course, as it allowed a wide range of opinions to be aired using everyday language. This experience will greatly assist me in communicating wider concepts to my own groups of learners, who also come from diverse ethnicities and social backgrounds.”

Dr Rhys Jones, PhD (Paris XI, Otago) Senior Lecturer, Centre for Applied Science and Primary Industries WINTEC (Te Pukenga), Hamilton Aotearoa New Zealand

Cathy explains why we need expanded values to advance planetary wellbeing

We will not effectively or equitably advance humanity to work toward the UN Sustainability Developments Goals for 2030-without a holistic ethical framework

Equitable, flourishing, peaceful living on Earth relates to caring about the interconnectedness of life.... 

Although in a busy world we often overlook values, they guide our individual and collective actions. We embody values from our culture and experience that influence those we teach or our audiences.  

For a better world, identifying common universal values that comprise an ecological worldview and translating them for our situation and place,  is essential to help us effectively care for ourselves, others and the wider community of life. 

Early on in my doctoral research, around 2013, I sensed more than I could explain, that our current societal values fall short in guiding us to care about others and the wider community of life on Earth.

In a world that values consumerism and growth above all else, coming across moral philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore's important work (via Derrick Jensen's podcast) for collating values from 80 visionaries , including Thich Nhat Hahn, Desmond Tutu, Oren Lyons, Ursula le Guin, Wangari Maathai, Peter Singer, Gary Snyder, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Wendell and Thomas Berry and more,  in 'Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril' (2010) alerted me to key thinkers who were much more skilful in recognising that expanded, integrated ecosocial values are crucial for these urgent times. 

Whilst the Earth Charter wasn't mentioned in Moral Ground, some of the contributors had been involved in the development of the Earth Charter several decades ago.

In recent years, I noted an upswell in interest in the Earth Charter from leading International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) scientists, ethicists, religious leaders like Pope Francis, environmental and youth ambassadors like Jane Goodall DBE, former Green Party leaders, like Canadian Elizabeth May. 

Most importantly,  in my recent study with the UN University of Peace 6-month course on Education for Sustainable Development in association with the Earth Charter Initiative, I have realised that educators, some of whom have been developing a radical reform of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) over several decades, keenly  realise and have been amassing learning and resources that underline that we will not effectively or equitably advance an ecological  worldview or attract humanity to reach the UN Sustainability Developments Goals ethically for 2030 without a holistic  framework that attends to ecological integrity alongside social justice and democratic values. 


My sincere thanks to the Irish Arts Council for the 2020 Professional Development Award to allow me to attend  the Earth Charter Education for Sustainability course and meet with such inspiring educators and other cultural workers from around the world .

 Also HUGE THANKS to former Haumea course participants (especially Lisa Cahill) & collaborators (Nikos and Mary) who reflected their enthusiasm for the Earth Charter back to me, which in turn inspired me to research and develop this course for the cultural  sector. 

My sincere thanks to the Earth Charter International team and my fellow ESD - Earth Charter learners.


  • How much time will this take?

    2-4 hours per week. A total of 6 weeks of content, connecting and sharing. It is a self-paced course – you can dive deep or skim the surface and still find great benefit. DATE TBC (7 PM IRISH/UK TIME) are when the course instructors host the live group learning sessions. You will also get so much more out of the course by joining us for the weekly Live Group Meetings—that is when the learning will really come alive, and you will get a chance to meet new friends and colleagues who can expand the ecology of mind, bringing mutual insight and inspiration. We highly recommend setting aside a specific time each week, after new material becomes available, to go through the weekly module lesson.

  • What do I need? Course accessibility

    An Internet connection, and a computer with a camera and audio to join the online (Zoom) meetings and to view the course video material. It is not advised to use a mobile phone to take this course. Also, your presence and commitment. You will gain more if you participate more. The group meetings, where we can listen and hear how others interpret the learnings, are the special magic sauce for appreciating the value of ecoliteracy. We tend to develop an ecology of mind among participants as we move through the weeks. Also, we try to make the online learning experience as inclusive and engaging, given its virtual limitations. Please let us know if there are special concerns you have for your learning. We will provide an audio playlist for some of the materials in this course.

  • I live in a different timezone - advice to join the weekly LIVE group meetings

    Check the time of the Live Group Meeting in your region– see and look at the time conversion page ( ). Please check to make sure the Live Group Meeting time will work for you, before you book!