Critical Review of GMF Fellowship Programme 2022:
Preparedness: Selected Remarks Useful to Fellows Applying for the 2023 GMF Programme
Fellows Need to Know and Are Expected
to Understand the Implications of the Following
1) GMF Post-Programme Community-Building Commitment
This fellowship is not fund related. It is being offered in the true meaning of a fellowship -- a community.The GMF fellowship programme is expected to foster an active GMF Fellows' community, initiating self and social (eco-social-spiritual) transformation. Applicants must be critically aware that there is a post-programme component which requires their time, labour and commitment in order to help build the community. We like to refer it as the 'GMF Fellows' Family'. (Note: The GMF Community will also include educators and well-wishers). Besides encouraging eco-social and spiritual bonding among fellows, it is also to imagined to be hubs for 'rhisomatic' social activism and movement.
2) Not Career-Oriented
This fellowship programme is not meant to support your career or offer advancement to your present position. It may have such an impact but that is not intended. It is not a course but a learning journey within the sphere of a learning ecology and
comprises of learning encounters (i.e. sessions with educators). It is supported by a platform consisting of an educational moral community. It may or may not serve your career or livelihood. It is a programme meant to help you explore another, hopefully more authentic, version(s) of yourself (as you see figure it). Three months are spent on exploring the "Who am I?" question to help you 'hack' and 'reboot' yourself or 'reclaim' it. The programme attempts deep self-transformation in order to encourage innovative eco-social-spiritual transformative praxis.
3) Disruptive Learning Process
The programme is disruptive and may lead to episodes of stress and uncertainty. It may also lead to resistance to self-transformation pressures as one's conscience is challenged. In such a situation, we expect fellows to trust the GMF learning process ('trust the process'). Deep questioning all taken-for-granted realities or received knowledge as well as deep self-questioning may led to critically examining unexamined beliefs or faith traditions. These self-transformative processes can be disruptive and disturbing.The aim here is really to help fellows deeply appreciate (rather than simply or blindly accept) their received cultural or ideological beliefs and/or faith traditions. It is essentially a journey undertaken by the fellows themselves with the GMF learning process accompanying, guiding and mentoring. It will be a mutual learning process i.e. the fellows and educators. Basically, there are no 'teachers'.
In exploring self and social transformation (i.e. self and eco-social-spiritual transformation), the GMF Learning Process offers a learningful, regenerative, inclusive space. It's a safe space for learning together, experimenting, sharing and dialoguing. Thus, the learning journey needs the fellows to be fully immersed and involved in the programme to share, deliberate and participate. Such a space is build on the dialogue of the rich and dynamic pedagogies of MK Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Paulo Freire. Grounded on (i) non-oppressive liberation and conscientisation, (ii) reconciliation and social healing, and (iii) non-violence and ways of the Truth/truths, the GMF Learning Process is like a 'seed' from which one can derive a rich crop of other pedagogies, narratives/stories and pathways for self and eco-social-spiritual transformation. The process encourages you to build your own language/narratives of Being and transformation. The 'seed' grows differently based on the needs of fellows life journey and experiences.
5) Six Interconnected Pathways to Compassion
The GMF Learning Process is a generic learning process applied to the programme you will be doing here for 8 months -- i.e. Conscience and Compassion. Learning to reclaim or reconstruct your conscience is difficult and needs you to relentlessly work or dialogue with yourself. We are interested in each one of us sincerely exploring deeply our eco-humanity and eco-spirituality. In addition, becoming compassionate is not just about giving (because you have) or being charitable. It is not just about doing, episodically. It is a way of Being, a way to-be-in-the-world. Your understanding and involvement are critical in this orientation of the programme. Such a way of Being requires an immersion in six interconnected pathways that open a space of coexistence of Self-and-the-Other (Self, Community and Nature).You must be prepared for a grounding in compassionate praxis which will explore the reality of Self-Other relationship (at the personal, community, and society levels) and new forms of eco-social-spiritual activism.