Omega Center for Sustainable Living | Online Learning

Ecological Literacy Immersion Program

Designing for Our Regenerative Future: An 8-Week Online Program

- Online

ELIP offers an innovative approach to community and landscape design to regenerate the health and well-being of people and our planet.


ELIP participants share some of their experiences learning and applying permaculture design principles.

We are living in a time of planetary crisis. But with disruption comes a remarkable opportunity for positive change.

Drawing from the curriculum of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living’s residential Ecological Literacy Immersion Program (ELIP), this eight-week online program offers a deep exploration of ecological design and whole-systems thinking.

Bringing this program online offers several benefits including: 

  • The ability to apply place-based learning directly to your home and community
  • A class schedule that enables you to accommodate full-time work commitments
  • The opportunity to join this learning community without the need for travel 

Through presentations, group dialogue, personal reflection, and rigorous design thinking exercises, you explore the science and practice of ecological design. Led by renowned ecological designer Connor Stedman and a team of Omega Center for Sustainable Living guest faculty, you:

  • Examine your role in creating conditions for life to thrive
  • Learn how systems and design thinking can create positive change in our lives, workplaces, and communities
  • Discover how these concepts can build reciprocity with the ecosystems of which we are an inextricable part
  • Join a learning community that you can continue to engage with long after the course is over

You emerge from ELIP with a deeper understanding of your relationship, responsibility, and capacity for good within the living systems of our planet.

Your time commitment at a glance, over the 8 week period: 

  • 30 hours of online instruction 
  • 16-20 hours of independent coursework
  • 8 optional hours of discussion time with course lead Connor Stedman


Learning Outcomes

Week 1: Seeds of Ecological Design

  • Develop a personal practice of reflection, embodiment, and relationship building with ecological design.
  • Identify a wide range of ecological design and leadership practices.
  • Understand how power, privilege, position, and history shape and inform community organizing and leadership.

Week 2: The Practice of Place

  • Develop skills needed to listen to the land and how to learn from nature, history, and place. Skills:
    • "Land forensics" or reading the landscape
    • Map reading and interpretation
    • How to identify a story of place

Week 3: Engaging With Living Systems

  • Learn how to apply living-systems thinking and frameworks to complex issues and challenges on the planet and in our own lives.
  • Experience with hands-on practices such as:
    • Seed starting and keeping
    • Native rewilding
    • Watershed tracking and hands on remediation practices
    • Soil health development for lawns, gardens, community spaces

Week 4: Break

Week 5: Design Thinking

  • Develop a competency for landscape site analysis
  • Learn how to develop, prototype, and test design ideas
  • Learn how to analyze and evaluate from experiments

Week 6: Ecological Leadership

  • Understand and articulate one’s particular role, niche, and work in eco-social systems.

Week 7: Imagination & Futurism

  • Apply living systems and design thinking to personal, professional, project, and community goals that are authentic, important, and timely.
  • Experience the practice of “dreaming out loud” for thinking and communicating beyond the limitations of current paradigms and structures.

Week 8: Integration & Graduation Weekend


Friday, June 11

7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Seeds of Ecological Design

Saturday, June 12

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Seeds of Ecological Design (continued)

Sunday, June 13

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Seeds of Ecological Design (continued)

Tuesday, June 15

7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Practice of Place: Introduction to landscape analysis, historical research, and local/community relationship building.

Thursday, June 17

4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Open Studio
Office hours with Connor Stedman.

Tuesday, June 22

7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Engaging Living Systems: A deep dive into ecosystems and principles of systems thinking.

Thursday, June 24

4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Open Studio
Office hours with Connor Stedman.

Saturday, June 26

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Hands-on Learning Intensive

Sunday, June 27

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Hands-on Learning Intensive

Tuesday, July 6

7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Design Thinking: Apply living systems thinking to design questions and leadership.

Thursday, July 8

4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Open Studio
Office hours with Connor Stedman.

Tuesday, July 13

7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Ecological Leadership

Thursday, July 15

4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Open Studio
Office hours with Connor Stedman.

Tuesday, July 20

7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Imagination & Futurism

Thursday, July 22

4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Open Studio Office hours with Connor Stedman.

Friday, July 30

7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Reflections & Preparation for Graduation Weekend

Saturday, July 31

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 1

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Meet the Teachers

  • Connor Stedman, M.S., is an ecological designer, farm planner, and climate educator based in west ...
  • Abrah Dresdale, M.A., is a visionary educator and culture-shift consultant, specializing in ...
  • Mohamad Chakaki, MEM, is a planner, educator, facilitator, and writer focusing on urban ecology a ...
  • Eric Toensmeier has studied permaculture and useful plants of the world for over two decades. H ...
  • Eva Leung is a Harvard Graduate School of Design alum and architect. She is a co-founder and CEO ...
  • Kavitha Rao is a mother, facilitator, consultant, healer, and organizer.  As a daughter of i ...

Tuition & Fees

Title Price

Ecological Literacy Immersion Program

Tier Name Tier Price

Standard Tuition

This is the price of your workshop. Choosing this price helps Omega continue to retain world-class teachers and sustain classroom facilities.


Tier 1 Donor-Supported

This is our partially subsidized price for those with temporary or minor financial need.


Tier 2 Donor-Supported

This is our fully subsidized price for those in need of deeper financial assistance.



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