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The Right Livelihood Programme

Align your life with a deeper sense of purpose


A transformative learning journey of practising Gross National Happiness in your own life, beginning 29 March 2022.

This course is a partnership between The Sharpham Trust and The Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan.

 

 

 

modules dates activity
1 29 March - 29 May 2022 Online programme of study, webinars and support.
4 8 - 16 April 2022 Optional module in Bhutan with the Gross National Happiness Centre (additional cost)
2 30 May – 5 June 2022 6-night residential learning journey at Sharpham House, in partnership with the Gross National Happiness Centre, Bhutan.  
3 7 June – 28 September 2022 Online programme of study, webinars and support
4 2 - 9 October 2022 Optional module in Bhutan with the Gross National Happiness Centre (additional cost)

 

Could we change the way we work?Seeking your Right Livelihood

Join us for a six-month transformative learning journey that aims to align your livelihood with a deeper sense of purpose, one that is in service of the well-being of people and planet - by putting the vision and principles of Gross National Happiness (GNH) into practice in your own life.

During this programme we will explore what is wrong with our current system and why it is not delivering well-being for people and planet, particularly in the light of the global disruptions in health, social care and economic systems. 

We will look at the seeds of new possibilities in these times of unprecedented change, what our priorities are and what it is we need to let go of in order for the new to emerge. We will search for the path towards our own right livelihood.

 

Gross National Happiness, according to the GNH Centre, Bhutan 

 

His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of BhutanThe concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) was promulgated by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan in the early 1970s. When His Majesty spoke about GNH at the time, he questioned the prevailing measurement system that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) alone could deliver happiness and well-being to society.

Bhutan’s ancient legal code of 1629 stated that “if the Government cannot create happiness for its people, then there is no purpose for government to exist”. The code stressed that Bhutanese laws must promote happiness for all sentient beings – as a Buddhist nation, it is clear that the cultivation of compassion stemmed from this ancient wisdom.

Gross National Happiness diagram

That the focus was not just the economic progress of Bhutan, but of a flourishing human society living in harmony with nature.

Today there is a lot of research that shows that wealth alone does not contribute to life satisfaction or happiness.

GNH measures the quality of its development in a more holistic way and believes that the beneficial development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occurs side by side.

Bhutan has been considered a living example by many for sparking the debate on what is real human development.

 

 

An inspiring and action-oriented journey

Participants will visit inspiring projects, people and places in South Devon, UK with the additional option of visiting Bhutan - home to the Gross National Happiness initiative. 

Bhutan is one of the first countries to put happiness and well-being of people and planet at the centre of society and economy and is inspiring other countries and organisations to do the same.  This optional module in Bhutan is arranged and paid for separately to the course. It is a unique invitation which is organised and hosted by the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan.

This will be an inspirational, transformative and action-oriented journey towards developing a prototype of your own GNH inspired project, plan, or pathway to right livelihood.

You'll be in a strong community on this course

Throughout, you will be supported by a community of peers, facilitators and experts. Participants may already have a high-level vision of a project or path that they would like to follow but are seeking the support, expertise or simply the space and grace to make it happen.

The Right Livelihood Programme will be based around participants' projects and action-learning and will take place within the overall framework of Theory U (see Otto Scharmer giving a TED talk about Theory U here).

Theory U diagram

 

This course is for you if you are:

  • seeking new direction in response to recent shocks and changes to lives and livelihoods
  • looking for ways of living more aligned with your inner values and sense of purpose in the world
  • a graduate student sensing the limitations of what you have learned in your formal studies
  • a professional feeling misaligned with the values and practices of your place of work
  • looking for a meaningful and active retirement 
  • at a crossroads looking for a more purposeful and rewarding direction

Choose Gross National Happiness
 

You don't need a regular meditation practice to join this course.

There will be an introduction to mindfulness meditation, with practice throughout the programme.

Programme participants also have the option of attending a Sharpham Trust online 8-week mindfulness course (booked and paid for separately).


Programme structure

The Right Livelihood Course is a six-month programme of three modules combining online study, webinars and support with a six-night residential stay at Sharpham House in Devon.

There is also the option of visiting Bhutan organised by the Gross National Happiness centre either in April or later in the autumn.

 

Course leaders:

Julia Kim portraitDr Julia Kim is the Programme Director of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre in Bhutan. She joined the GNH Centre in 2013, after serving as a member of the International Expert Working Group for a New Development Paradigm, convened by the Royal Government of Bhutan.

See more by clicking the Leaders tab above

Julie Richardson portraitJulie Richardson is an educator and facilitator in transformative educational experiences that enable participants to connect with their deeper inner purpose in service of happiness and well-being of people and planet.  She is currently undertaking doctoral research into economies of well-being at the University of Plymouth, UK.  Previously she was Senior Lecturer in Holistic Economics at Schumacher College in England where she co-created the postgraduate programme in Economics for Transition, the Right Livelihood Programme, the Gross National Happiness Master Class and the Transitioning towards an Ecological Civilisation: Dialogues East and West.

See more by clicking the Leaders tab above

 

Guest teachers and leaders:

Julian Carnell portraitJulian Carnell is the Director of The Sharpham Trust which owns and cares for the 550-acre Sharpham Estate.

He originally trained as a teacher before working in international development overseas. This has led to a career in environmental education, conservation and estate management.

He will be contributing to rewilding, right livelihood and local food economies topics.

William Lana portraitWilliam Lana worked in The City and on Wall Street in the 1980s and for the Commission of the EU in Brussels in the 1990s, after which time he co-founded and is the CEO of the organic textile company Greenfibres.

He sits on a number of boards of organisations aimed at finding environmental and social solutions to the challenges and opportunities we currently face.

He has degrees from the University of Kent and the London School of Economics, lives in Totnes, has two children, and is a practising artist.

Yannick BeaudoinYannick Beaudoin is a senior economist and Director of Innovation and for Ontario with the David Suzuki Foundation.

From his decade with the United Nations to his return to Canada in 2018, he has been facilitating conversations around the world, highlighting various solution pathways towards a well-being centric, #beyondGDP economic system.

Yannick holds a Phd in Marine Geology from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Economics for Transition from Schumacher College/University of Plymouth in the UK.

 

Course fees

This course costs £2,695 (early-bird price of £2,500 to 14 January 2022) and this includes all teaching, course readings and materials, notes, food, accommodation and refreshments and the online program of study, webinars and support.

On booking, students will be sent confirmation of payment and a link to a confidential application form which includes information to confirm your eligibility for the course. Please note that your place is not confirmed until this has been completed.

We recognise that the course fee represents a significant investment, therefore the course fees can either be paid in full on booking the course, or spread over two separate payments as follows:

Early Bird

50% payable on booking: £1,250

50% 1 month before the course begins: £1,250

Full Price

50% payable on booking: £1,347.50

50% 1 month before the course begins: £1,347.50

We want to ensure the course is as accessible as possible, so if the payment schedule above is not viable for you it may be possible to arrange a bespoke payment plan. Please contact our Programme Administrator on [email protected] or 01803 732542 if you wish to explore this option.

The course involves a significant commitment financially and students need to be sure they want to undertake the training. Please see also our cancellation policy below.


Bursaries

Limited bursaries are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the Programme Administrator at least 8 weeks in advance if you wish to apply.


Cancellation terms & conditions

 
Cancellation date Result
More than 3 months before the course start date

Fees paid are fully refundable, plus £100 admin fee 

1-3 months before the course start date

loss of 50% of the total fee, plus £100 admin fee.

Less than 1 month before the course start date

No refund unless we are fully booked and able to re-sell the space, in which case we can refund 50% of the total cost of the course, plus £100 admin fee.

If we have to cancel a Sharpham Trust retreat or course:

Sharpham reserves the right to cancel a course or retreat for whatever reason, which may be owing to insufficient numbers, the availability of staff or tutors, or other reasons beyond our control.

In this event, however, your course fee will be refunded in full. Every endeavour will be made to inform you of this as soon as possible.

Sharpham can accept no further liability for course cancellations beyond the course fee refund.

If we have to cancel the residential retreat at Sharpham House due to Government guidelines surrounding Covid, the retreat will take place online.

In this instance there will be a partial refund for the accommodation, food/refreshments and other expenses associated with the residential.

Travel to Sharpham House and Bhutan are not included in the price.

Module 1: Exploring Well-being and Right Livelihood

29 March - 29 May 2022: ONLINE 

Right Livelihood quote

We begin by exploring what is wrong with the current system, with a particular focus on what is revealed by the COVID19 pandemic and associated crises in our economy, communities and care systems.

You will be introduced to alternative approaches, including Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) that puts the health and well-being of people and planet at the centre of the economy and society. Participants will be given the opportunity to reflect on how to re-orientate their lives and livelihoods in service of the well-being of people and planet.

As a general guide we estimate the online program will involve 12-18 hours required per month. 

Participants will need access to IT and we will utilise software such as Zoom and Google Drive.

This module includes
  • 2 plenary meetings per month with the whole group
  • Guided individual activities such as sensing journeys and journaling
  • Sharing and support with small groups (1 or 2 times per month). 
  • Peer-to-peer meetings (at least once per month)
  • Research and guided study
  • Introduction to mindfulness meditation and a regular practice
Syllabus
  • Setting and sharing our individual intentions and right livelihood inquiry question(s)
  • What is wellbeing (at different levels – individual, community, national and planetary)
  • Why the current system is not delivering wellbeing and what are alternative visions for wellbeing and prosperity, including GNH
  • Introducing Theory U - the framework that underpins our learning journey
  • Developing a regular contemplative/meditation practice
  • Preparing for the residential Module 2 at Sharpham House in South Devon, UK
Dates - UK time (tbc)
  • 29 March, 15.00-16.30 - Webinar and first session
  • 28 April, 15.00-16.30 - Plenary
  • 4 May, 15.00-16.30 - Webinar
  • 23 May, 15.00-16.30 – Plenary

 

Module 1 outline, 29 March - 29 May 2022

Activity* 29 March - 28 April 29 April - 28 May
Study & reflections What's wrong with our current systems? intro to Theory U GNH: An alternative paradigm; Right Livelihood

Personal assignments

Right Livelihood inquiry  Personal reflection: GNH Wheel
Webinars & Discussion
“Inhale”
(1.5 hours)

Webinar 1:
Co-initiating; introductions; course overview

Julia Kim & Julie Richardson

29 March 10.00-11.30**

Webinar 2:
Gross National Happiness & Right Livelihood

Julia Kim

4 May 10.00–11.30**

Peer Groups Dialogue sharing Small group sharing
Plenary with whole group
“Exhale”
(1.5 hours)

Reflection & key  insights; Well-being practice; intro to next month

28 April 10.00–11.30**

Reflection & key insights; Well-being practice; intro to next month 

23 May 10.00–11.30**

*Details of all activities: study and resources, personal assignments, peer groups, webinars and plenaries are available from the online link which will be sent to you.

**Refers to UK time.  Please check the time in your own geographic region.

 

 

Module 2: Connecting to Source - The inner journey for outer transformation

30 May - 6 June 2022: IN PERSON at Sharpham House

Sharpham House

We will come together at Sharpham House for a 6-night residential learning journey where participants will have the opportunity to experience first-hand the beauty of the natural landscape across the Sharpham Estate which lies on the banks of the River Dart in Devon. The Sharpham Trust aims to create a more mindful, compassionate and environmentally-sustainable world through a programme of activities and sustainable approaches to managing the land including a project to rewild 50 of the Estate's 550 acres.Right Livelihood cohort on the banks of the River Dart

We will learn about the experiment of Gross National Happiness at a personal, organisational and national level.  An important element of GNH is the practice of ‘happiness skills’. This idea that our own sense of well-being and purpose can be deliberately cultivated is based on all genuine Wisdom Traditions of the world, as well as the latest scientific research that affirms that the mind can be trained through regular practice.

As a result, positive mental and emotional habits and behaviours can be enhanced, bringing about more physical and mental happiness and wellbeing, for ourselves and others.  The practice of mindfulness and contemplative practice underpins all of our work together.

We will explore the relationship between the inner journey of transition for outer transformation. What do we need to let go of for the seeds of new possibility to emerge in our lives and livelihoods?  We will explore how to cultivate these seeds towards developing a ‘prototype’ for our Right Livelihood project, plan or work.

Syllabus
  • Exploring Gross National Happiness and its applications at a personal, organizational and national level
  • What is Right Livelihood and what different forms might it take?
  • Relationship between inner and outer journey of transition – the process of reconnecting to self, others, and nature
  • Visiting inspiring projects, people and natural landscapes, connecting with places of highest potential
  • From inner transformation to social change: Transforming the “poisons of the mind”, generating Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity as a basis for a healthy inner life and social organisation
  • Cultivating personal and collective happiness skills: mindfulness and compassion; deep listening
  • Connecting to source through solo time in nature, to explore seeds of new possibilities
  • Introducing online support for developing ‘prototypes’ including case clinics, webinars and peer-to-peer mentoring

 

 

Module 3: Taking Root - Prototyping Right Livelihood in your own life

7 June - 28 September 2022: ONLINE

People connecting

This module will be co-created according to the interests of participants.  There will be opportunities for participants to develop and share their ‘prototype’ of their Right Livelihood project, plan or path supported by peers, facilitators and external experts. 

This is a time for sharing, celebrating and supporting each other as our aspirations begin to take root and form in the outer world.

What are the inner and outer resources and practical skills we need to nurture our own wellbeing and support others as we move forward on our Right Livelihood journey?

Syllabus
  • Exploring inspiring examples of right livelihood and well-being economies in practice
  • Learning about life transitions from secular and indigenous ways of knowing
  • Deepening personal and collective happiness skills: mindfulness and compassion; deep listening
  • Case clinics – deepening peer-to-peer support in addressing emerging opportunities and challenges as participants develop their Right Livelihood plans, projects or prototypes
  • Developing and sharing our Right Livelihood ‘prototypes’
  • Identifying needs and sharing gifts
  • Developing our creative Right Livelihood community and support network
  • Celebrating and going forth

 

Module 4 (OPTIONAL): Bhutan - a journey through Gross National Happiness

Spring or Autumn 2022: IN PERSON at the GNH Centre in Bhutan

Bhutan rooftops

Join us for a unique insight into how Bhutan has embraced the concept of Gross National Happiness. The GNH Centre will take you on a spiritual, cultural, and nature-immersed learning journey where you have the opportunity to deepen your meditation practice at sacred sites, meet key Bhutanese GNH stakeholders, and visit inspiring examples of GNH in practice across different sectors in Bhutan.

The programme creates a space to reflect on the deeper purpose of life, helping participants discover their own personal answers to inner questions. Designed to raise self-awareness, the course also focuses on mindfulness, meditation and value-based leadership training.

 

The trip is arranged and booked separately with the GNH Centre. All food and accommodation is included in the fee. See the Costs tab. 

Together we will take a deep dive into the rich culture and ecology of the Himalayas, learning about Bhutan’s daring experiment of Gross National Happiness - and exploring how this can be a source of inspiration and action at both a personal and country level.

How can the vision and values of GNH translate into individual and collective action that promotes the well-being of all life? And how can we cultivate the inner qualities or 'happiness skills' that ancient wisdom traditions (and now scientific research) indicate can be enhanced through regular practice?

We will explore the relationship between our own personal journey of inner transformation and the wider social change that we would like to bring into the world. 

What do we need to let go of for the seeds of new possibility to emerge in our lives and livelihoods? We will explore how to cultivate these seeds towards developing a ‘prototype’ for our Right Livelihood project, plan or work.

There are two options: Apr 8-16, 2022 ($3950 USD) or Oct 2-9, 2022 ($3456 USD - dates to be confirmed)

Bhutan map

Indicative Syllabus 
  • Exploring Gross National Happiness in Bhutan and its applications at a personal, organisational and national level
  • Visiting inspiring projects, people and sacred spaces, connecting with places of highest potential
  • From inner transformation to social change: Transforming the 'poisons of the mind', generating Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity as a basis for a healthy inner life and social organisation
  • Cultivating personal and collective happiness skills: mindfulness and compassion; deep listening
  • Connecting to source through solo time in nature, including mountain pilgrimage to explore seeds of new possibilities
  • Case clinics – deepening peer-to-peer support in addressing emerging opportunities and challenges as participants develop their Right Livelihood plans, projects or prototypes

 

 

 
Cancellation date Result
More than 3 months before the course start date

Fees paid are fully refundable, plus £100 admin fee 

1-3 months before the course start date

loss of 50% of the total fee, plus £100 admin fee.

Less than 1 month before the course start date

No refund unless we are fully booked and able to re-sell the space, in which case we can refund 50% of the total cost of the course, plus £100 admin fee.

If we have to canc

This retreat takes place in the beautiful and historic Grade 1-listed Sharpham House set in a Capability Brown-designed landscape with stunning views over the steeply-wooded River Dart.

Click here for our How to Find Us page on this website.

Click here to view, print or download directions and a map to Sharpham House

Click here view and download walking/cycling directions to Sharpham House

Aerial shot of Sharpham House

If you have a medical condition that requires you to have an en-suite room, please contact our Programme Administrator on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-served basis.


Just to let you know, we have poor mobile phone coverage – which we see as a virtue. While there is wi-fi in Sharpham House, we encourage you to disconnect from ‘the network’ so you can fully retreat when you’re here.


We are 3 miles from Totnes – famous for its Transition Town movement

We are in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Sustainability

We take sustainability seriously.

All of the hot water and heating in the House is produced by a state-of-the-art biomass woodchip boiler and we have 2 large photo-voltaic solar panel arrays on barn rooftops.

Eco-gardens at Sharpham

Our gardens are managed organically and we only use bio-degradable cleaning products.

Course Fees

This course costs £2,695 (early-bird price of £2,500 to 14 January 2022) and this includes all teaching, course readings and materials, notes, food, accommodation and refreshments and the online program of study, webinars and support.

On booking, students will be sent confirmation of payment and a link to a confidential application form which includes information to confirm your eligibility for the course. Please note that your place is not confirmed until this has been completed.

We recognise that the course fee represents a significant investment, therefore the course fees can either be paid in full on booking the course, or spread over two separate payments as follows:

Early Bird

50% payable on booking: £1,250

50% 1 month before the course begins: £1,250

Full Price

50% payable on booking: £1,347.50

50% 1 month before the course begins: £1,347.50

We want to ensure the course is as accessible as possible, so if the payment schedule above is not viable for you it may be possible to arrange a bespoke payment plan. Please contact our Programme Administrator on [email protected] or 01803 732542 if you wish to explore this option.

The course involves a significant commitment financially and students need to be sure they want to undertake the training. Please see also our cancellation policy below.

Travel to Sharpham House and Bhutan are not included in the price.


Bursaries

Limited bursaries are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the Programme Administrator at least 8 weeks in advance if you wish to apply.


Cancellation

Before the beginning of the Programme:

  • More than 3 months before the course start date – full refund less £100 admin fee
  • Between 1-3 months before the course start date – loss of 50% of the total fee, plus £100 admin fee
  • Cancellation less than 1 month before the course start date – liable for the full fee unless we are fully booked and able to re-sell the space, in which case loss of 50% of the total cost of the course plus a £100 admin fee.

 

If we have to cancel a Sharpham Trust retreat or course:

Sharpham reserves the right to cancel a course or retreat for whatever reason, which may be owing to insufficient numbers, the availability of staff or tutors, or other reasons beyond our control.

In this event, however, your course fee will be refunded in full. Every endeavour will be made to inform you of this as soon as possible.

Sharpham can accept no further liability for course cancellations beyond the course fee refund.

If we have to cancel the residential retreat at Sharpham House due to Government guidelines surrounding Covid, the retreat will take place online.

In this instance there will be a partial refund for the accommodation, food/refreshments and other expenses associated with the residential.

Dr Julia Kim - course leader

Dr Julia Kim - course leader

Dr Kim is the Programme Director of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre in Bhutan. She joined the GNH Centre in 2013, after serving as a member of the International Expert Working Group for a New Development Paradigm, convened by the Royal Government of Bhutan.

Through local and international partnerships, the GNH Centre leads initiatives that promote a more happy, equitable and sustainable world - based on New Economics principles, alternative progress measures, the growing science of well-being and sustainable development.

Prior to living in Bhutan, Julia worked as a medical doctor and HIV researcher in Africa and Asia before serving with the United Nations (UNDP and UNICEF) in New York.  She brings a background in programmes, policy and research in the fields of global health and sustainable development and is also an Associate of the Presencing Institute – a global network that views the integration of compassion and mindfulness-based practices as a core capacity of 21st-century innovation and leadership.

Julia holds degrees from the University of Manitoba, Cornell University, Tufts University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Julie Richardson - course leader

Julie Richardson - course leader

Julie is an educator and facilitator in transformative educational experiences that enable participants to connect with their deeper inner purpose in service of happiness and well-being of people and planet.  She is currently undertaking doctoral research into economies of well-being at the University of Plymouth, UK.  Previously she was Senior Lecturer in Holistic Economics at Schumacher College in England where she co-created the postgraduate programme in Economics for Transition, the Right Livelihood Programme, the Gross National Happiness Master Class and the Transitioning towards an Ecological Civilisation: Dialogues East and West.

She has over 20 years international experience working across a range of sectors and organisations covering different aspects of sustainable development in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. This includes teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University of London and in the African and Asian School at the University of Sussex.

She has worked as a senior environmental policy advisor to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the UK and as Principal Sustainability Officer for Jonathon Porritt’s Forum for the Future. Here her work included advising the business sector on how to incorporate sustainability issues into their corporate strategy including measuring and reporting their wider social and environmental impacts.

Her co-authored book, The Triple Bottom Line: Does It All Add Up? highlights a fresh approach to organisational performance that takes account of environmental, social and economic impacts.


Yannick Beaudoin - guest teacher

Yannick Beaudoin - guest teacher

Yannick is a senior economist and Director of Innovation for Ontario with the David Suzuki Foundation.

He brings an ‘economics for transition’ lens to the Foundation aimed at helping to enable a socially thriving and ecologically sustainable Canada.

He applies art of change and participatory social processes to a variety of themes that include: adaptation to uncertain climate futures, embedding of local, traditional and indigenous knowledge in policy-, decision- and choice-making, promoting a transition to a sustainable relationship between society and Nature.

From his decade with the United Nations to his return to Canada in 2018, he has been facilitating conversations around the world, highlighting various solution pathways towards a well-being centric, #beyondGDP economic system.

Yannick holds a PhD in Marine Geology from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Economics for Transition from Schumacher College/University of Plymouth in the UK.


Julian Carnell - guest teacher

Julian Carnell - guest teacher

Julian is the Director of The Sharpham Trust which owns and cares for the 550-acre Sharpham Estate.

He originally trained as a teacher before working in international development overseas. This has led to a career in environmental education, conservation and estate management.

He will be contributing to rewilding, right livelihood and local food economies topics.


William Lana - guest teacher

William Lana - guest teacher

William worked in The City and on Wall Street in the 1980s and for the Commission of the EU in Brussels in the 1990s, after which time he co-founded and is the CEO of the organic textile company Greenfibres.

He sits on a number of boards of organisations aimed at finding environmental and social solutions to the challenges and opportunities we currently face.

He has degrees from the University of Kent and the London School of Economics, lives in Totnes, has two children, and is a practising artist.


Retreats & Events

How to book easily and securely:

  • online on this page
  • by phoning 01803 732542

Ring us or email us on [email protected] if you've got any questions.

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.


Do check our Calendar to see and book for our events - or join our mailing list by clicking here to be kept in touch about Sharpham Trust news, retreats & events.