Vision

To inspire transformative change through experience oriented sustainability studies.

Mission

By combining tradition with innovation, wisdom with practice, the Govardhan School of Sustainability (GSOS) has the purpose of being a global center for collaborative research and holistic education in sustainability.

The goal of GSOS is to broaden students worldview and encourage new ways of thinking and being, as well as to equip them with the necessary skills to become agents of transformative change in the world.

This is achieved through the development and delivery of Theories of Sustainability, promotion of Solutions Towards Sustainability, empowerment of Culture of Sustainability and the pursuit of Inner Sustainability in a community environment imbued with earth-honoring values and conscious living.

4 Pillars

  • Theory of Sustainability
  • Solutions towards Sustainability
  • Culture of Sustainability
  • Inner Sustainability

Programs

RESEARCH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM 

  • Mountaineering activity design
    The hiking trek is one of the newest additions to GEV. The marked trial will provide guests with all levels of hiking experience a safe and secure pathway up the mountain. With a provided map, guests will be able to experience and appreciate all the lush greenery and beauty nature has to offer.
  • Sustainability info-guide for enhanced Eco-tourism communication 
    The Sustainability Info Guide for Enhanced Eco-Tourism Communication is an interactive booklet created to enhance the GEV experience for guests. In the booklet you will find information and activities on the plethora of day-to-day operations of GEV from the food you eat to the animals you see to the aartis you attend.

STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM

About Us

ECO-COMMUNITY

Govardhan School of Sustainability is an education initiative based in Govardhan Ecovillage, a multi award-winning eco-community located around 100km from Mumbai. With its 250 residents, Govardhan Ecovillage is striving to set up a role model village, nested in an ecological infrastructure amidst a picturesque landscape of the Sahyadri mountains. The ecovillage is composed of farms, animal shelter, yoga school, ayurveda center, community area and geotourism site, all nested in the setting of an ashram. Now GEV has broadened its outreach by being host for the GSOS, a learning center oriented towards studies of ecology and transformation of self and society.

GLOBAL APPROACH

Founded by an international team with diverse backgrounds, GSOS has a global outlook and is setting partnerships with several international universities, promoting increased cultural and academic exchange.

HOLISTIC LEARNING

The backbone of GSOS is to inspire transformative change towards sustainability. This is accomplished by bringing forth new modes of thinking, acting, living and being in the world. Students who come to GSOS are encouraged to engage not only in theories of sustainability, but also in hands-on activities, workshops, outdoor classes, cultural activities, art and spirituality.

Theory of Sustainability

By exploring different theories of sustainability, GSOS aims at bringing an in-depth understanding of the various applications of the concept of sustainability across different schools of thought. Emphasis is given to bodies of theories that enable critical thinking and that at the same time have potential for informing and triggering transformative action.

THEORY OF SUSTAINABILITY MODULES

  • Deep Ecology
  • Vedic Ecology
  • Development Theories
  • Theories of Urbanization
  • Socio-environmental entrepreneurships
  • Symbiotic Development Model
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Justice
  • Dharma and Ecology
  • Sacred Ecology

Solutions towards Sustainability

With the goal of sharing the many already existing solutions to sustainability challenges, GSOS offers a broad set of practical sessions and workshops on various topics. Students will be exposed to innovative technologies, bold fusions of traditional with modern techniques as well as simple examples for how to build a more sustainable life. From building, water, waste management, food production to various forms of producing natural self-care products, GSOS covers a wide scope of practical solutions for a low-impact life on Earth.

SOLUTIONS TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY MODULES

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste and Sanitation
  • Food / Agriculture
  • Building Technology
  • Low Impact Lifestyle
  • Self-care Products
  • Mudblock Workshop
  • Pottery
  • Bio-construction
  • Permaculture
  • Food Forest
  • Sattvic Cooking
  • Biogas
  • SBT
  • Cow Care
  • Bamboo Workshop
  • Composting
  • Seed Conservation / Bank
  • Soil Preparation
  • Permanent Raised Bed – Organic Farming Technologies
  • Pyrolysis
  • Natural Dying

Culture Of Sustainability

Sustainability in its holistic sense is when the principles of sustainability are not limited just to ecological systems but to human systems in the form of culture. India offers a treasure of earth-honoring practices that infuses the culture of sustainability into all walks of our life. Explore these wonderful life tools to imbibe an enriching culture.

CULTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY MODULES

  • Ayurveda
  • Warli Painting
  • Life Skills
    • personal excellence
    • interpersonal excellence
    • organizational excellence
  • Building Community and Embracing Diversity
  • Sustainable Relationships
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Incense Making
  • Community Arts and Rituals
  • Traditional Indian Games
  • Traditional Indian Music
  • Biodiversity Exploration (trekking, river walk etc)
  • Animal Ethogram
  • Eco Group Dynamics
  • Food for Life
  • Traditional Indian Theater
  • Heritage Tourism

Inner Sustainability

At GSOS we believe that the mission of global sustainability can be truly achieved when we all develop a deep sense of inner sustainability. Change starts from within! Discover the sacred connection between the inner and outer worlds and how achieving harmony at an individual level can impact our collective sustainability.

INNER SUSTAINABILITY MODULES

  • Yoga and Pranayama
  • Meditation
  • Meditation Music
  • Wisdom Sessions
  • Reflection Sessions
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Sacred Storytelling
  • Lessons from Monks
  • Aromatherapy
  • Sound Therapy

Team

Nimai Lila Das

Mr. Nimai Lila Das, Chief Sustainability Officer, ISKCON Govardhan Ecovillage graduated from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore with a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering in 2007. After working with Tata Motors and L&T, he joined the Govardhan Ecovillage(GEV) to enhance its sustainability initiatives. He has played an instrumental role in expanding the Ecovillage's role in the fields of Water Conservation, Waste Management, Alternative Energy, Green Buildings, Rural development, Geotourism and Global Outreach.

ISKCON Govardhan Eco Village today is a multi-award winning model eco-community showcasing some of the best practices in all the above fields. He has authored many technical papers on sustainability and is a regular speaker at various distinguished conferences. In 2015 he was invited to “The Emerging Leaders Climate Change Convergence” in Rome, Italy along with 100 other delegates from world over. Last year he was voted among the Most Influential Sustainability Leaders in India. In the last few years Mr. Das has been focusing on transforming the ecovillage into an international destination for learning. Blending the concepts of traditional learning systems with modern teaching techniques Govardhan Ecovillage’s novel educational activities are designed to cater to people of diverse ages and backgrounds. Mr. Das oversees the activities of the Govardhan School of Yoga in the capacity of a Dean and his areas of expertise include Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras and Meditation techniques. He is also the core faulty in the Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitham, a Vedic seminary at GEV that aims to find ancient approachs to modern day issues. He is an avid reader and is actively involved in conducting various workshops on sustainable living and life-skills development for students and professionals.

Rakesh Panda

Rakesh Panda is a graduate from IIT Kharagpur – one of the top engineering institution in India. He joined as a senior scientist at the same institute in the field of molecular biology. He has been a faculty for college graduates across India for the last 5 years, giving motivational speeches in different educational organisations.

Currently, he is a program director at Govardhan Ecovillage, an UN award-winning retreat center and wisdom village. He travels abroad to present environmental sustainability initiatives at universities, like Yale, Princeton, UPITT etc. He is the Executive Head of SOS

Monika

Monika Rudzinskaite is a graduate from the University of Edinburgh, one of the top 20 universities in the world, having been awarded MA degree in Humanities with distinction. She is an Overseas Sustainability Officer and Program Coordinator at Govardhan Eco Village.

She has recently gone to the US, connecting to such universities as Yale, Vassar College, Princeton, LMU etc. She has also been giving various talks on sustainability, most recent one in the Circular Economy Conference at the Birkenfeld Environmental Campus in Germany, the greenest university in Europe. She also regularly presents and conducts workshops at GEV on the topics of culture of sustainability and inner sustainability. She is also a life skills coach.

Diego França

Diego França has graduated in Biological Sciences from Integrated Regional University in Brazil. He is specialized in restoration of degraded areas through Agroflorestry Systems (food forest), waste management, wastewater treatment, bioconstruction, low impact technologies and rescue of ancestral knowledge.

In Brazil, he acts in projects to reduce environmental of events and as a researcher and educator in the area of agroecology and sustainability. He manages one of the largest urban spaces of permaculture and agroforestry in Brazil. He has theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of biodynamic/natural/organic/syntropic agriculture, aquaponic systems, bikemachines, ecological landscaping, live feeding, beekeeping and meliponic culture, bamboo, botany, carpentry, organic waste composting, food preserving and processing, creole seed conservation and replication, electrical, electronics, hydraulics, computing, carpentry, mechanics and unconventional food plants.

Iris Kühnlein

Iris Kühnlein has a BA of honors in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Maastricht University (Netherlands) and was awarded with distinction a MA in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London (UK). She is a Sustainability Specialist and Faculty Member of the Govardhan School of Sustainability.

Iris Kühnlein specialized in sustainable urban planning in developing countries and has worked with sustainability across different fields: the urban and rural, academia and practice. In Brazil, she worked with sustainable extractivism projects of non-timber forest products, urban agriculture and has been involved with green economy movements, being a representative of farmer's cooperatives and board member of two city councils. Besides her work at the societal level, she is also interested in herbalism and has started her own natural cosmetics brand. Passionate about the transition towards low impact lifestyles, she manages internal sustainability practices at Govardhan Ecovillage and is also developing different ecofriendly products.

Yachneet Pushkarna

Yachneet Pushkarna is CEO, GEV SOCIAL INITIATIVES. Having over 13 Yrs of International Experience in domains over Agri commodities, International Product marketing, Quality operational control, sales experience, P & Lin the FMCG sector, .

Yachneet Pushkarna is leading the social initiatives of Govardhan Ecovillage