Events and Programmes
Events and Programmes Event Calendar
Kadoorie Earth Programme |Seed, Soil & Community Three-Week Blended Programme

Satish Kumar and Vandana Shiva x KFBG team

How many times in the past week have you taken the time to:
touch the soil,
plant a seed,
cultivate human connection?

An invitation

Often, despite enjoying our time in nature, we may not fully perceive nature elements as animate. Looking at the soil we may see dirt, and hesitate to touch it. Seeing a seed fallen from a tree we may think of it as something that needs to be cleared away. Finding beauty and intelligence in the simplicity of nature is a process that requires time and attention. At a time when modernity pressures us into busy lifestyles, such acts of connection have the power to rekindle the feeling of being part of a wider community of beings – humans and other-than-humans.

We invite you to take part in this three-week blended programme to experience an ecological worldview by engaging with these two elements that are fundamental to all life on the planet and yet easy to find in a city setting: seed and soil. You will be guided by the wisdom of our guest teachers Satish Kumar (UK) and Vandana Shiva (India) who will join us online, and of our local KFBG team.

Through the combination of online and onsite sessions, you will undergo a journey of reconnecting with nature following our holistic education philosophy of 3H approach ‘head, heart and hands’. You will gain inspiration and ecological knowledge (head) from guest teachers and the local KFBG team, experience hands-on activities by using all senses (hands), and cultivate deep connections as we develop a learning community (heart).

What we will learn from the guest teachers (online)

In the online interactions, you will take part in live sessions and engage in dialogue with two international teachers – Satish Kumar and Vandana Shiva. Satish is a well-known ecophilosopher and strong advocate for holistic education, while Vandana is renowned for her work with conservation of native seeds in India since 1991.

Satish Kumar, Schumacher College (UK)

Vandana Shiva, Navdanya Movement (India)

Without soil there is no food and without food there is no life, no trees, no forests. Soil represents life on Earth. In our human-centred worldview, in our educational systems, in our study of science and technology, we have come to think that soil simply means dirt, and is unclean. But soil is not dirty: it is the source of life.

We need to move to an ecological paradigm, and for this the best teacher is nature herself – by learning to work with living seeds, living soil and the web of life. In Hindi, ‘seed’ is bija or ‘containment of life’. Seed is created to renew, to multiply, to be shared and to spread. Seed is life itself. When we sow seeds of love, we grow our future.

Experiential learning during onsite gatherings

Combined with the online sessions, there will be onsite experiential activities at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG).

KFBG is located on the northern slopes of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong's highest mountain. Lovingly cared for by animal and plant ecologists, farmers, educators and nature-lovers for over 60 years, this is where you will discover a rich diversity of land, trees, flowers, plants and animal life. In this programme, we introduce you to our dedicated ecologist and agriculture officer who guide you in exploring the wonders of soil and seeds, understanding natural cycles and observing how humans and nature can work together. The experiential sessions are designed based on the principles of Holistic Education (3Hs) to foster transformation. You will also enjoy sustainable food and explore creative recipes centred around seeds – a source of abundant nutrition for both our health and happiness. Additionally, we will visit a local project, where we can learn from the different members about their work with seed and soil in their everyday life and in their community.

Learn from our ecologist and agriculture officer:

Stephan Gale, Head of Flora Conservation Department, KFBG

Marco Lo, Sustainable Agriculture Officer, KFBG

The Flora Conservation Department is closely involved with soil and seeds for native forest restoration. Efforts include enhancing soil quality through biochar and compost applications to assist in the germination of forest plants, collecting native seeds from wild plants across Hong Kong and nurturing them in the seed nursery to achieve a breadth of genetic diversity. Through these ongoing exploration and conservation efforts, we are working towards a resilient future for the ecosystem.

KFBG’s regenerative agricultural practices demonstrate how humans can work with soil and seed while fostering a sustainable relationship with nature. We nurture the soil by implementing sustainable farming techniques and composting methods, enriching the vibrant life within the soil. We also preserve the natural native seeds to ensure the continuity for future generations and human well-being.

Course Timeline & Activities





Week 1 - Soil & Seed: Ecology & Conservation

2 Oct 2024 (Wed)

19:30-21:30 HKT

Talk + Dialogue with Vandana Shiva


5 Oct 2024 (Sat)

10:00-17:30 HKT

- Learning from Stephan Gale, gaining ecological insights
- Visit to a local community

KFBG & Local community (Location TBC)

Week 2 - Soil & Seed: Philosophy & Agriculture

8 Oct 2024 (Tue)

19:30-21:30 HKT

Talk + Dialogue with Satish Kumar


12 Oct 2024 (Sat)

10:00-17:30 HKT

- Learning from Marco Lo on regenerative agriculture practice
- Hands-on activity with soil and seeds


Week 3 - Learning as a community

19 Oct 2024 (Sat)

12:30-18:00 HKT

- Group co-learning activity
- Join public online talk: a dialogue with Satish & Vandana (1.5 hours within the afternoon)
- Sharing and closing


Teachers [online]

Dr Satish Kumar

Raised as a Jain monk from the age of nine, Satish Kumar became a campaigner for land reform at 18, working to turn Gandhi's vision of a renewed India and peaceful world into reality.

In 1962, concerned about nuclear proliferation, he began, with his friend E.P. Menon, an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage, walking from India to Moscow, Paris, London and Washington with no money, through deserts, mountains and supposedly hostile territories to deliver a message of peace to the leaders of the four nuclear powers at the time.

In 1973, he settled in England and was invited by the renowned economist E. F. Schumacher to be the editor of Resurgence magazine, now titled Resurgence and Ecologist. Under his editorship the magazine has become, according to the Guardian newspaper, ‘The spiritual and artistic flagship of the green movement’.

In 1991, Satish co-founded Schumacher College, in Totnes, Devon, UK, an international residential education centre named after E. F. Schumacher, which aims to provide transformative learning for sustainable living.

Satish writes, teaches and leads workshops internationally on holistic economics, reverential ecology, holistic education and voluntary simplicity. His books include Soil · Soul · Society: A New Trinity for Our Time, No Destination, Earth Pilgrim, You Are Therefore I Am, Elegant Simplicity and the recently launched Radical Love.



Dr Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva trained as a physicist with a PhD in quantum theory from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She later shifted to interdisciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. In 1982, she founded an independent institute, the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, in Dehradun, northern Indian, dedicated to high-quality, independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, in close partnership with local communities and social movements.

In 1991, she founded Navdanya. This national movement aims to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. In 2004, she started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley, north of Dehradun, in collaboration with Schumacher College, UK.

Time magazine identified Vandana as an environmental ‘hero’ in 2003 and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators in Asia.


Juliana Schneider [online]

Juliana is a close collaborator of Kadoorie Farm since 2020, engaged with the development of Kadoorie Earth Programme. For more than a decade she has been an affiliate with Schumacher College in the UK, having graduated with Masters in Holistic Science and worked as a facilitator alongside experts in different areas such as Stephan Harding, David Abram, Vandana Shiva and Satish Kumar. In 2013 she founded an educational enterprise in Brazil experimenting with more participatory ways of organising. Beyond leading the organisation, she has taught and facilitated holistic thinking through numerous groups with highly diverse backgrounds. She currently collaborates with educational initiatives around the world through mentoring, consulting and teaching, as well as conducting a PhD as a researcher with the Schumacher Society. She also writes poetry and literary work in Portuguese, her native language.



Szeman Ng, Natalie [on site]

Szeman worked in an international Green NGO as a community campaigner for several years. In 2013, she decided to further her understanding of the human-nature relationship. This led her to pursue a 2.5-year master's degree at the University of Freiburg, Germany, during which she conducted research in Argentina, Thailand, India and Italy on topics such as holistic sustainability, eco-village movements, spiritual ecology, healing in nature, and EcoDharma. Afterwards, she worked as a programme manager in an Innovative Education NGO, facilitating training sessions and focusing on the processes of learning. Currently, Szeman works as a senior officer for the KFBG Kadoorie Earth Programme. Additionally, she is pursuing a five-year master's programme in Dharma Psychology & Philosophy and leading groups that engage in natural healing and spiritual development during her leisure time.

Seed, Soil & Community Three-Week Blended Programme

Date & Time:
Online sessions @ Zoom
02 Oct 2024 (Wed) 19:30-21:30 HKT
08 Oct 2024 (Tue) 19:30-21:30 HKT

Onsite sessions @ KFBG
05 Oct 2024 (Sat) 10:00-17:30 HKT
12 Oct 2024 (Sat) 10:00-17:30 HKT
19 Oct 2024 (Set) 12:30-18:00 HKT

Language: English

Target Audience: Aged 18 or above

No. of Participants: Maximum 20 participants

Fee: HK$2,200*

Early bird discount: HK$1,900 is available on or before 31 August 2024.

*Including guided and facilitated sessions and activities, two low-carbon sustainable vegetarian meals

Application: Click Here


  • Please submit your online application form on or before 20 September (Friday).
  • Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Payment is not refundable after acceptance, unless the programme is cancelled by KFBG due to inclement weather or other unexpected reasons.

Terms & Conditions
Upon submission of your application and payment, you are deemed to have accepted all Terms and Regulations of this retreat, and the guidelines below:
KFBG Visitor Guidelines

In case of any dispute, the organiser has the right to the final decision.

Please email Ms Jamie Ngai (Education Department) at


More about Kadoorie Earth Programme

​​Kadoorie Earth Programme (KEP) is an initiative co-created by KFBG and its network of collaborators and volunteers. By integrating the various strands of KFBG’s nature conservation, sustainable living and holistic education programmes, it provides life-transforming learning experiences that reconnect people with themselves, each other and the rest of nature and enable them to cultivate resilience in the face of global challenges.