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Official from Bhutan Ministry of Education visits Maharishi University of Management
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8 September 2012
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Karma Sonam, chief engineer for school construction in the Bhutan Ministry of Education, recently spent time on the campus of Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, to learn more about green construction, Maharishi Vastu architecture, and sustainability.
Sustainable Living faculty member Lonnie Gamble and MUM legal counsel William Goldstein first met Mr. Sonam while visiting Bhutan last fall to explore collaborations between MUM and Bhutan and to assist them in building sustainable schools.
Bhutan is noted for its Gross National Happiness Index, which the government uses to guide and assess all policies in the country. The index has 9 domains and 72 indicators and requires, for example, that food be organic and energy be renewable.
''There is a real synergy of values between MUM and Bhutan,'' Mr. Gamble said. MUM is exploring options such as a six-month course in sustainability in Bhutan and a course that studies the concept and application of Gross National Happiness.
While on campus, Mr. Sonam attended the Transcending Sustainability conference in late May, which was organized by the University's Sustainable Living department and drew people from around the United States. With the help of the MUM Sustainable Living department, Bhutan is planning to begin constructing its first sustainable schoolhouse this fall, at an elevation of 16,000 feet in the Himalayas.
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