Center, Athena

We are a center bridging science, business, and “ancient wisdom” from different traditions to bring sustainability and equality to the (business) world.

Institute for Ecological Civilization

Core Belief

The present trajectory of life on this planet is unsustainable, and the underlying causes of our environmental crisis are inseparable from our social and economic systems. The massive inequality between the rich and the poor is not separate from our systems of unlimited growth, the depletion of natural resources, the extinction of species, or global warming. Social and environmental movements require an orientation that is neither too narrow and short-term, nor too abstract and long-term to offer concrete guidance. Formulating the requirements for the flourishing of life in all its forms ― an ecological civilization ― will provide the roadmap that leaders need and will ground a hope that stimulates the necessary reforms.

Vision 

EcoCiv works internationally to design and scale solutions toward long-term sustainability, focusing on water, economies, and human communities. We conduct research, convene experts, and facilitate the quest for solutions. We then help implement solutions through engagement at both the local and global levels: multi-sector teams in city or regional “hubs,” combined with online forums for building networks and disseminating solutions. Other activities include consultations, think-tank gatherings, and policy engagement. The goal is to develop collaborations among government, business, and civic leaders and among scholars, activists, and policy makers.

Working at the intersection of theory and practice, we amplify narratives of hope that motivate, guide, and direct.  As humanity works its way from social and environmental threat toward an ecological society, only the transformative vision of a positive new story will suffice.  Where hopelessness arises, we call others to join us in walking toward ecological civilization, one step at a time.

(Taken from: https://ecociv.org/our-mission/)

von Meibom, Barbara

Alles Leben ist Bewegung und ein ständiges Ringen, um das rechte Gleichgewicht, um lebensfördernde Balancen und um Synthesen zwischen vermeintlich unvereinbaren Widersprüchen. Dabei haben wir ein feines Gespür dafür, wenn etwas „aus der Spur geraten“ ist und destruktive Entwicklungen für uns selbst, für das Miteinander und für das Leben auf diesem Planeten entstanden sind.

Ich habe in meinem Leben erfahren müssen, was es heißt, sich der Welt zu sehr kognitiv zu nähern. Als Universitätsprofessorin, Politik- und Kommunikationswissenschaftlerin hatte ich gelernt, meine mentalen Fähigkeiten mit aller Kraft in den Dienst der Wissenschaft zu stellen.

Doch ich musste erfahren, dass damit mein Leben in ein destruktives Ungleichgewicht rutschte, und nicht nur dies:  Auch mein Menschen- und Weltbild wurden durch die mentale Perspektive verengt.

Ich begab mich also auf die Suche nach einem neuen inneren und äußeren Gleichgewicht, einem Gleichgewicht, das dem Leben dient.

Dazu entwickelte ich ein zweites Standbein, erschloss mir die Welten der transpersonalen und humanistischen Psychologie und Psychotherapie, vertiefte meinen Zugang zur spirituellen Dimension des Seins durch ausgedehnte Studienreisen nach Asien und erprobte mich seit Mitte der 90er Jahre, zuerst neben der universitären Tätigkeit und dann selbständig mit CommUnio.

Mit diesem reichen Hintergrund, in dem sich Unterschiedliches vereint, bin ich bis heute unterwegs und mit mir die vielen Menschen und Organisationen, die ich im Laufe meiner 20jährigen selbständigen Tätigkeit begleite und begleitet habe. Geholfen hat mir dabei, dass an meiner Wiege „Thron und Altar“ standen, repräsentiert durch zwei übermächtige Großväter, die so unterschiedliche Welten wie Macht und Liebe vertraten und eine Mutter, die sich mit hohem Engagement in den Dienst von Verständigung stellte.

Zugänge, die ich im Laufe meiner langen beruflichen Tätigkeit gewählt habe, sind vielfältig: Einzelarbeit, Lehrgänge, Moderationen, Mediationen, Vorträge, Publikationen. Doch immer geht es mir darum, gemeinsam Wege zu ebnen, in denen sich Stimmigkeit im Innen wie im Außen herstellt, eine Stimmigkeit, die sich aus der produktiven Synthese unterschiedlichster Sichtweisen, Interessen, Anliegen und Weltzugänge herstellt.

taken from https://www.communio-fuehrungskunst.de/ueber-uns

 

Spirit of Humanity Forum

A global platform for leaders and change makers

To offer a global platform for leaders and change-makers seeking to contribute towards a lasting transformation in the world in which core human values such as love, respect, solidarity and compassion become integrated in our decision-making and relational processes, enabling systemic change in organisations, communities and nations. This is part of our ‘duty of care’ for the Earth and for Humanity at large.

Langner, Fanny

Ihrer Vision einer nachhaltigen, sozialen und ökologischen Transformation nähert sich Fanny Langner auf multiperspektivische Weise. Sie ergänzt ihre akademischen Grundlagen in Philosophie (B.A.), Kunst, ökologischer Landwirtschaft und Global Change Management (M.Sc.) mit Achtsamskeitspraktiken als auch künstlerisch musischen Tätigkeiten. Als Mitglied des Performancekollektivs „gez. Euer Ernst“ (euerernst.de) schaffte sie Erfahrungsräume die philosophische, gesellschaftliche, spirituelle sowie nachhaltige Themen und deren künstlerische Vermittlung in einen Wirkungs-zusammenhang bringen. Sie arbeitet als Yogalehrerin, betreut psychisch labile Menschen und engagiert sich als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin an der Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde (HNEE). Als Veranstalterin von Musikevents und Phase Odyssey Bandmitglied versucht sie ihre Leidenschaft für Musik und die Magie des Zelebrierens zu teilen.

Ihre Verbindung zu sich selbst und ihrer Mitwelt hilft ihr sich zu erden. Es inspiriert zugleich auf spielerische Weise ihre Mitmenschen, neugierig auf die Natur und sich selbst zu werden.

Kay, David

Initially trained as an economist, I work as a senior outreach faculty member at Cornell University. I am affiliated with the Community and Regional Development Institute in Cornell’s Department of Global Development. I am interested primarily in community decision making and governance; the institutional, policy and personal changes needed for an energy transition in the US; and the responses of individuals and communities to the increasing risks posed by climate change.

Specking, Heiko

specking+partners advises on sustainability issues, and engages with corporations, charitable structures, wealthy individuals and their families. In this respect we support the enhancement of responsible behaviour both for business related and personal activities. As an independent Swiss-based company, we ensure that value-based practices can become part of the DNA of a project or an organization.

Together with our clients, we build long-term, holistic strategies for responsible engagement, philanthropic activities, sustainable investment and social entrepreneurship. We then work to support implementation of their strategies and to realize the desired impact.

Clayton, Philip

As a scholar, Philip Clayton (Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology) works at the intersection points of science, philosophy, and theology. As an activist (president of EcoCiv.org, President of IPDC), he works to convene, facilitate, and catalyze multi-sectoral initiatives toward ecological civilization.

Lanying, Zhang

Lanying is currently the Executive Deputy Dean, Institute of Rural Reconstruction of China in Southwest University at Chongqing. Here she has developed and implemented projects, training/workshops and study programs in the area of sustainable agriculture, environmental education, health education and participatory development approach for poverty reduction. Her own field of interests includes participation for better governance, rural education for individual development and collectivism as well as sustainable development for the poor and marginalized people to be out of poverty and inequality.

Doran, Peter

Drawing on over 25 years of experience in the reporting and analysis of UN negotiations on sustainable development, including consultancy roles with UN Secretariats, I combine research and policy interests in the fields of sustainable development, the commons, and the attention economy.

My collaborative work with John Woods and the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust led to the creation of Northern Ireland’s first high-level roundtable on wellbeing, and to the re-design of the NI Programme for Government (2015) incorporating an outcomes and indicators based framework to measure and achieve societal wellbeing.

In 2020, in collaboration with Dr Ciara Brennan, Newcastle University, Dean Blackwood, QUB, and James Orr, Friends of the Earth, I founded the Environmental Justice Network Ireland. This is a collaborative platform or ‘community of practice’ engaging the environmental legal profession, activists and policy makers committed to advancing environmental justice and the SDGs on the island of Ireland. See www.ejni.net

Please visit my blog at www.mindfulcommons.org

taken from https://pure.qub.ac.uk/en/persons/peter-doran

Petranker, Jack

Jack Petranker holds a law degree from Yale and an M.A. in political theory from the University of California, Berkeley.  A former Dean of the Tibetan Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, he has also served as North American Vice President of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (1988-92).  His own academic work is in the fields of consciousness studies and organizational change.  He has been director of Mangalam Research Center since its founding in 2009.

Mangalam Center explores new ways of bringing wisdom to the modern world. We embrace Buddhist, spiritual, secular, and integrated approaches to learning about our mind and ourselves, opening as many doors as possible to the means of healing and transformation.

Our goal is to communicate the heart of traditional teachings in an accessible way, while still maintaining their depth and authenticity. Recognizing the difficulty of translating ideas across time, cultures, and communities, we focus on having conversations and asking questions. We also emphasize bringing meditation or mindfulness practice into ordinary activities, to allow our own embodied experience to guide our understanding.

Lichtenberg, Jonas

Sociologist
Systemic Counselor
Research Fellow of Institut für Sozialpädagogische Forschung Mainz e.V.

CommUnio – Institut für Führungskunst

CommUnio wird geleitet von Prof. Dr. Barbara v. Meibom und geht –  je nach Aufgabenstellung – Kooperationen mit Menschen und Institutionen ein, mit denen wir eine gemeinsame Vision teilen. Wir sind dankbar für ein Netzwerk mit jahrelang gewachsenen Vertrauensbeziehungen.

Im Zentrum unserer Arbeit steht die Entwicklung von Führungskunst, die dem Leben dient, von einer wertschätzenden Führungskultur und von Führungspersönlichkeiten, die fähig sind, die Potenziale von sich und anderen zu entfalten.

(Taken from: https://www.communio-fuehrungskunst.de/ueber-uns)

________________________

CommUnio is led by Prof. Dr. Barbara v. Meibom and – depending on the task – enters into cooperations with people and institutions with whom we share a common vision. We are grateful for a network with relationships of trust that have grown over many years.

At the heart of our work is the development of leadership that serves life, of an appreciative leadership culture and of leaders who are capable of developing the potential of themselves and others.

(Translation from English into German, originally taken from: https://www.communio-fuehrungskunst.de/ueber-uns)

 

 

Creating space for reflection and dialogue: Examples of new modes of communication for empowering climate action

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” This quote by Albert Einstein highlights our need for new formats of communication to address the knowledge-action gap regarding climate change and other sustainability challenges. This includes reflection, and communication spaces, as well as methods and approaches that can catalyze the emergence of transformative change and action. In this article we present and reflect on experiments we carried out at international climate negotiations and conferences.

 

(Taken from www.ingentaconnect.com/content/oekom/gaia/2021/00000030/00000003/art00010;jsessionid=bc027khsn74t1.x-ic-live-02)

Inner change and sustainability initiatives: exploring the narratives from eco-villagers through a place-based transformative learning approach

Abstract

In an earlier work, we suggested that connection, compassion and creativity could be used as key analytical dimensions of transformative place-based learning (Pisters et al. in Emot Sp Soc 34(8):100578, 2019). This analytical framework was cre- ated to study processes of place-based transformative learning which evoke shifts in our consciousness. This inner change might well be critical in the development of regenerative practices and places. This article aims to critically investigate the framework empirically using life-story interviews with people living in three different ecovillages. Ecovillages are so-called intentional communities which aim to develop sustainable, regenerative ways of living. Methodologically, the research is grounded in an ethnography and narrative inquiry. Following the empirical results, we will reflect on the merits and short- comings of the analytical framework. The article concludes that the framework proved useful for its purpose if it includes a fourth dimension of ’transgression’ and portraits the dimensions as continua.

(Taken from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11625-019-00775-9)

A relational turn for sustainability science? Relational thinking, leverage points and transformations

ABSTRACT

In sustainability science, revising the paradigms that separate humans from nature is considered a powerful ‘leverage point’ in pursuit of transformations. The coupled social-ecological and human-environment systems perspectives at the heart of sustainability science have, in many ways, enhanced recognition across academic, civil, policy and business spheres that humans and nature are inextricably connected. However, in retaining substantialist assumptions where ‘social’ and ‘ecological’ refer to different classes of entity that interact, coupled systems perspectives insist on the inextricability of humans and nature in theory, while requiring researchers to extricate them in practice – thus inadvertently reproducing the separation they seek to repair. Consequently, sustainability researchers are increasingly drawing on scholarship from the ‘relational turn’ in the humanities and the social sciences to propose a paradigm shift for sustainability science: away from focusing on interactions between entities, towards emphasizing continually unfolding processes and relations. Yet there remains widespread uncertainty about the origins, promises and challenges of using relational approaches. In this paper, we identify four themes in relational thinking – continually unfolding processes; embodied experience; reconstructing language and concepts; and ethics/practices of care – and highlight the ways in which these are being drawn on in sustainability science. We conclude by critically discussing how relational approaches might contribute to (i) a paradigm shift in sustainability science, and (ii) transformations towards sustainability. Relational approaches foster more dynamic, holistic accounts of human-nature connectedness; more situated and diverse knowledges for decision-making; and new domains and methods of intervention that nurture relationships in place and practice.

(Taken from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/26395916.2020.1814417?needAccess=true&fbclid=IwAR2_Xw9Nv21rLb-7tp5zUpoO2IDTWuSHYX7MRNMYgCWTSmOjsxv0FHOesYw)

Connecting to Change the World: Harnessing the Power of Networks for Social Impact

Something new and important is afoot. Nonprofit and philanthropic organizations are under increasing pressure to do more and to do better to increase and improve productivity with fewer resources. Social entrepreneurs, community-minded leaders, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropists now recognize that to achieve greater impact they must adopt a network-centric approach to solving difficult problems. Building networks of like-minded organizations and people offers them a way to weave together and create strong alliances that get better leverage, performance, and results than any single organization is able to do.

While the advantages of such networks are clear, there are few resources that offer easily understandable, field-tested information on how to form and manage social-impact networks. Drawn from the authors’ deep experience with more than thirty successful network projects, Connecting to Change the World provides the frameworks, practical advice, case studies, and expert knowledge needed to build better performing networks. Readers will gain greater confidence and ability to anticipate challenges and opportunities.

Easily understandable and full of actionable advice, Connecting to Change the World is an informative guide to creating collaborative solutions to tackle the most difficult challenges society faces.

 

(taken from https://islandpress.org/books/connecting-change-world)

Co-Creative Reflection & Dialogue Space at UNFCCC COP

The IASS first hosted a Dialogue and Reflection Space at the climate conference in Katowice in 2018. The space attracted participants from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, countries and age groups and offered a safe space for discussions in smaller groups as well as in-depth conversation and reflection in the midst of this major event. Many of the participants praised the space for providing a supportive setting that generated valuable insights.

“The space provides a setting for genuine encounters that inspire creative thinking and broaden perspectives. The delegates to the conference bring a substantial and diverse potential with them, but opportunities for genuine exchange are often few and far between. The Dialogue and Reflection Space provides a framework for cooperation in which new ideas and effective strategies can emerge. This is an important contribution to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement,” says IASS researcher Carolin Fraude.

Over the course of the two-week climate change conference, the IASS will be offering “Learning Journey” workshops twice daily. The two sessions, which can also be attended separately, build on each other and feature a co-creative approach spanning three phases in which the following three questions are addressed:

1)    Why does a culture of cooperation need to be cultivated and developed further at the COP?
2)    What culture do we need to make the COP more effective?
3)    What can we do to promote this culture?

The programme at the space will be supported by a research team from the IASS in collaboration with colleagues from Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University and the University of East Anglia.

The results will be published on Twitter and a blog. The programme also includes unstructured time for personal conversations and diary-keeping.

Invitation_R&DSpaceInvitation_RDSpace2019Concept-note_RD2019

Concept note_R&D_1

Nachhaltigkeit braucht Spiritualität

“Das Wissen steht bereit, Umsetzungsmodelle ebenso, doch der große Wurf zur Nachhaltigkeit lässt auf sich warten. Anlass genug, bei der gängigen Übersetzung des Drei-Säulen-Schemas Ökologie – Ökonomie – Soziales anzusetzen und es auf Fehlstellen zu untersuchen. Spiritualität gehört zum Menschsein, der Umgang mit und die Lösung von ökologischen Problemen kann hier eine Erweiterung erfahren, die angesichts der aktuellen Entwicklung dringend geboten ist. Nachhaltige Entwicklung kann es nicht geben, wenn nur der Verstand der Menschen oder ihre Bereitschaft zu moralischem Handeln angesprochen werden, so die These dieses Buches: Die Menschen müssen auf einer tieferen Ebene des Menschseins erreicht werden – in ihrem Herzen. Konkret geht es dabei um die Verknüpfung von Leitwerten und dem menschlichen Streben mit einer ausgewogenen Wirtschafts- und Lebensweise, wie sie sowohl im Christentum als auch im Buddhismus gefordert und angestrebt wird. Ob tibetisches Kloster oder Benediktinerabtei: Diese Publikation führt zusammen, was Parallelen besitzt, und eröffnet neue Horizonte für die religiöse Beschäftigung mit Nachhaltigkeit.”

Die harte Landung der Achtsamkeit in der westlichen Konsumkultur

Das aus dem Buddhismus stammende Konzept der Achtsamkeit bettet sich nach und nach in die verschiedenen Lebensbereiche der westlichen Kultur ein. Was bedeutet dieser Kontextwechsel in einer von Konsum geprägten Gesellschaft? Welche Potenziale der Meditation an sich und des “mindfulness-movements” im Allgemeinen lassen sich hinsichtlich einer ökologisch-nachhaltigen Zukunft festmachen? Und vor allem: welche Gefahren birgt dieser Prozess? In der Bachelorarbeit “Die harte Landung der Achtsamkeit in der westlichen Konsumkultur” werden die Wechselwirkungen, welche zwischen den westlichen Adaptionen der Achtsamkeit und den Entwicklungen der Konsumgesellschaft bestehen, analysiert und kritisch beleuchtet. Die Verfasserin nimmt dabei abwechselnd eine anthropologische, philosophische und soziologische Betrachtungsweise ein.

A relational turn for sustainability science? Relational thinking, leverage points and transformations

In sustainability science, revising the paradigms that separate humans from nature is considered a powerful ‘leverage point’ in pursuit of transformations. The coupled social-ecological and human-environment systems perspectives at the heart of sustainability science have, in many ways, enhanced recognition across academic, civil, policy and business spheres that humans and nature are inextricably connected. However, in retaining substantialist assumptions where ‘social’ and ‘ecological’ refer to different classes of entity that interact, coupled systems perspectives insist on the inextricability of humans and nature in theory, while requiring researchers to extricate them in practice – thus inadvertently reproducing the separation they seek to repair. Consequently, sustainability researchers are increasingly drawing on scholarship from the ‘relational turn’ in the humanities and the social sciences to propose a paradigm shift for sustainability science: away from focusing on interactions between entities, towards emphasizing continually unfolding processes and relations. Yet there remains widespread uncertainty about the origins, promises and challenges of using relational approaches. In this paper, we identify four themes in relational thinking – continually unfolding processes; embodied experience; reconstructing language and concepts; and ethics/practices of care – and highlight the ways in which these are being drawn on in sustainability science. We conclude by critically discussing how relational approaches might contribute to (i) a paradigm shift in sustainability science, and (ii) transformations towards sustainability. Relational approaches foster more dynamic, holistic accounts of human-nature connectedness; more situated and diverse knowledges for decision-making; and new domains and methods of intervention that nurture relationships in place and practice.

One Resilient Earth

Humanity is not prepared to live in a climate altered world. And no policy, plan or initiative happening today to reduce or respond to climate change matches the scale of this global existential threat.

For our team, the climate emergency is both the result and the accelerator of a deeper ecological crisis, which stems from a vision of the Earth as resources to tap. We need to transform that vision and all resulting practices now to limit, address and cope with the crisis. We propose to move away from exhausting ourselves, others and nature for some temporary relief or pleasure, and start protecting and regenerating all the ecosystems we host and belong to. Only then can we ensure that humanity cuts down greehouse gas emissions and becomes more resilient to unavoidable climate instability. We do not have much time to limit the damage that is underway. And even if we had more time, the team has not found a more fulfilling nor joyful work than fostering resilience and regeneration.

 

What do we do?

We believe that a change has to happen within individuals’ minds, in how they relate to living beings, time, and space, to foster the transformation needed to respond to the current crisis. We also believe that individuals are resilient, in the sense that they can recover from hurt and limiting beliefs, and have the ability to adjust to change easily. Last, we believe in creativity and daring actions to transform the way humanity thinks and acts, and give rise to regenerative and climate-positive initiatives.

We co-design projects with a variety of partners who are open to experiencing and growing their inner resilience as they engage into the regeneration of communities and/or ecosystems through context-specific initiatives. We mobilize ancient wisdom and modern science, work across disciplines and generations, integrate new technologies when impactful, and value art as a channel for transformation. Our three main areas of work foster inspiration, global connection, and responsible experimentation, through Tero magazine, the Tapestry programme for local communities, and our Resilience Nests.

Dunetz, David

The Heschel Center for Sustainability develops and implements the vision of sustainability: a just and cohesive society, a robust and democratic economy, and a healthy and productive environment to all of its residents. The center bridges theoretical knowledge and practical methods, and creatively spreads the message of sustainability, assisting change makers from every sector of society to promote significant change in Israel.

Ki Culture

Cultural organizations are uniquely positioned to become leaders for a sustainable future by decreasing their impact on the environment and increasing their impact on their communities.

Ki Culture is the only non-profit organization in the world dedicated to making this a reality. We provide solutions for cultural institutions and tools to educate the public on all issues connected with sustainability.

We help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) through tangible actions, effective communication, and education. Our original programs make sustainability easy to implement, while our resource centers make it accessible. We develop and support exhibitions and outreach programs that inform and empower people with solutions.

Ki Culture promotes sustainability through culture, holistically and globally.

Southwick, Caitlin

Caitlin Southwick is the Founder and Executive Director of Ki Culture. She holds a Professional Doctorate in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage from the University of Amsterdam. Caitlin has worked in the conservation field and in museums around the world, including the Vatican Museums, The Getty Conservation Institute, and Easter Island. She was a professional member of the American Institute of Conservations Sustainability Committee and is the Secretary of the Working Group on Sustainability for the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

Björkman, Tomas

My name is Tomas Björkman and I am an applied philosopher and social entrepreneur.

One of the strongest personal drivers in my life has always been to unlock the hidden structures of the world around me. Curious and exploring, I constantly strive for a better understanding of science, people and social phenomena. Based on my understanding of human and societal needs in a world that is in many ways falling apart, I have committed myself to facilitating the co-creation of a more conscious society.

I want to give momentum to the right kind of changes

I am by no means the only person trying to become more conscious about the problems in the world. Many are also actively doing something about it. My main contribution is to bring change-makers together by creating arenas and initiatives with the goal of stimulating the right kind of development at both an individual and a societal level. The overall goal is to co-create a future at a higher level of individual, cultural, societal consciousness.

In 2008, I started my personal journey by founding Stiftelsen Ekskäret (Ekskäret Foundation) together with a number of future-oriented thinkers, social entrepreneurs and change-makers who became members of the board or creative partners. The Foundation’s strategic vision is to “support a sustainable world where people are creating more well-being for themselves, each other and the planet”. I strongly believe that personal development is a prerequisite for societal change.

Under the umbrella of the Ekskäret Foundation, we have created primarily two venues for events, Learning Labs and exploratory meetings etc.: the workshop facility at the island of Ekskäret (literally: the island where the oak-trees grow), located in the Stockholm archipelago, and the co-working space Ekskäret Klustret in central Stockholm.

The workshop facility on the island of Ekskäret welcomed its first curious and creative visitors in 2011. The facility provides a breath-taking venue and is a perfect arena for exploring existential questions and personal development – for teenager as well as adults. All activities on the island are carried out according to the principles of the Foundation. Ekskäret Klustret, a creative, activity-based co-working space located in the very heart of Stockholm city centre, opened its doors in 2016.

I believe that providing physical and digital meeting venues will create fertile soil for change. Gathering change-makers under one roof will stimulate sharing of ideas and creativity and lead to the co-creation of new initiatives and projects. It will also expand the networks of all participating entrepreneur and generate greater momentum for their important work.

I like to think of these two arenas as important incubators for co-creating positive changes. They are physical manifestations of the idea that a more conscious and sustainable society is possible, and we do watch and guide the ripple effects that result.

More recently I have taken the initiative to create K9 Co-living, Stockholm; Perspectiva Institute, London; the Co-creation loft, Berlin and the digital initiatives 29k.org and ‘Emerge’: www.whatisemerging.com.

von Lüpke, Geseko

Uns verbindet, dass wir bewusst und respektvoll mit uns, mit anderen, mit Tieren und Pflanzen umgehen – und dass wir gemeinsam wachsen wollen.

Beck, Marie-Luise

Marie-Luise Beck

Geschäftsführerin des DKK

Marie-Luise Beck ist seit 2012 Geschäftsführerin des Deutsches Klima-Konsortiums. Projekte wie die Online-Vorlesung zum Klimawandel auf Deutsch und Englisch sowie der K3 Kongress zu Klimakommunikation entstanden unter ihrer Leitung. Zuvor war sie in dem Projekt „Forschungsforum Öffentliche Sicherheit“ an der Freien Universität Berlin verantwortlich für den Dialog zwischen Wissenschaft und Politik. In den Jahren 2000 bis 2009 arbeitete sie als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin und Büroleiterin bei verschiedenen Abgeordneten des Deutschen Bundestages. Dort steuerte sie ab 2007 den Aufbau der Parlamentsinitiative „Zukunftsforum Öffentliche Sicherheit“, dessen Vorstand sie heute angehört. Ihr Studium der Biologie, Germanistik und Erziehungswissenschaften absolvierte sie an der Marburger Philipps-Universität mit dem Abschluss Erstes Staatsexamen.

Bayr, Tobias

I am Meteorologist, deep ecologist and passionate “feelings worker”

Ragnarsdottir, Kristin Vala

I am originally an Earth Scientist with emphasis on geothermal systems and behaviour and fate of pollutants in the natural environment. Since 2000 I have been working on issues related to sustainability.

Voggenreiter, Valerie

Sustainability – Self – Silence
Silence Spaces is a collective of four people, which resulted out of sustainable higher education at the Eberswalde University for sustainable development. During the M.Sc. program we realised, that the inner dimension is under represented when sustainability efforts come into action. Hence, we created a space for the self to empower sustainable behavior in silence and finally helping to transform mindsets and societies. Silence Spaces are physical as well as symbolic spaces. They are free of cyber activities, talking, reading, writing or any kind of input as long as there is not a a conceptualized learning journey taking place. In Silence we learn how to drop into ourselves, observe, reflect, relax – deep learning can take place and this environment can help us to deal more sustainable with ourselves instead of exploiting our own resources. Finally, Silence Spaces want to empower each single individual to invite inner change in order to initiate and shape sustainable outer change – and Silence is the container where this processes can origin from. Silence allows to LISTEN to our inner needs, become more empathic and caring towards oneself as well as the surroundings.

Relational Uprising

The inspiration for Relational Uprising was born from our 20 years of learning at the intersection of deep social justice organizing work and somatic healing and education.

Before launching as Relational Uprising, the core curriculum for the Relational Culture framework was incubated, developed and launched in collaboration with Mark Fairfield, Relational Gestalt scholar and social worker with published groundwork being laid since 2000 in group development, harm reduction and shared leadership, and founder of the Leadership Institute at the Relational Center, an innovative Los Angeles-based non-profit dedicated to building capacity for psychotherapists to shift culture toward one that values empathy, diversity, and interdependency, and that sponsored in 2012 our inaugural project called the Culture of Radical Engagement. Since then, we have had direct experience working with over 1,200 activist leaders from over 200 movement-building organizations and communities.

In the Fall of 2016, the Relational Uprising training project was launched in the east coast with the sponsorship of  The Watershed Center in Millerton New York, a social justice retreat center for changemakers, where we currently hold our foundational residential training series.

Whyte, David

The poet lives and writes at the frontier between deep internal experience and the revelations of the outer world. There is no going back once this frontier has been reached; a new territory is visible and what has been said cannot be unsaid.

Poetry is a break for freedom. In a sense all poems are good; all poems are an emblem of courage and the attempt to say the unsayable; but only a few are able to speak to something universal yet personal and distinct at the same time; to create a door through which others can walk into what previously seemed unobtainable realms, in the passage of a few short lines.

Silence Space

What is sustainability? Often, environmental aspects are in the foreground, while the social dimension is neglected. A transformation towards a more sustainable society, though, needs to consider the social and individual dimension as inner change causes outer change – and vice versa. We see the inner dimension underrepresented in public spheres.
We raise the awareness, that we need more than a technological understanding of sustainability, which cares primarily about the ecological consequences of our actions. We call for a shift in consciousness, too, which influences our thinking and action.
To think critically and acting according to it, is asked from each one of us. We believe that these capacities can be found in Silence. It offers a container for subjective transformation processes – by pausing consciously and taking part at learning journeys on (self)transformation. Deep inner change towards sustainability can’t happen in times of overwhelming stress and acceleration.
Silence Spaces in public places allow a transformation on both levels with the emphasis on internal spaces. The potential to become a part of the solution of grievances lies in every one of us and is able to unfold here. Silence Spaces are physical as well as symbolic spaces. They are free of cyber activities, talking, eating or any kind of input as long as there is not a learning journey taking place. In Silence we can drop into ourselves, observe, relax and reflect. We can gather strength and become observers when we exploit ourselves or witness exploitation of others and the environment. We need an economic and political shift and therefore promote spaces where critical thinking can happen, which is needed to bring along system change. The time for cool headed action is now.

Gerasimenko, Darya

Darya Gerasimenko is a Professor for Sustainability Science at Samara (State Aerospace) University (SSAU) focusing on social innovation and circular economy, and a Lecturer in Economics at the University of St. Gallen (HSG). She holds a PhD in Political Economy (of Industrial Policies and International Trade) from the University of St. Gallen (2015). As a Research Scientist in Circular Economy at the Chair for Green Economy at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) together with the partners from various institutions she has co-designed and co-facilitated first awareness led social lab “Beyond Waste: circular resources lab” 2018 for Switzerland. Darya is also a certified Qigong/meditation trainer from Huang Ting TCM (Beijing, China; E-Mei School) and was teaching it at UniSport of St. Gallen University in 2015-2016. She is an education & research innovator with various courses (regular university courses as well as adult education) within awareness led format with application of mindfulness and unity consciousness calibration work. She is a designer and a catalyst of practical social spaces for enhanced cross-sectoral innovation capacity in various cultural contexts. Her research interests are Societal Innovation for Circular Economy, Innovation in Emerging Economies, Awareness led Social (Living) Labs, Partnerships in Ecosystems, Awareness led Innovation (Mindfulness & Meditation), Unity Consciousness for Innovation.

Ruf, Stefan

Wir verfolgen das Ziel, jungen Menschen in einer seelischen Krisensituation einen tragfähigen Wohn- und Arbeitsort in Form einer therapeutischen Wohngemeinschaft (TWG) zu verschaffen. Wir wollen einen Ort schaffen, an dem neben einem Wohnkonzept weitere Therapie, Prozesse der Nachreifung und gesunde Begegnungen möglich sind. Zielsetzung ist, den jungen Menschen durch das Erleben von sinnvoller Tätigkeit, die pädagogisch und psychotherapeutisch begleitet wird, eine Lebensplattform zu bieten, die gleichzeitig therapeutisch und entwicklungsfördernd ist. Eingebettet in ein haltgebendes, strukturschaffendes pädagogisches Jugendwohnen sollen mit Hilfe der intensiven therapeutischen Arbeit die jungen Menschen lernen, die Anforderungen des Alltags zunehmend selbstständig und selbstsicher zu bewältigen.

Viaene, Lieselotte

Lieselotte is Professor at the Department of Social Sciences of the University Carlos III de Madrid and coordinator of the ERC research project RIVERS (2019-2024). Lieselotte is a Belgian anthropologist with a PhD in Law (Ghent University, Belgium, 2011) which has a first academic degree in Criminology. Her professional path is marked by a combination of conducting innovative academic and applied research and working as a practitioner on complex and politically sensitive human rights issues such as transitional justice, legal pluralism, natural resources and territory, engaging directly with bridging theory-practice gaps from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Since her Master’s thesis in anthropology (2002), she has been collaborating with indigenous peoples in Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador and Colombia in diverse spaces. As human rights practitioner, she worked, among others, at the  Office of United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) in Ecuador (2010-2013) were she was responsible for the areas of collective rights and transitional justice.  Previously, she was Marie Curie Individual Fellow (2016-2018) at the Centre of Social Studies, University of Coimbra (Portugal). Lieselotte has published in English and Spanish in leading indexed international journals such as the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Critique of Anthropology, International Human Rights Journal, Netherlands Quartely of Human Rights, Antipoda- Revista deAntropologìa y Arquelogìa. Her latest book is Nilma Rahilal. Pueblos Indìgenas y justicia transicional: relfexiones antropologicas (2019, Universidad de Deusto,Spain).

Co-Creative Reflection & Dialogue Space at COP25

The IASS first hosted a Dialogue and Reflection Space at the climate conference in Katowice in 2018. The space attracted participants from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, countries and age groups and offered a safe space for discussions in smaller groups as well as in-depth conversation and reflection in the midst of this major event. Many of the participants praised the space for providing a supportive setting that generated valuable insights.

“The space provides a setting for genuine encounters that inspire creative thinking and broaden perspectives. The delegates to the conference bring a substantial and diverse potential with them, but opportunities for genuine exchange are often few and far between. The Dialogue and Reflection Space provides a framework for cooperation in which new ideas and effective strategies can emerge. This is an important contribution to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement,” says IASS researcher Carolin Fraude.

Over the course of the two-week climate change conference, the IASS will be offering “Learning Journey” workshops twice daily. The two sessions, which can also be attended separately, build on each other and feature a co-creative approach spanning three phases in which the following three questions are addressed:

1)    Why does a culture of cooperation need to be cultivated and developed further at the COP?
2)    What culture do we need to make the COP more effective?
3)    What can we do to promote this culture?

The programme at the space will be supported by a research team from the IASS in collaboration with colleagues from Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University and the University of East Anglia.

The results will be published on Twitter and a blog. The programme also includes unstructured time for personal conversations and diary-keeping.

Invitation_R&DSpace

Concept note_R&D_1

 

Love and the Anthropocene

Abstract

The Anthropocene is an existential crisis facing humanity, wherein human beings worldwide are confronted with the fact that not only are we in the midst of an unprecedented ecological crisis that endangers the basic living conditions of humankind, but that we are the culprit.
This narrative has elicited increasing and widespread feelings of fear, anxiety, and disillusionment in citizens of every nation on the planet. Einstein said that we cannot solve a problem with the same line of thinking that created the conditions for it. Much has been written about the Anthropocene from scientific and ecological perspectives; this thesis will approach the issue from a philosophical standpoint in an attempt to address the ideological frameworks premised on control and domination of one another and our environment that brought about our current predicament. To understand from whence these ideas originated, we will examine Plato’s Cosmology, specifically his theory of Forms, Reason and Necessity, and the ruler/ruled dynamic. Having considered the impact, evolution, and consequences of Platonic ideals in the development of the western political tradition, we will turn our attention toward contemporary philosophical concepts in search of new frameworks and solutions. Using the phenomenological method, we will consider the non-egoistic existential philosophy of Karl Jaspers and the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt.
The works of Jaspers and Arendt have been selected for several reasons. If humanity is indeed experiencing an existential crisis, Jaspers provides an existential antidote through striving toward non-egoistic Existenz in pursuit of higher consciousness. We will discuss paths toward realizing one’s Existenz such as existential communication, cultivating interrelated freedom, and the loving struggle. Next we will turn to Hannah Arendt’s critique of Plato’s philosophy and the western political tradition, specifically addressing her concepts of plurality, ‘the fact that men, and not Man live on the earth and inhabit the world;’ natality, our unique ability to begin new processes; and the pre-socratic polis, the political space which emerges through people acting in consort (HC, 7). Arendt’s concepts of action and natality offer us hope that we can always embark on a new course.
The Anthropocene imposes its existential question on all people at once, demanding each person to ask, why exist? What does it mean to be a human being in this context? The Anthropocene has awakened our awareness to the fact that not only humans inhabit the earth, but also millions of other species. Plurality seems to be a law of the planet and the foundation of the resilience of entire ecosystems. For human beings, it is also the foundation and condition of politics. To act with others, we must engage people from a spectrum of viewpoints to build a common world that is symbiotic rather than antithetical to our environment, the earth, and the other people and creatures who inhabit it. The reflections of this thesis provide guidance on how the concepts of Jaspers and Arendt can inform and support us in our efforts to move beyond the disturbed human relationships that have contributed significantly to the emergence of the Anthropocene and its existential threats to human and non-human life.

Bornemann, Boris

Ich interessiere mich für Emotionen und Bewusstsein – und welchen Einfluss Meditation und Achtsamkeit darauf haben können. Ich forsche dazu mit Methoden der Psychologie, Neurowissenschaft und Phänomenologie. Ich betreibe Meditation seit vielen Jahren und unterrichte sie in verschiedenen Kontexten. Gerne helfe ich Ihnen oder Ihrem Unternehmen dabei, einen einfachen und hilfreichen Zugang zu Meditation und Achtsamkeit zu finden.

taken from https://www.borisbornemann.de/

Thinley, Cheten

I have a B.Sc. Forestry degree (2011-2013) from the College of Natural Resources (CNR) where I obtained a Diploma in Forestry (1996-1999) earlier. I also have a Graduate Diploma in Forestry (2003 to 2004) from the Southern Cross University (SCU) Australia .

I carry a huge research experience of more than 15 years and have worked with Forestry Research Center Yusipang. I specialize in Broadleaf Forest Ecology: Sustainable management and forest classification.

Presently, I am actively engaged with the research on the adaptation and mitigation potentials of forests to climate change in western Bhutan. My future interest continues to understand the impacts of climate change on Forest ecosystem and advocate mitigation and prevention of climate catastrophes in the world.

Taken from http://www.uwice.gov.bt/read_fullprofile.php?empid=9908054

Awareness Through the Body: A Way to Enhance Concentration, Relaxation and Self-Knowledge in Children and Adults.

“ATB started in July 1992 in the schools of Auroville as a programme to help children increase their capacity for attention, concentration and  relaxation, and to enhance their ability for self awareness and their sense of responsibility. Nowadays, it is offered to adults as well as to children.

Through a wide variety of exercises and games, ATB offers individuals opportunities to come to know themselves better, to explore the complexity of their being, and find ways to integrate and harmonise this complexity around the inmost centre of their being.”

(source: https://awarenessthroughthebody.wordpress.com/)

Contemplative practices in action: Spirituality, meditation, and health.

“This book seeks to provide a scholarly and multidisciplinary approach on the topic of contemplative practices for the development of well-being, wisdom, healing, and stress management that includes state-of-the-art science, practice, and applications of contemplative practices in the professional workplace, educational settings, pastoral care, and medical, psychological, or other health care interventions. The chapters articulate current findings and practice in contemplative practices from a wide range of religious and spiritual traditions and from experts in the integration of contemplative practices and psychology, nursing, pastoral care, business, and so forth in order to achieve well-being.”

(Source. The book’s preface)

A new psychology for sustainable leadership: the hidden power of ecological worldviews

“During the last decade, the sustainability position in multinational corporations has grown in influence. Much literature has explored how corporations can play an important role in solving the environmental challenges facing the planet. However, until now, there has been little research on sustainability leadership at the individual level. In this book, Schein explores the deeper psychological motivations of sustainability leaders. He shows how these motivations relate to overall effectiveness and capacity to lead transformational change and he explores the ways in which the complexity of sustainability is driving new approaches to leadership.

Drawing on interviews with 75 leaders in more than 40 multinational corporations and NGOs, Schein explores how ecological and post-conventional worldviews are developed and expressed in the context of global sustainability practice. By empirically grounding key theories from developmental psychology, integral ecology, and eco-psychology in sustainability leadership practice, the author encourages us to think about leadership in a different way.

A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership will be of interest to an interdisciplinary audience of educators, students, corporate executives, social science researchers, and concerned citizens. The insights from this book can be usefully integrated into leadership curriculum and development programs to help the next generation of leaders respond to global challenges.”

(Source: http://steveschein.net/books/a-new-psychology-for-sustainability-leadership/overview/)

Integral Yoga at Work – A Study of Practitioner’s Experiences Working in Four Professional Fields

“Formerly a research psychologist in the USA, the author conducted a qualitative study of sixteen long-term practitioners of the Integral Yoga working in the fields of business management, education, health care, and the arts. Initial chapters frame his research methodology and examine some general findings regarding the participants’ practice of the Yoga in work. Results of the study in each field are based largely on interviews with the participants, and include textual references from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the author’s reflections on central themes and common experiences. The final chapter identifies the various principles and insights regarding the application of Integral Yoga in these four professional fields and presents some of the broader implications of the study.”

An Integral Theory of Consciousness

“Abstract: An extensive data search among various types of developmental and evolutionary sequences yielded a `four quadrant’ model of consciousness and its development (the four quadrants being intentional, behavioural, cultural, and social). Each of these dimensions was found to unfold in a sequence of at least a dozen major stages or levels. Combining the four quadrants with the dozen or so major levels in each quadrant yields an integral theory of consciousness that is quite comprehensive in its nature and scope. This model is used to indicate how a general synthesis and integration of twelve of the most influential schools of consciousness studies can be effected, and to highlight some of the most significant areas of future research. The conclusion is that an `all-quadrant, all-level’ approach is the minimum degree of sophistication that we need into order to secure anything resembling a genuinely integral theory of consciousness.”

Ecological Footprint of the Findhorn Foundation and Community

“The study was commissioned by HIE Moray, a Highlands and Islands Local Enterprise Company, to measure the Ecological Footprint of the Findhorn Foundation and Community. The ecological footprint method has been used to determine the extent to which the Findhorn Foundation’s sustainable practices are reducing the Community’s environmental impact.”

Restoration of the tropical dry evergreen forest of peninsular India

“Abstract: The Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF) ofIndia is only found on the south eastern seaboard of thepeninsular. It has a very limited range, and extends only 60km inland. The TDEF occurs in an area of high populationdensity and consequently it is the rarest type of forestecosystem found in the subcontinent.The establishment of the Auroville International Township in1968 initiated a major work of eco-restoration which has turneda highly eroded lateritic plateau into a re-emerging ecosystemof the TDEF.The work now spreads out beyond the boundaries of theinternational township and involves working with local people,especially women and children. Many lessons have beenlearnt and the work continues to reintegrate the forest in thesocial fabric of a rapidly changing rural environment.”

(source: Blanchflower, P. (2005). Restoration of the tropical dry evergreen forest of peninsular India. Biodiversity, 6(1), 17-24.)

Auroville Film Festival

“The aim of the Auroville Film Festival is to connect with people and cultures within and beyond Auroville and to further the aspiration of human unity by showcasing films that develop the theme of human unity. We feature films that are created in and around Auroville, as well as international films that explore the theme of human unity.

The Auroville Film Festival wants to turn film-viewing in Auroville, a relatively passive activity, into a creative expression using digital media and, in the process, to foster a deeper understanding and exploration of the aspirations of Auroville. Through the film festival, the community is engaged in an interactive expression through digital films.”

(source: http://filmfestival.auroville.org/about-the-festival/)

Sadhana Forest

“Sadhana Forest started its ecological revival and sustainable living work on December 19th 2003.

The vision of its founders, Yorit and Aviram Rozin, is to transform 70 acres of severely eroded, arid land on the outskirts of Auroville. In a spirit of human unity, their aim is to introduce a growing number of people to sustainable living, food security through ecological transformation, wasteland reclamation, and veganism. Our energy and resources are focused on the creation of a vibrant, indigenous Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF).

Sadhana Forest won the third place in the Humanitarian Water and Food Award (WAF) 2010. The ceremony took place in the Marble Hall of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, on November 25th, 2010. Shri Ashok Kumar Attri the Ambassador of India to Denmark honored Sadhana Forest by attending the ceremony.
This award is an international recognition of the quality of the ecological and humanitarian work done by Sadhana Forest in India and Haiti.”

(source: https://sadhanaforest.org/about-us/)

Films for the Earth

“Films for the Earth: sharing knowledge and raising awareness with the most moving films about sustainability.

Films for the Earth is an educational initiative awarded by the UNESCO which creates settings, in which important films are showed to move gathered people and to develop visions and aims for a more sustainable society. You are on the most comprehensive website about films and sustainability, ecology and environment.

Films for the Earth means: hundreds of volunteers and contributing companies, active members and thousands of fans!

Find film screenings, free environmental movies for passing on, nature movies or watch right now films on the website!

Films for the Earth is an international centre of excellence for environmental documentaries and a network of environmental country sections. We want to reach as many people as possible with selected films, pass on knowledge about sustainability and inspire them to act.  

We know the best films about sustainability and how they can be used. We make this expertise available in an advisory capacity but also online, on our most comprehensive film and sustainability directory in the world. In three countries we reach over 100,000 people a year with our international festival, school events and member network. Films for Earth inspires, amazes, creates awareness and moves!”

(source: https://filmsfortheearth.org/en/about-us)

Tomorrow

“WHY THIS FILM ?

TODAY, we sometimes feel powerless in front of the various crises of our times.
TODAY, we know that answers lie in a wide mobilization of the human race. Over the course of a century, our dream of progress commonly called “the American Dream”, fundamentally changed the way we live and continues to inspire many developing countries. We are now aware of the setbacks and limits of such development policies. We urgently need to focus our efforts on changing our dreams before something irreversible happens to our planet.
TODAY, we need a new direction, objective… A new dream! The documentary Tomorrow sets out to showcase alternative and creative ways of viewing agriculture, economics, energy and education. It offers constructive solutions to act on a local level to make a difference on a global level. So far, no other documentary has gone down such an optimistic road…
TOMORROW is not just a film, it is the beginning of a movement seeking to encourage local communities around the world to change the way they live for the sake of our planet.

Start small to grow big, and write a new story for the generations to come.”

(source: https://www.tomorrow-documentary.com/)

InnSaei – the Power of Intuition

“The ancient Icelandic word for intuition is “innsæi,” but in Iceland it has multiple meanings. It can mean “the sea within” which is the borderless nature of our inner world, a constantly moving world of vision, feelings and imagination beyond words. It can mean “to see within” which means to know yourself, and to know yourself well enough to be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes. And it can mean “to see from the inside out” which is to have a strong inner compass to navigate your way in our ever-changing world.

In the inspiring and thought-provoking InnSæi – the Power of Intuition, Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir and Kristín Ólafsdóttir go on a soul-searching, global journey to uncover the art of connecting within in today’s world of distraction, disconnection and stress. They meet with world-renowned scientists like Marti Spiegelman, an expert in neuroscience and indigenous consciousness who believes that we are only using a fraction of our capacity as human beings, with devastating consequences for the planet; artists like Marina Abramovic, the “grandmother of performance art” who teaches that “in order to create something new human beings need to go into the unknown”; and spiritual leaders like the captivating Malidoma Patrice Somé, a West African elder and author who reasons that “intuition binds us together. Without it we lose our sense of purpose and belonging.”  They also meet an extraordinary group of British schoolchildren who are learning how to better cope in today’s world by unlocking the power of nature and mindfulness.

Illustrated with gorgeous animation and stunning imagery, InnSæi is a film like no other, and one that offers radical insights into how we think and sense the world today.”

The Bridge

RESEARCH EXCHANGES IN AUROVILLE

Auroville is the largest and longest-standing intentional community in the world, practically researching into the evolutionary potential of humankind, developing award-winning transformational practices across fields of culture, economics, governance, education, environment, and health, recognized by UNESCO, the Indian Government, and major industries such as Tata. Visiting researchers can bridge this future-facing body of experimentation with developments in their fields worldwide, for the benefit of humanity as a whole.

WHO WE ARE

The Bridge promotes exchange between Auroville and visiting researchers similarly dedicated to the progress of human society.
We curate presentations and forums that facilitate exchange and the intiation of collaborative projects between Aurovilian and visiting experts.

WHO ARE YOU?

Are you an Aurovilian or visiting expert – in any field? We invite you to offer a presentation of your work.
Contact: thebridge@auroville.org.in
Are you an Auroville community member, volunteer, or visitor? You are welcome to attend our public events series!

Mitchell, David

In 2014 I was introduced to the initial nucleus of AMA; Tom Bruhn, Mark Lawrence and Zoe.  We quickly realized we had a lot in common on a very deep level. I contributed a presentation to AMA in 2015. Since then I have pursued spiritual transformation and scientific research; the latter I will elaborate on now. One of the aims of the scientific research is to determine whether a climate intervention technique known as cirrus cloud thinning (CCT) is viable. A cirrus cloud remote sensing method was developed that could indicate when and where there are cirrus clouds that were probably formed by homogeneous ice nucleation (a precondition for CCT to work), based on their ice crystal number concentration.  The results of this research were published in 2018 in ACP, and while CCT was not mentioned (requested by a co-author), the paper shows that the right conditions exist for CCT to be effective.  While no scientist I know wants to deploy climate intervention methods, these may be needed in the future due to lack of progress on GHG mitigation efforts and limitations regarding CO2 removal methods.

I am also the president of a yoga organization teaching various yoga practices like meditation, and am a board member of the newly formed Order of Universal Interfaith (OUnI). This places me at the cross-roads of science and spirituality, especially given the spiritual/religious issues surrounding climate intervention research.  I am the “eco-spirituality” board member for OUnI.

While I do not have any AMA contributions immediately in mind, I sense there is that possibility, and therefore want to keep that option open.

Omann, Ines

Since I have been a teenager, the environment and the way we deal with it, has been important to me. After school I was searching for studies, where I could combine environmental and social sciences. Well, I did not find it then, therefore I started together with a group of other students and young assistant professor to develop a new study program, called environmental system sciences. It is based on systems and integrated thinking and the idea to study one major subject (in my case economics) plus courses in natural sciences, systems theory, interdisciplinary thinking. Now it is a big program with 1000s of alumni and students (see here: https://umweltsystemwissenschaften.uni-graz.at/). After having obtained my Masters in 1997, I started to work as junior resarchersin research institutes such as the Wuppertal Institute, later at the University of Graz, where I was also teaching. I came across the scientific community of Ecological Economics, where I found my scientific home base. I got active in this society and started a PhD at the Universities of Graz and Leeds, which I finished in 2004. Since then I have been working as project leader in sustainability projects at different research institutes (more than 10 years at SERI in Vienna, which I co-founded, the UFZ in Leipzig, or the Vienna University of Economics). My research developed continually towards transformation research, quality of life/good life. There inner processes became more and more important. It was with my dear colleague Felix Rauschmayer that we started to work on links between needs, wellbeing, sustainability, the good life or capabilities. Through him I met Thomas from IASS and other people working on inner change. My projects are mainly transdisciplinary, because I am convinced, the challenges, we face, cannot be solved by science alone. I have started to take courses in moderation and facilitation, such as Circle, Dialogue, Art of Hosting, Dynamic facilitation etc. to be able to integrated all relevant actors in an appropriate way. Personally I would say I am on a journey bringing me more and more to myself and to the “größeres ganze”. I am on a spiritual path, practice meditation for many years, and try to live a life that is more and more sustainable, outwards and inwards.

Lilley, Rachel

Rachel has worked for over 20 years in social and environmental change as Director of a social enterprise, trainer, consultant and communications expert. In recent years she has worked in Ceredigion locally on community engagement and domestic energy efficiency. She has developed and delivered consultancy and training interventions for Welsh Government, WWF, Ceredigion County Council, Ogilvy Mather amongst others. Her work and research interests are supporting effective and human centred change through developing the psychological capacity of policy and other change makers and leaders. This includes utilising the capacity and understanding of mindfulness and behavioural insights to support effective decision making and project/policy design.

Pacific Integral

Pacific Integral is a developer of educational and social change technologies and a global community of leaders and practitioners of transformative change. We aim to support the emergence of a sustainable, equitable and beautiful future for humanity and all of creation. We believe that humanity is in the midst of a profound period of change, and that addressing the opportunities of our time require that we embrace universal human values and ethical action, awaken to and engage in our evolutionary potential, and enact more conscious, integral forms of leadership and collective action in the world, grounded in our deepest wisdom. To this end, we endeavor to impact human development, leadership, and social change at the emergent edge of consciousness and action.

We serve individuals and organizations who see their life and work as an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the future of our world. Our clients are curious and committed. They know they are evolving as people and tend to already have experience in their own development. Our individual clients have a passion for their own growth and for engaging in life deeply and ethically. Our organizational clients tend to have a social purpose or see themselves as serving multiple bottom lines, and have leaders who are interested in working novel and emerging leadership and organizational approaches to foster healthy, transformative work environments.

taken from https://www.pacificintegral.com/about

Evolution at work

Evolution at Work offers over a decade of experience in guiding personal and organizational journeys into self-organization

The shift to self-organization is a transformational and multi-dimensional journey. No two journeys are the same, and this work requires differentiated approaches to learning and development. Everything Evolution at Work offers includes the following three approaches:

Teaching: Presenting a unique combination of theoretical background and practical stories drawn from real-life experience, we help you gain a deep understanding of the Whats, Whys, and Hows of your experience.

Facilitation: Taking a holistic approach to learning, we guide you through exercises that cultivate an embodied confidence with the processes, exercises, and practices that support sustainable self-organization.

Holding Space: We commit to being fully present with what is needed now, without judgment. Love, care, and compassion are at the heart of our work.

taken from https://www.evolutionatwork.org/about


Litfin, Karen

Karen Litfin, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of political science at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 1992. Karen’s first two books were Ozone Discourses: Science and Politics in Global Environmental Cooperation (Columbia University Press, 1994) and The Greening of Sovereignty in World Politics(MIT Press, 1998). She has also written on the politics of earth remote sensing; the political implications of Gaia Theory; the relationship between climate science and politics; the ecological politics of sacrifice; the global ecovillage movement; and contemplative pedagogical practices. For links to some of these publications, please click on “Research” tab.

Karen’s latest book, Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community, traces her yearlong journey to ecovillages around the world in language that is at once intellectually and emotionally engaging. The book explores these micro-laboratories of deep sustainability through four broad windows—ecology, economics, community, and consciousness—or E2C2, and gleans their lessons for a viable human future at every scale, from the neighborhoods to cities to countries to global governance. Click here for her video.

In her teaching, Karen takes an innovative “person/planet politics” approach rooted in two questions: What does it mean to come of age at the dawn of the Anthropocene, as we learn that prevailing institutions, practices and values are unraveling the tapestry of life? And how does one serve as a mentor under these conditions? Karen is currently working on a book based upon her twenty years of experience with contemplative pedagogical practices in environmental and global education.

taken from https://www.polisci.washington.edu/people/karen-litfin

Whidbey Institute

Whidbey Institute is a home for transformational learning and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Our mission is to nurture the conditions for transformational learning, and our purpose is to grow the human capacity to respond generatively to the challenges of our time in service to a future in which people and planet thrive together.

We partner with a network of program leaders working in the areas of generative leadership, ecosystem vitality, community resilience, and more to offer one-day and multi-day workshops, conferences, and retreats. Our 106-acre conservation forest campus on South Whidbey Island is open to the public and features integrated gardens and a four-mile trail network.

taken from https://whidbeyinstitute.org/about-us/

Lawrence, Mark

My role in the team:

Setting up a project like AMA was a keen interest of mine already before starting at the IASS.  After the first years of developing our program on our core topics like air pollution and climate change, and connecting to the spiritual and religious communities through dialogues and workshops, the time was finally ripe to kick off a pre-AMA project with Tom Bruhn, Zoe Lüthi and other colleagues.  Watching that grow into what the current team has made out of AMA today has been deeply fulfilling, and I’m pleased to continue to interact with the team however I can connect to and support their efforts.

Background & expertise

  • PhD in Atmospheric Science
  • Habilitation in Physics
  • Research focus on air pollution and climate geoengineering
  • Additional research: the Anthropocene and Earth-system science
  • Transdisciplinarity & co-creation
  • Various facilitation & moderation forms
  • Leadership experience and deep interest in Taoist leadership principles
  • Black belt in Aikido

My responsibilities:

  • Advisory role, mainly reflecting on major developments with the team
  • Connecting to like-minded colleagues and stakeholders
  • Representing AMA and its principles at academic and public events

Emerge

Emerge is an independent, non-profit media platform highlighting the initiatives, individuals and ways of thinking that are sowing the seeds of a new civilisation.

We are exploring how to act wisely in a world that seems out of control. We aim to explore the emerging cultural narratives of our time by collecting useful content from across the web, profiling change makers and thinkers, publishing thought-provoking commentary and producing original videos and podcasts.

We are living in times of profound transition where our ways of working, communicating and governing are quickly transforming. Many of our received wisdoms, habits and perspectives are becoming obsolete. What will emerge in the vacuum created by this disruption is not yet clear, but some critical questions hang in the balance:

Will we manage to avert ecological crisis? Will our new technologies enable powerful collaboration, or create intense polarisation? What does it mean to live a meaningful life in relationship with ourselves and others?

Nobody knows what the world will look like in 20 years time. At Emerge we believe that we all have a part to play in weaving a new story for humanity and our planet.

In fact, we are already doing it.

By combining live events with the power of the internet, Emerge is a hub for people and initiatives searching for solutions to pressing global challenges, asking the question: What new patterns of living, working and existing together are currently emerging?

We are a network and a movement that celebrates people and projects, and we offer an invitation to each of us to discover our role in this new story.

What We Believe

 The challenges facing our world today are more complex and species-threatening than ever before in human history. The global threat of climate change and the social impacts of digitalisation and globalisation are currently far more complex than our collective capacity to comprehend. In order for us to move forward, our thinking about global problems has to evolve to match their complexity.

Our personal psychology is of huge consequence to the outside world. If we are going to transform as a society then the personal development of individuals must be taken seriously as a societal, as well as an individual, concern.

There is no one ‘true’ way of seeing the world. In order to move forward we need to transcend binary thinking.This means moving beyond left and right political divides, thinking in terms of individual and collective responsibility, national and global identity, honoring individual identities and recognising the need to focus on a greater “we”.

Our world is socially constructed in more ways than we habitually tend to think. Human beings are dependent on and connected to the natural world, but when it comes to human society we are the creators. This means that we have more power than we realise to change it.

The emerging future will be co-created by all of us. The world is learning to come together in new ways and each of us has a vital role to play. Emerge is a place where all are called forth to bring our gifts to the greater circle.

Across the world, there are hundreds of initiatives, projects and persons who are already tackling real world problems from this place of deeper awareness. Our aim is to bring awareness to this growing movement and connect the dots between the people and projects contributing to this emergence.

This is a time of profound collaboration and we see you as a vital part of this mission. We’d love to weave your voice and vision into all that is being created and keep you updated on the launch of new projects, events and initiatives around the world.
Text from http://www.whatisemerging.com/about

A Mindset for the Anthropocene

The AMA project is a science-based reflection and empowerment hub for change agents engaging in inner transformation in the context of socio-ecological transformation. Institutionally the AMA project is operating as a transdisciplinary research project at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam. Beyond its research work, the AMA project acts as a network catalyst for an emerging global community that aims at cultivating ethical and virtuous qualities of the human mind as drivers of socio-ecological transformations to sustainability.

Manemo

Ganzheitlicher, weil wir langfristig und umfassend Ergebnisse, Freuden und Sorgen mit unseren ›Kunden teilen wollten. Also haben wir auf Basis unserer Kompetenzen einen ›Blauen Ozean entwickelt, der ›Managementtraining, ›Organisationsentwicklung und ›Unternehmensberatung in einer Nutzeninnovation kombiniert.

Konsequenter, weil die Anfrage eines Kernkraftwerksbetreibers unsere ›Wasserlinie offensichtlich und die Arbeit mit einem Öko-Pionier uns glücklich gemacht hat. Seit dem gönnen wir uns den Luxus, nur mit Kunden zu arbeiten, die uns am Herzen liegen und die an ›nachhaltigen Transformationsprozessen Interesse haben.

Wir wollen nichts weniger als unsere Berufung leben und gemeinsam mit ausgewählten Kunden ein klein wenig die ›Welt retten. Denn die Welt ist unsere Freundin…

MANEMO ist ein kunterbunter Haufen mit ausgeprägten Persönlichkeiten und vielfältigen Kompetenzen: wir treten den Beweis an, dass eine ›ökosoziale Marktwirtschaft jetzt und hier schon gelebt werden kann.

taken from: https://www.manemo.de/wer-wir-sind/

Spirituality and Practice

This multifaith and interspiritual website, founded by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, is devoted to resources for spiritual journeys. The site’s name reflects a basic understanding: spirituality and practice are the two places where all the world’s religions and spiritual paths come together. While respecting the differences among traditions, we celebrate what they share in common.

Launched in 2006, Spirituality & Practice consolidates nearly 50 years of the work of co-directors Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat and their various publications and projects, including Cultural Information Service, Living Room Learning, Values & Visions, and the Spiritual Literacy Project. A small but devoted staff has joined the Brussats to add new types of content and voices to the website.

CIStems, Inc., the nonprofit organization behind Spirituality & Practice, was originally organized in 1972 with the purpose of increasing positive uses of the arts/media by religious and community groups. Publications included reviews of books, films, and TV programs, providing insights on their deeper meanings and ways to use them for lifelong learning by teachers, preachers, and community leaders. Special projects included Viewer’s Guides to TV programs and Values & Visions Discussion Guides to movies and books.

Carbon Conversations

Carbon Conversations was started by Rosemary Randall, a psychotherapist, and Andy Brown an engineer. Drawing on Rosemary’s therapeutic experience with groups and Andy’s technical expertise they created a unique psycho-social project that addresses the practicalities of carbon reduction while taking account of the complex emotions and social pressures that make this difficult.

Between 2006 and 2010 the project was hosted by the charity Cambridge Carbon Footprint. From 2011 to 2012 it found a home with the Oxford charity, Climate Outreach and from 2013 to March 2017 it was managed by the Surefoot Effect Community Interest Company. We think that over two thousand people may have participated in facilitated Carbon Conversations groups in the UK.

A number of projects around the world have also used Carbon Conversations, including groups in Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland, France, Finland and Spain.

Over the years the project produced detailed, professionally designed materials on carbon reduction, culminating in the publication of the book In Time for Tomorrow? in 2015. The project also developed considerable expertise and materials on the psychology of climate change and the use of small groups to help people overcome their fears and defensiveness in dealing with it. These materials can all be downloaded from this website.

The project is indebted to all those who helped in its development and use over the years but we should particularly mention Shilpa Shah whose work for the Akashi project developed its use of personal testimony, Peter Harper who generously contributed his expertise on carbon calculation and the three organisations who successively hosted it – Cambridge Carbon Footprint, Climate Outreach and Surefoot

International Network of Engaged Buddhists

In 1989, the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) was established in Siam (Thailand) by Sulak Sivaraksa and a group of Buddhist and non-Buddhist thinkers and social activists. INEB operates as an autonomous organization under the Bangkok-based Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation. Over the years the network has expanded to include members, both individuals and organizations, from more than 25 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. From this diversity, an understanding of socially engaged Buddhism has emerged which integrates the practice of Buddhism with social action for a healthy, just, and peaceful world.

Vision and Objectives

  1. Promotes understanding, cooperation, and networking among inter-Buddhist and inter-religious social action groups
  2. Acts as an information resource related to areas of social concern
  3. Facilitates conferences, education, and training based on Buddhist values and practices that support and strengthen socially active individuals and groups

Social Issues of Concern and Engagement

INEB’s philosophy and practice is based on compassion, social justice, non-violence, and co-existence as put forth by Gautama the Buddha. The core mission is to confront and end suffering using analysis and action guided by the Four Noble Truths.

Activities focus on the following areas:

  • General conferences
  • Peacebuilding and reconciliation
  • Human rights and social justice
  • Alternative education
  • Gender and womens’ empowerment
  • Buddhist economics
  • Alternative development
  • Environment and climate change
  • Reform and revival of Buddhist institutions
  • Youth and spiritual leadership development
  • Buddhist art
  • Inter-religious/faith dialogue and collaboration

Berkana Institute

The Berkana Institute and our partners share the clarity that whatever the problem, community is the answer. We prepare for an unknown future by creating strong & sustainable relationships, by wisely stewarding the earth’s resources and by building resilient communities. We rely on our experience that most human beings are caring, generous and want to be together. We have learned that people can get through anything as long as we’re together. Berkana was founded in 1991 to create communities of support and inquiry for those working to create a future of promise and possibility that benefits all people. We are based in the U.S. and operate as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

We work from an evolving, coherent theory of change. Since 1991, we have been learning from life (living systems) about how to create systems that are interdependent, adaptive and resilient. Everything we do is a conscious experiment to better understand two of life’s robust capacities: self-organization–life’s process for creating order (effectiveness) without control, and emergence–life’s means for creating system-wide change, taking things to scale. Read Lifecycle of Emergence: Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze.

We work at the level of community. The Berkana Institute works in partnership with a rich diversity of people around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environments. Berkana and our partners share the clarity that whatever the problem, community is the answer. We prepare for an unknown future by creating strong and sustainable relationships, by wisely stewarding the earth’s resources and by building resilient communities. We rely on our experience that most human beings are caring, generous and want to be together. We have learned that human beings can get through anything as long as we’re together.

We focus on four key activities. In many ways, Berkana’s work is quite straightforward. We name trailblazing leaders and communities, connect them to one another, nourish them with relationships, learning, resources, and support, and illuminate their stories as important examples of the future taking place right now

Rumi

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi

Eco-Chaplaincy Initiative

Eco-chaplaincy is a form of inter-religious and secular ‘spiritual’ chaplaincy designed for people engaged in environmental and social justice work; coined by Sarah Vekasi, M.Div. in 2005.

Eco-chaplains support organizations, activists, organizers, individuals, and communities who are engaged in helping life continue on Earth in this time of great turning.

Just as a patient in a hospital or a soldier in war can receive support from their chaplain; organizations, activists and community members can turn to an eco-chaplain.

Balanced Rock

Yoga and Backpacking Trips in Yosemite. Yosemite journeys for mind, body and spirit. Our retreats and backpack trips harness the transformational power of nature to inspire deep connection with your own inner wisdom.

Refugia Retreats

Refugia acts as a catalyst for societal and personal change through retreats, workshops, spiritual direction, and community facilitation.

Creation Justice Ministries

Creation Justice Ministries (formerly the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program) represents the creation care and environmental justice policies of major Christian denominations throughout the United States. We work in cooperation with 38 national faith bodies including Protestant denominations and Orthodox communions as well as regional faith groups, and congregants to protect and restore God’s Creation.

Spiral Ecology

Welcome to the website of SpiralEcology, a cultural transformation collaborative. We invite you to explore ‘deep ecology’, walking, and other workshops, where we invite you to connect more deeply with self, world, and Earth.

Reclaiming Our Lives, Reclaiming Our Earth – A WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN WORKING TOWARDS CONSCIOUSNESS

In these deeply polarized times, we feel the wounds on the body politic, the body of the earth, and our own bodies, all at once.  It is ever more important that we come together as women, allow all these wounds to breathe, and, finding their beauty as well as their pain, let them germinate into something entirely new, born to us and to our communities.

Every year we work with a myth or fairy tale, because tapping into archetypal wisdom deepens our understanding of ourselves and our world.  This year we will be examining the Norwegian tale Prince Lindworm, the tale of a queen who gives birth to boy twins, one human and one a serpent.  She conveniently puts the birth of the serpent twin out of her mind, and when he comes of age he challenges her entire kingdom to examine its “forgetfulness.”  The results are dramatic, and transformative.

Please join us at Menla Retreat Center (http://menla.us), Phoenicia, New York, April 3-8, 2018 where, through body work, dreamwork, meditation and the expressive arts, we will investigate what remains hidden in our unconscious and bring it to light, in the warm embrace of our women’s circle.  Please register at www.reclaimingourlives.com.  Scholarships are available for first-time attendees.

April 3-8, 2018

Active Hope: How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy

The book guides the reader through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess we’re in and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, towards a life-sustaining society.

Spiritual Ecology – A Quiet Revolution

“This book is a tour de force. No one has attempted to bring together such a wide range of people and movements under the rubric of Spiritual Ecology. The result is deeply engaging for scholars and activists alike. Sponsel has given us a gem.” Mary Evelyn Tucker, Forum on Religion and Ecology,Yale University

On Being

The On Being Project is an independent non-profit public life and media initiative. We pursue deep thinking and social courage, moral imagination and joy, to renew inner life, outer life, and life together.

We make audio, digital, live event and other offerings towards the generative possibilities of a tender, tumultuous global moment. We look behind and beyond the news cycle, attending to the human change that makes social transformation possible across generational time.

On Being has its origins in a public radio show called Speaking of Faith, which was created by Krista Tippett and launched nationally at American Public Media. A journalist and former diplomat who had studied theology, Krista saw a black hole in media where intelligent conversation about religion, meaning, and moral imagination might be.

In 2010, On Being was born. In 2013, Krista and a founding production team of three spun out of APM. In 2017, Krista and a growing team of comrade-leaders opened the new chapter of mission-driven innovation that is The On Being Project. We’re based in a studio/work/public event space on Loring Park in Minneapolis, with community, colleagues, and partners around the world.

On Being with Krista Tippett, now heard on over 400 public radio stations and a successful podcast, is produced by On Being Studios, together with the On Being Blog, initiatives like the Poetry Radio Project and Public Theology Reimagined, and an expanding portfolio of new podcasts including Becoming Wise and This Movie Changed Me.

The Civil Conversations Project (CCP), which began in 2011 and has become a front edge of our evolution, is an emergent approach to conversation and relationship across the differences of our age. It is an offering towards renewing common life through grounding virtues and spiritual technologies like generous listening, adventurous civility, and hospitable questions. Civil Conversations are increasingly happening in live public events on the road while On Being’s Better Conversations Guide is finding its way into far-flung settings.

CCP was also at the heart of the inaugural On Being Gathering at the 1440 Multiversity in California in 2018.

Our newest adventure, the On Being Impact Lab, is the home of our Fellows Program, the future Spiritual Innovation Laboratory, extensions of the Civil Conversations Project into communities, classrooms and neighborhoods — and more to come.

We believe that collaborative discovery will be a key to living into the generative possibilities of this moment — not just in the halls of the academy or scientific laboratories, but in the everyday living laboratories of our communities, our friendships, and our minds.

Michael Meade Mosaic Voices

Mosaic is a network of artists, activists, community builders, healers, and spiritual teachers working in innovative ways to develop cross-cultural alliances, mentoring relationships, and forms of community healing.

Amid the rattling of cultural institutions and radical changes in nature, it may be time to turn again to valuable traditional methods of cultural healing and individual mentoring. Shaping new forms from separate, estranged, or even broken pieces is a dynamic remedy for the personal isolation and spiritual dislocation that increasingly characterize modern life. The creative act of finding and fitting together the divergent yet necessary elements of a diverse culture can produce “moments of wholeness” in times of great uncertainty.

 

Parliament of the World’s Religions

We live in a world of difference. Yet, we are interdependent. Nowhere is learning to live with difference more important than religion.

Too often, religion is misused as an instrument for division and injustice, betraying the very ideals and teachings that lie at the heart of each of the world’s great traditions. At the same time, religious and spiritual traditions shape the lives of billions in wise and wonderful ways. They gather people in communities of shared beliefs and practices. When these diverse communities work in harmony for the common good, there is hope that the world can be transformed.

Over the years, the Council has initiated dialogues and nurtured relationships among people of difference. In doing so the Parliament has provided a framework for expressing many visions of a just, peaceful and sustainable future. In the process, religious and spiritual communities have discovered a shared commitment to ethical principles.

This shared commitment has opened the way for a new era of cooperative action among the world’s religious and spiritual communities as well as civil and political societies. The well-being of the Earth and all life depends on this collaboration.

Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality

Honoring all of creation as Original Blessing, Creation Spirituality integrates the wisdom of Eastern and Western spirituality and global indigenous cultures with the emerging scientific understanding of the universe and the passion of creativity. It is both a tradition and a movement, celebrated by mystics and agents of social change from every age and culture.

Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning

EIAL offers education and sponsorship for learning opportunities in applied spirituality, that is, the application of spiritual practice and experience to everyday life: peace studies, ecology and psychology.

 

For further information see abwoon network.

 

 

Buddha-Stiftung für säkularen Buddhismus

Die Buddha-Stiftung möchte Menschen die zentralen und ursprünglichen Einsichten des Buddhismus und deren praktische Anwendung im Leben in einer verständlichen Form zugänglich machen.

Das Fundament bildet dabei die Idee des „säkularen Buddhismus“, d.h. einem Verständnis des Buddhismus als Möglichkeit einer Lebenspraxis , die ohne kulturhistorisch entstandene Dogmen oder Glaubensinhalte auskommt.

Die Buddha-Stiftung fördert Angebote buddhistischer Meditation als Alltagspraxis, insbesondere als Methode zur Entwicklung von Einsicht, Achtsamkeit, Offenheit und zur Bewältigung von Stress im Alltag.

Die Buddha-Stiftung fördert den Dialog zwischen Buddhismus, Philosophie, Wissenschaft, Kunst und Religionen sowie den Dialog zwischen den verschiedenen buddhistischen Traditionen.

Die Buddha-Stiftung fördert wissenschaftliche Forschung zur Wirkungsweise von Meditation in der medizinischen Therapie.

Die Buddha-Stiftung fördert humanitäre Projekte im In- und Ausland.

Gegründet von Dr. Jochen Weber und Dr. Regina Tröscher-Weber 2002.

Education is the kindling of a flame: How to reinvent the 21st-century university

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” This quote from Plutarch is as true today as it was two thousand years ago. Still, the misconception of education as a vessel-filling activity remains. In this column, I outline an idea that could reshape our universities while also prototyping new ways of addressing urgent societal challenges. The kindling of the flame that Plutarch talked about has never been more relevant than now.

Let’s start with 2017

Last week my column focused on 2017:

  • The year 2017 mirrored the epochal year 1917 by putting a new challenge in front of us: the challenge of vertical development.
  • By “vertical development” I mean the capacity to deal with disruptive change, which requires us to let go of the past and to let come the future, to shift our awareness from one state to another. In the language of tech: vertical development is about suspending your habit of installing yet another app and instead upgrading your entire operating system.
  • From that perspective we can interpret the current global surge of terrorism, fundamentalism, xenophobia, Trumpism, and autocracy as expressions of the same underlying phenomenon: the missing capacity as a society to respond to challenges in generative ways, by evolving ourselves “vertically,” by upgrading the way we listen and attend, the way we converse and think, and the way we organize and coordinate in the context of larger systems.

Last week I suggested that such an upgrade of our societal operating system (OS) should include advancing and transforming our economies, our democracies, and our education systems. It is the latter that I focus on in this column: how to how to reinvent our institutions of higher education through their transformation from an ivory-towered into a distributed eco-system for societal renewal.

Vertical Literacy: Addressing the Knowing-Doing Gap

The difficulties we have in meeting today’s global challenges, such as implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) worldwide, are not caused by a knowledge gap. We have all the knowledge we need. The problem is a knowing-doing gap: a disconnect between our collective consciousness and our collective actions. In most societal systems we collectively create results that (almost) nobody wants. Examples: the ecological divide (the self-nature disconnect), the social divide (the self-other disconnect), and the spiritual divide (the self-self disconnect—that is, the disconnect between my current and my emerging future self).

These gaps and divides are amplified by the silo structure of our key institutions and the mindset of the decision makers that operate inside them. To address these issues at their root requires two things: new platforms for cross-sector co-creation and an upgrade in the operating system that people use to collaborate—practices that facilitate a shift from ego-system to eco-system awareness.

Figure 1 maps the landscape of options for such an operating system. In our research we have identified four different operating systems—in other words, four fields of attention that social systems can operate from: habitual, ego-systemic, empathic, eco-systemic.

Figure 1: Matrix of Vertical Social Evolution (Source: O. Scharmer, <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.amazon.com/Essentials
BY KELVY BIRD
Figure 1: Matrix of Vertical Social Evolution (Source: O. Scharmer, The Essentials of Theory U)

Since I have presented the Matrix of Social Evolution in much more detail elsewhere, allow me here to stick to its essence: the matrix shows that we are stuck with our collective knowing-doing gap because we try to solve level 4 problems with an operating system that runs on OS 1.0, 2.0, or OS 3.0. But, as we learned from Einstein, you cannot solve problems at the same level of thinking and consciousness that created them.

The result of that mismatch is on display every single day: more problems lead to more felt pressure and frustrations, which lead to more destruction and “absencing” (to use the language of last week’s column), which in turn lead to more problems, felt pressure, frustrations, and so forth. That in a nutshell is our vertical development challenge: how to move from the vicious cycle of reacting to disruption powered by OS 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 to a generative response that is powered by 4.0—that is, by a process of co-creating the future.

The lack of vertical literacy is the main problem in our universities and schools today. Talk to experienced CEOs and CPOs (chief people officers) of major companies and ask them what they need. They commonly say: people, teams, and leaders that can make our organization thrive in a world of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity). By that, I believe they mean people and capacities that can take their organization into the 4.0 world in which they respond to disruption by co-sensing and co-shaping the future. Then go to universities and talk to faculty and deans of management and engineering schools. Many, maybe most, are rather illiterate when it comes to vertical development. They think mostly in terms of horizontal development—for example, about adding another skill here or another app or course there. They do not think in terms of upgrading the entire educational OS—of our students, our learners, and our societal systems.

But if you think about it, if we follow Plutarch, I believe that the only reason universities exist in the first place is to provide vertical developmental literacy. Especially now. If you want the app, you just go to an online learning store like edx.org and get your free knowledge download. Done! You don’t need a physical university for that. The primary reason we have universities and other institutions of higher education today is to support the development of vertical literacy. That means creating a learning environment in which the learner can step into his or her highest future potential in the context of hands-on societal challenges. In our experience, this requires us, as learners, to upgrade the way we pay attention and listen, to upgrade the way we converse, dialogue, and think, to upgrade the way we organize and coordinate in the context of VUCA shaped environments. Everything else is secondary. Vertical literacy gives us the vocabulary and capacities to:

  • become a blackbelt in listening with our minds and hearts wide open
  • turn a conversation from debate to generative dialogue
  • shift organizational fields from competing silos to generative eco-systems
  • invent new coordination mechanisms that operate from shared awareness.

Ten Principles of the New University

How do we build vertical literacy at scale? Well, not by placing learners inside lecture halls. And also not by separating out humanities, social sciences, and STEM into separate universes. That much we know. What it will take is nothing less than a complete reinvention of schooling and higher ed based on a new set of principles. Here is a first cut at a list of core ideas:

(1) Co-initiate: Put the learner into the driver’s seat of profound societal change. The learner is not a consumer. She or he is a partner in making the world a better place.

(2) Co-sense: Move the outer place of learning from the lecture hall to the real world. This isn’t just about action learning but also includes immersion journeys to the global hotspots of societal renewal across cultures.

(3) Embodiment: Move the inner place of learning from the head to the heart, and from the heart to the hand. The essence of learning in this century revolves around activating the intelligence of the heart and then putting it to use in serving the needs of others and the whole.

(4) Science 2.0: Bend the beam of scientific observation back onto the observing self. At the intersection between the old, dying civilization and the one that is being born is the transformation of science. Science 2.0 must integrate first-, second-, and third-person data by bending the beam of observation back onto the observing self.

(5) Systems Thinking: Make the system see itself. Systems thinking is a core capacity of vertical literacy. Students must learn methods to make the system see itself.

(6) Systems Sensing: Make the system sense itself. This is the core capacity to unlock collective creativity. Learners must become literate in “aesthetics” in its original meaning (aistesis means to sense): the cultivation of all our senses.

(7) Systems Inversion: Transform the system through eco-system activation. All societal sectors go through similar institutional changes: from perpetuating systemic silos to cultivating generative social field in the context of their eco-systems. Learners need to be literate in facilitating this shift.

(8) Know Thyself: To create vertical developmental literacy, we need to integrate science, social change, and self. Deepening our self knowledge requires us to access not only the intelligence of the open mind (curiosity), but also the intelligences of the open heart (compassion), and open will (courage).

(9) Tend the Fire: To patiently elicit and draw out the unique qualities and expression of each person with perseverance and in support of his or her highest possible future.

(10) The Fourth Teacher: Use nature and social fields as gateways. The Reggio Emilia approach is known for seeing the environment as the third teacher. Building on that we see the cultivation of profound learning relationships to nature and to social fields as gateways to the deeper sources of knowing (”the fourth teacher”).

Five Building Blocks

How can we build a 21st-century university that embodies these principles of vertical literacy, i.e., of awareness-based systems change? The answer will vary across contexts, cultures, and geographies. But in our experiments we have found the following five building blocks to be critical (Figure 2).

Figure 2: The 21st-Century University: Five Building Blocks
BY KELVY BIRD
Figure 2: The 21st-Century University: Five Building Blocks

(1) Cross-Sector Innovation Labs

Create cross-sector Innovation Labs that bring together key stakeholders and innovators who need each other in order to evolve the system they operate within. With our colleagues and partners, we have refined a lab process that generates remarkable results.

(2) Cross-Intelligence Capacity Building

Create massive online-to-offline mechanisms for complementing the labs and building the deeper capacities at scale (that means at marginal costs close to zero). With the u.lab MOOC we have prototyped a mechanism that combines the democratization of access to knowledge with the activation of the deep learning cycle. Some of the early key learnings from u.lab, which has attracted more than 100,000 registered participants from 185 countries since its launch in 2015, can be found here.

(3) Awareness-Based Action Research: Deep Data Imaging

Although “big data” has been useful in many parts of our daily lives, the algorithms that increasingly shape our reality have also became a liability that undermines some of society’s foundations (as discussed in last week’s column). We need to progress from big data to deep data. By deep data I mean data that advance vertical literacy by making us look at ourselves in a mirror, individually and collectively, by making us aware of our own patterns and blind spots, by making us see ourselves through the eyes of another or of the whole. An example of big data is your Facebook feed: Facebook filters out all news that it thinks does not match your world view (i.e., it keeps us stuck in our own echo chambers). Examples of deep data mirroring are the case clinics and global mindfulness practices described in the u.lab link above.

This New World
The current capitalist system is broken. Get updates on our progress toward building a fairer world.

Another mechanism for generating deep data (i.e., data that help us to see ourselves and to deepen our awareness) that we have developed over the past decade is Social Presencing Theater (SPT). SPT practices help complex stakeholder groups to see themselves and their evolutionary patterns through the mirror of the whole, thereby shifting their individual consciousness from ego-system to eco-system awareness. We are now working to develop SPT as a research methodology that allows people to visualize and understand the deep (and mostly invisible) structures of social change. We see the potential for SPT “scans” to do for social field research over the next decade what MRI scans did for mindfulness and neuroscience over the past decade.

(4) A Community of Eco-System Catalysts

The fourth building block deals with people. The best concept is worth nothing if the faculty do not embody these new forms and the principles of student-centered learning. The requirements of today’s tenure-track system put faculty on pathways that keep them far from the experiences that are most relevant to reinventing the type of education described here. We need a new faculty track for reflective practitioners who are more deeply involved in major projects of societal transformation and who can share their knowledge-in-action with students while also helping learners deepen their own capacities for embodied knowing.

(5) Places, Platforms, and Practices for Making the System Sense Itself

The fifth building block concerns places, platforms, and core practices. The piece most needed here is places: high-quality spaces that are designed and structured to build vertical literacy.

Figure 2 summarizes these five building blocks that, if put into place, could prototype and accelerate the journey of higher ed institutions toward 4.0 worldwide—a journey that in many microcosms of higher ed has already begun to take shape.

Five Bold Initiatives to Actualize the New University

While I have been holding the vision of such a new university for some years, it is only now that I feel it is completely doable. To advance the journey toward realizing it, we—the core team of the u.lab and Presencing Institute community—will launch five major initiatives throughout 2018.

(1) 4.0 Labs: Co-shaping the Future by Activating Generative Fields

We will convene 4.0 Labs at both the country and the regional level. We are currently working with the government of the Netherlands and Scotland on prototyping a country-level lab. We intend to launch the European 4.0 Lab in June 2018. Each of these 4.0 Labs will co-define its own focus at the outset. With the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) we are discussing how to use 4.0 Labs to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on a country level.

The key idea of all these labs is very simple: the next wave of innovation in food, farming, finance, health, learning, and leadership will be highly interrelated and sourced from a shared co-creative 4.0 territory (see Figure 3 below). Since no one can do this alone, we need to create cross-sectional infrastructures that support these initiatives on that journey.

Figure 3: Four Evolutionary Stages: From 1.0 to 4.0 (Source: O. Scharmer, <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.amazon.com/Esse
BY KELVY BIRD
Figure 3: Four Evolutionary Stages: From 1.0 to 4.0 (Source: O. Scharmer, The Essentials of Theory U)

(2) u.lab 2x: Transforming Our Economy

Our second initiative will be launched in March 2018. A joint eco-system of sites and platforms among HuffPost and PI will capture and share the new economic narrative that is shifting the economy from ego to eco. Starting in April, each month our online platform will present inspiring, interactive, 60-minute live-broadcasts. Between the monthly live sessions we will hold global community cafés where change makers from across sectors, systems, and cultures can join the conversation. These will incorporate video-based discussions in small breakout groups and help us to move from traditional media and social media to more interactive and engaging forms of conversation, and from there to globally distributed ways of co-generating future media that change the world for the better.

(3) Social Field Research Summer School

The third initiative focuses on launching a research project that blends SPT practices, , and data-driven third-person research to investigate the deep structures of social fields. The focus in 2018 will be on establishing the research group and integrating these methodologies. Starting in 2019 an annual Berlin Summer School for Social Field Research will invite 50 leading awareness-based action researchers from around the world to work with each other and with senior thought leaders and investigators in their fields. The intention is to run the Berlin Summer School for 10 years in order to do for awareness-based field research what the Mind and Life Institute did for mindfulness and neuroscience: establish a new domain of research and replicate it worldwide.

(4) Eco-system Catalyst Masterclass

The fourth initiative, the masterclass for eco-system catalysts, will target the most advanced practitioners and activators of social eco-systems of innovation in order to help them advance their skills, mirror and support each other on their journey of Self, and interweave their respective innovation ecologies across regions, sectors, and cultures. This masterclass will be a year-long journey limited to 50 participants. The first cohort will start its journey in Boston in October 2018. As a group they will activate and cultivate a globally distributed innovation ecology. From that group we expect a new breed of young faculty to emerge who are literate across all of the intelligences discussed above.

(5) u.school

The fifth initiative focuses on upgrading our place- and web-based infrastructures to better serve the evolving needs of our rapidly growing global community. One key focus is on finding physical campus areas for all of the above (which together will constitute the “u.school”). The first conversations for such a campus are happening in Berlin. The longer term intention is to establish campus areas in all major cultures and geographies. These u.school campuses will partner with multiple universities to co-deliver a curriculum in vertical societal literacy across all system levels (Figure 1 matrix) and then create open source resources that allow for the replication of this curriculum in universities worldwide.

Figure 4: Actualizing the New University: Five Initiatives
BY KELVY BIRD
Figure 4: Actualizing the New University: Five Initiatives

Reinventing the Idea of the University

The classical university was based on the unity of research and teaching. The modern university has been based on the unity of research, teaching, and application. The emerging 21st-century university, I believe, will be based on the unity of research, teaching, and civilizational renewal. To transform higher education into its most advanced evolutionary state requires nothing less than a full inversion of its traditional discipline structure toward 4.0 ways of innovating and learning.

The purpose of education is not to fill vessels. It’s also not to spurn people who diligently rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. The purpose of the 21st-century education and university is to help us develop what matters most: vertical literacy—the capacity to sense and actualize our highest future possibility in the face of disruption.

All the elements for making this happen at scale already exist. By connecting them we can activate a vibrant global eco-system of 4.0 Labs, place-based hubs, change maker communities, research initiatives, distributed media producers, and eco-system catalysts—in short, a living ecology that can protect the flame that Plutarch was talking about and that we need to pass on from one generation to the next. For it is this flame—the flame of the creative human spirit—that at no point in the history of our planet has been so at risk, so attainable, and so necessary for addressing our ecological, social, and spiritual divides. We need intentional places to kindle, cultivate and evolve that flame.

At the entrance to the Academy of Athens there was an inscription that said: Let no one enter here who does not know math and geometry. What should the inscription be at the entrance to the new university that we aspire to create today, 2,400 years later? Maybe it could read: Let no one enter here who does not know that the issues outside are a mirror of the issues inside; i.e., let no one enter here who is vertically illiterate. The new university comes into being—the flame is kindling—wherever and whenever we bend the beam of collective attention back onto ourselves, whenever we shift our awareness from ego to eco in order to regenerate our economic, democratic, and educational systems from that awareness and source.

Erdfest. Eine Initiative

Die Zeit ist reif, ein neues Fest im Jahreslauf zu schaffen. So viele Jahre und Jahrhunderte haben wir von der Erde nur genommen, mit viel Gier und wenig Dank. Nun ist es an uns, etwas zurückzugeben: unser Bekenntnis, dazu zu gehören, unsere Dankbarkeit, Erde zu sein.

Das Erdfest versteht sich als eine Feier der Lebendigkeit, die in Gegenseitigkeit geschieht. Es will zur Partnerschaft mit der mehr als menschlichen Welt inspirieren.

Als Termin schlägt diese Initiative drei Tage im Frühsommer vor. Die Natur steht in voller Blüte, die Tage sind lang und hell, alle treibt es nach draußen. Überall können dann »Erdfeste« stattfinden: Menschen kommen aufmerkend, die Sinne öffnend zusammen, in Freude an der Natur. Eine solche Haltung wirkt und strahlt aus. In Gemeinschaft können so auch die Probleme unserer Zeit angesprochen und Ideen für eine naturverbundenere Gesellschaft entwickelt werden.

Faith in Place

In order to inspire as many people of faith as possible to take action with significant environmental impacts, Faith in Place’s programs are designed to be adaptable and engaging. We respect theological and social diversity and strive to make our programs relevant to faithful people of any religion, age, race, and socio-economic class.

In living out our principles, we often host conversations on race and the environment, and many of our programs have been created out of ideas that emerged in these discussions. Faith in Place works for all people of all faiths throughout Illinois, helping each faith community apply their own unique culture, history, context, and theology with practical steps for them to better care for the Earth.

Urban Adamah

Urban Adamah is an educational farm and community center in Berkeley, California, that integrates the practices of Jewish tradition, sustainable agriculture, mindfulness and social action to build loving, just and sustainable communities.

Wilderness Torah

Wilderness Torah awakens and celebrates the earth-based traditions of Judaism to nourish the connections between self, community, earth, and Spirit.

We create pluralistic, multi-generational community celebrations to reconnect us to the earth-based traditions of Judaism.

Keepers of the Water

By integrating art, science and community, we aim to make the natural process of water treatment visible and integrated into daily life and culture.

Global water quality is dependent on each community having a sustainable water source that they know about and are responsible for. Cities all over the planet can be filled with vibrant water and art-filled community centers, parks, schoolyards, businesses and backyards that help people become intimately connected to their water sources. These projects will lead the way for fully sustainable water infrastructures that are visible and integrated into our everyday lives.

We solve problems better with a diversity of minds. Through water, we are interconnected and related to all other living things. Like water, we are one giant family, always seeking to join one another.

Spiritual Ecology

Spiritual Ecology is a spiritual response to our present ecological crisis.

It is a developing field that joins ecology and environmentalism with the awareness of the sacred within creation. It calls for responses to environmental issues that include spiritual awareness and/or practice. The principles of spiritual ecology are simple: In order to resolve such environmental issues as depletion of species, global warming, and over-consumption, humanity must examine and reassess our underlying attitudes and beliefs about the earth, and our spiritual as well as physical responsibilities toward the planet. Thus, ecological renewal and sustainability necessarily depends upon spiritual awareness and an attitude of responsibility.

 

Spiritual Ecology is an initiative of Kalliopeia Foundation.

Ulex Project

  • high-quality trainings building social movement capacity for social justice and ecological integrity
  • a residential training centre serving the needs of social movements for the long haul
  • collaboration and innovation enabling the responsive development of social movement training in Europe
  • a hub strengthening connections for pan-European solidarity and social movement resilience

 

EcoDharma

The Eco-Dharma Centre is situated in a beautiful and wild part of the Catalan Pyrenees. We offer courses, events and retreats which support the realisation of our human potential and the development of an ecological consciousness honouring our mutual belonging within the web of life – drawing on the Buddhist Dharma and the emerging ecological paradigms of our time.

Our courses and retreats take place in a context of sustainable low-impact living, closely woven within the web of elemental nature. These meditation retreats, study seminars and training camps are intended to help people to empower themselves to make changes in themselves and the world consistent with a life-affirming vision.

We seek to develop practices which honour the inseparability of the transformation of the self and the world; to support the shift from a destructive industrial growth society to a life-affirming future; to contribute to the creation of a movement of renewal and resistance; to evolve spiritual practice where courageous compassion and a deepening realisation of our radical interconnectedness helps us to live in solidarity with life.

Sophia Institute

Transforming Our Lives, Transforming Our World

The Sophia Institute is a center of learning that provides innovative programs that foster the rise of the Feminine, cultivating wisdom and mindfulness, for a more just, sustainable, and flourishing world. Sophia offers retreats, lectures, classes, and special events, featuring nationally and internationally renowned leaders and teachers.

Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association

The Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA) is committed to serving humanity by working to relieve the various forms of human suffering — physical, emotional and spiritual. It’s programs range from international dialogues on peace building in regions of conflict to classes on methods of cultivating peace within. One of DDMBA’s primary functions is to support scholarly research in the field of Buddhism, particularly the Chan tradition, instructing and encouraging Buddhist practitioners through its centers in the United States.

DDMBA’s international activities include the organization of seminars and conferences that enhance understanding and respect between different cultures and religions. It also initiates programs for environmental protection, leadership training for young adults, and it provides charitable aid to those in need.

Global Peace Initiative of Women

The basis of GPIW’s work is the dynamic expression of unity, emerging from the heart of wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions, and our own hearts, into a community. We believe this narrative can help animate social and economic structures and systems that better reflect humanity’s natural evolution toward greater wholeness. An essential part of this shift is the coming into a balanced and sacred relationship with the earth and all living beings. Feminine wisdom and the power of love can serve as the fulcrum for this inner and outer transformation.

Alaya – Breathing Clean Air

Clean Air from the inside out.

Recently a group of IASS researchers has been exchanging ideas on the question of how inner transformation processes can contribute to sustainability – and, conversely, on the question of how societal transformations can enrich not just the ‘outside world’ but also people’s ‘inner lives’. The research project “A Mindset for the Anthropocene” is investigating these connections, establishing a platform for debate, and promoting transformative mindsets in sustainability contexts. The Alaya project is a practical approach to cultivate this idea.

 

Abrahamisches Forum

Wir brauchen ein verändertes Verständnis von Natur und Umwelt. Es erfordert, nicht nur an die eigenen Kosten und Nutzen zu denken, sondern Natur als ein unersetzbares Gut zu sehen, welches auch für unsere Nachwelt zu bewahren ist. Die ökologische Krise ist somit auch eine ethische Herausforderung!

Für etwa 80% der Weltbevölkerung spielt Religion eine Rolle in ihrem Leben. Die Integrität der Natur zu achten und zu bewahren ist eine wesentliche Botschaft aller Religionen. In der gemeinsamen Erkenntnis der Religionsgemeinschaften hinsichtlich der Bedeutung des Lebens und der Natur liegt somit ein Schlüssel zu einem nachhaltigeren Umgang mit der Natur.

Interreligiöses Zusammenwirken im Bereich Naturschutz dient darüber hinaus dem besseren Kennenlernen untereinander und dem Frieden miteinander und der Natur.

Work that Reconnects Network

This group work arose in North America in the late 1970s, during a time of escalating concerns about nuclear weaponry and the hazards of nuclear power. Chellis Glendinning, Joanna Macy and Fran Peavey observed that when people share with others their feelings of fear, anguish or despair, their power to act for change is released. Thus began “despair and empowerment” work (phrase coined by Chellis). Joe Havens and Sarah Pirtle added the concept of “the turning” – the natural release of energy and insight that arises out of the mutual acknowledgement of shared feelings.

Rapidly the efforts of these people and many others (including Barbara Hazard, Tova Green and Kevin McVeigh) synergized to develop a model that used counseling methods, spiritual principles, ritual and myth, laughter and tears, reverence and irreverence to help individuals break out of the numbness of despair and denial. Joanna Macy’s 1979 article “How to Deal with Despair” and her 1983 book, Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age, were vital to the spread of the work. Workshops, ranging in length from an evening to a week, in churches, classrooms and police armories, drew many thousands of people from within and beyond movements for peace, justice, and a safe environment.

8 Shields

Creating Nature-Connected Communities

8 Shields is a global movement worldwide that utilizes a finely tuned, tried and true mentoring model that has proven to create healthy and vibrant natural leaders, and nature-based intergenerational mentoring communities around the world. Thank you for your support in helping to hand down a legacy of health, well-being, and harmony with the natural world and each other to future generations. Re-awaken those 8 attributes in people and in turn help heal the widespread disconnection and loss of culture worldwide.

 

Akademie für Suffizienz

Die Akademie bietet Raum und Gelegenheit zum Lernen und Erfahren. BesucherInnen sind eingeladen, Wissen und Können aufzunehmen, anzuwenden und weiterzugeben. Ebenso gibt es hier Raum und Zeit für Denkprozesse, für die Reflektion eingeübter Gewohnheiten und für das Hinterfragen verfestigter Vorstellungen.

Hunecke, Marcel

Prof. Dr. Marcel Hunecke ist Umweltpsychologe. Interessengebiet unter anderem die Erforschung kontemplativer Praxis für Nachhaltigkeit.

Netzwerk Ethik Heute

Ethik ist Herzenssache

Wir leben in Zeiten globaler Herausforderungen. Das hat auch Auswirkungen auf den Einzelnen. Doch wie lässt sich ein sozialer und ökologischer Wandel erreichen? Das Netzwerk Ethik heute verbindet die persönliche und gesellschaftliche Ebene: die Arbeit an sich selbst mit solidarischem Handeln.

Institut für Achtsamkeit und Nachhaltigkeit

Unse­re Phi­lo­so­phie basiert auf der Über­zeu­gung, dass wir uns selbst auf einer kon­ti­nu­ier­li­chen Ent­de­ckungs­rei­se befin­den. Wir kön­nen nur ver­mit­teln, was wir selbst ver­kör­pern.

The empathic brain: how, when and why?

Recent imaging results suggest that individuals automatically share the emotions of others when exposed to their emotions. We question the assumption of the automaticity and propose a contextual approach, suggesting several modulatory factors that might influence empathic brain responses. Contextual appraisal could occur early in emotional cue evaluation, which then might or might not lead to an empathic brain response, or not until after an empathic brain response is automatically elicited. We propose two major roles for empathy; its epistemological role is to provide information about the future actions of other people, and important environmental properties. Its social role is to serve as the origin of the motivation for cooperative and prosocial behavior, as well as help for effective social communication. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Contemplative Sustainable Futures

Humanity is facing increasingly complex environmental and sustainability challenges. Current coordination mechanisms, problem-solving strategies, and modes of scientific inquiry, teaching and learning appear insufficient to address these challenges. As a result, inner transition (embodied in notions such as mindfulness and compassion) is emerging as a potential new area of exploration. The “Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program” was set up to explore this new area and create space and opportunities for learning, networking and knowledge development on this topic. In this context, special attention is given to the issue of – what we call –  ‘mindful climate adaptation and risk reduction’.

taken from https://www.lucsus.lu.se/research/urban-governance/contemplative-sustainable-futures

Mindfulness for Social Change

We are a global community exploring the potential for secular mindfulness training and practice to contribute to more sustainable, caring and socially just societies. We believe the human capacity for mindful awareness is vital for effective responses to social, economic and environmental challenges; and that mindfulness practice, courses and communities need to be responsive to the social and political context of individual stress, wellbeing and change.

Psychology and consumer culture: The struggle for a good life in a materialistic world

Psychology and Consumer Culture provides an in-depth psychological analysis of consumerism that draws from a wide range of theoretical, clinical, and methodological approaches. The contributors to this edited volume demonstrate that consumerism and the culture that surrounds it exert profound and often undesirable effects on both people’s individual lives and on society as a whole. Far from being distant influences, advertising, consumption, materialism, and the capitalistic economic system affect personal, social, and ecological well being on many levels.

Authors address consumerism’s effect on everything from culture, ethnicity, and childhood development to consciousness, gender roles, identity, work stress, and psychopathology. Contributors provide a variety of potential interventions for counteracting the negative influence of consumerism on individuals and on society. The book makes a strong case that, despite psychology’s past reticence to investigate issues related to consumerism, such topics are crucial to understanding human life in the contemporary age.

Relation of spirituality to happiness, life satisfaction and sustainable lifestyles

The paper aimed to provide additional insights into the wide and partly uncovered area of interactions among spirituality, happiness, life satisfaction and sustainability, supported by a survey representing the Hungarian society. As results reflect, spirituality definitely proves to matter in pro-environmental behaviour, sustainable consumption, happiness and life satisfaction.

All Creation

“All Creation” is a living archive of faith and spiritual practice views on biodiversity and today’s environmental challenges.

The Center for Spirituality in Nature

The Center for Spirituality in Nature offers relaxed and engaging experiences in nature, which provide the time and space for those who want spiritual connection to be a more regular part of their lives.  We also offer a variety of resources and practices that help individuals and communities regularly explore, and respond compassionately to, our deep theological, spiritual and ecological connections with the earth, all its creatures and the Divine.

Kairos Earth

Transforming People, Renewing Earth

Kairos Earth seeks to renew a widespread understanding of the natural world as a bearer of the sacred and to restore this awareness as a foundation of both religious practice and practical action to conserve the Earth.

The understanding of Nature and the sacred as inseparable is common to all the world’s great religious traditions, but from most current practice of religion and of environmental conservation in America, one might never know it. Christianity here has largely turned its back upon Nature as a source of abundant joy and wonder filled with spiritual guidance, insight, and inspiration. At the same time, the environmental movement has largely forgotten how to speak of Nature as holy, putting its faith instead in languages of economics, technology, and politics – vernaculars in which fear and anger often replace joy, relative value drives out absolute goodness, despair replaces hope, and which inspire fear, distrust, and discontent – inward movements that lead to devastation rather than renewal.

Walking the talk: Faith, spirituality and the next generation

‘Walking the talk’ is a collection of interviews and stories from young adults on how the younger generation are engaging with faith, spirituality and social action amid the challenges of our times.

Spirituality in a time of global crisis
Young people are growing up under the influences of globalisation, consumerism, social media and new technology. They face a future beset with multiple challenges to our planetary stability, such as global ecocide, the rise of religious extremism and the refugee crisis.  The millennial generation are reported to be the least religious that our world has ever known. And yet some surveys show they are simply rejecting organised religion in favour of self-organised spirituality that draws on many different sources.

This edited collection of stories asks: How are young people engaging with faith, religion and spirituality at this time of crisis and transition?

Generation Y are doing faith differently!
For a start, young people have a more global interconnected outlook. They also have more flexible religious identities. They draw on the wisdom of the different religious practices that are available around them and they relate to each other’s traditions more openly.  Many have a deep concern for the Earth, economic justice and a values-based way of life. They are co-creating their own non-hierarchical spaces – either within traditional religious institutions or completely outside them. They build community together and share what nourishes their souls. Most importantly, they cannot separate faith from the need to respond to what they see around them. Spirituality belongs to the inner life but is also the driving force for social action, for building a just and sustainable future.

Facing challenges 
Young people face many, many challenges – often including a lack of understanding from their elders.  Today’s faith leaders also face a major challenge in meeting the needs of this generation and staying in relationship.  There is a great need for the talents and unique perspective of the younger generation to be better supported and better understood.

This book will explore these themes through stories, lively interviews and case-studies of new emerging youth-led communities.  The book also asks what all this tells us about the evolution of faith in the future and humanity’s changing relationship with the sacred.

Spiritual Ecology: New principles for addressing the ecological crisis

The calling for us to reconcile our relationship with the Earth, our common home which is in deep crisis, could not be more urgent. Moving beyond mainstream approaches, spiritual values can provide the foundation from which to respond and rebuild, and create real and lasting change. Join us for this special two day workshop!

Feb 24th 2018 ~ Feb 25th 2018

St. Ethelburga’s Centre

St. Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace

St Ethelburga’s is a ‘maker of peacemakers’.

We inspire and equip individuals and communities to contribute, in their own particular contexts, to activating a global culture of peace.

They have a project called Spiritual Ecology:

“The ecological crisis also reflects something deeper and more intimate: a spiritual crisis — one of perspective, meaning, solidarity, and practice.  And therein, perhaps, lies not only our indictment, but our hope.” – Andrew Zolli

In a time of ecological unravelling and conflict, spiritual values have the potential to provide the foundation from which to respond, rebuild and reconcile our relationship with the earth, our common home.

Spiritual Ecology is an emerging field that joins ecology and environmentalism with a deeper awareness of the spirit, sacredness or divinity within all creation. It calls for responses to the environmental crisis that go beyond technological, political or economic solutions, but that create a deeper shift in our underlying beliefs, attitude and relationship with the earth. The five core values include: interconnectedness, reverence for nature, compassion, service and stewardship.

Kalliopeia Foundation

Reconnecting Ecology, Culture, and Spirituality

WEBSITE: Kalliopeia Foundation is responding to a call – a global challenge – to take spiritual as well as physical responsibility for our common home. Our projects and those we support engage with contemporary issues at their root, with the understanding that ecological, cultural, and spiritual renewal are interdependent.

Stiftung Weltethos für interkulturelle und interreligiöse Forschung, Bildung und Begegnung

WEBSITE: “Damit ein gutes und konstruktives Zusammenleben möglich ist, benötigen alle menschlichen Gemeinschaften eine Basis an Grundwerten, die sie teilen. Das gilt für die Familie, die Schule oder das Wirtschaftsunternehmen genauso wie für die Gesellschaft im Allgemeinen. Heute, in Zeiten des Internets, einer global agierenden Politik und Wirtschaft und zunehmend multikultureller Gesellschaften, braucht es einen Grundkonsens über Werte und Normen, der unabhängig von Kultur, Religion oder Nationalität gilt.

Die Idee eines Weltethos geht zurück auf den katholischen Theologen Hans Küng. Bei seinen empirischen Forschungen rund um den Globus stellte er fest, dass allen Weltreligionen und philosophisch-humanistischen Ansätzen bereits grundlegende Werte- und Moralvorstellungen gemeinsam sind. Die Goldene Regel beispielsweise, nach der man sich seinen Mitmenschen gegenüber so verhalten soll, wie man selbst behandelt werden möchte, findet sich in allen Traditionen wieder. Ebenso die Forderung, dass alle Menschen menschlich behandelt werden müssen und Werte wie Gewaltlosigkeit, Gerechtigkeit, Wahrhaftigkeit sowie Partnerschaft von Mann und Frau. Für unsere globale Gesellschaft muss ein solcher gemeinsamer Wertekanon also nicht erst entwickelt werden, denn er existiert bereits: Wir nennen ihn „Weltethos“. Jedoch muss dieser Wertekanon immer wieder neu bewusst gemacht, gelebt und weitergegeben werden.”

Netzwerk Achtsame Wirtschaft

WEBSITE: “Das Netzwerk Achtsame Wirtschaft e.V. (NAW) vermittelt und entwickelt das Potenzial buddhistischer Lehren für die verschiedensten Bereiche unserer Wirtschaft. Ausgangspunkt ist hierbei das Verständnis und die Schulung des eigenen Geistes. Zu diesem Zweck werden Seminare und Retreats durchgeführt, Publikationen verfasst und Initiativen ergriffen.

Im Netzwerk treffen sich Menschen, die nach sinnvollen Alternativen zum heutigen Wirtschaftssystem suchen, sich für Themen wie Achtsamkeit in der Arbeit, beim Konsum und im Umgang mit Geld interessieren und in ökonomische Zusammenhänge wirken.”

Icewisdom – Angaangaq der Schamane aus Grönland

WEBSITE: “Angaangaq ist ein Ältester der Eskimo-Kalaallit aus Westgrönland, der von seinem Volk in den höchsten Rang des Schamanen berufen wurde. Er ist seit vielen Jahren als traditioneller Heiler tätig. Sein Einsatz für Umwelt und indigene Themen führte ihn in über 60 Länder der Welt.”

BiNKA – Education for sustainable consumption through mindfulness training

BiNKA (German acronym for education for sustainable consumption through mindfulness training)
is an inter- and transdisciplinary research and development project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

It aims to investigate the relationship between mindfulness and sustainable consumption in an intervention study.

BiNKA is a cooperation of the Technische Universität Berlin and the UNESCO Chair of higher education for sustainable development at the Leuphana University Lüneburg. Project management is located at the Technische Universität Berlin, in the department of vocational education/economics and sustainable consumption. Three partners in practice, two project partners and several network partners are also part of the cooperation. The project is funded for three years (2015 to 2018) by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Bruhn, Thomas

As the initiator and coordinator of AMA, I feel a deep commitment to the project‘s original intention and ambition. I care particularly about community building and see my conceptual work as a support for community empowerment. I love the diversity of perspectives that we aspire to integrate and the challenges that this aspiration means for my own development. I believe in the intrinsic goodness of all humans and tend to see the unity and connectedness behind apparent cultural or disciplinary differences.

My Background and Expertise:

  • PhD in Physics (self-assembly in nano-structures)
  • Facilitation & Moderation (Art of Hosting, Design Thinking…)
  • Complex systems dynamics (self-organization, emergence)
  • Transdisciplinarity & co-creation
  • Anthropocene, earth-system science
  • Climate change, geoengineering

My responsibilities:

  • Facilitating the team; creating structures, containers and visuals
  • Coordinating the website, database, and board of curators
  • Vision and strategy development
  • Holding space for the formation of trusting relationships & networks
  • Presenting AMA to the public
  • Administrative and strategic coordination within the IASS

Mind & Life Institute

WEBSITE: Since the first Dialogue with the Dalai Lama, Mind & Life has held 32 others that bring together scientists and contemplatives on a wide range of critical subjects: addiction, ecology, ethics, attention, neuroplasticity, destructive emotions, altruism, economics, and more. Additionally, over the past 26 years, Mind & Life’s work has extended beyond the Dialogues. The Institute has become a direct funder of individual research via its grant and scholarship programs. It convenes an annual Summer Research Institute, as well as the field’s marquee biennial conference: the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies. In the process, Mind & Life has become more than just a leader in the field of contemplative science; it has become an incubator for discovery in all of the fields this new science touches.

Travers, Melody

My mission is to promote human flourishing. The last several years my research in philosophy and sustainability has focused on how our inner lives affect our actions, and how contemplative practices can help to positively influence how we interact with and transform our human systems. I am fascinated by that mysterious interplay between the individual and the larger social and institutional structures. The ecological crisis reveals fundamental flaws in the way we relate to one another and our environment. It is also by definition a turning point, an opportunity for us to develop a symbiotic relationship with the earth and each other.