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/)

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.

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.

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)

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.

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