We are a center bridging science, business, and “ancient wisdom” from different traditions to bring sustainability and equality to the (business) world.
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.
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.
Uns verbindet, dass wir bewusst und respektvoll mit uns, mit anderen, mit Tieren und Pflanzen umgehen – und dass wir gemeinsam wachsen wollen.
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.
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).
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.)
“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.”
“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.”
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.
Are you an Auroville community member, volunteer, or visitor? You are welcome to attend our public events series!
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.