Center, Athena

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

You Matter More Than You Think. Quantum Social Change in Response to a World in Crisis

You Matter More Than You Think is the starting point for an inquiry about quantum social change and its implications for climate change. The book explores how the metaphors and meanings of quantum physics can contribute to new understandings of the relationship between individual change, collective change, and systems change. It considers how paradigms and practices can change the way we relate to each other, the environment, the planet, and the future.

This is a book for those who are interested in social change, and open to the possibility that each of us can contribute to an equitable and thriving world. It is also for those who are concerned about climate change and may be feeling a deep anxiety about the future and if /how they matter. Most of all, it is about why you matter more than you think.

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.

Lichtenberg, Jonas

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

Wir sind dran. Club of Rome: Der große Bericht: Was wir ändern müssen, wenn wir bleiben wollen. Eine neue Aufklärung für eine volle Welt

“In seinem ersten, weltweit beachteten Bericht zur Lage der Menschheit (»Die Grenzen des Wachstums«, 1972) prognostizierte der Club of Rome den ultimativen Kollaps des Weltsystems in den nächsten 50 Jahren. Seitdem hat sich viel verändert und wir verfügen über genügend neues Wissen für die erforderlichen Veränderungen zum Erhalt unserer Welt. Sehr wohl sind laufende Trends aufzuhalten und sind wir in der Lage, bestimmte Philosophien und Überzeugungen ad acta zu legen. Somit können wir uns auf eine aufregende Reise in die Zukunft machen.

Der hier vorliegende neue Bericht des Club of Rome formuliert die Agenda für alle gesellschaftlich relevanten und möglichen Schritte der nächsten Jahre: faktenorientiert und debattenstark.”

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.

O’Brien, Karen

Karen O’Brien is an internationally recognized expert on climate change and society, focusing on themes such as climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation including how climate change interacts with globalization processes and the implications for human security. She is interested in how transdisciplinary and integral approaches to global change research can contribute to a better understanding of how societies both create and respond to change, and particularly the role of beliefs, values and worldview in transformations to sustainability. She is passionate about what potential there is in quantum social theory and the implications for climate change responses. She currently leads a Norwegian Research Council Topforsk project called AdaptationCONNECTS (Adaptation: Combining Old and New kNowledge to Enable Conscious Transformation to Sustainability), that aims towards developing new understandings of whether and how transformations can contribute to successful adaptation to climate change. She has been heavily involved in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Global Change Programmes and the transition to Future Earth, a 10-year global change research initiative. She is the co-founder and partner in cCHANGE, an Oslo-based company.  cCHANGE is a beacon for individuals and organizations seeking a new perspective, inspiration, knowledge, and tools on climate change and sustainability transformations.

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).

Hosang, Maik

MAIK HOSANG researches interdisciplinary relationships between people,
Nature and culture. He has a
Professorship for cultural philosophy, social and cultural change at the Zittau / Görlitz University of Applied Sciences. He
is co-creator of the interactive philosophy-experience world »Sophia im
Spiegel «and author of several books.

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.

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.

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/)

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/)

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)

HEED Institute for Human Engineering and Empathic Design

Das Ziel von HEED besteht darin, die Gründerkultur in Deutschland zu stärken und Studierenden die Entwicklung zu innovativen und unternehmerischen Persönlichkeiten zu ermöglichen. Dadurch soll ein gesellschaftlicher Wandel vorangetrieben werden, der Risikobereitschaft nicht mehr stigmatisiert, sondern als einen positiven Wert erachtet.
Um dies zu erreichen, tauscht HEED Hörsaal gegen Werkstatt und versteht sich als ein Innovationslabor, das seine Wirkung durch das empathische Zusammenspiel kreativer Menschen an einem inspirierenden Ort entfaltet. Der von HEED entwickelte Innovationsprozess ist ganzheitlicher als traditionelle Ansätze. Er stellt den Menschen ins Zentrum und bildet den gesamten Produktlebenszyklus ab, von der Invention über die Produktion bis zur Distribution. Möglich wird dies durch die Synergie von Kompetenzen, die sich aus der Zusammenarbeit aller drei Fakultäten der Hochschule Pforzheim ergibt (Technik, Wirtschaft  & Recht und Gestaltung). Gemessen an der Zahl der in den drei Fakultäten Lehrenden und der in ihnen angebotenen Studiengänge ist dieses Zusammenwirken einzigartig.
Konkret arbeiten in HEED je nach Aufgabenstellung unterschiedlich zusammengesetzte multidisziplinäre Teams aus Studierenden aller drei Fakultäten der Hochschule Pforzheim zusammen, um miteinander und voneinander zu lernen. Begleitet und beraten werden sie nicht nur von multidisziplinären DozentInnen-Teams der Hochschule Pforzheim, sondern auch von externen ExpertInnen, beispielsweise erfolgreichen Startup-GründerInnen, u.a. im starTUB-Format, Ein besonderer Stellenwert kommt dabei Maßnahmen zur Persönlichkeitsbildung zu.
Die praktische Arbeit in Projektseminaren geht Hand in Hand mit einer Forschungstätigkeit, die Möglichkeitsbedingungen von Kreativität, Innovation und verantwortungsbewusstem Entrepreneurship untersucht. Die Ergebnisse dessen werden veröffentlicht und in die Lehre zurückgeführt.

Text taken from www.hs-pforzheim.de/forschung/institute/heed/

Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy is a leader of the global empathy movement. Our mission is to build a movement for creating a global worldwide culture of empathy and care. We do this through a variety of means.  First is by community organizing and by collecting, curating and organizing all the material we find on the internet on the topic.  A current  focus is on; designing a free online empathy training course, building an academic empathy training literature wiki, and holding public activist Empathy Tent Pop-ups..

Künkel, Petra

Petra Kuenkel is a full member of the Club of Rome, an accomplished author and a leading strategic advisor to pioneering international multi-stakeholder initiatives that address complex sustainability issues. In 2005 she co-founded the Collective Leadership Institute a not-for-profit social enterprise that promotes the scaling-up of collaboration skills globally for change agents who have the sustainability of this world and the future of humankind as their focus. With more than 1800 Alumni the institute has built collaboration competence for change agents from public sector, private sector and civil society around the globe.

With the Institute and her ground-breaking conceptual work in stakeholder collaboration and collective leadership she brings a strong female voice not only to the Club of Rome, but also to the way international initiatives for sustainability and large systems change are designed. Her focus is on empowering people to make multi-stakeholder collaboration effective in addressing complex global and local challenges. She advocates for an approach to tackling complex sustainability challenges that models successful patterns of collaborative human interaction.

Her mission is to identify and disseminate knowledge about success factors for individual and institutional collaboration at scale – to find solutions to complex challenges such as water scarcity, environmental degradation, climate change impact, social tension, or unsustainable value chains. She raises awareness for the potential of collaborative inventiveness and invigorates the human competences to change the current state of affairs towards an agenda of sustainability.

As an expert of dialogue she contributes her profound experience for making dialogue and stakeholder engagement action-oriented to ensure real-time change in people’s behaviour as well as tangible results. She is a pioneering thinker on re-inventing leadership as a collective competence of a group of leaders that catalyse positive change for the common good.

She fosters mind-set change among decision-makers and has developed a methodology for invigorating human competences that foster result-oriented and value-based collaboration for the common good. Petra Kuenkel is part of an international think tank on large system’s change and co-founder of the Partnering Alliance, an initiative aiming at improving the quality of partnering for sustainability between the public sector, the private sector and civil society.

Prior to the founding of the Collective Leadership Institute she facilitated value-based leadership development programs for executives from multinational companies and held a management position at an international development Organisation.

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.

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.

FORUM “DAS WIR-POTENZIAL. INNOVATION DURCH EMPATHIE”

ICH oder WIR? Unsere Fähigkeit zur Empathie spielt auf dem Weg zu einem anderen, humaneren Kapitalismus eine Schlüsselrolle. Der Homo oeconomicus, eingespannt in die Pole von Selbstsucht und Mitleid, kann an sich arbeiten und sein Mitgefühl gezielt trainieren – zum Wohle der Gemeinschaft und zum Wohle der Gesamtwirtschaft. HEED, das von der Karl Schlecht Stiftung geförderte Institute for Human Engineering & Empathic Design der Hochschule Pforzheim, nimmt diese Thematik auf: In dem öffentlichen Forum „Das Wir-Potenzial. Innovation durch Empathie“ am 12. und 13. April 2018 beleuchten führende Vertreter aus Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft und Kultur das Thema Empathie facettenreich.

Mit:
Matthias Bolz, Psychologe und Labor Manager für soziale Neurowissenschaft am Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften in Leipzig

Robert Eikmeyer, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter für Kunst- und Designtheorie an der Hochschule Pforzheim

Uwe Jean Heuser, Leiter des Wirtschaftsressorts der ZEIT und Autor von “Humanics”

Wolfgang Henseler, Professor für intermediales Design an der Hochschule Pforzheim und Managing Creative Director von SENSORY-MINDS

Robert Besta, Schauspieler, verkörpert in Serien wie Tatort und Polizeiruf 110 häufig das Böse

Eva Köppen, Beraterin für ko-kreative und mensch-zentrierte Innovationsprozesse und Autorin von “Empathy by Design”

Fritz Breithaupt, Professor an der Indiana University Bloomington und Autor von “Kulturen der Empathie” und “Die dunklen Seiten der Empathie”

Das Forum findet in der Aula der Fakultät für Gestaltung, Holzgartenstraße 36, 75175 Pforzheim statt. Für externe Gäste fällt eine Tagungsgebühr in Höhe von 250,- € an. Studierende und Angehörige von Hochschulen sind frei. Um Anmeldung bis 2. April 2018 wird gebeten. Details zum Programm und zur Anmeldung unter HEED.

 

https://www.hs-pforzheim.de/forschung/institute/heed/aktuelles/detailansicht/news/forum_das_wir_potenzial_innovation_durch_empathie/

Global Oneness Project

We Believe in the
Power of Stories

Welcome to the Global Oneness Project. We believe that stories play a powerful role in education. Founded in 2006, as an initiative of Kalliopeia Foundation, we are committed to the exploration of cultural, environmental, and social issues. We house a rich library of free multimedia stories comprised of our award-winning films, photo essays, and articles, accompanied by companion curriculum for teachers.

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.

Changes in materialism, changes in psychological well-being: Evidence from three longitudinal studies and an intervention experiment

Few studies have examined how changes in materialism relate to changes in well-being; fewer have experimentally manipulated materialism to change well- being. Studies 1, 2, and 3 examined how changes in materialistic aspirations related to changes in well-being, using varying time frames (12 years, 2 years, and 6 months), samples (US young adults and Icelandic adults), and measures of materialism and well-being. Across all three studies, results supported the hypothesis that people’s well-being improves as they place relatively less impor- tance on materialistic goals and values, whereas orienting toward materialistic goals relatively more is associated with decreases in well-being over time. Study 2 addition- ally demonstrated that this association was mediated by changes in psychological need satisfaction. A fourth, experimental study showed that highly materialistic US adolescents who received an intervention that decreased materialism also experienced increases in self-esteem over the next several months, relative to a control group. Thus, well-being changes as people change their relative focus on materialistic goals.

Center for Compassion And Altruism Research And Education

While science has made great strides in treating pathologies of the human mind, far less research exists to date on positive qualities of the human mind including compassion, altruism and empathy. Yet these prosocial traits are innate to us and lie at the very centerpiece of our common humanity. Our capacity to feel compassion has ensured the survival and thriving of our species over millennia. For this reason, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University School of Medicine was founded in 2008 with the explicit goal of promoting, supporting, and conducting rigorous scientific studies of compassion and altruistic behavior. Founded and directed by Dr. James Doty, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, CCARE is established within the Department of Neurosurgery. To date, CCARE has collaborated with a number of prominent neuroscientists, behavioral scientists, geneticists and biomedical researchers to closely examine the physiological and psychological correlates of compassion and altruism.

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.