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/)

Manuel-Navarrete, David

Titles

  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Associate Professor, School of Sustainability, College of Global Futures
  • Affiliated Faculty, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation

Biography

David Manuel-Navarrete applies an existential perspective to study deliberate transformations in social-ecological and technological systems, such as cities or coastal communities, including the subjective dimension of such transformations. His research aims at enhancing societies’ capacity to purposely deliver structural changes that simultaneously reduce inequality and sustain the planet’s web of life. As a sustainability scholar, he focuses on promoting climate change adaptation, and tourism sustainability. His most recent research explores adaptation, resilience and transformation of water infrastructures in Mexico City, and the promotion of indigenous languages to advance sustainability in the Amazon.

Professor Manuel-Navarrete worked as a consultant for the United Nations, and as a researcher at King’s College London and the Free University of Berlin. He has conducted sustainability research and assessments in Argentina, Brazil, Central America, and Mexico. He teaches international development and sustainability and sustainability science.

Education

  • PhD, Geography, University of Waterloo, 2004
  • MS, Ecological Economics, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 2000
  • BA, Environnmental Sciences, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 1998

Expertise

Taken from https://sustainability-innovation.asu.edu/person/david-manuel-navarrete/

Chimère Diaw, Mariteuw

Chimère Diaw is the Director General of the African Model Forest Network (AMFN) and a member of the International Networking Committee of the IMFN (International Model Forest Network). He is one of the Coordinating Lead Authors of the ongoing Africa Regional Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for IPBES, the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. A member of the Board of Directors of Ecoagriculture Partners, and of the LDC Independent Expert Group (IEG) on the UN Post-2015 agenda, he also is the convener in Cameroon of the Forest Governance Learning Group (FGLG), a network coordinated by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and active in 11 countries.

Chimère holds a PhD in Economic anthropology from Laval University, an MA in Rural Sociology from Michigan State University and a Master in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Dakar. He has been a researcher and programs manager for 35 years, 20 of which as international scientist with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the AMFN. Chimère has led or contributed to several international programs on Adaptive Collaborative Management, Governance, Verification, Environmental Services and Rural Livelihoods, Alternative to Slash and Burn, Environmental Decentralizations and Criteria and Indicators of sustainable forest management. His research interests and publications include African history, migrations, and modeling of the share system in fisheries, tenure regimes and property rights, climate change mitigation and REDD, governance of biodiversity and multi-stakeholder landscapes, Model Forests, participatory action research and interactive social methodologies. Chimère has lived and worked in Senegal, the United States, Canada, Indonesia and Cameroon.

The International Model Forest Network (IMFN) is a voluntary global community of practice whose members and supporters work toward the sustainable management of forest‐based landscapes and natural resources through the Model Forest approach.

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

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fackenthal , Jeremy

The Institute for Ecological Civilization works internationally to support systemic approaches to long-term sustainability by developing collaborations among government, business, and religious leaders and among scholars, activists, and policy makers. We build effective partnerships across social sectors through consultations, think-tank gatherings, and policy engagement.

The Great Mindshift – How a New Economic Paradigm and Sustainability Transformations go Hand in Hand

This book describes the path ahead. It combines system transformation research with political economy and change leadership insights when discussing the needfor a great mindshift in how human wellbeing, economic prosperity and healthy ecosystems are understood if the Great Transformations ahead are to lead to more sustainability. It shows that history is made by purposefully acting humans and introduces transformative literacy as a key skill in leading the  radical incremental change.

Integrating Personal, Social, and Ecological Transformations toward Ecological Civilization

This invitation-only workshop will convene fifteen leading Chinese environmentalists, international sustainability scientists, grassroots organizers, and spiritual activists to share their knowledge and expertise working on Ecological Civilization. We will employ a highly participatory process of creative inquiry to explore the following question:

“How can we integrate personal, social, and ecological transformations toward Ecological Civilization? What strategic steps can we take to cultivate such an integrated understanding among key stakeholders?”

This workshop will examine how a relational approach to Ecological Civilization may better align its philosophical and political dimensions across sectors, cultures, and contexts. We will invite guests who offer case studies that bridge theory and practice and who are interested in taking a relational approach to their work. The workshop will apply methods that integrate knowledge, experiences, and skills (knowing, being, and doing) in sessions designed to consider case studies from three different orientations: forward, inward, and looping (FIL).

EcoCiv Workshop Agenda

Evolver

“Catalyzing a culture of spirituality, healing and connection through content and community.

Who We Are

The culture of the future is conscious. It acknowledges spirit. It’s designed around healing. It’s based on our interconnection with one another. It celebrates humanity’s role as part of a living planet and cosmos. Since 2007, Evolver has been an innovation hub for this emerging consciousness culture. We produce a podcast, publish articles, offer online courses, and organize events in our home city of New York and across the country. Our botanical dispensary, The Alchemist’s Kitchen, is dedicated to the power of plants.
Our Core Values
  • Love of nature and deep caring about its preservation, and its natural balance
  • Strong awareness of the planet-wide issues of sustainability and a desire to see more action on them
  • Belief that change is the constant
  • Thinking global, acting local
  • Investing time as volunteers with one or more good social causes
  • Wellness of mind, body, and spirit are high priority pursuits
  • Optimistic about the future
  • Concern and support of the wellbeing of all women and children
  • Love and respect for the animal kingdom
  • Design science, innovation in technology and artisanship are desirable

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.”

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/)

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!

Wasteless

Waste is a serious and growing global problem. The way we use and discard it is quickly destroying the earth and damaging our health faster than most people realise. Our planet can’t handle it, and neither can we.

Presently, when we think of waste we follow a linear model. A product is created, we purchase it and, when we’ve used it, we throw away whatever’s left. However, this approach generates an amazing amount of ‘unseen’ waste long before consumers touch it. Conservative experts claim that each kilo of garbage we dispose of in our bins produces 40 kilos of waste upstream (extraction, production and distribution).

After waste is generated, it is typically transported from our lives without much thought. For us, it’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’. For our public systems, it’s a nuisance to be dealt with cheaply and quickly. For future generations, it’s one of the biggest mistakes we are making.

We urgently need to raise awareness, change behaviour and inspire an estimated 7 billion+ people to generate less waste.

(Source: wastelessindia.org)