Center, Athena

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

Infinite Potential – The life and ideas of David Bohm

He was one of the 20th Century’s most brilliant physicists. Albert Einstein called him his spiritual son. The Dalai Lama relied upon him as his “science guru.” So why is it that hardly any of us know the name: David Bohm?

By telling the little-known story of David Bohm and evoking the realms he explored in his research, INFINITE POTENTIAL takes us on a mesmerizing and immersive journey into the mystery of Consciousness––through the use of hypnotic music and rich visual tapestries. The film includes interviews with luminaries such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, esteemed artist Antony Gormley, Oxford philosopher and physicists Sir Roger Penrose, and many more who were influenced by Bohm’s revolutionary work.

Growing up in a poor Pennsylvania coal-mining town during the Great Depression, David Bohm possessed a rare and maverick intelligence that baffled his parents and peers. After earning a scholarship to go to college, Bohm got the attention of the greatest minds in science, including Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the Atomic Bomb, who became his thesis advisor but would eventually turn against him.

Bohm’s explorations led him to intuit a hidden order to reality––the Quantum Potential––that underlies both the microscopic world of subatomic particles and also the macro world of stars and galaxies. Bohm had turned to Eastern thought and the wisdom traditions of India to talk about something that underlies all of creation––a realm that mystics have known about for millennia and modern science is only just beginning to explore. Bohm’s revolutionary ideas were way ahead of their time––a threat to the scientific orthodoxy. And that’s why he was dismissed.

John Sterman, 2016

Research shows that showing people research doesn’t work. (John Sterman, MIT)

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/)

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.

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

 

Adam, Barbara

Prof Dr Dr Barbara Adam, FAcSS, FLSW is Emerita Professor at Cardiff University, Wales, UK. Social time has been the intellectual project throughout her academic career, which facilitated a unique perspective and produced path-breaking publications on the subject, resulting in five research monographs, five edited books and a large number of articles in which she sought to bring time to the centre of social and socio-environmental analysis. Two of her books have been awarded book prizes and she successfully competed for numerous social theory-based research grants. She held Fellowships in Italy and UK, the Max Weber Professorship at Munich University and the prestigious ESRC Professorial Fellowship (2003-2007), which enabled her to explicitly focus on the social relations of the future. In 1992 she founded the journal Time & Society, which she edited for ten years and has been supporting ever since as Consulting Editor. Her work is read and taught across the disciplines from the Arts and Humanities to the Social and Environmental Sciences.

 

taken from https://www.iass-potsdam.de/en/people/barbara-adam

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/

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.

Herrmann, Lukas

Lukas investigates the cultivation of generative social fields through long-term whole-school co-creation processes based on a training program in 3 elementary schools with over 1,000 school kids in Berlin, Germany. The training program addresses in particular the schools’ 180 teachers by developing their mindfulness, empathy, and relational competence. Furthermore, Lukas works with Peter Senge and Mette Böll from the center for systems awareness to foster systems change within the education sector in California.

Trescher, Dino

Helping humans reaching their human potential. With this calling in life I serve, cooperate and co-create to proesses of inner change and systems change towards sustainability transformations.

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

tt30 – The young think tank of the Club of Rome in Germany

Der Think Tank ist ein interdisziplinäres Netzwerk junger Leute um die 30, die sich mit Zukunftsfragen auseinandersetzen. Als unabhängige Gruppe tragen wir zu gesellschaftlichen Debatten bei und formulieren Empfehlungen für eine langfristige Politik. Wir arbeiten, forschen und studieren in allen gesellschaftlichen Bereichen. Mit kritischen Impulsen wollen wir Menschen ansprechen und für eine weltweite und langfristige Perspektive begeistern.

taken from thinktank30.de

Lichtenberg, Jonas

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

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

LIA-Blog

“Auf diesem Blog dreht sich alles um die Verbindung von Spiritualität und nachhaltiger Entwicklung, um das Innen Wachsen und Außen Wirken. Welchen Beitrag kann die eigene Innenschau angesichts der zahlreichen globalen Herausforderungen leisten? Was brauchen wir, um wieder im Einklang mit der Natur zu leben und zu wirtschaften? Der Blog dient als Inspiration für alle Menschen, die das Leben lieben und denen die Zukunft unsere Welt am Herzen liegt. Mein Ziel ist nichts Geringeres, als die Leser*innen wieder mit ihrer Liebe zu unserem Planeten zu verbinden. Denn geht diese Liebe In Aktion (LIA 😉 ), so wird der Grundstein für eine zukunftsfähige Entwicklung gelegt.”

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.

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.

Awaris

We transform mindsets, build capabilities and help give birth to new ways of seeing, working and organising.

We embody a deep grounding in systems thinking, mindfulness, neuroscience, and leadership development with a touch of courage thrown in.

We believe that resilience, awareness, and collective intelligence play a central role in transformations and the future of organisations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

Planetary Ethics and Artificial Intelligence

PETAL: Planetary Ethics and Artificial Intelligence

PETAL: Planetary Ethics and Artificial Intelligence Lab is a humanities laboratory based at the Humanities Research Center at Duke Kunshan University. Co-directed by Daniel Lim and James Miller, the lab promotes research into the future of the humanities in the areas of planetary ethics and artificial intelligence. It hosts events and activities designed to enrich the intellectual life of the DKU campus, and trains students in humanistic research.

The lab’s main research question is: what does it mean to be human in an age of artificial intelligence and planetary civilization? This research question arises out of the conviction that traditional humanistic research must be reconfigured to take proper account of the planetary context from which human life has emerged, and to respond to the challenge of artificial intelligence. In one sense, this is an age-old question in the humanities: what is the difference between nature, people, and machines? But this question takes on new significance because of scientific and technological developments that are overturning ordinary conceptions about the uniqueness of human beings.  Read more about the intellectual context and rationale for the lab’s research.

In addition to conducting research in these areas, the lab also has an exciting student fellowship program. Students receive a stipend, research training, and help design events related to the lab’s themes.

The lab will take place over the 2018-2019 academic year.

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.

Dierksmeier, Claus

Claus Dierksmeier was appointed director of the “Weltethos-Institut” (Global Ethic Institute) in 2012 to an endowed chair (sponsored by the Karl Schlecht Foundation). Since summer 2018 he has been working at the Institute for Political ScienceP as a professor for “Globalization Ethics with special consideration of the Global Ethic Idea”.

The general focus of his work is the ethics of globalization with regard to its economic and political applications. The current focus is on a secular foundation of a global ethic based on an idea of “qualitative freedom”.  His courses are mainly in the field of political theory.

taken from https://uni-tuebingen.de/en/faculties/faculty-of-economics-and-social-sciences/subjects/department-of-social-sciences/ifp/institute-of-political-science/people/chair-of-globalization-ethics/

 

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/

The shallow and the deep, long-range ecology movement. A summary

Abstract: “Ecologically responsible policies are concerned only in part with pollution and resource depletion. There are deeper concerns which touch upon principles of diversity, complexity, autonomy, decentralization, symbiosis, egalitarianism, and classlessness.”

Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification

“Can we hold hope that positive psychology will be able to help people evolvetoward their highest potential?” The classification described in this bookbegan with this question, posed by Neal Mayerson to Martin Seligman in 1999.The Mayerson Foundation was concerned that inadequate progress was beingmade from well-worn problem-fixing approaches and that an approach basedon recognizing people’s strengths and aspirations might prove more effective.Mayerson turned to Seligman to explore the intersection of the emerging fieldof positive youth development and Seligman’s new push to articulate a newpositive psychology. It soon became clear that two prior questions needed tobe answered: (1) how can one define the concepts of “strength” and “highestpotential” and (2) how can one tell that a positive youth development programhas succeeded in meeting its goals?”

(from the preface of the book)

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.)

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)

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.

Climate Compassion

Climate Compassion is a way of responding to the socio-ecological challenges of our times withcompassionate action. We aim to be a node of mutual flourishing, that shifts culture toward a life-sustaining society. Climate compassion extends beyond environmental climate to a social climate of equity and justice through cultivating inclusion, love, respect, and dignity for all

Through community events, workshops and trainings, Climate Compassion inspires widening circles of compassionate action, rippling from self-compassion to taking action for the benefit of our human family and the web of life, for current and future generations

We offer:

Community events, such as salons featuring thought leaders that provide an opportunity to break bread and develop meaningful connections among participants

  • Resilience Incubators that help to develop the resilience practices to sustain us through the challenges of the transition to a life-sustaining society

  • Workshops and Trainings on a variety of topics, from Bystander Intervention to transformative practice and leadership

  • Consulting for organizations engaged in life-enhancing work

Taken from https://www.climatecompassion.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

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

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.

GAIA Initiative

Gaia Initiative is a non-profit organization which advocates a shift in the core values of the society.
Gaia Initiative undertakes various forms of educational activities for different players in the society as well as supporting programs for corporations.

The 21st century requires not only “money” and “efficiency” but also the 3rd element, G-axis (Gaia – axis), as the core values of the society. It is nothing new. It is nothing difficult. It is to remember what we have forgotten while busy pursuing economic outcome – to be conscious about and thankful to your life and Gaia. Keep it in mind everyday and express it in your action.

Personal life is no longer measured by income, size of your house, school names, and positions. More people choose a lifestyle in which their achievement is not necessarily expressed in numbers. More people choose to buy environmentally-conscious products. More people are interested in where vegetables for dinner come from. People always want to do something that makes your family smile. However small it is, your action matters.

 

Text from http://www.gaiainitiative.org/en/about_gaia.html

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/

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

Great Transition Initiative

The Great Transition Initiative is an online forum of ideas and an international network for the critical exploration of concepts, strategies, and visions for a transition to a future of enriched lives, human solidarity, and a resilient biosphere. By enhancing scholarly discourse and public awareness of possibilities arising from converging social, economic, and environmental crises, and by fostering a broad network of thinkers and doers, it aims to contribute to a new praxis for global transformation.

Correspondingly, GTI maintains a cosmopolitan outlook that is attuned to critical questions of scale and the ways nested systems operate across global, regional, and local levels. It gives voice to diverse contributors motivated by both ethical and pragmatic concerns about the need for revised ways of thinking, learning, acting, and being. It aims to deepen understanding of values and cultural dimensions of global change, along with social, economic, political, and scientific aspects of a Great Transition.

Journey of an Idea

GTI’s roots extend back a quarter century to the early discourse on the meaning and implications of sustainable development. Then, as now, sustainability’s abstract call for a just and enduring mode of development found broad adherence, but little consensus on specific goals and strategies. Views have broadly fallen into two distinct approaches: reform and transformation.

The reform strategy relies on market adjustments and policy measures to hasten the deployment of green technology and the reduction of poverty. Critics of this mainstream approach find it inadequate for the task, as it treats the symptoms of unsustainability instead of the underlying disease. They fear it will be unable to overcome powerful countervailing forces: the growth imperative of conventional development, the resistance of vested interests, and a spreading consumerist culture. Advocates of a transformational strategy thus seek deeper cultural shifts, a new sustainability paradigm to drive and guide development.

In 1995, prompted by these concerns, Gilberto Gallopín and Paul Raskin convened the Global Scenario Group (GSG), an international and interdisciplinary body for illuminating the requirements for a transition to sustainability. Under the organizational aegis of the Tellus Institute and the Stockholm Environment Institute, and with support from diverse foundations and United Nations agencies, the GSG conducted a series of studies and simulations to illuminate global challenges and possibilities. It summarized its insights in the valedictory 2002 essay Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead, which set a broad historical, conceptual, and strategic framework for contemplating the global future.

The time had come to engage a far larger group in clarifying the meaning of a Great Transition and moving from ideas to ideas-in-action. Therefore, in 2003, the Global Scenario Group segued into a new effort: the Great Transition Initiative. GTI became a worldwide network of hundreds of engaged thinkers and thinking activists, supported by a coordinating unit at Tellus, which provided a forum for enriching the scenarios, sharpening the theory of change, and spreading awareness.

In 2014, the Tellus Institute reimagined and relaunched GTI, seeking to extend its reach and influence. In its new phase, GTI serves as a formal journal of Great Transition studies, offering a rolling series of essays, viewpoints, reviews, and interviews. The GT Network continues to expand and diversify as a forum for engaged thinkers and thinking activists to advance together toward a vision and praxis for a decent planetary civilization. The journey continues.

Center for Ecozoic Studies

From its beginning in 2000, the Center for Ecozoic Studies (from 2011 to 2017, known as the Center for Ecozoic Societies) has been concerned with the integration of the human world in the natural world. “Integrate,” as used here, means to make whole by bringing all the components of Earth’s community of life together in a coherent and mutually enhancing manner. This is first and foremost an ecological challenge, but it cannot occur without cultural changes and changes in human relations.

Our work has been inspired and guided by Thomas Berry’s vision and insight. Berry taught that the primary flaw in human development is the radical discontinuity between humans and other modes of being. He also taught that human activity has disrupted major life patterns and systems such that we are bringing to an end the Cenozoic era in Earth’s history. For there to be a hopeful future, we need to bring into being an “Ecozoic era.” Bringing this into being, he called “the Great Work” of our time, one surpassed by no other great work given to humans in history. To accomplish the Great Work will mean re-inventing the human and establishing a new intimacy with the natural world.

Our work involves teaching, translating, further developing and applying these ideas. We see the movement into the Ecozoic era as involving a transition from economic-industrial societies (including the visions, understandings and ways of relating in these societies) to ecological-cultural (ecozoic) societies. Thus, our mission is to offer new ideas and new ways of living for an ecological-cultural age.

We divide our work into four main areas described elsewhere in this website:

  • Publications
  • Education
  • Events, and
  • Action

This is our expanded mission statement:

The mission of CES is to advance new ideas and new ways of living for an ecological-cultural (ecozoic) age, through publications, education, arts, and action. CES emphasizes critical reflection, story and shared dream experience as ways of enabling the creative advance needed to bring into being a new mode of human civilizational presence, and also of discerning the practical steps leading to the Ecozoic. CES understands the universe as meaningful, continuously evolving, and relational. In such a universe, the Ecozoic is not something to be arrived at, but something ever to be created. Its hallmarks are inclusiveness, interdependence, and appreciation; communion, differentiation, and subjectivity; and sensitivity, adaptability, and responsibility. It involves more just and cooperative relationships among humans, as well as transformed relationships of humans with the larger community of life.

Sustainability Institute

The Sustainability Institute (SI) was established in Lynedoch Ecovillage in 1999 to provide a space for people to explore an approach to creating a more equitable society.

At the core of the SI’s work has been finding ways of living that sustain rather than destroy the eco-system within which all society is embedded. Our focus on children led to the founding of the Creche, now called the Lynedoch Childrens House, and AfterCare programmes. Our partnership with the School of Public Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch built up our Masters and PhD programmes in Sustainable Development.

Today, the SI is an international living and learning centre providing learning experiences in ecology, community and spirit.

Our learning programmes start in the Lynedoch Childrens House, are extending through our partnership with SPARK Schools in Lynedoch, are practically oriented in our Learning for Sustainability FET College and promote both research and practice through our University of Stellenbosch degrees. Our research and practice maintains a strong focus on sustainable African futures, through our student and faculty research and our growing research consulting programme.

We are looking to build our understanding and learning in core areas we recognise as critical in supporting the transition to equitable, just and thriving futures.

Our focus on flourishing food systems, social innovation, optimal resource flows and transformative learning from birth, supported by meaningful partnerships, will continue through embedded and relevant research, teaching and practice.

Global Ecological Integrity Group

The Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG) includes more than 250 scholars and independent researchers worldwide, from diverse disciplines, including ecology, biology, philosophy, epidemiology, public health, ecological economics, and international law.
Our mandate is to push the boundaries of scholarly endeavour through inter- and trans-disciplinary engagement on matters affecting and governing the sustainability of life for both present and future generations.
GEIG holds an Annual Symposium at different locations around the world, with diverse partner organizations. The conference focuses on a particular theme and usually results in a publication with selected presenters, launched at the following year’s meeting.

Emerging Earth Community

Emerging Earth Community is an effort to broaden understanding of the complex nature of current environmental concerns so as to respond with longer term perspectives and goals

Emerging Earth Community represents the creative work of John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker for the last several decades both within academia and beyond. This website illustrates the importance of a comprehensive epic story, spiritual and cultural values, and an integrating ethical framework. It suggests that responding creatively to the challenges of this critical moment in Earth’s history requires that we:

  1. Understand our personal journeys in relation to the large scale story of the emergence of the universe, Earth and life itself. The Journey of the Universe is an epic story that illustrates our profound relatedness to the larger Earth community thus providing a context for creating the conditions for flourishing ecosystems and human cultures
  2. Engage the religions of the world and the many spiritual paths in drawing forth their ecological sensibilities and practices, often focused on particular bioregions, that are necessary to create a just, sustainable and peaceful future
  3. Embrace an ethical framework, the Earth Charter, that guides us in reinventing our lifestyles, institutions, and policies to create a viable human presence on Earth, both locally and globally

Ecological Law & Governance Association

The Ecological Law & Governance Association – ELGA – was established as a network to support the creation and implementation of ecological law and governance. ELGA was founded in response to the 2016 Oslo Manifesto.

We are a network of academics, professionals and organisations committed to tackling the causes, and not just the symptoms, of global environmental degradation. We develop law and governance from a wide ecological perspective, rather than from a narrow economic, utilitarian and anthropocentric perspective. You can read more about our Mission and Aims here.

Both modern science and indigenous wisdom view Earth and nature from a holistic perspective. As our understanding expands to encompass truly ecological thinking and practice, what is required is a moral and philosophical change, and a subordination of our material expectations and desires to the delicate balance of our planet. Our laws and governance systems must reflect this change in our understanding and mindset.

ELGA is managed by a Steering Committee, which co-ordinates activities, organises conferences and develops projects.

Initiative Psychologie im Umweltschutz e.V.

Die Initiative Psychologie im Umweltschutz e.V. (IPU) ist ein bundesweiter Verein von Studierenden und Berufstätigen, die das Ziel der Förderung des Umweltschutzes mit den Mitteln der Psychologie verfolgen.

Great Transition Initiative

The Great Transition Initiative is an online forum of ideas and an international network for the critical exploration of concepts, strategies, and visions for a transition to a future of enriched lives, human solidarity, and a resilient biosphere. By enhancing scholarly discourse and public awareness of possibilities arising from converging social, economic, and environmental crises, and by fostering a broad network of thinkers and doers, it aims to contribute to a new praxis for global transformation.

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.

Club of Rome

The Club of Rome is an organisation of individuals who share a common concern for the future of humanity and strive to make a difference. Our members are notable scientists, economists, businessmen and businesswomen, high level civil servants and former heads of state from around the world. Their efforts are supported by the Secretariat in Winterthur, Switzerland, the European Research Centre registered in Constance, Germany and National Associations in more than 30 countries.
The Club of Rome conducts research and hosts debates, conferences, lectures, high-level meetings and events. The Club also publishes a limited number of peer-reviewed “Reports to the Club of Rome”, the most famous of which is “The Limits to Growth“.
The Club of Rome’s mission is to promote understanding of the global challenges facing humanity and to propose solutions through scientific analysis, communication and advocacy. Recognising the interconnectedness of today’s global challenges, our distinct perspective is holistic, systemic and long-term.

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.

Animas Valley Institute

The nature-based journey of soul initiation is the way
to personal revelation, visionary leadership,
and cultural regeneration.

The primary goal and method of all Animas programs is the encounter with soul. Founded in 1980 by wilderness guide and depth psychologist Bill Plotkin, the Institute is one of North America’s longest-standing organizations offering contemporary wilderness rites. “Animas” is plural for “souls” in Spanish. In Jungian psychology, the Anima is the Inner Woman in a man; the Animus, the Inner Man in a woman. The Anima and Animus refer to the mysterious energies within our psyches that guide us on the journey of descent to soul. Animas Valley Institute is located in southwest Colorado in the valley of El Rio de las Animas Perdidas — The River of Lost Souls.

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.

 

 

Ökologie und Humanität im Anthropozän

ÖKOLOGIE UND HUMANITÄT IM MENSCHENZEITALTER
Der Mensch und seine Aktivitäten werden zunehmend zu einem bestimmenden Faktor in der geo-biologischen Entwicklung der Erde. In existenziellen Aspekten übersteigen die menschliche Eingriffstiefe und deren Folgen erkennbar die natürliche, von der Evolution bedingte Dynamik. In der Fachwelt wird deshalb derzeit der von Paul Crutzen eingebrachte Vorschlag diskutiert, ob das Erdzeitalter des Holozän durch das Zeitalter des Anthropozän abzulösen ist. In der Öffentlichkeit findet dieser Vorschlag zunehmend Aufmerksamkeit.
Zugleich bleiben die Menschen unauflöslich Teil der äußeren Natur und in die Naturzusammenhänge eingebunden. Sie unterliegen unaufhebbar den Naturgesetzen. Sind die modernen Ansprüche von Freiheit und Humanität dauerhaft mit den Gesetzmäßigkeiten der Evolution vereinbar? Ist der Mensch überhaupt fähig, das Erdsystem verantwortlich zu erhalten und zu steuern?
Damit ergibt sich die Notwendigkeit, das Verhältnis von Humanität und Ökologie neu zu bestimmen: Was bedeutet das Anthropozän für die Zukunft humanistischer Werte und Gesellschaftsformen?
Vielfältige Fragen zum gesellschaftlichen Naturverhältnis stellen sich, die die Entgegensetzung von Humanität und Natur hinter sich lassen: Was ist eine Ökologie des Menschen? Was bedeutet Menschlichkeit, das uns Menschen Gemäße, bezogen auf die Ko-Evolution von Pflanze, Tier und Mensch? Wieviel spontan sich entwickelnde und wirkende Natur braucht, wünscht oder duldet der Mensch? Wie abhängig ist er vom Boden?
Welche Herausforderungen bringt das Anthropozän für die jetzt beginnende Große Transformation zu einer postfossilen nachhaltigen Entwicklung mit sich? Welche Arten von Techniken können dabei eine Rolle spielen? Wie weit müssen wir ihnen vertrauen oder sie fürchten?
Alle an diesen Fragen Interessierten sind herzlich nach Tutzing eingeladen; Fachleute der unterschiedlichen Disziplinen ebenso wie Multiplikatorinnen, Engagierte und Neugierige. Kommen Sie zum Austausch und zum Feiern in die Akademie!
Menschenzeitalter, gestalten wir es in human-ökologischer Perspektive.
http://www.ev-akademie-tutzing.de/veranstaltung/oekologie-und-humanitaet-im-anthropozaen/

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.

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/

Center for Earth Jurisprudence

We are a team of lawyers located at the Barry University School of Law School in Orlando, Florida. Our goal is to advance laws and policies designed to protect the natural systems, species, and entities that sustain life on Earth.

Earth jurisprudence is an emerging field of law that seeks to develop a philosophy and practice of law that gives greater consideration to nature, by recognizing the interconnectedness of Earth’s natural systems, the inherent rights and value of nature, and the dependence of humanity and all living beings on a healthy Earth.

The Center for Earth Jurisprudence advocates for the adoption of earth jurisprudence principles in our legal system.

Naropa University

Trained as a Buddhist scholar and educated at Oxford University, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche wanted to create a place where students could study Eastern and Western religions, writing, psychology, science, and the arts while also receiving contemplative and meditation training.

Hunecke, Marcel

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

Mindfulness and sustainable behavior – pondering attention and awareness as means for increasing green behavior.

Ecopsychologists have suggested that mindful awareness of our interdependence with nature may not only help us regain our lost, ecologically embedded identity (Roszak, 1992) but may also help us behave more sustainably, closing the documented gap between proenvironmental attitudes and behaviors. We suggest more specifically that, in contemporary consumer culture with its dearth of proenvironmental norms and cues, mindful attentiveness may be necessary to develop sustainable habits. To explore the connection between mindfulness and sustainable behavior, we measured 100 adults attending a Midwestern sustainability expo on two mindfulness factors: acting with awareness and observing sensations. As predicted, acting with awareness was significantly positively correlated with self-reported sustainable behavior. This finding is consistent with the idea that, until sustainable decisions become the societal default, their enactment may depend on focused consideration of options and mindful behavior. In contrast, observing sensations did not predict behavior. This calls into question the notion that feeling connected to the world outside of ourselves is a precondition for sustainable action. We call for more research to further test the validity and generalizability of our findings.

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.

Global Consciousness Change: Indicators of an Emerging Paradigm

Is the global communications revolution fostering a new global consciousness? What is the extent of humanity’s global ecological awareness and concern? Is there a shift underway toward “postmodern” social values? Is a new kind of experiential or first-hand spirituality emerging? Is there a shift underway toward more sustainable ways of living?

http://duaneelgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/global_consciousness.pdf

Measuring Mindset Change in the Systemic Transformation of Education

As the whole society is experiencing a notable shift fr om the industrial age to the information age, an urgent need for a mindset change in education has been frequently discussed during the past decades. This paper will approach the mindset change through three interconnected sections: the first section revi ews the conceptualization of mindset and then gives our definition of mindset concentrating on understanding its unique significance to the educational system. The second section presents, compares, and contrasts the key markers of the informationage mindset and the industrialage mindset. The third section displays an instrument designed and developed by the authors that can be used to measure the status of individual and group mindset.

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

Wamsler, Christine

Christine is an expert in sustainable city development with focus on inclusive climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction/ management, climate policy mainstreaming, urban resilience and transformation.

Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies LUCSUS

The research at LUCSUS focuses on sustainability challenges such as water conflicts, food security, land use changes and urban transformation – and is often conducted in international cooperation. We have a strong international research profile through the centre’s involvement in the Earth System Governance Project and by the appointment as a Right Livelihood College. We also coordinate the Linnaeus program LUCID (Lund University Centre of Excellence for Integration of Social and Natural Dimensions of Sustainability).

Stanford Compassionate University Project

We are working to make Stanford a compassionate place. This includes having students, faculty, and staff sign on and reaffirm the Charter for Compassion, and to collaboratively create a Five Year Compassionate Action Plan signed by President Hennessy, VPUE Harry J. Elam, Jr., VPGE Patricia J. Gumport, and the ASSU Undergraduate Senate. 

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.

Moral Markets?

Moral Markets is a source of information and inspiration for business professionals, policy makers, students and researchers. It is a portal to quality blogs / news / events / online resources that help them critically reflect on free markets, ethics and well-being (and on the role of business, virtues, institutions and economics education). The site draws on research in economics, philosophy and theology, but also accepts quality contributions from non-researchers. In addition to publishing original content, the site points visitors to interesting content from around the web.

Text from https://www.moralmarkets.org/about-this-site/

Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT

The Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT is dedicated to inquiry, dialogue, and education on the ethical and humane dimensions of life. As a collaborative and nonpartisan think tank, The Center focuses on the development of interdisciplinary research and programs in varied fields of knowledge, from science and technology to education and international relations

Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology

The Forum on Religion and Ecology is the largest international multireligious project of its kind. With its conferences, publications, and website it is engaged in exploring religious worldviews, texts, ethics, and practices in order to broaden understanding of the complex nature of current environmental concerns. The Forum recognizes that religions need to be in dialogue with other disciplines (e.g., science, economics, education, public policy) in seeking comprehensive solutions to both global and local environmental problems.

The objective of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University is to create a new academic field of study that has implications for environmental policy and environmental humanities.

From presence to consciousness through virtual reality

Immersive virtual environments can break the deep everyday connection between where our senses tell us that we are and where we actually are located and whom we are with. ‘Presence research’ studi es the phenomenon of acting and feeling that we are in the world created by computer displays. We argue that presence is a phenomenon worthy of study by neuroscientists and may help towards the study of consci ousness, since it may be regarded as consciousness within a restricted domain.

Globally scanning for ” Megatrends of the Mind”: Potential futures of futures thinking

This paper focuses on emergent signs of evolutionary change in human thinking that run parallel with many of the exponential changes manifesting in the external world. Weak signals are identified from the early 20th century indicating the emergence of new knowledge patterns. These signals have strengthened in the last 40 years. The paper first identifies new ways of thinking within several disciplines such as science, philosophy, religion and education. New knowledge patterns are then identified in discourses that traverse disciplinary boundaries through transdisciplinary approaches such as futures studies and planetary/global studies. The paper then discusses evolution of consciousness, identifying research that theorises new ways of thinking as being related to individual psychological development and/or socio-cultural evolution. Finally, evolutionary concepts are discussed that attempt to meta-cohere the new knowledge patterns via the terms postformal, integral and planetary. Notably, academic research on ” futures of thinking,” ” evolution of consciousness” and/or ” global mindset change” has been, until now, largely ignored by mainstream academic discourse on evolution, consciousness and futures studies

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.

Nachhaltigkeit durch Achtsamkeit?

Nachhaltigkeit durch Achtsamkeit?, Vienna, Dienstag, 20. Juni 2017

WU Matters. WU Talks. Nachhaltigkeit durch Achtsamkeit? Über Mindfulness, Megatrends und Managementmoden
Infos & Anmeldung:

„Mindfulness“ ist in aller Munde. Weisen die vielen Diskussionen und Events zum Thema Achtsamkeit auf einen Megatrend hin? Oder haben wir es mit einer Modeerscheinung zu tun? Und warum ist das Thema für die Nachhaltigkeit relevant? Bei der 14. WU-NachhaltigkeitsKontroverse beleuchten hochkarätige Expertinnen und Experten diese und andere Fragen aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven. Es geht um die Rolle von Achtsamkeit in Management, Personalführung und Nachhaltigkeit und gesellschaftstheoretische Perspektiven auf das Thema. Eine Übung und Interventionen werden einen direkten Einblick davon vermitteln, was Achtsamkeit praktisch bedeuten kann.

Diese NachhaltigkeitsKontroverse ist eine Kooperation des Kompetenzzentrums für Nachhaltigkeit mit der Executive Academy.

Vortragende:
– Karin Bauer, Der Standard
. Dr. Ingolfur Blühdorn, Institut für Gesellschaftswandel und Nachhaltigkeit, WU
– – Thomas Klien, Achtsamkeitstrainer
– . Michael Müller-Camen, PhD, Institut für Personalmanagement, WU
– Helga Pattart-Drexler, M.A., WU Executive Academy

Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society

WEBSITE: “As long as the current structures of society and economy depend on “growth,” however, some people fear that a slowdown of economic growth could lead to social instability. Thus, at present almost all governments base their national policies on “economic growth” and “GDP growth.”

We are now at a point where humanity cannot avoid facing the“dilemma of economic growth.” If we do not continue to pursue economic growth in our current economic and social systems, we will have instability of employment and livelihoods. On the other hand if we consider the real limits to the Earth’s energy and other resources, ability to absorb carbon, and so on, we know that we cannot continue forever with economic growth. In recent years, researchers, politicians, and others are taking up these topics in a big way.”

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).

Albert Einstein

“We cannot solve problems with the same mindset that created them.”

Albert Einstein

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

James Gustave Speth

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss,
ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of
good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top
environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal
with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we
scientists don’t know how to do that.”

–James Gustave Speth, scientist and environmental activist, Chairman of
the Council on Environmental Quality, Administrator of the United
Nations Development Programme

 

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. 

IASS

WIKIPEDIA: Located in Potsdam, Germany, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) aims to identify and promote development pathways for a global transformation towards a sustainable society. The IASS employs a transdisciplinary approach that encourages dialogue to understand sustainability issues and generate potential solutions in cooperation with partners from the sciences, politics, the economy, and civil society. A strong network of national and international partners supports the work of the Institute. Its central research topics include the energy transition, emerging technologies, climate change, air quality, systemic risks, governance and participation, and cultures of transformation in the Anthropocene.