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.

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.

Auroville Film Festival

“The aim of the Auroville Film Festival is to connect with people and cultures within and beyond Auroville and to further the aspiration of human unity by showcasing films that develop the theme of human unity. We feature films that are created in and around Auroville, as well as international films that explore the theme of human unity.

The Auroville Film Festival wants to turn film-viewing in Auroville, a relatively passive activity, into a creative expression using digital media and, in the process, to foster a deeper understanding and exploration of the aspirations of Auroville. Through the film festival, the community is engaged in an interactive expression through digital films.”

(source: http://filmfestival.auroville.org/about-the-festival/)

Sadhana Forest

“Sadhana Forest started its ecological revival and sustainable living work on December 19th 2003.

The vision of its founders, Yorit and Aviram Rozin, is to transform 70 acres of severely eroded, arid land on the outskirts of Auroville. In a spirit of human unity, their aim is to introduce a growing number of people to sustainable living, food security through ecological transformation, wasteland reclamation, and veganism. Our energy and resources are focused on the creation of a vibrant, indigenous Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF).

Sadhana Forest won the third place in the Humanitarian Water and Food Award (WAF) 2010. The ceremony took place in the Marble Hall of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, on November 25th, 2010. Shri Ashok Kumar Attri the Ambassador of India to Denmark honored Sadhana Forest by attending the ceremony.
This award is an international recognition of the quality of the ecological and humanitarian work done by Sadhana Forest in India and Haiti.”

(source: https://sadhanaforest.org/about-us/)

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)

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.

Harmony with Nature

In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 22 April as International Mother Earth Day. In so doing, Member States acknowledged that the Earth and its ecosystems are our common home, and expressed their conviction that it is necessary to promote Harmony with Nature in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations. The same year, the General Assembly adopted its first resolution on Harmony with Nature.

Spiritual Ecology

Spiritual Ecology is a spiritual response to our present ecological crisis.

It is a developing field that joins ecology and environmentalism with the awareness of the sacred within creation. It calls for responses to environmental issues that include spiritual awareness and/or practice. The principles of spiritual ecology are simple: In order to resolve such environmental issues as depletion of species, global warming, and over-consumption, humanity must examine and reassess our underlying attitudes and beliefs about the earth, and our spiritual as well as physical responsibilities toward the planet. Thus, ecological renewal and sustainability necessarily depends upon spiritual awareness and an attitude of responsibility.

 

Spiritual Ecology is an initiative of Kalliopeia Foundation.

Alaya – Breathing Clean Air

Clean Air from the inside out.

Recently a group of IASS researchers has been exchanging ideas on the question of how inner transformation processes can contribute to sustainability – and, conversely, on the question of how societal transformations can enrich not just the ‘outside world’ but also people’s ‘inner lives’. The research project “A Mindset for the Anthropocene” is investigating these connections, establishing a platform for debate, and promoting transformative mindsets in sustainability contexts. The Alaya project is a practical approach to cultivate this idea.

 

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

AISCHU РAchtsamkeit im pädagogischen Kontext

AISCHU ist ein erfahrungsorientiertes, wissenschaftlich fundiertes Rahmencurriculum für die Implementierung der Haltung der Achtsamkeit in den schulischen Unterricht (von der 5. Klasse bis zum Abitur)

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. 

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).