The socio-economic democracy platform of the Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (CSDS) is the most promising model to guide this reformation. In this regard, the meaning and scope of both SD and ESD need clarification to make it clear that they entail shifting gears from unjustly distributed economic growth to justly distributed growth in all dimensions of human life. This requires an uncorrupted (or minimally corrupted) democratic framework, with integral human development as the focal point for all dimensions of SD and ESD.
About the ESD survey design and questionnaire:
The survey is much improved in terms of brevity and neutrality, but needs further improvement on the coverage of critical issues. Some coverage was lost in the quest for brevity.
Version 1.7 is a revision of Version 1.6, and still considered a test version. It would be great if those who participated in the previous tests can also participate in the V1.7 test. In addition, it is hoped that many more regular subscribers of the journal will participate in the Version 1.7 test. V1.7 has 32 questions, but only 16 are required (2 for each of the 8 UNESCO categories) and it takes about one half hour unless the participant wants to spend more time working on the optional questions. These are the links for Version 1.7:
Version 1 - further structuring based on Ken Wilber's integral theory (the AQAL model - All Quadrants, All Levels) in order to minimize "elitist" bias and maximize coverage of all relevant issues in ESD. Mostly multiple choice questions requiring selection of the "best answer."
Version 1.5 - same structure as Version 1, with most questions reconstructed as "select all that apply" and each question followed by a box for participants to enter an alternative issue.
Version 1.6 - same structure as Version 1.5, but only 2 questions for each UNESCO ESD theme, and each question edited for nonviolence (to reduce bias) in accordance with the mimetic theory of René Girard.
Version 1.7 - same structure as Version 1.6, with 2 required questions and 2 optional questions for each UNESCO ESD theme. The two required questions are rankings of relevance and difficulty. The two optional questions provide a text box where the participant can enter all the factors (issues) that influenced the relevance and difficulty rankings.
In brief, this issue includes the following:
In page 1, an update on the ESD consultation project, including:
In section 1, a progress report on the ESD project.
In section 2, a summary of test versions 0, 1, 1.5, and 1.6.
In section 3, an essay on the dangers of ideological extremism.
In section 4, an essay on the dangers of ideological denial.
In section 5, an essay on the "precautionary principle."
In section 6, a description of test survey version 1.7.
In section 7, a description of the survey evolutionary process.
In section 8, links to online documentation for each test iteration.
In section 9, some suggestions for prayer, study, and action.
In page 2, a paper by theologian Ina Praetorius on
Thinking Dependency. This paper is a reflection on human liberation from dependency on the patriarchal mindset and networks of mutuality as the path to attain such liberation.
In page 3, a paper by psychologist and psychobiologist Bruce Bridgeman on the question,
What is Truly Unsustainable?. This paper is a reflection on the sustainability of moderation in population and consumption growth, and the unsustainability of what we now call the "First World."
The Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) research project is an independent initiative of the PelicanWeb pursuant to a better understanding of the issues that should be discussed in preparing people for leadership roles in sustainable development. The project entails developing and deploying a survey instrument to isolate the issues in a way that supports planning and resource development for ESD. The survey is structured around the "key action themes" proposed by UNESCO for the "Decade of Education for Sustainable Development" (2005-2014). The following "key action themes" are covered:
This is a long term project, but some progress is being made:
The design of the survey is stabilizing, and is based on the following:
The eight UNESCO "key action themes" as defined above.
The recursive "questions & answers" educational method of Paulo Freire.
The "integral theory" and AQAL ("all quadrants, all levels") model of Ken Wilber.
Starting with test version 1.6 (see section 6 of this issue) the "mimetic theory" of René Girard serves as a guide for reducing bias in the formulation of questions.
The following testing and analysis has been done:
Test survey version 0 (40 questions, 61 responses) based on the UNESCO themes and Freire's method
Test survey version 1 (40 questions, 129 responses) based on the UNESCO themes, Freire's method, and Wilber's quadrants
Test survey version 1.5 (40 questions, XXX responses), same design but mixing ranking, multiple choice, and open questions
Analysis reports for versions 0, 1, and 1.5 are given in sections 2, 3, and 4 of this issue.
A combined assessment of versions 0, 1, and 1.5 is provided in section 5 of this issue.
Test survey version 1.6 (16 questions, responses TBD) is described in section 6 of this issue.
The long term goal of developing a survey on ESD requirements that is universally (globally) applicable but tailorable to local geographies and cultures is still beyond the horizon.
In Version 1.6, the 5 questions for each UNESCO theme were collapsed down to two: a ranking question on the relevance of the UNESCO themes, and a multiple choice question with four options each (corresponding to the four AQAL quadrants) plus an "other" option to be entered by the participants who so desire. René Girard's "mimetic theory" of violence/nonviolence was used to improve neutrality in the formulation of each question. This yielded a very concise and elegant test, but coverage suffered a bit in terms of specifics. Achieving the optimal mix of neutrality, coverage, and brevity will require additional testing iterations.
Summary of the V0, V1, V1.5, and V1.6 Sequence of Tests
Figure 1 shows the number of respondents for each version:
Figure 1. Number of Respondents for V0, V1, V1.5, and V1.6
Figure 2 shows that the relevance rankings for the UNESCO ESD themes remains stable between 7 and 9:
Figure 2. Theme Relevance Rankings for V0, V1, V1.5, and V1.6
Given that the distribution of invitations to take the survey includes the Google group, personal emails to people in the sustainable development community, several discussion lists (listservs), and a number of online forums, it is not possible to conclude that the larger number of respondents for V1.6 is due to the brevity of this version (16 questions, down from 40 questions in the previous versions. A method to randomize the sample of respondents via the internet remains TBD. However, it is noteworthy that the stability of the relevance rankings is independent of the number and/or type of questions in the total survey.
Note: Sections 3, 4, and 5 elaborate on another kind of feedback received thus far in this project. Specifically, a number of persons who decided not to take the survey and wrote to share their reasons -- some of which are really surprising!
Summary of ESD Test Survey V1.6
Figure 3 shows the distribution of roles in sustainable development by the V1.6 respondents:
Figure 3. V1.6 Participants ~ Roles in Sustainable Development
The distribution is very similar to the corresponding distributions for previous versions, with many educators and researchers and few executives and government officials. The percentages add up to more than 100% because any given respondent may select more than one role. Figure 4 shows the geographic distribution of the 513 respondents:
Figure 4. V1.6 Participants ~ Geographic Distribution
It is obvious that the developing nations are under-represented. This should not be surprising to anyone who has seen a worldwide distribution of internet traffic volume. The geographic distribution shown in Figure 4 resembles the worldwide distribution of internet traffic volume. If anyone has some suggestion on how to reach more people in the developing nations, please write to the editor.
Table 1 is a tabulation of the 513 responses to the AQAL questions in V1.6:
Table 1. Summary Table of Version 1.6 AQAL Responses
Table 1 shows the eight AQAL questions and the "4 + other" possible answers. These eight questions refer to the degree of difficulty in attaining each of the eight UNESCO educational goals. For each question, the first four answers correspond to the four quadrants of the AQAL model. Is the greatest difficulty rooted in overcoming individual mindsets (ULQ), overcoming individual modes of behavior (URQ), overcoming institutional modes of behavior (LRQ), or overcoming collective cultural traits (LLQ)? The fifth "answer" is "other," to allow the participant to state what the greatest obstacle is none of the first four is thought to be a good answer.
Figure 5 captures the data in Table 1 as a "pie chart" histogram:
Figure 5. Summary Histogram of Version 1.6 AQAL Responses
This histogram contains several "surprises" worthy of analysis and further questioning:
One surprise is the significant percentage of respondents that selected the ULQ answer (individual mindset, bright orange) as the greatest obstacle in all themes except Q16 (sustainable consumption). Is this an indication that the "individual unsustainable consumption mindset" is not a significant obstacle?
Another surprise is the small percentage of respondents that selected the URQ answer (individual behavior, light blue) as the greatest obstacle in all themes except Q16 (again, sustainable consumption!). Is this an indication that "individual unsustainable consumption behavior" is a significant obstacle, even though "individual unsustainable consumption mindset" is not?
Next, consider the percentage of respondents who selected LRQ (collective behavior, light yellow). Many respondents seem to think that current systems and institutions are the main obstacle for gender equality (Q2), rural development (Q8), human security (Q12), sustainable urbanization (Q14), and sustainable consumption (Q16). Is this an indication that, for example, that "individual unsustainable consumption behavior" and "collective (corporate, institutional, governance) unsustainable consumption behavior" reinforce each other?
Consider the percentage of selected LLQ (collective culture, dark red) answers. At a time when the need for health care reform and better environmental management is in the front page headlines practically every day, it is surprising that so many participants selected cultural reasons as the greatest obstacle to human health promotion (Q4) and environmental stewardship (Q6). Are gender equality (Q2), rural development (Q8), and sustainable consumption (Q16) any easier to attain?
The histogram of Figure 5 begins to make some sense if we follow the ideas and money trails. In terms of the AQAL model, ideas flow through the two left quadrants (ULQ and LLQ, i.e., the interaction of ideas between individuals and culture) and money flows through the two right quadrants (URQ and LRQ, i.e., the exchanges of money that happen in conjunction with individual and institutional activities). Figure 6 shows the same data as Figure 5, but the two left quadrants (ULQ and LLQ) have been added together. Likewise, the two right quadrants (URQ and LRQ) have been added together. In other words, the AQAL square has been sliced vertically at the center.
Figure 6. Vertical Slices of Version 1.6 AQAL Responses Vertical slices: ULQ + LLQ (left slice) and URQ + LRQ (right slice)
When the AQAL square is sliced vertically, the left side (green) is dominant for all themes except rural development (Q8) and sustainable consumption (Q16); for Q8 and Q16, the right side (dark red) is dominant. If competition between rural and urban areas is treated as a zero-sum (win-loss) game, this may reflect the concerns of urbanites who do not want funds transferred from urban to rural areas. It is also reasonable to think that the transition from unsustainable to sustainable consumption will "reorganize" the money flows in ways that many vested interests will be affected, and financial obstacles will be invented to stop the "reorganization." The question is, then, how to change the current system of incentives and subsidies so that both rural development and sustainable consumption become win-win games.
Figure 7 shows the results of slicing the AQAL square horizontally at the middle. Thus ULQ and URQ have been added together and, likewise, LLQ and LRQ have been added together. The upper half of the AQAL square accounts for individual ideas and behavior, while the lower half accounts for collective ideas and behavior.
Figure 7. Horizontal Slices of Version 1.6 AQAL Responses Horizontal slices: ULQ + URQ (upper slice) and LLQ + LRQ (lower slice)
When the AQAL square is sliced horizontally, the upper side (pink) and lower side (dark yellow) are thought to be of equal degree of difficulty only for cultural diversity (G10). It makes sense to think that individual and collective obstacles have equal weight in the human-intensive problem of embracing cultural diversity. The lower side is the main concern for all the other themes. This also makes sense in that collective (cultural and institutional) factors are generally more powerful than individual mindsets and/or behavior. The real danger here is that individuals and small groups may become discouraged if they see themselves as incapable of having an impact on society and large institutions. But the fact is that individuals and small groups can have a significant and lasting impact on social and institutional evolution. As the old African saying goes, "if you think you are too small to make a difference, then try sleeping in a room with a mosquito."
What about the "other" answers entered by the participants?
There were many "all the above" and mixes of two or more entries, as well as suggestions for rewording of some of the AQAL answers. Table 2 is a summary list of "other" answers entered by the respondents, showing those that were similar and most frequent or especially insightful. In reading these selected answers, keep in mind that they all refer to major obstacles for SD and ESD.
Table 2. Summary Table of Version 1.6 "Other" Responses
The numbers on the right hand side of Table 2 are the number of "other" answers entered by the participants for each question. Interestingly, the largest number (96) of "other" answers are for Q8 and pertain to obstacles to rural development. There appear to be many concerns about assuming that recent trends of rural people migrating to urban areas is irreversible. Are cities becoming too large? Is it possible to attain sustainable urbanization in splendid isolation from empty rural areas? Let's consider some of the "other" answers provided by the respondents, question by question.
For Q2 (obstacles to gender equality) many answers were about the obstacles posed by religious and secular institutions with a patriarchal structure, and the rippling effects that such institutional modes of male domination have limiting the education of women and inhibiting both women and men to voice their concern about this archaic and pervasive aberration in human history. The most frequent item mentioned for Q4 (obstacles to human health) is poverty, which is correlated with overpopulation, malnutrition, and lack and clean water and sanitation facilities. The adverse effects of pollution on human nature is also mentioned repeatedly. The main obstacle associated with promoting environmental stewardship (Q6) is the irresistible drive for short-term profits without any consideration for long-term environmental impacts. Imbalances between resources allocated to rural and urban development -- in particular public services such as education, sanitation, and protection from warfare -- were the subject of many "other" responses to Q8 (obstacles to rural development).
For Q10 (obstacles to cultural diversity), there is the fear of cultures being "contaminated" by other cultures and biases rooted on religious and cultural traditions. For Q12 (obstacles to human security) one of the most insightful answers refers to lack of free trade being an obstacle to peace ("countries that trade freely seldom attack each other"). Another insightful answer in this area refers to the prevalence of males in positions of authority; an imbalance that can only be corrected by gender equality and balance. Answers to Q14 (obstacles to sustainable urbanization) were often in the form of a question: "what would be a good model of sustainable urbanization?" Finally, relative to Q16 (obstacles to sustainable consumption) many respondents were emphatic about the need to mitigate the reinforcing feedback loop between consumption, production, and advertising to consume even more for the purpose of generating fast profits while utterly ignoring the real needs of human beings.
There are a few obstacles that show up, in one form or another, as "other" answers for all the questions. The answers often include some potentially effective ways to overcome the obstacles. Others are emerging from analysis of all the (admittedly non-randomized) data collected thus far. In no particular order:
Geographically unbalanced population growth. There is an inverse correlation between affluence and population growth. In other words, those who have education and resources to use birth control methods have no problem using them. But the poor, uneducated people without access to birth control resources keep fueling the population explosion; and understandably so, since "the bed is the only consolation of the poor."
The idolatry of money and the obsession for short-term financial gain regardless of long-term consequences. Public policies and services are driven by vested financial interests with minimal consideration for human development.
Corruption in governance ("power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely"). The socio-economic democracy platform of the Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (CSDS) is the most promising model to guide this reformation. CSDS director Robley George has contributed three articles for previous issues of this journal (December 2007, July 2008, August 2008), but the reader is encouraged to visit the recently expanded CSDS web site.
Inadequate regulation of the free market system. Nobody is suggesting extreme socialism, but practically everybody is suggesting that extreme capitalism is as bad as extreme socialism.
A badly dysfunctional and unfair system of incentives and subsidies. The current systems of financial incentives and subsidies are geared to making rich people richer and poor people poorer. They are also geared to making urban people richer and rural people poorer. These are formidable obstacles to all areas of SD and ESD. Financial incentives are known to work. They should be democratically reconstructed so as to steer brain power and other resources toward improving the common good of humanity rather than the vested interests of a few.
The reader can view all the "other" answers in the V1.6 spreadsheet, which can be downloaded for further analysis. Statistical distributions about the responses for each of 16 questions are provided in the V1.6 analysis report.
One of the surprising results of this project has been feedback received from people who did not take the survey but wrote to give their reasons for not taking it. In the early versions, most of this feedback related to lack of brevity (too many questions), lack of neutrality (bias in the questions and answers), and lack of coverage (significant issues not explicitly mentioned in the questions and answers. In the more recent versions, and particularly in Version 1.6, a number of persons wrote that they were not taking the survey because the kind of issues it addresses are inventions of "green" advocates and, furthermore, "sustainable development" is an "oxymoron" and nothing but a slogan created to justify asking funds from the developed nations.
It is fair to say that most of these persons are from the First World, are on the extreme right of conservatism, and continue to believe that nothing is better (for humanity and the human habitat) than pure capitalism. The following is a paraphrased sampling of some of the comments received along these lines:
Sustainable development is a catch phrase and it is, mostly, smoke and mirrors.
Sustainable development is an oxymoron as "development" implies growth and, therefore, greater resource usage. We either grow and make progress or stagnate.
The day is coming when we are going to live every day with the suffering caused by "sustainable development," so I am not interested in having a discussion about it, except if you can tell me how to kill the concept.
Global warming has not been proven scientifically. Please present the hypotheses tested to arrive at a theory of global warming, and whether or not the experiments were replicated under controlled conditions as required by the scientific method.
The gap between rich and poor is a not a problem. What is important to me, and I suspect most people, is what kind of life my family will lead. If we do not suffer from significant want, why should I care how much money other people make?
It's the standard of living for the bottom of society that we must raise -- and affluence and technology can do this by the process knows as "trickle down economics."
The environment is fine. Any alarmist declaration to the effect that we are destroying the planet is just plain nonsense.
Correspondence with some of these persons showed that they were all sincere, and had taken time to write out of an honest concern that what we are doing is both useless and unnecessary. Having said that, it also became apparent that these persons were rigid in their capitalist ideology and would not their mind no matter how reasonable the arguments or how persuasive the evidence available for review. These good people may be in sincere and complete denial that there is a problem that must be faced. They exemplify the dangers of ideological denial, but this is a danger that should not discourage those responsible for ESD.
The dangers of ideological enthusiasm are equally worrisome. Some "green" people are so focused on saving the planet that saving humanity is relegated to second place. Surely, saving the planet is required in order to ensure the sustainability and survivability of human civilization, but there must be a reasonable balance between environmental protection and mitigation of human suffering. Delivering food to hungry children is more important than the additional emissions to be produced by the airplanes carrying the food. There are also some cases in which a person or group becomes so intensely focused on one particular issue (e.g., global warming) that they want prompt and radical action on that issue even if it means ignoring many other significant issues. The following are some (paraphrased) statements indicative of over-zealous "green" enthusiasm.
Sustainable development is meaningless as long as propagation of democracy is not made the top priority.
The UN Millennium Development Goals should be the one and only roadmap to be followed for sustainable development at all levels.
Who cares if the entire international financial system goes down the drain? Hasn't this already happened? Going forward, we can do better with small international teams that go places, avoid any contact with corrupt government, and simply do what has to be done
Peak oil is already happening. Anything that consumes fossil fuels must be outlawed.
The UNESCO DESD program is pie in the sky. The best education is the result of action and experience. We better stop messing around with analyses of issues, and start implementing solutions.
Solar energy is the one and only solution. Wind energy and the energy of the ocean waves can help. Some nuclear energy may buy some time. Anything else is an exercise in futility.
We need global solutions. Local solutions may do more global harm than good. Therefore, we need world governance.
The dangers of ideological enthusiasm generally vanish rather quickly as the proposed "solutions" fail to deliver, even if tentatively approved via the democratic process. But the dangers of ideological denial are more resilient and long-lasting. It took over 70 years (1917 to 1989) to show that extreme socialism (i.e., communism, or the "dictatorship of the proletariat" as practiced in the Soviet Union) is not a valid and sustainable solution, politically or otherwise. Likewise, it has taken a long time to show that the current financial crisis exposes the intrinsic vulnerability of capitalism to human greed. The unregulated "free market system" guided by an invisible divine hand that works things out for the common good of all is just too appealing, perhaps because it exonerates humans from the hard task of making the most intelligent decisions based on the best (albeit always incomplete and ever changing) evidence. This brings to mind the precautionary principle.
This section is summarized from a previous consideration of the precautionary principle in this journal. See Section 3 of the feature article in Volume 1, Number 8, December 2005 and further references in Note 8 of the same issue. The precautionary principle basically states that uncertainty (including incomplete scientific evidence) does not exonerate us from doing something to prevent harm to humanity and the human habitat when the evidence is strong enough to warrant preventive action. In other words:
"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action."
Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, January 1998.
Note the "including no action" at the end. The precautionary principle is not an invitation to reckless action. For instance, see the following article, Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature, Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR), July 2009, which would seem to suggest that "that most of the late 20th century global warming and cooling can be attributed to natural climate processes." But this is not the conclusion reached by the more comprehensive Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, US Global Change Research Program, Washington DC, June 2009. And the JGR paper is already getting some negative reviews because it is based on correlation analysis and, as is well known, correlation does not imply causation.
As anyone who has done scientific work knows, there is no such thing as definitive scientific evidence. There is always some degree of uncertainty about the significance of scientific evidence. Scientists don't know what they don't know. It follows that, when there is incomplete but persuasive evidence, uncertainty should never be used a pretext to do nothing. When enough evidence is gathered that justifies a concern about the welfare of humanity, due diligence requires that adequate preventive measures be taken based on the best (albeit incomplete) evidence available. In the case of the climate change controversy, ill considered action is unwarranted, but doing nothing would be negligence.
The precautionary principle certainly applies to the issue of global warming and the increasing evidence that it can lead to climate dislocations harmful to humanity worldwide. There are many factors to be considered, one being population growth. Ceteris paribus, overcrowding the planet would probably exacerbate poverty, hunger, health problems, and environmental degradation, among other things. The precautionary principle would require that something be done to reduce the rate of population growth. Consider the issue of excessive consumption of material resources. It is evident that some people are consuming too much, thereby creating too much pollution. It is also evident that some people are not consuming enough; else, there would be no poverty, no malnutrition, and no children dying of hunger. Ceteris paribus, excessive consumption by a few and insufficient consumption by many is clearly indicative of both social and environmental injustice. This is a time bomb, and the precautionary principle would suggest defusing the bomb before it explodes.
Based on feedback from previous versions, brevity appears to be an important determinant of whether or not people take the survey. Therefore, version 1.7 is another attempt to reduce length without compromising the core design of the survey. In version 1.7, there are four questions for each UNESCO theme (2 required, 2 optional), as follows:
One question to rank the relevance of the UNESCO theme -- 8 questions (required).
Could you explain your relevance ranking of the UNESCO theme? -- 8 questions (optional).
One question to rank the difficulties of the UNESCO theme -- 8 questions (required).
Could you explain your difficulty ranking of the UNESCO theme? -- 8 questions (optional).
In other words, version 1.7 has 4 questions for each of the 8 UNESCO themes, for a total of 32 questions. The relevance ranking question for each theme is the same as before, with a ranking scale of 1 to 9, where 1 is "totally irrelevant" and 9 is "absolutely critical." The difficulty ranking question for each theme uses the same ranking scale of 1 to 9, where 1 is "very easy" and 9 is "extremely difficult."
The free format optional questions invite the participants to explain their rankings in terms of:
How the chosen rank was influenced by personal feelings/consciousness
How the chosen rank was influenced by personal life experiences
How the chosen rank was influenced by social systems/groups/institutions
How the chosen rank was influenced by social habits/traditions/cultures
Test Survey V1.7 32 Questions (16 Required, 16 Optional)
The first group of 4 questions is listed below. The questions for Sections 2 to 8 follow the same pattern. Hopefully the Version 1.7 questions are neutral (unbiased) and still provide adequate coverage of the main issues. More specificity in the answers to be selected may have to be postponed and reconsidered when the survey is tailored for regions, nations, and localities.
In the following questions and answers: SD = sustainable development ESD = education for sustainable development
All questions and answers are about "issues/obstacles," not about "solutions"
SECTION 1 QUESTIONS ON EDUCATION FOR GENDER EQUALITY/EQUITY
How relevant is gender equality/equity for SD and ESD? (required)
Rank the importance in a 1-9 scale (1 is irrelevant, 9 is critical).
What factors influenced your relevance ranking? (optional)
Consider both personal and collective factors.
How difficult is it to promote gender equality/equity? (required)
Rank the difficulty in a 1-9 scale (1 is very easy, 9 is very difficult).
How difficult is it to promote gender equality/equity? (optional)
Consider both personal and collective factors.
Your patience and continued collaboration are respectfully requested. To participate in the version 1.7 test, click on the link below to access the revised consultation form.
For the evolution of the survey's design from Version 0 to Version 1.6, click
Version 1.7 continues along the same line of evolution, which integrates Paulo Freire's method
of recursive questions and answers, Ken Wilber's integral model of knowledge, and René Girard's
mimetic theory to avoid bias by avoiding scapegoating in the statements of questions and answers.
Table 3. ESD Test Survey Design - Version 1.7
Version 1.7 includes four questions for each UNESCO theme: the theme relevance ranking question (required), the theme relevance ranking factors question (optional), the theme difficulty ranking question (required) and the theme difficulty ranking factors question (optional). In other words,
Version 1.7 is Version 1.6 with the multiple choice questions replaced by ranking questions on the degree of difficulty for the UNESCO education themes. The design diagram remains the same:
Figure 8. ESD Test Survey Version 1.7 (August 2009)
Excerpt from "Dark Testament"
(written in 1943, published in 1970)
Hope is a crushed stalk
Between clenched fingers.
Hope is a bird's wing
Broken by a stone.
Hope is a word in a tuneless ditty --
A word whispered with the wind,
A dream of forty acres and a mule,
A cabin of one's own and a moment to rest,
A name and place for one's children
And children's children at last ...
Hope is a song in a weary throat.
ESD 1. Educ for gender equality
ESD 2. Educ for health promotion
ESD 3. Educ for environmental stewardship
ESD 4. Educ for rural development
ESD 5. Educ for cultural diversity
ESD 6. Educ for peace and human security
ESD 7. Educ for sustainable urbanization
ESD 8. Educ for sustainable consumption
How do you propose to overcome these obstacles to the MDGs and ESDs, and to do so democratically and nonviolently?
In the religious sphere, some institutions (including some Christian churches and Islam) are trying to perpetuate patriarchal double standards. Watch this video and reflect on it:
Given that these institutions undoubtedly have significant social and cultural influence, it would seem that they are reinforcing obstacles to MDG3 and ESD1 above. If so, how would you help these religious institutions to overcome their inordinate attachment to the patriarchal mindset?
Action .... can you spare 30 minutes?
Take time to participate in the
Consultation on Education for Sustainable Development
Kingston, Jamaica, will be the host city for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in May 2011. The convocation is sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and will meet under the theme "Glory to God and peace on earth". It will be the culmination of the WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV), which has sought to network and bring attention to the peacemaking initiatives of its various member churches. For more information, see the convocation announcement.
Gender equity is a "sign of the times." Gender inequities are universally rooted in the utter misconception (the so-called "phallic syndrome") that men are superior to women, and lead to incalculable forms of physical and psychological gender violence. It follows, that gender inequities constitute a huge obstacle to human solidarity and sustainable development. It is imperative to overcome, sooner rather than later, gender inequities in both secular and religious institutions, because human development stagnates in the absence of gender balance, and this cannot possibly be what God desires.
Bishop Katharine J. Schori Primate, Episcopal Church USA
Unity in diversity enriches both the individual and the community, and so does diversity in unity. Unity in uniformity enriches neither the individual nor the community, and forced uniformity never leads to unity of hearts. In fact, forced uniformity leads to a fossilization of human relations that eventually corrupts unity and brings about tensions and even violence. For neither individuals nor communities can stay healthy (let alone happy) when confined to any form of straitjacket. Both human development and community development wither when constrained by forced uniformities. It follows that unity in uniformity makes sustainable development impossible. But sustainable development flourishes when unity and diversity enhance each other, thus enabling humanity to forge ahead along the path of peace and justice.
Illustrated Map on Peoples of the World
UNEP TUNZA CONFERENCE Tunza International Children’s Conference on the Environment, Daejeon, Korea, 17-21 August 2009. For more details visit the Tunza web site or contact the Tunza staff.
FEMINIST ETHICS & SOCIAL THEORY The Association for Feminist Ethics And Social Theory (FEAST), 24-27 September 2009, Clear Water Beach, Florida. Panels on "Environmental Feminism" and "Evolutionary Psychology." Questions may be directed to Lisa Schwartzman.
CLIMATE CHANGE The world's climate neutral Scientific Climate Conference, 2-6 November 2009 online. Organized by the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. For more information, visit the CLIMATE 2009 conference website and contact the conference staff at CLIMATE 2009. Note: the website already includes a listing of climate studies available at the Climate Change Studies Library (CCSL).
STATE OF THE WORLD CONFERENCE 2009 November 12-14, 2009, Washington DC. Sponsored by the Integral Institute (Ken Wilber et al). The theme is: "Mobilizing to Save Civilization: A Ten Year Plan to Address Climate Change." From the conference web site: "It is to bring attention to the critical issue of climate change and to catalyze a ten year plan to green our economies that the State of the World Forum is convening a three day conference November 12-14, 2009 in Washington D.C. The 2009 Forum will launch a ten year campaign that will meet in a different world city each year." Current point of contact: DC Hilton Hotel, Washington DC, USA, 1-202-483-3000.
Other contacts will be posted as they become available.
BEHAVIOR, ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE The 2009 BECC Conference is the 3rd annual conference focused on accelerating our transition to an energy-efficient and low carbon economy through an improved understanding and application of social & behavioral mechanisms of change. Sponsored by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). When: November 15-18th, 2009. Where: Washington DC. For more details visit the BECC 2009 Conference web site or contact the BECC 2009 Conference Chair.
EARTH SYSTEM GOVERNANCE "Earth System Governance: People, Places, and the Planet." 2009 Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change. Amsterdam, 2-4 December 2009. Launch event of the Earth System Governance Project, a new ten-year research programme under the auspices of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). For more information, visit the conference website or contact Frank Biermann.
PARLIAMENT OF THE
WORLD'S RELIGIONS Parliament of the World's Religions, 3-9 December 2009, Melbourne, Australia. Key topics: Healing the Earth with Care and Concern, Reconciling with Indigenous Peoples, Overcoming Poverty in a Patriarchal World, Securing Food and Water for all People, Building Peace in the Pursuit of Justice, Creating Social Cohesion in Village and City, Sharing Wisdom in the Search for Inner Peace. For more info: PWR2009.
ROAD TO NUCLEAR ZERO AND ARMS CONTROL Sponsored by the International School on Disarmament and Research on Conflicts (ISODARCO), Università di Roma "Tor Vergata," Rome, Italy. Location: Andalo (Trento). Dates: 10-17 January 2010. The 2010 ISODARCO Winter School will be devoted to the practical steps to be implemented to arrive to a nuclear-weapon free world, with emphasis on the potential role for arms control. Apply on-line at the ISODARCO web site or download an application form from the same location. Applications should arrive not later than 16 November 2009 and should be addressed to the Director of the School, Prof. Carlo Schaerf
NEW GREEN ECONOMY The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) is pleased to request your participation at the 10th National Conference for Science, Policy and the Environment: The New Green Economy: Aligning Science, Education, Markets and Systems for Sustainability to be held January 20-22, 2010 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. Please plan to join NCSE in a large interactive conference to develop and advance science-based solutions for the creation of a “green print” to achieve a sustainable, new green economy. See the conference website. Questions? Contact the NCSE Green Economy Conference
ENERGY TRANSITIONS Energy transitions in an interdependent world. Sponsored by the Science & Technology Policy Research Group, University of Sussex. The conference will be held at the University of Sussex, near Brighton, on the 25th and 26th February 2010. Further details including the full conference call and application guidelines are available from the conference web site. Point of contact: Lee Stapleton.
EVO-ENVIRONMENT EvoEnvironment 2, an event of the EvoApplications Conference is devoted to the use of nature inspired methods for environmental issues. Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, 7th - 9th April 2010. Further details including the full conference call and application guidelines are available from the EvoStar 2010 Web Site. Points of contact: Marc Ebner, University of Tuebingen, Germany, and Neil Urquhart, Edinburgh Napier University, UK.
GLOBAL HEALTH The World's Leading Idea Incubator For Global Health Innovation A Conference Presented Annually by Unite For Sight. Saturday, April 17 - Sunday, April 18, 2010. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. The Global Health & Innovation Summit convenes more than 2,200 participants from 55 countries. The Summit challenges students, professionals, educators, doctors, scientists, lawyers, universities, corporations, nonprofits, and others, to develop innovative, effective solutions to achieve global goals. Visit the conference web site for registration and contact information.
APPLIED ENERGY International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE2010). Sponsored by the University of Singapore. Theme: "Energy Solutions for a Sustainable World." 21-23 April 2010, Singapore. Call for papers and other conference information: ICAE 2010 Web Site. Point of contact: ICAE 2010.
The 4th International Conference on Self-Determination Theory (SDT) will be held at Ghent University (Belgium), May 13-16, 2010. More information about the conference is provided in the SDT Conference Web Site, including guidelines for papers and posters submissions. Point of contact: Maarten Vansteenkiste.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN FOOD & AGRICULTURE International Symposium: Innovation and Sustainable Development in Food & Agriculture (June 28-July 1, 2010, Montpellier, France). Theme: "Facing the crisis and growing uncertainties, can science and societies reinvent agricultural and food systems to achieve sustainability?" Sponsored by CIRAD. For more information: ISDA 2010 Web Site. Email: ISDA 2010.
SOCIOLOGY CONGRESS International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress of Sociology, 11-17 July 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden. Session on "Peace, Conflict, and Climate Change" currently scheduled for Wednesday 14 July 2010. See the conference web site for more details or contact the conference chair, Hans Joas, Universität Erfurt, Germany.
STUDY OF THE COMMONS The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) is accepting for hosting the 13th Biennial Conference, Summer or Autumn 2010. For more information contact Jim Robson and visit the IASCP website.
PEACE CONVOCATION The International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) will be the Harvest Festival of the Decade to Overcome Violence and at the same time a planting season for fresh initiatives. May 2011, Kingston, Jamaica. Sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC). Visit the IEPC web site, which provides points of contact worldwide.
CALL FOR PAPERS SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). PNAS has launched a new section of the journal dedicated to sustainability science, an emerging field of research dealing with the interactions between natural and social systems, and with how those interactions affect the challenge of sustainability: meeting the needs of present and future generations while substantially reducing poverty and conserving the planet’s life support systems. PNAS seeks original research contributions for this new section on both the fundamental character of interactions among humans, their technologies, and the environment, and on the use of such knowledge to advance sustainability goals relevant to water, food, energy, health, habitation, mobility, and ecosystem services. PNAS welcomes outstanding sustainability science papers addressing spatial scales from the global to the local and drawing on a wide range of disciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches. For more information, please contact Josiah Armour.
CALL FOR PAPERS RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY This issue of Feminist Review, edited by Lyn Thomas and Avtar Brah, will explore a range of religious and spiritual practices through the lens of gender, and will encompass both theoretical and empirical approaches. We hope to engage with feminism’s long history of critique of the patriarchal nature of world religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and more recent problematisations of these approaches in light of feminism’s relationship to the Enlightenment and to colonialism. Recent work on the gendering of secularisation theories and on women’s practice of faith and spirituality has complicated and nuanced feminist approaches to religion; this issue will address these questions, while attempting to broaden the debate beyond the binary oppositions and alignments of religion (and most notably Islam) with tradition and ‘backwardness’, and of feminisms with modernity and secularism. Submissions for the issue are welcomed from now until February 28th, 2010. Point of contact: Dr Lyn Thomas.
Both subscribers and nonsubscribers are cordially invited to submit a paper to be considered for publication in the PelicanWeb Journal of Sustainable Development as an "invited paper." It should be related to the journal's theme about solidarity, sustainability, and nonviolence as the three pillars of sustainable development. In particular, the current focus is on education for sustainable development. Some suggested themes:
Successful initiatives to foster solidarity, sustainability, and nonviolence
Gender equality as a positive factor for sustainable development
Removal of obstacles for progress toward any or all the UN MDGs
Management of technologies for social and environmental justice
How to foster human development via spirituality and the inner journey
How to foster human and social development via acts of solidarity
How to improve systems of governance via checks and balances
How to evolve collectively toward a culture of sustainability
Invited papers will be published in a separate web page. If you have friends who could submit a good paper, please invite them to do so.