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Za človeka gre: Relevanca znanosti in izobraževanja / All about people: Relevance of science and education 2020

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Saturday, 14 March 2020
09:00 - 11:00

Chair: Lenart Skof, Alma Mater Europaea - ISH

Learning from Ecology: From the Future we Want to the Future we Need

A scientific and innovation panel at the Alma Mater Europaea Annual Conference 2020 All about the people”, Maribor, 13 - 14 March 2020


With participation of:

The 2030 Agenda, entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets is the response of the global community to the immense challenges to sustainable development, complemented by the recognition that we also live in a time of enormous opportunities. This ambitious agenda, adopted in 2015, has to be strongly supported by equally ambitious and integrally framed, holistic, trans-disciplinary and trans-sectoral policies for sustainable development on all levels, including integrated metrics, from local to regional and global level.

Sustainable development is successful only when it is realizable and when it improves citizens’ well-being without degrading the environment. Despite growing adoption of the SDGs and other policies that strive to increase well-being without sacrificing the environment, measuring the Ecological Footprint (EF) and Human Development Index (HDI) reveals that very few countries come close to achieving sustainable development. Furthermore, when we look, for example, at the European environment, we acknowledge that the long-term outlook is not so positive as recent trends may imply, due to interdependences with global developments and systemic characteristics of environmental challenges. Although the European Union has developed, in recent decades, one of the world's most stringent sets of environmental policies, fundamental transformation of societal systems (energy, transport, food and material use systems), that are at the root cause of environmental and climate pressures, are urgently needed – i.e., through sustainable transitions, profound changes in dominant structures, practices, technologies, policies, lifestyles, and thinking. Social and technological innovation as well as education for sustainable development have key roles in this process.

In a unique approach to fuse and upgrade the paradigms of sustainability and integrality, a new, integral conceptual framework geared to holistically and transformatively address the burning issues of our time (the Integral Worlds paradigm) has been developed by Trans4m Center for Integral Development in Geneva, Switzerland and Hotonnes, France. It has been elaborated, inter alia, in the realm of economy, offering (theoretical and practical) alternative(s) to the mainstream non-sustainable economic paradigm. The Integral Worlds approach is based on some 20 years of researching cutting-edge theories and advanced best practices to sustainable development. It emphasizes dynamic balance among equal and four mutually reinforcing dimensions (nature and community; culture and spirituality or consciousness; science, systems and technology; finance, enterprise and economics) and the centre – the moral value core. The past research and ongoing action research driven applications of the Integral Development approach shows that such holistic and dynamic inclusion is vital for the long-term resilience and sustainability of our social systems.

Since the Integral Worlds approach incorporates an inbuilt transformational rhythm, called the GENE (an acronym for Grounding, Emerging, Navigating, Effecting), it can also essentially enrich education and innovation systems and activities. Integral Economics is building on and connecting alternative economic theories and models (e.g. Mondragon in Spain, Grameen in Bangladesh, SEKEM in Egypt, Sarvodaya in Sri Lanka, Interface in USA, …) that are already successfully implemented today. With the transformational process rooted in nature and community, the Integral Worlds paradigm can significantly evolve our understanding and practice of sustainable development and hence to release the GENE-ius of Self-Organisation-Community-Society, including Economy.

The new and ambitious agenda for the European Commission -- placing the European Green Deal and the hyper-critical challenge of climate change into its centre – builds on and strengthens the existing EU's environmental leadership. It is argued that the entire agenda could benefit from an integrative conceptual framework, connecting and intertwining the Green Deal particularly by:

As an innovative and holistic societal and economic agenda for sustainable development, including the concept of smart integration of the EU’s sustainable development policies, the model of Integral Green Slovenia, as depicted in the Routledge and Gower volume Integral Green Slovenia (Piciga, Schieffer and Lessem, 2016), represents in itself a social innovation and can serve as a pilot case to the European community on its path towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

This panel is organized and cosponsored by the ARRS research project »Surviving the Anthropocene through Inventing New Ecological Justice and Biosocial Philosophical Literacy« (J7-1824; project leader Dr Lenart Škof, principal investigator Dr She M. Hawke), conducted at ZRS Koper and AMEU ECM with the collaboration of the University of Innsbruck.


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