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Cosmic Reflections on Future Human Image

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Cosmic Reflections on Future Human Image

The main objective of the article has been to elaborate a specific proposal for the emerging Framework of Action on Education post-2015 in the previous period of the World Education Forum of May 2015 in Incheon (Republic of Korea). With the intention to reinforce bonds between education and sustainability through symbiotic bridges between nature and human culture, my proposal aims to create the foundations of a new theoretical-epistemological-methodological model that contribute qualitatively in the open debate for the implementation of GCED in the post-2015 Development Agenda:

2.2.11. The debate also relates, in part, to the question of how to promote, simultaneously, global solidarity and individual national competitiveness or how to bring together local and global identities and interests. In countries where identity is a sensitive issue and solidifying the national identity itself is a challenge, room for promoting a sense of citizenship at the global level could be limited, although this does not necessarily belie a lessened desire of the individual members of these societies to connect and interact globally. Similarly, citizens showing concerns about, and taking actions for, the communal benefits of the globe, could be believed to cause challenges to local/national authorities if their actions are perceived to be in conflict with local/national interests [UNESCO, 2013: pp. 4-5]

Obviously, reflecting and discussing new proposals concerning the SDGs and GCED carries many questions and approaches. My main intention is not to address the GCED and propose specific biomimetic and transdisciplinary pedagogical contents, but to promote the emergence of a new paradigm of civilization taking nature as guiding ecological model (but without becoming an imperative mandate that overrides human freedomforothersocialspheres, becauseinnaturetherearealsoanimplacablepredation among living things). Therefore, my contribution to the post-2015 Development Agenda has to be understood as an awareness proposal in continuous evolution, opened to reinterpretation, complements and considerations. In this sense, doing a recapitulation of the explained reflections throughout the article about education, sustainability, and the post-2015 Development Agenda, my proposal addresses SDGs and GCED from a triple theoretical-epistemological-methodological field that promotes:

  1. The development of a new cosmodern consciousness that embraces the supra-identity of the Homeland-Earth through learning the Big History. The emerging global citizenship must learn to contextualize human beings, life,

Earth, and universe history from transdisciplinary methodological approaches. This implies examining the multidimensional identity of the emerging global citizenship through a cosmic-planetary approach that conceives the human condition complexity as individual-society-species: contextualizing cosmic and astro-biologically the human species to understand we all are ontologically equal beings (with the same molecular composition of DNA); with a rich cultural and spiritual diversity that characterized every society according their phenomenological and hermeneutical historical context; and with interests, motivations, and dreams radically different between individuals. A human condition/identity that is also interconnected in the CST through mobile devices in their virtual identity condition. This cosmodern vision that contextualize the human condition/identity multidimensionally is a real transformative tool for the GCED because it promotes the emergence of a new planetary civilization capable to write its own transhistory. A political, educational, and epistemological transnational process which involves to write the history together without cultural hierarchies in the space-time: taking into account the contributions of postcolonial theory to development education [Andreotti, 2007]. In short, this transdisciplinary approach represents the formation of real “worldlists”, a term created by the Argentine writer Ernesto Sábato to express the urgent need to rely on people who are alert to the most urgent and global problems. So, inspired by this author, the thinkers Edgar Morin, Emilio-Roger Ciurana, and Raúl Motta [Morin, 2003a] assert that planetary education must foster a worldology of everyday life to understand the transcendental unity of the individual-society-species: the unitas multiplex (diversity in unity and unity in diversity).

  1. The SDGs fulfillment: organizing knowledge from a biomimetic and transdiscip- linary perspective that studies the unity-diversity of human condition along its co-evolution with the environment. An environment constituted by living and non-living systems who are intertwined in the same network of universal interdependence that distinguishes them in their existence, independence, creativity, and individual identity through an ecological relationship where all phenomena are interrelated in their different levels of glocality. In other words, the purpose of strengthening the ties between education and sustainability means implementing the biomimetic vision in the pedagogical contents of the GCED to create new identity models of planetary character in ecological and spiritual harmony. Biomimicry is a meeting point between societies called “primitive” and the called “hyper-technological”, because it has an ecological and spiritual corpus which plays the symbiogenetic role between nature and human culture. According to the Mexican anthropologist and economist Cristina Nuñez-Madrazo8 [Nuñez- Madrazo, 2012: p.109],“transdisciplinaryeducationalexperienceforsustainability includes the spiritual dimension as a core for creating relevant knowledge within oursocieties, atlocalandgloballevels”. Theprocessofhumanidentitydevelopment is a significant dialogical relationship between knowing and doing, mediated by the individual consciousness, which implies “go beyond rationalism, dualism and

8 Cristina Nuñez-Madrazo is Director at the Eco-literacy and Dialogue of Knowledge Center and Director of Transdisciplinary Studies in the University of Veracruz in Mexico.
fragmentation of knowledge (ibidem).” Thus, the past and the future are present in the spiritual and scientific research, being complementary inquiries of a common reality conformed by the undivided wholeness between consciousness, matter, and energy [Maturana and Varela, 2001]. As such, the GCED must combine formal, non-formal, and informal education to create a convergence framework between outer knowledge that nature offers us (ontological framework), and the inner spiritual knowledge of mankind (gnoseological framework). Psychosomatic experiences between body and mind, as ancient philosophical traditions show us, help us to establish and develop sacred connections between Nature and Life [Collado, 2014]: promoting sustainable human socio-economic practices with the environment. Therefore, GCED requires the synergy between transdisciplinary methodology and the biomimetic approach to achieve the SDGs. A theoretical-epistemological-methodological synergy that Canadian specialist in transdisciplinary studies of consumption, home economy, integral thinking, and moral leadership Sue McGregor would sense in her article “Transdisciplinary and Biomimicry”:

In summary, transdisciplinary problem solving from a biomimicry perspective means recognizing organic patterns and natural connections, understanding the causes and effects of competing and interrelated components, and then making appropriate modifications.(…) From a biomimicry perspective, people inherently adapt, deconstruct and recreate as needed, a process that mirrors the actions of living organisms. (…) The fit between biomimicry and transdisciplinarity is elegant, ripe with hope and potentialities. Within its iterative solution-creation process, biomimicry aims to produce both new knowledge and technical artifacts (innovations) (…) If transdisciplinary solutions to world problems necessitate a holistic coupling of the human and the natural, as well as inclusion of many voices and perspectives, it makes sense that transdisciplinary gain inspiration from biomimicry, with its focus on nature. (...) Transdisciplinarity based on the principles of nature (biomimicry) is promising. It supports visionary approaches to solving complex messy problems that require people to “rethink and reorient human´s relationship with the planetary environment” [McGregor, 2014: pp. 97-99].

  1. The constitution of “Constellations of Twinned NGO-Schools” in virtual and physical networks. GCED must increase the formation of virtual and physical networks between the partner associations that are already spinning gravitationally around the UNESCO´s ideals of international cooperation and culture of peace (as the UNESCO ASPnet, UNESCO Chairs, Centers under the auspices of UNESCO, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites, as well as UNESCO Clubs and Associations). On the one hand, the GCED proposed by UNESCO should group the millions of stars (schools, NGOs, universities, etc.) in constellations (twinning) through a large virtual database in the Cyber-Space-Time (CST). The creation of a big telematic platform, where worldwide people can share their ideas and actions to achieve the SDGs by 2030, would represent the beginning of a new civilizational paradigm characterized by networks of action between education and sustainability. While it is true

that there may be many difficulties and problems (economic, teacher training, new types of bullying, etc.) for the fruitfully installation of the Internet in all the corners of the world, there is no doubt that ICT revolution, and the social network in particular, is creating a public opinion and a global citizenship cyber-culturally interconnected. In words of Amartya Sen:

The voices that can make the difference come from several sources, including the global institutions and less formal exchanges and communications. These articulations are not, of course, perfect for all global arguments, but they exist and really work with certain effectiveness, and they can became more effectiveness through the support of institutions that help to disseminate information and to improve opportunities for discussions that transcend borders. The plurality of sources enriches the scope of global democracy in the light of this perspective. Many institutions have a role here, including the United Nations and its agencies, but also include the committed work of civil organizations, many NGOs and some sections of the media [Sen, 2010: pp. 441-442] (own translation).

Indeed, the perception of a living world as a network of relationships is generating the formation of new virtual and physical spaces with similar goals of SDGs, but the adherent energy of their organizational structure dissipates in many cases or does not achieve the desired potential. Therefore, the creation of “constellations of twinned NGO-Schools” constitutes a heterotopical9 [Foucault, 1984] theoretical framework that promotes the optimization of existing projects through a complex network of networks, both in the CST and the “real life”. “The nowadays challenge is the strengthen of this participation process in progress, which depends largely on the search for global justice” says Sen [Sen, 2010: p. 443]. In my opinion, the CST represents the level of reality propitious to develop and promote a planetary consciousness and a feeling of common responsibility for all global citizenship with the SDGs. Hence that implementation strategic of GCED in the Framework of Action on Education post-2015 in the WEF should reflect seriously about the possibility to create a new virtual macro-space where can converge the cyber-activism played by millions of people. A virtual platform that would be in harmony with Delors Report (1999) on 21st century education (learning to know, to do, to be, and to live together), and with the eighth millennium goal: develop a global partnership for development.

On the other hand, besides the virtual cooperation in the CST, the concept of “constellations of twinned NGO-Schools” also has two aspects of physical presence of learners to train empirically the next generations of global citizens in meaningful learning, summarized with the creation of:

    • An International Volunteering Service which operates as awareness instrument of humanistic and philanthropic train for global citizens, as engine of change and socio-ecological complaint to achieve the post-

9 In political sciences, heterotopia is a concept elaborated by philosopher Michel Foucault to describe the co-existence of different Utopias which function in non-hegemonic way at the same time and space.
2015 SDGs. Would it make sense that Member States signed at UN the common commitment to achieving the SDGs and, in parallel, instruct their citizens in military service? By contrast, the creation of an “International Volunteering Service” (fruit of “constellations of twinned NGO-Schools” coordination), for students-citizens who finish their secondary education, would develop a direct critical consciousness with sociological, political, and educational praxis [Torres, 2005] of individuals to face the glocal challenges of 21st century world risk society [Beck, 2008]. Thus, global citizenship would get out of the “media bubble” that reduces poverty to a mere newspaper headlines to experience it in firsthand.

    • New University Studies of “Worldology”. The need to create a new

kind of social-planetary organization that cause new civilizational horizons in harmony with the environment requires new multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary epistemological approaches to solve glocal problems of the SDGs. SDGs are interrelated and systemic goals that must be addressed as a whole through new university studies (degrees, masters, and doctorates) promoted by the inter-university cooperation of constellations of twinned NGO-Schools. Worldology would be an innovative proposal to train global citizenship from a theoretical, epistemological, and methodological openness that houses all branches of academic and non-academic knowledge: promoting a psychosomatic experience between the inner and outer knowledge. Could we create new multiversities where the emerging global citizenship could learn without disciplinary bounders the bioethical commitment with all forms of life?

They all are, in short, proposals in harmony with an eco-ethical dimension for a future human image. In essence, they mean the reconceptualization of schools in their social function as neurophilosophical [Bazaluk, 2014] builders of the future generations´ citizens. For this, we would have to empower all educational actors (schools, teachers, students, families, medias, etc.), saving them from academic drift and moving them into a global social reality, where 40,000 people die every day from cause stemming from extreme poverty. Therefore, the proposals exposed before have the intentionality to help and expand the open horizon of SDGs and GCED proposed by UN and UNESCO, with the aim to create and develop altruistic educational projects of cooperation in all the corners of the Earth-Homeland. In this cosmic-planetary perspective, the idea to create a constellation of twinned NGO- Schools operating technologically as a global network of communities’ means giving them specific biomimetic pedagogical contents to be applied in their natural and human environment. Following the kinds of practices that govern in nature (variable according to the geographical area where the schools are located) as an integral model in the GCED, we would have a reticular pedagogical conception, that is, allowing the insertion of each community in the networking relations of their nearest environment, and after with their far environment. Thus, we would have an educational program where children would learn to assess how nature proceeds in its environment (following the nine principles of life from nature identified by Benyus), and how they

can mimic those natural proceedings in their human relations: how they can interact inclusively, how they can recycle, how they can use solar energies, etc. Indeed, the biomimetic approach is a bridge between children who are living in societies more interconnected with nature and those who are living in the called “rich countries”, who are distanced greatly from the natural habitat. Biomimicry is the meeting point between called “primitive” and called “hyper-technological” societies that, united by the concept of constellations of twinned NGO-Schools, could develop a cosmodern consciousness capable to achieve the post-2015 goals.

In abstract, I am talking about proposals that seek to expand the complex debate we face when we talk about GCED and SDGs. A global governability challenge without historical precedents where solidarity and human cooperation are the symbiotic key to integrate eco-ethics as the civilizational meeting point to achieve a sustainable future human image. We are in the historical conjunction that Edgar Morin (2003a) defines as “the stone age of planetary civilization.” Therefore, it is necessary to foresee the future to be ready when it arrives, because there are no doubts that quantum computers, Artificial Intelligence, nano-technology, contact lens with Internet access, the genetic mutation of DNA, and travels in space will radically change our habits in a short period of time [Kaku, 2011]: contextualizing mankind in the cosmodern paradigm [Collado, Galeffi and Ponczek, 2014b]. The time has come to walk together towards this new civilization paradigm. Readers are encouraged to follow through with any thinking inspired by the reflections presented in this transdisciplinary and biomimetic work. In South Africa there is a symbolic proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Are you ready? The challenge starts now. I invite everyone to meet me on this path bound for a transformation of current system of capitalist production, where new eco-ethical dimensions for a future human sustainability take place.

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