Fostering a Culture of Sustainability Presented To: Saskatchewan Regional Centre of Expertise UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development Douglas Worts and Glenn Sutter WorldViews Consulting October, 2007
Workshop Outline - identify pressing issues - clarify the role of culture in our lives - discuss how our culture adapts - identify our current cultural needs - choosing pathways to our future - assessing if we are on a sustainable path
What are the most pressing issues we face globally? What are the most pressing issues we face locally? What are the most pressing issues that you are facing personally?
Sustainability, (and unsustainability) is a cultural matter Rooted in: Our values Our behaviours Our attitudes
Our priorities Our systems But what do we mean by culture? Culture a basic pattern of assumptions
invented, discovered or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration Edgar Shein A Definition of Culture .the sum total of all values, collective
memory, history, beliefs, mythology, rituals, symbolic objects and built heritage which reflect the manner in which a people relate to both those aspects of life which: a) they can know and control; as well as, b) those they cannot fully understand or control, but to which they need to have a conscious relationship.
Culture is Relationships The Unknown Environment Global humanity Society
Community Family Self <--Past <--Present -->
Future--> How is our culture lived and perpetuated?: - Individually & - Collectively Consciously & Unconsciously
Sustainability and Adaptation Personal Level, e.g: - changes in personal relationships - changes in career - moving from country to city (or vice-versa) Collective Level, e.g: - migration => monocultures become pluralistic => urbanization
& Increasing Potential for Change Conservation High Levels of Complexity Rigidity, & Resilience
Release A Rapid Collapse The Adaptive Renewal Cycle Holling (2004)
Two Traps The Rigidity Trap The Poverty Trap
Holling (2004) Sustainability Maintaining the capacity for adaptation. Partly due to resilience, a property that varies through the adaptive renewal cycle. the amount of disturbance that can be sustained before a change in system control and structure occurs.
Cross-scale Interactions Cycles of Different Sizes form a Panarchy How does culture
respond and contribute to adaptive renewal cycles? Cultural Needs of Civil Society Personal: Collective: Empowerment Rights
Empathy and Sympathy Responsibilities Connection to place, Justice (social, economic) Stewardship people, the past, the future Safety Participatory democracy Personal meaning
etc. Spiritual connection Creativity Stewardship Consciousness of relationships to people and nature etc. Describe how you have experienced these needs (or others) in adapting to global, local and personal issues.
How do we want to live? d e r r e Pref
Probable How will we get to Preferred Future? Feedback You cant live without it! Probable vs. Preferred Future Community
Institutional Personal re ltu Cu st Su of
y lit bi na ai Critical Assessment Framework Criteria for assessing initiatives aimed at 3
levels of cultural adaptation: Individual Community Global Working Group on Museums and Sustainable Communities Individual Level
Encourages personal reflection
Captures imagination, stimulates curiosity Affirms, challenges, deepens identity Enhances ability to think critically & creatively Provides opportunity to examine & clarify values Helps deal with complexity and uncertainty Increases responsible action Working Group on Museums and Sustainable Communities
Community Level Addresses vital & relevant needs/issues Engages a diverse public
Encourages social interactions and debate Links existing community groups to one another Working Group on Museums and Sustainable Communities Global Level consciousness of global impacts of local choices foster global ecosystem health
reduce global ecological footprint enhance global social justice and equity Working Group on Museums and Sustainable Communities Getting the right indicators Development divorced
from its human or cultural context is growth without a soul. Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO, 1995 Where is our culture headed? Contacts Glenn Sutter
Regina, SK Douglas Worts Toronto, ON www.geocities.com/dcworts
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