It has become increasingly apparent that humanity's complex social, political, and economic systems are incompatible with the finite capacity of the Earth to replenish resources and absorb wastes. If the planet is to continue to be habitable for the myriad web of other creatures that make life possible, humans must transform their systems so that they are aligned with natural systems. One thing is sureit will not be Nature's laws, the delicate interdependence that characterizes Earth's ecosystems, that change. The change must begin within each person, and from there permeate throughout our social, political, and economic structures.
The contributors to this volume believe that such transformations are urgently needed and possible, and they offer specific examples. They suggest solutions that call for new perspectives in our ethics, beliefs, traditions, economy, business, gender relations, education, and technology. They show that human beings have the power to implement changes in all natural and social environments.
The chapters in this book have been organized around three keywords: Reconnecting, Reframing, and Rethinking. The contributors argue that we need to reconnect with the Earth and nature, as well as with each other and parts of ourselves that we have ignored for too long. We need to reframe the way in which people prioritize choices in the economy, the way we do business and pursue development; and we need to rethink the mission of education and the roles of technology.
About the Author
Olivier Urbain is director of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research. His publications include Daisaku Ikeda’s Philosophy of Peace and the editing of Music and Conflict Transformation.
Deva Temple is chief sustainability officer for the Mana Makai Group. She served as research assistant and associate editor of Peace & Policy at the Toda Institute (2007-2010).
Table of Contents
Preface Olivier Urbain vii
Introduction Olivier Urbain 1
Reconnecting with the Earth and Humanity
Storytelling and Wonder: On the Rejuvenation of Oral Culture as an Ecological Imperative David Abram 9
The Ecology of Equality: From Dominance to Shared Sacredness Deva Temple 19
Exploring Ethical and Religious Attitudes to Sustainability Robin Attfield 33
Reframing Economy and Development
Against So Much Money and Power, Can the Sustainability Movement Succeed? Ellen Gaddy 41
Economic Genesis: The Evolution of a Sustainable Economy through Values-Based Social Architecture Marjorie Kelly 61
From Social Engineering to Community Transformation: Amul, Grameen Bank, and Mondragon as Exemplar Organizations Dharm P.S. Bhawuk Susan Mrazek Vijayan P. Munusamy 75
Rethinking Education and Technology
Sustainable Globalization and Limits to Sustainability Imre Lévai 113
Renewal of Ecological Ethics: Educational Aspects from a Multicultural Approach to Human-Nature Interactivity Izaskun Petralanda 127
The Ethical Implications of Geospatial Technologies and New Perspectives for Community Involvement in the Face of Global Change: The Case of Malaria in Sucre, Venezuela Laura Delgado Petrocelli 143