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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

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Fostering a culture of sustainability
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

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





Sustainability,

(and unsustainability)

is a cultural matter

Rooted in:

  • Our values

  • Our behaviours

  • Our attitudes

  • Our priorities

  • Our systems



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
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
Culture isRelationships

The Unknown

Environment

Global humanity

Society

Community

Family

Self

<--Past

Future-->

<--Present -->


How is our culture lived and perpetuated
How is our culture lived and perpetuated?:

  • Individually

  • & - Collectively

Consciously & Unconsciously


Sustainability and adaptation

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


Organization
Organization

Experiments, Creativity & Surprises


Exploitation
Exploitation

Stronger Connections & Increasing Potential for Change


Conservation
Conservation

High Levels of Complexity Rigidity, & Resilience


Release
Release

A Rapid Collapse



Two traps

The

Rigidity

Trap

Two Traps

The

Poverty

Trap

Holling (2004)


Sustainability

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
Cross-scale Interactions

Cycles of Different Sizes form a “Panarchy”



Cultural needs of civil society

Cultural Needs of Civil Society cycles?

  • Personal:

  • Empowerment

  • Empathy and Sympathy

  • Connection to place,

    people, the past, the future

  • Safety

  • Personal meaning

  • Spiritual connection

  • Creativity

  • Stewardship

  • Consciousness of relationships to people and nature

  • etc.

  • Collective:

  • Rights

  • Responsibilities

  • Justice (social, economic)

  • Stewardship

  • Participatory democracy

  • etc.

Describe how you have experienced these needs (or others)

in adapting to global, local and personal issues.


How do we want to live

Preferred cycles?

Probable

How do we want to live?

How will we get to Preferred Future?


Feedback

Feedback cycles?

You can’t live without it!


Probable vs preferred future

Community cycles?

Institutional

Personal

Culture of Sustainability

Probable vs. Preferred Future


Critical assessment framework
Critical Assessment Framework cycles?

Criteria for assessing initiatives aimed at 3 levels of cultural adaptation:

  • Individual

  • Community

  • Global

    Working Group on Museums

    and Sustainable Communities


Individual level
Individual Level cycles?

  • 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
Community Level cycles?

  • 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
Global Level cycles?

  • 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



Development divorced from its human or cultural context is growth without a soul
“Development divorced from its human or cultural context is growth without a soul.”

‘Our Creative Diversity’, UNESCO, 1995


Where is our culture headed
Where is our culture headed? is growth without a soul.”


Contacts

Contacts is growth without a soul.”

Glenn Sutter

Regina, SK

<[email protected]>

Douglas Worts

Toronto, ON

<[email protected]>

www.geocities.com/dcworts


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