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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
slide6

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

  • 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

Probable

How do we want to live?

How will we get to Preferred Future?

feedback

Feedback

You can’t live without it!

probable vs preferred future

Community

Institutional

Personal

Culture of Sustainability

Probable vs. Preferred Future
critical assessment framework
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
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
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
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

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

contacts

Contacts

Glenn Sutter

Regina, SK

<[email protected]>

Douglas Worts

Toronto, ON

<[email protected]>

www.geocities.com/dcworts

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