Institute of World Culture

Theme for 2017
FOSTERING HUMAN FELLOWSHIP THROUGH
GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS AND CREATIVE INNOVATION

Program for 2017

Seminar
Engaging Youth in "Citizen Science"

Saturday, January 14, 2017
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Kim Miller

What happens when students actually do science? Something transformative occurs when young people actively work with real-world data relevant to authentic scientific investigations. What are the consequences for the development of the student and the improvement of society?

"Citizen Science" is a movement aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards that features global collaboration among professionals and amateurs, enabling students to collect data under the tutelage of professional researchers far away. This seminar will explore dimensions of various citizen science projects used in the public school system, and how this innovative collaboration fosters imaginative use of physical and mental resources of people all over the world, from all backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities, for the sake of furthering human knowledge and the welfare of all.

Suggested donation of $2 per person.
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Forum
Gandhi's Correspondence with Tolstoy, Tagore and President Franklin Roosevelt

Franklin Roosevelt Rabindanath Tagore Mahatma Gandhi Leo Tolstoy

Saturday, January 28, 2017
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: James Tepfer

Gandhi's correspondence with inquirers across the globe and over many decades filled close to ninety volumes. Much of his correspondence was aimed at clarifying the meaning and potential application of Truth, non-violence and civil disobedience in a variety of social contexts. In so doing, he frequently addressed critics who posed challenging questions or exposed weaknesses in the theory and application of truth and non-violence. Whatever the issue addressed, Gandhi's letters embodied a spirit of civility and candor that are vital to any future global conversation on compelling political, social and economic problems.

This forum will selectively focus on Gandhi's correspondence with three eminent national leaders: Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Gandhi's correspondence with each individual was crucial to the evolution of his theory and practice of truth and non-violence as well as to the eventual independence of India.

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Forum
Conversations at the World Economic Forum at Davos

 

Saturday, February 11, 2017
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Carolyn Dorrance

Once a year, about 2,500 leaders from business, government, academe, economists, NGOs and the media gather in a small Swiss town to listen, learn about and discuss developments and issues of global significance. Lectures, panel discussions and workshops offer education that busy leaders do not usually have time to acquire. Countless, informal conversations go on in between formal, scheduled sessions. A firm belief in globalization provides a framework for World Economic Forum (WEF) activities.

Originally, 444 executives attended the first conference in 1971, but by 1987, pressure to open up the meetings developed. Women and leaders of NGOs started to receive invitations; talks on sociology, culture and technology were included as conference topics. By 2017, the global influence of Davos talks expanded when 120 sessions were broadcast live via youtube.com, so that a world-wide audience could share in the conference dialogues.

At this Forum in Concord Hall, selections from various panels given at 2017 Davos will be presented. Criticism of the Conference and its defense will be discussed and evaluated. The WEF also sponsors regional conferences, supports research reports and began its life with significant sponsorships of conflict resolution such as a 1992 meeting between then South African President F. W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela and Zulu Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

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Forum
Human Interactions with Wildlife and the Habitats We Share:
Global Biodiversity on an Urbanizing Planet



Saturday, February 25, 2017
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Peter Alagona,
Departments of History, Geography and Environmental Science

In this forum, Peter Alagona will discuss his research on the history of human interactions with wildlife and the habitats we share.  In particular, he will focus on American cities, which had little if any charismatic wildlife half-a-century ago, but are now full of it.  From bobcats and coyotes to eagles and egrets, Professor Alagona will explain the remarkable resurgence of wildlife in American cities. He will also discuss the implications of this unprecedented trend for global biodiversity and humankind on our urbanizing planet.

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Forum
Carved Paper: The Art of the Japanese Stencil

Saturday, March 25, 2017
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Kathryn Padgett, Docent, Santa Barbara Museum of Art

The stencils featured in this presentation were produced in the late Edo and Meiji periods between 1850 and 1912 when the Japanese demand for new fashion stimulated an outpouring of unique and intricate patterns. Since few everyday garments have survived, these stencils remain as the principal record of this rich textile tradition.

Japanese paper stencils, or katagami, are the pattern-bearing tools used in a resist-dyeing textile process. Despite their utilitarian role, their striking patterns have long captivated Western collectors and artists. Stencil patterns represent a vast array of two-dimensional design ranging from miniature pointillist patterns to bold pictorial compositions with motifs drawn from nature, poetry, folklore and daily life. These patterns reflect the Japanese preference for asymmetry, diagonal composition, and dramatic use of positive and negative space. Stencil designs were to be viewed as rhythmic patterns on the fluid surface of cloth, rather than isolated compositions.

The finely carved patterns on rich brown papers were a major source of inspiration in the Art Nouveau movement in France, the Applied Arts movement in Vienna, and the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain and America. The katagami collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art was first established with the gift of 75 stencils from the estate of Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932), a key figure in the American Aesthetic movement who was at one time a business partner of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Participants are encouraged to visit the current exhibit of the Museum's collection of Japanese stencils, on display through May 17.

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Seminar
Perennial Wisdom in Art and Architecture:
The Writings of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy



Saturday, April 8, 2017
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Kirk B. Gradin, Architect LEED AP

The late Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (1887-1947), curator of Indian art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, was a polymath who uniquely combined in himself the roles of geologist, art historian, philosopher, orientalist and linguist of ancient languages. Through his writings, including his seminal essay on “Christian and Oriental Art”, he not only encourages a deeper understanding of Eastern and Western, ancient and medieval forms of art and architecture, but also illustrates their timeless relevance. In this seminar, his scholarly dialogue between philosophical and religious traditions of art will be explored in which he challenges the reader to see beyond the diverse outward forms of artistic expression to examine the deeper perennial roots.

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Forum
Mixing Traditional Ways with Modern Technologies
A Contribution to Earth Day

Saturday, April 22, 2017
2:00 – 4:15 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Julie Campbell

How are people in some Asian cultures using natural resources in ways that combine knowledge embedded in ancient practices with modern technology? What adaptations both protect the environment and build a sustainable, economic future? How do their cultural values show respect for Mother Earth and all that lives? Julie Campbell, an insightful cultural anthropologist and well-traveled observer of several micro-cultures in Asia, will share her answers to such questions.

Detail of photo by Julie Campbell: Itha tribe going back and forth from the village with their purchases on the canal entering Inle Lake.

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Forum
Confucius Institutes Around the World

Saturday, May 6, 2017
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Professor Mayfair Yang, University of California Santa Barbara

In Feb 2015, a Confucius Institute was established at UCSB, one of the 500 Institutes around the globe funded by the Chinese government to promote the learning of Chinese language, culture and history. Professor Mayfair Yang, Director of the UCSB Confucius Institute, and a faculty member of Religious Studies and East Asian Cultural Studies at UCSB, will discuss the work of Confucius Institutes, with special attention to the academic and cultural events that her UCSB Institute has sponsored in the past two years.

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Forum
Conversations on Compassion and Transformation

Dalai Lama Richard Davidson Mattieu Ricard

Saturday, May 27, 2017
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenters: Gerry Lewin and Jonathan Colbert


Selected videos from the Mind & Life Institute and Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) will be screened and discussed that feature His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, Matthieu Ricard and Richard J. Davidson. In their filmed conversations on compassion, these spiritual leaders and scholars explore the wisdom of contemplative practices and the beneficial effects on individual and social transformation. These exemplars of universal thinking bring together the science of neuroplasticity and the wisdom of spiritual traditions for the sake of human betterment.

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, emphasizes the interdependence of all that lives and therefore the responsibility to think and act with compassion so that conflict and suffering may be reduced. Matthieu Ricard explains how mindfulness, compassion and altruism can transform the individual and society. As a Buddhist monk, author, translator and photographer, he brings multiple perspectives to his writing as revealed in his recent publication, Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World. Professor Davidson shows how neuroscientific tools are being used to study the effects of contemplative practice on human life. He is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and Founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Free of charge and all are most welcome to attend.
Links to the presentation:
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Film
The Mind of the Universe
Building Robots with Empathy

Saturday, June 10, 2017, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

The big shift in machine learning (Artificial Intelligence) is towards something called ‘deep learning’. Deep learning is introducing a particular notion that the computer learns to represent information and to do so at multiple levels of abstraction. Since there will be robots in our daily lives, the challenge is to figure out a way to teach robots how to understand our intentions and emotions. Can we build robots that are intelligent and useful, but that also have empathy? Two films will elaborate on these themes and feature Pascale Fung and Joshua Bengio.

The Mind of the Universe is an international open source digital platform about the rapid evolution of our knowledge. It explores important questions and issues about human destiny and the future through the eyes of great minds from all over the globe.

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Founding Day Address
John Wesley Powell:
Starlight in the Stone Temple of the West

landscape

Saturday, July 1, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Russ Lewin

"We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore."
~ J. W. Powell

When we think of the West, our imaginations soar with images of raw untapped beauty, courageous exploration, and boundless resources.  We think of an America where anything is possible.  John Wesley Powell headed the Powell Geographic Expedition in 1869 to navigate the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  It had never been done before by a European.  It is a daring tale of undaunted courage and endurance.  Powell discovered natural wonders and beauty on a grand scale.   His inspiration was accompanied by the realization that the Colorado River is 'the river of life' for the West.  Powell's vision of the future involved blending the delicate beauty of nature with wise management of her precious resources.  This is his story.
Founding Day reception to follow the presentation.

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Film Series
IWC 2017 Summer Film Series
Four Saturdays in July
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Moderator: Robert Moore

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Cate Blanchett speaking with refugees

July 8    A Panoramic View of the Refugee Crisis

This exploration of the current refugee crisis draws upon two films.  Cate Blanchett lends her voice to the 23 minute documentary film Refugee, a film that follows five internation-ally acclaimed photographers recording the lives of displaced people on five continents. In The Refugee Crisis, Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen takes a step back to explain why the crisis emerged, how it affects the world’s refugees, why the current policies are failing and what kind of solutions might work instead.  Discussion will be led by a representative of the United Nations Association (UNA).
Co-sponsored by the United Nations Association (UNA) of Santa Barbara. 

Feeding the poor in Amritsar, India July 15    A Table for Sixty-Thousand

Each day 60,000 people are served a free meal at the historic Sikh site of the 'Golden Temple' in Amritsar, India, using the community itself to create the meal which is shared by all. What motivates people of diverse backgrounds to do such service? How is so much food prepared each day?  Where does the food come from? Producers Teresa and Jasprit Singh will introduce the film and lead the talk back discussion after the film ends.
DVD jacket for MindWalk July 22    MindWalk  

Based on the book, “The Turning Point,” by Fritjof Capra this film dramatizes an exploration of ideas through the intellectual conversations among a politician, a poet, and a scientist. The setting is the unique island-abbey of Mont St. Michel, giving a sense of an isolated citadel of thought, yet still connected with mainstream humanity. Starring:  Sam Waterston, John Heard and Liv Ullmann.  Directed by Bernt Capra, brother of Fritjof Capra. (1990)
DVD Jacket for The Hundred Food Journey July 29    The Hundred-Foot Journey

The story of a feud between two adjacent restaurants in a French town, one operated by a recently relocated Indian family and the other, a lofty Michelin-starred restaurant.  American comedy-drama directed by Lasse Hallström. Starring Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon. (2014)

 

Forum
Why Seven?

Saturday, September 2, 2017
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenters: Eva Moberg and Kirk Gradin

For the ancient Pythagoreans, the heptad was venerated as the number of "primary concord" and sacred to Athena as the goddess of wisdom.  From the seven days of the week, the seven notes of the musical scale and the seven continents, to the seven virtues and the seven levels of mind in transpersonal psychology, the number re-appears in many contexts.  Is it merely coincidence and superstition or does it have scientific value?  Is it merely “mythic,” or does a seven-fold division suggest an archetypal key to analyzing the connection, interdependence and synthesis of parts within the whole?  In a thought-provoking, multi-media presentation, a Swedish psycho-therapist and a local architect explore the numeric and geometric beauty, mystery and multi-dimensional significance of seven.

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Forum
The Muse Knows No Borders

Saturday, September 23, 2017
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Joseph Miller

Santa Barbara performing arts reviewer Joseph Miller has dialogued with a broad swath of internationally renowned musicians including Anoushka Shankar, Celin Romero, Kathryn Stott, Gil Shaham, Philip Setzer, Kristin Korb and Sergio Assad. His interviews have appeared in the Santa Barbara Independent and aired on KCSB-FM. In this presentation Joseph will discuss the difficulties, and surprising rewards, of ‘talking music’ with an elite few who commune with the muse, and converse in ‘the universal language’ across borders and eras.

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Film and Discussion
DNA – The Secret of Life

Saturday, October 7, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

In pursuit of understanding “creative innovation” that is offered as part of The IWC theme for this year’s program, a fascinating and informative film on DNA will be shown. This film is Episode 1 of a 5 part PBS documentary series, The Secret of Life. Dr. Howard Markel has drawn together a deep level of information to portray the competition by three teams of scientists seeking to discover, in the early 1950s, the structure of a DNA molecule. While the existence of the DNA molecule had been found in 1869, its structure and therefore its function remained unknown. Interviews with three of the scientists, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, bring alive both the personal and professional dynamics of the search and the scientific thinking used by them. The difference between a laboratory approach and a modeling mode is indicated. The search depended on the imagination, dialogue and hands-on experimentation of the scientists in the days before high tech computers existed. The significant roles of Rosalind Franklin and Linus Pauling are presented. Questions and discussion will follow the showing of the film.

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Forum
Who Chooses Our Food?
T
aking Back Control for Our Health, Our Planet, Our Communities

Saturday, October 21, 2017
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: David Cleveland

In this forum, presented by Professor David Cleveland from the Department of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara, the challenges of establishing a healthy and sustainable system for the production, distribution and consumption of food will be explored. Currently, food production contributes more than 25% of our greenhouse gas emissions, and fuels an epidemic of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Also, climate change directly threatens our food system, our health, and our communities. Low income and minority communities unjustly bear a large proportion of the burden of climate change and diet-related diseases. Changing our diet could quickly and effectively begin to solve these problems with relatively minor investments and proven methods that we already have. However, diet change requires working together to take back control of our food choices from the
food industry and the institutions and government agencies it has co-opted, as well as overcoming individual resistance to change. Effective solutions include actions and policies to a) increase information to enable better food choices, b) make healthier food more affordable, c) increase the availability of good food and decrease the availability of bad food in our communities, and d) activate peoples’ sense of autonomy and fairness to counter food industry advertising. Discussion will follow Professor Cleveland’s illustrated and thoroughly researched presentation.

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Seminar
Circles of Service: The United Nations' Response to Globalization

un logo

Saturday, November 18, 2017
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenters: Carolyn Dorrance and Maurice Bisheff

In this seminar, the mission, activities, accomplishments and failures of the United Nations will be explored. Since its founding in 1945, the United Nations has developed into a mature and comprehensive organization that despite persistent criticism, serves the welfare of humanity in many ways. The original, post-war focus was on preventing armed conflict and negotiating peace. Its work has expanded to include humanitarian aid, sustainable development, food production expansion, environmental protection, responses to epidemics and refugee crises, protection of women and children, promotion of human rights and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons efforts to name a few. How several “circles” of subsidiary organizations provide institutional, political and financial support for the aims and activities of the UN will be discussed. Recommendations from participants on how the United Nations can improve its work will be welcome.

Suggested donation of $2 per person.
work will be welcome.
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Reception

Holiday Reception for Members

Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tme to be determined
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

IThis holiday reception is for members of the Institute of World Culture and one guest. More information to follow. If you are not already a member, please consider joining. For informtion on how to become a member, click here. You may email Gerry@worldculture.org for membership information.