Institute of World Culture

Theme for 2020
The Quest for a Harmonious and Regenertaive World Culture:
From the Transactional to the Transformative

All the aims in the Declaration of Interdependence recognize the possibility of an emerging world culture, but what is a world culture? How can harmony and regeneration be part of its development? A world culture is different than the collection of interactions around the world that show merely interdependence and global impact. A culture expresses and reflects shared values, ethical principles and behavior that serve humanity and all of nature as well. Is there, for example, a shared value emerging globally on the need to fundamentally transform our view of nature in order to respond effectively to climate change with specific policies? Other examples of an emerging world culture are arising from the creativity of people from all over the world who are sharing their vision, their knowledge and their global innovations in science, technology, non-violent conflict resolution, economic development, health care, education and the arts such as music, literature, and drama.

Program for 2020

Looking Foward to the New Year

sunrise over the earth

Saturday, January 11, 2020
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

In a cordial and constructive way, Institute members are invited to gather for discussion of our theme and programs for 2020 in relation to the currents of hope and progress around the world. So, bring your creative thinking, questions and suggestions about our theme, The Quest for a Harmonious and Regenerative World Culture: from the Transactional to the Transformative. Time for fellowship and tasty treats will be part of this gathering.

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Film and Discussion
Gandhi's Gift
Master of NonViolence

film festival selection logo
film festival logo

Saturday, January 25, 2020
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Gandhi's Gift shows the Master of Nonviolence near the end of his life, on the brink of attaining his lifelong goal of freedom from the British but with his heart breaking by the partition of India and the terrible communal violence that is killing untold thousands, perhaps a million or more. Having led masses in nonviolent marches, Gandhi now walks alone for unity and peace.

This film is the first major documentary about Gandhi made in the U.S. It was filmed on location in India, South Africa, and the UK at all the important sites in Gandhi's life. Historians and witnesses who actually grew up in the Mahatma's presence tell his story. Featured commentator, Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi, is both an historian and grandson with vivid memories of his grandfather's final days. Other expert commentators are Gandhians and authors Dr. Vandana Shiva and James Douglass. Inspiring details of Gandhi's life and thinking, known only by scholars until recently, are part of the commentary. The story of Gandhi is as relevant today as it was when he walked the earth, and introduces audiences in the 21st century to Gandhi's timeless message of nonviolence and interfaith harmony.

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A.I. – The Emerging Revolution

self-driving car

rday, February 15, 2020
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Russ Lewin

“I believe it is going to change the world more than anything
in the history of mankind – even electricity.”
~ Kai Fu Lee

Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to revolutionize human society. AI involves the training of deep-learning algorithms to process massive amounts of data, so as to find subtle patterns that can answer questions. Within 20 years, approximately 40% of jobs currently done by humans are projected to be displaed by AI devices. This has the potential to liberate humans from many burdensome tasks.

This Forum will explore several key questions: What is AI? How does AI work? What can AI do? What are the implications of AI for society, human self-definition, and the jobs of the future? In order to more fully understand AI, and how it works, demonstrations will be provided. Explanations of Neural Networks, High Dimensional Space Visualizations, Algorithms, and Machine Learning will be offered at a beginning level. Our newfound knowledge will allow us to start to understand how Tesla’s self-driving cars operate, how Google and others are developing AI, and how the implementation of AI will be
used in a wide array of fields. A comment from Kai Fu Lee on the change brought by AI is, “AI will do the analytical thinking, while humans will wrap that analysis in warmth and compassion".

robot chef

Suggested donation: $2 per person.
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Film and Discussion
A Towering Task

Saturday, February 22, 2020
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Moderator: Alana DeJoseph

A Towering Task is an inspiring documentary film that reflects an accurate history of the Peace Corps. The screening will be followed by a discussion with its director, Alana DeJoseph.  She previously served as associate producer of the award-winning PBS documentaries The Greatest Good, about the U.S. Forest Service, and Green Fire about conservationist Aldo Leopold.  Director DeJoseph seeks to remind people that the Peace Corps still exists and that it might be more important now than ever before.

Suggested donation: $2 per person.
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Film and Discussion
Botso: The Teacher from Tbilisi


BOTSO is a story that not only touches the hearts of viewers. Filmed under the auspices of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, profits go toward music scholarships for children for years to come!

We are especially fortunate that Botso’s son, Temmo, will attend and curate the film.

Saturday, March 21, 2020
7:00 – 9:30 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Special Guest: Temmo Korishell

This award-winning documentary chronicles the life, art and wisdom of Wachtang “Botso” Korisheli (d. August 9, 2015), a Georgian immigrant who founded a thriving musical tradition in the Morro Bay, California, and launched the careers of a number of notable musicians and conductors.  
Born in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, young Botso was affectionately held by Josef Stalin not long before Stalin’s brutal regime ordered the execution of Botso’s father, popular actor Platon Korisheli. Remarkably, Botso was allowed 20 minutes to see his father one last time. Here, inside a dark prison, Platon communicated to his son his most important life lessons, words that continued to inspire Botso throughout his life, up to his death at age 93.  This powerful moment helped Botso not only endure years of suffering at the hands of both the Soviet army and Nazis during World War II, but also gave him the determination to maintain an infectious passion for humanity, the arts, and life itself.
Eventually arriving in America with nothing but hope, Botso furthered his musical training and became a beloved educator of children. He went on to touch generations of students, inspiring some of the world’s premier musical artists, including five-time Grammy Award winner Kent Nagano.
Filmed partly in the Republic of Georgia, this feature-length documentary also captures the rich culture of an ancient country that shaped Botso’s unique way of teaching.
Temmo Korisheli is an active performer in many musical styles, especially medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque. Recent early-music engagements have included concerts with Ensemble Ciaramella in Los Angeles, Victoria, and New York, and with the Texas Early Music Project in Austin. He has been on staff with the Amherst Early Music Festival of New England for the past 22 years, where he has collaborated with many luminaries of the early-music world; he also serves as bursar of the Festival. Mr. Korisheli has appeared as soloist with ensembles such as the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, the New York Collegium under Andrew Parrott, and regional oratorio societies; as a guest artist with several university early music programs around the state and beyond; and sang for many years in the UCSB Cappella Cordina. He is a founding member of the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, sings frequently in the Opera Santa Barbara Chorus, and plays clawhammer banjo, and, this December, celebrates 20 seasons of spreading Christmas cheer with the Santa Barbara Holiday Carollers. Mr. Korisheli is assistant music director at All Saints’-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito. He holds the MA and PhD (ABD) degrees in historical musicology from UCSB, where he studied with Alejandro Planchart and William Prizer and where he presently supervises the Music Library.

Suggested donation: $2 per person.