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

Forum
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.

If you would like to become a member, please contact membership@worldculture.org. Click here for more information on becoming a member


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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Forum
A.I. – The Emerging Revolution

self-driving car

Satu
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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