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:
An Inspiring History of the Peace Corps

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

"A Towering Tas"k 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 who 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. DeJoseph seeks to remind people that the Peace Corps still exists and that it might be more important now than ever before.
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Online Forum for Members Only
Creating a Beautiful and Sustainable Urban Landscape
using Native Plants

landscape design drawing

MEMBERS ONLY EVENT

Saturday, April 25, 2020
3:00 – 4:300 pm
Location: online webinar, members will be emailed an invitation to participate
Presenters: Robert Moore, Sasha Colbert and Donna Moore

Beginning Saturday, April 25th, online programs will be offered by the Institute. While we polish up our technical skills and test our participant capacity, these will be Members Only events. Only IWC members will be invited to sign up for these online events. For members, they will receive an email inviting them to participate. Please look for it. We are looking forward to seeing you all again.

The first online forum showcases a practical application of principles studied earlier in the IWC Study Circle on Nature: Science and the Sacred.
The Institute turned its front lawn into soil so that a native plant landscape could be created in its place. The project's primary goals were sustainability, simplicity, economy and beauty. Institute members and friends volunteered their time for well over a year to achieve these goals. This program will present a photographic journey and explanation of the process. The names and qualities of the native plants will be given, as well as their placement and why they were chosen. A beautiful journey all round!
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Online Forum
Chaos, Renewal and Transition – CANCELLED

THIS ONLINE FORUM, ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR MAY 9, 2020, HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO RESCHEDULE IN THE FALL SO PLEASE CHECK BACK.

 

Online Interview for Members Only
C
oming Together or Falling Apart?
World Culture in the Age of Globalism

Pico Iyer

Online Interview: Saturday, May 16, 2020
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Presenter: Pico Iyer

MEMBERS ONLY EVENT*

We are living through a global Rite of Passage: a period of accelerated transition and change when our moment in history requires crossing a significant threshold. Old structures are breaking down and creative chaos faces us at every turn.  The past and the future are converging with such force that we are faced with a paradox.  On the one hand, we see a shift in social awareness and behavior resulting in a renewed appreciation of community. However, we also face global displacement, terrorism, critical environmental destruction, and a battle between the viral world and the human world that could threaten our very existence. Renewal can come only when we understand how to navigate this transition. We need to let an “old story” die, and consciously co-create a “new story” for our future.

Pico Iyer is well known around the world as an excellent travel writer, with more than a dozen books translated into twenty-three languages. He has given well received TED talks, and writes regularly for Time, The New York Times, and The New York Review of Book, as well as magazines around the world, and was Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton.
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*To Request an Invitation: 
If you would like to receive an email invitation for the online talks, please send your preferred address to Chris Nolt at eventsonline at worldculture.orgIn the subject line enter the word “registration and the name of the event.”  Your name will be added to the list of participants, and you will be sent an overview of the steps for joining the event. You will need a computer with internet access, speakers, microphone, and camera (optional). The deadline for submitting your email address to be added to the list of participants is 6:00 p.m., Friday evening. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have questions beforehand, please feel free to email Chris at eventsonline at worldculture.org.  

 

 

Online Forum for Members Only
History and Culture of North and West Africa Expressed in Art

 

MEMBERS ONLY EVENT*

Online Forum: Saturday, May 30, 2020
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Presenter: Nancy Martin

This presentation of artwork will explain how art is used to teach the history and share stories and culture of different tribes in North and West Africa.  Work will include tapestries, sculpture, and a door.  The tribes highlighted will be the Dogon from Mali, Yoruba of Benin, Senufo from Korhogo, Ivory Coast, and the Ashanti of Ghana. The characters/figures depicted will be discussed and their significance explained.  Art has been used to tell stories and teach history for hundreds of years.  The speaker lived in Africa for five years and has collected African art as a way to share, teach about, and appreciate African people and culture.

Nancy Martin was a Peace Corp volunteer, a Montessori teacher, and has been a long time member of the Institute.
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*To Request an Invitation: 
If you would like to receive an email invitation for the online talks, please send your preferred address to Chris Nolt at eventsonline at worldculture.orgIn the subject line enter the word “registration and the name of the event.”  Your name will be added to the list of participants, and you will be sent an overview of the steps for joining the event. You will need a computer with internet access, speakers, microphone, and camera (optional). The deadline for submitting your email address to be added to the list of participants is 6:00 p.m., Friday evening. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have questions beforehand, please feel free to email Chris at eventsonline at worldculture.org.  

 

 

Online Founders' Day Talk for Members Only
Thomas Jefferson and the Architecture of Revolution

Thomas Jefferson and Monticello

MEMBERS ONLY EVENT*

Online Talk: Saturday, June 27, 2020
7:30 – 9:00 pm
Presenter: Kirk Gradin

As one of the most learned and eloquent spokesmen to define the central themes of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson was also an accomplished statesman and diplomat, philologist, probing scientist, inventor, musician, and self-taught architect. At a time of tremendous upheaval and uncertainty, he helped to articulate an enduring vision of human rights, of political and religious freedom, of free speech, free elections and universal education, as inalienable components of collective welfare as the circle, square and triangle, the pure geometric forms of classical architecture. However, many of the ideals Jefferson envisioned were neither fully realized by him in his own life, nor by the institutions that formed and evolved around them. What lessons does Jefferson’s life hold for us today? How might a reinvigoration of the central visionary ideals he articulated help us to understand, to heal and transform the turbulent and troubled present moment?
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Click here for video link to the talk

*To Request an Invitation to Join the Meeting: 
If you would like to receive an email invitation for this online Zoom event, please send your preferred email address to: donna at worldculture.orgIn the subject line enter the word “registration and the name of the event.”  Several days before the event you will receive an email invitation to join the meeting. The deadline for submitting your email address isJune 26th by 6:00 p.m. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have questions beforehand, please feel free to email the registration email address given above.  



Online Forum for Members Only
The Aims and Consequences of Protests


MEMBERS ONLY EVENT*

Online Forum: Saturday, July 18, 2020
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Presenter: Carolyn Dorrance

The purpose of this forum is to discuss and debate the aims and impact of political protests, particularly the ones that have emerged in recent years. Participation by all members attending the forum will be encouraged. The questions listed below are intended to stimulate thought before and during the forum. Original perspectives and other questions are welcome before and during the forum. Please send in your questions and comments to eventsonline at worldculture.org if you have them. The protocols of fair online discussion are expected.

Questions to Be Discussed
1. How and Why Do Different Types of Protest Emerge?
2. What is the Value of “Spontaneous Leadership”?
3. What are typical Aims of Protest: Political, Economic, Social?
4. What are the Explanations for the Globalization of Protests?
5. Must Protests be Non-Violent to be Effective? Why or Why not?
6. What Might Be Some Accomplishments of Protests?
7. Are Protests Necessary to Achieve Democracy? Why or Why Not?
8. How Do Protests Promote Freedom, Equality, Tolerance or Justice?
9. How might Participation in Protest be Transformative for Individuals?
10. Do Protests Divide Society or Promote Consensus and Unity?

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*To Request an Invitation to Join the Meeting: 
If you would like to receive an email invitation for this online Zoom event, please send your preferred email address to: donna at worldculture.org. In the subject line enter the word “registration and the name of the event.”  Several days before the event you will receive an email invitation to join the meeting. The deadline for submitting your email address is July 17 by 6:00 p.m. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have questions beforehand, please feel free to email the registration email address given above.  



Online Forum for Members Only
Honoring Women's Suffrage

MEMBERS ONLY EVENT*

Online Forum: Saturday, August 22, 2020
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Presenter: Carolyn Dorrance

In observance of the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment to The United States Constitution, a review of how women secured the right to vote nationwide will be offered. In their 72 year struggle to gain this right, four generations of women utilized a variety of political strategies and tactics. Most controversial was their creative use of street protests and the punishment inflicted upon them by a beleaguered President. These protests became a model for subsequent political movements seeking changes in public policy and in the practices of government. Attention will be given to some of the political values of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and to the recent protests organized around the banner, "Black Lives Matter".

Joining the Forum: 
Members will be sent a link for the program. If you are not a member and would like to join, please send an email to donna at worldculture.org with “Registration-Suffrage” in the subject line. Before the event you will receive an email invitation to join the meeting. The deadline for submitting your email address is August 21st, by 6:00 pm. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have questions beforehand, please feel free to email the registration email address given above. 

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Online Forum
Rumi's Path of Transformation: The Alchemy of Soul

Online Forum: Saturday, September 26, 2020
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Presenter: Fariba Enteshari

The interfaith wisdom teachings of Rumi invite us to follow the path of truth and love. In his poetry and storytelling, Rumi offers a foundation for social and spiritual awareness that embraces our diversity, thus harmonizing our mind, heart, body and spirit. His hope is that by the expansion of our hearts we can better realize our unifying spiritual essence. For Rumi, this is the alchemy of the soul. Rumi's analogy for this transformation is the individual's quest to uncover the potential of who we are. That is how we may rise from duality to a new level of understanding of our essence.

Born in Shiraz, Iran, Fariba Enteshari is an international Rumi educator who draws her spiritual roots from the Sufi tradition and her multicultural upbringing. She is passionate about teaching Mathnawi, Rumi's masterpiece, a six-volume poem, in its original Farsi and English. She is the Founder of the Rumi Educational Center, an interfaith, cross-cultural, nonprofit educational center. Fariba has taught Mathnawi from its original Farsi text for the past 23 years. In addition to her teaching at the Rumi Educational Center, Fariba has held many workshops at La Casa de Maria in Santa Barbara. She has also taught at the University of Southern California, Esalen Institute and the Omega Institute. Her diverse background helps her to challenge herself and others from many cultural and religious traditions to use their voices for personal and societal transformation.

Joining the Forum: 

Members: Members will automatically be sent a link for the program. 
Non-Members
: If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to donna at worldculture.org with “Registration-Rumi” in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.  The deadline for submitting your request is two days before the event, and if there is space, you will receive your invitation the day before the event.  If you would like to become a member, or have questions or suggestions, please feel free to email donna at worldculture.org.

 

 

Online Forum
Are Universal Human Rights Needed?

Online Forum: Saturday, October 24, 2020
1:30 – 4:00 pm
Presenters: Allan Cooley and Carolyn Dorrance

Claims of rights are frequently and furiously asserted, but what turns a claim into a recognized right – philosophically, ethically or legally defended? The aim of this forum is to consider the many questions that arise from a discussion of human rights and the proposed need for universal human rights.

1. Should rights be embedded in cultural traditions or in legal books?
2. Should Mankind be free to create and voice fresh definitions of rights?
3. Do rights depend on political and social democracy?
4. Must there be a national consensus on the rights recognized and protected in a particular society?
5. Are there universal rights based on human aims, capacities and needs?
6. Why do we need universally recognized human rights?
7. Does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948, provide a good foundation for the implementation of rights around the globe?
8. Does the UN Charter and Declaration of Human Rights need an upgrade? How could a world-wide discussion on such an upgrade be stimulated?
9. What obstacles, cultural, economic, political, impede the definition and implementation of human rights?
10. How might governments be persuaded to recognize and implement human rights fully and effectively?
11 What rights are currently most needed in contemporary societies? Globally? Do the workers of the world need more protection?
12. How are the poorest countries most vulnerable to environmental inequities?
13. Why do disputes over rights create political and social conflicts, sometimes leading to violence?
14. Do human rights harm or help progress toward equality?
15. What can you do in thought, word and deed to promote universal human rights? Can you imagine a world where universal human rights are shared and practiced and are used to shape public policy?

Joining the Forum: 

Members will automatically be sent a link for the program.
Non-Members
: If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to donna at worldculture.org with “Registration-UHR” in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.  Invites will be sent out during the week before the event. The deadline for submitting your request is two days before the event.  If you would like to become a member, or have questions or suggestions, please feel free to email donna at worldculture.org. For more information on how to participate in a Zoom meeting click here

 

 

Online Forum
Vision of the Institute of World Culture,
Past, Present and Future
five pointed star

Online Forum: Saturday, November 21, 2020
2:00 – 4:30 pm
Moderators: Carolyn Dorrance and Gerry Lewin

In a time of challenge and change, it is a time for reviewing the aims and opportunities for the Institute of World Culture. Therefore, in a forum on the vision of the Institute, past, present and future, memories of the founding will be recalled and suggestions about how the Institute programs can contribute in the future to the emergence of world culture will be explored. How was the Institute founded and developed? What is the impact of contemporary changes required in conditions of the pandemic? Very importantly, what can the Institute contribute in the future to the emergence of world culture? Contributions from all participants attending the forum on the following topics will be welcome.

• A Vision of Shared Interdependence and Cooperation
• A Vision of Shared Responsibility for and Obligation to Humanity
• Proposals for Reducing Violence and Developing Peace
• Modes of Developing and Using Knowledge: Scientific, Moral,  Psychological, Social, Civic, Political
• Encouragement of Healthy, Nourishing Cultures, Local and Global
• Development of New Aims and Curricula for Education
• New Modes for Protecting the Environment and Transforming Human Perceptions of their Relationship to Nature and to All Forms of Life

Please think about these topics and be prepared to offer your proposals on how Institute programs might contribute to the development and realization of world culture.

The Forum will conclude with an explanation of the 2021 theme: Universal Symbols of Transformation and Renewal  

Weare looking forward to your participation!

Joining the Forum: 

Members will automatically be sent a link for the program.
Non-Members
: If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to donna at worldculture.org with “Registration-UHR” in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.  Invites will be sent out during the week before the event. The deadline for submitting your request is two days before the event.  If you would like to become a member, or have questions or suggestions, please feel free to email donna at worldculture.org.