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Conference Room in Concord House

Suggestions for Study
Circles are always welcome.

Donna at worldculture dot org

Newcomers are welcome to join at any time.



robin kimmerer

Robin Kimmerer (left)

Study Circlse meets on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Meetings are held at Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA


Topics for March, April and May 2020

Naomi Klein Wendell Berry Rigoberta Menchu Pete Seeger Rachel Carson Matthieu Ricard Ibn Sina

“We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist.” 
“There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.”
– Wendell Berry

The new Study Circle will begin with an exploration of the “Green New Deal “legislation passed by the US House of Representatives, which seeks to provide a regenerating and renewing vision of humanities future.  In this regard, we will look at the lives and work of cultural exemplars throughout the world – men and women who have made a vital contribution to uplifting human culture, have exemplified moral courage, have upheld humane cultural values and engaged in meaningful social service to others.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer with meeting topics and dates


Topic for discussion

Mar 3

The Green New Deal
In the Epilogue from her book, “On Fire. The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal “, journalist and environment Naomi Klein makes a capsule case for a Green New Deal. A video interview of the author will be shown.

Suggested readings:
"Epilogue: A Capsule Cae for A Green New Deal." From: "On Fire. The (Burning Case for a Green New Deal" by Naomi Klein
"The Green New Deal Legislation (H. Res 109)", passed by the US House of Representtives
Summary of Green New Deal from The Washington Post

Mar 10

The Green New Deal
Economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin has written 21 books about the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society and the environment, including, “The Green New Deal.”

Suggested readings:
"The Green New Deal" by Jeremy Rifkin

Mar 17

Active Environmentalism
What initiatives such as the Green New Deal passed by Congress in 2019 offer a path to environmental protection through changes in public policy?   Who are the new leaders such as Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez insisting on new laws and fresh values?  What global movements are promoting environmentalism such as youth protests and the work of Asok Khosla in India?

Mar 24

Cultural Exemplars - Pete Seeger
Pete Seegar is renowned for his combination of music and social and environmental activism. Throughout his long career, he sounded notes of hope and harmony for a troubled world.

Mar 31

Cultural Exemplars - Wendell Berry
Poet, novelist, and environmentalist Wendell Berry has maintained a farm in Kentucky for over 40 years. Mistrustful of technology, he holds deep reverence for the land and is a staunch defender of agrarian values. His poetry celebrates the holiness of life and everyday miracles often taken for granted.

Apr 7

Cultural Exemplars - Rigoberto Menchú and Alfonso Garcia Robles
The exemplarily qualities of two Nobel Peace Prize laureates from Latin America will be considered. Menchú Tum is a Guatemalan K’iche’ indigenous human rights activist and feminist who worked to publicize the rights of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. Robles was a Mexican diplomat and politician who worked strenuously to make Latin American a nuclear-free zone.

Apr 14

Cultural Exemplars - Buckminster Fuller
Fuller was a 20th c. inventor and visionary who did not limit himself to one field but worked as a ‘comprehensive anticipatory design scientist’ to solve global problems.

Apr 21

Cultural Exemplars - Dag Hammarskjöld
Hammarskjöld was a twentieth century Swedish economist and diplomat who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, the youngest person to have held the post. He was considered by some to have been “the greatest statesman of our century.”


Apr 28

Cultural Exemplars - Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina, often known in the west as Avicenna, was a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age, and the father of modern medicine. 

May 5

Cultural Exemplars - Bono
Bono (Paul David Hewson) is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician and businessman.  He is best known as the lead vocalist and primary lyricist of the rock band U2.  He is also one of the world’s best-known philanthropic performers and was named the most politically effective celebrity of all time for his social justice and humanitarian work, both through U2 and as an individual.  He is particularly active in campaigning for Africa.

May 12
Cultural Exemplars - Bertha von Suthner and Katherine Johnson
Bertha von Suttner was an Austrian-Bohemian pacifist and novelist and the second female Nobel laurete, the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Katherine Johnson was one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist.  Her work calculating trajectories for NASA missions won her the Presidental Medal of Freedom in 2015 and is celebrated in the movie Hidden Figures.

May 19

Cultural Exemplars - Matthieu Ricard
Matthieu Ricard is a French writer, photographer, translator, scientist (with a PhD in molecular genetics), and Buddhist monk. He has participated in studies on the brains of long-term meditatiors which have lead to great insights on the value of training the mind. His home is in Nepal, where he devotes his time to Karuna-Shechen, a nonprofit to help women and children reach their potentials.


May 26

Cultural Exemplars - Desmond Tutu
South African Anglican cleric and theologian Desmond Tutu was known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human activist. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.