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Conference Room in Concord House


Suggestions for Study
Circles are always welcome.

Contact:
Donna at worldculture dot org

Newcomers are welcome to join at any time.
 

 

PREVIOUS YEAR'S STUDY CIRCLES

robin kimmerer
Robin Wall Kimmerer
and Student

 

 


 

IWC ONLINE STUDY CIRCLE

THE STUDY CIRCLE IS ON VACATION FOR THE SUMMER
ENJOY YOUR BREAK AND PLLEASE JOIN US AGAIN IN SEPTEMBER 2021
bench

In Fall, 2021 we will resume our meetings on Tuesday Evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 pm

THERE IS NO FEE TO JOIN THIS ONLINE STUDY CIRCLE.

A short article, video or essay will be posted below for each meeting.  It would benefit the discussion if everyone could look at the material beforehand.  If you are not able to print the article, but would like to, please contact donna@worldculture.org.  There will be a brief introduction to the topic at the beginning of each meeting and the rest of the time will be open for discussion. 
We very much look forward to your participation. 

STUDY CIRCLE TOPICS FOR WINTER AND SPRING 2021
JANUARY 2021 – FRIENDSHIP IN A WORLD OF FLUX
FEBRUARY 2021 – WORLD CULTURES THROUGH POETRY AND STORIES
MARCH 2021 – THE CHALLENGES OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
APRIL 2021 – THE CHALLENGES OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
MAY 2021 – VALUES OF HUMANITY


MAY 2021 – VALUES FOR HUMANITY
The Study Circle will be using articles from the book "Team Human" by Douglas Rushkoff. Though created by humans, our technologies, markets, and institutions often contain an anti-human agenda. Rushkoff, a digital theorist and host of the NPR-One podcast Team Human, reveals the dynamics of this anti-human machinery and invites us to remake these aspects of society in ways that foster our humanity.


May 4, 2021

Team Human
Rushkoff asserts tthat it is time we reassert the human agenda, and we must do so together ––not as the as the individual players we have been led to imagine ourselves to be, but as the team we actually are."

Reading: "Team Human" and "Social Animals", pgs 1-22 from "Team Human" by Douglas Rushkoff

May 11, 2021

A.I. or Renaissance Now
While new technology and its machines may get certain things done faster and more efficiently than humans, they externalize a host of other problems. What are they? A renaissance is, as the word suggests, a rebirth of old ideas in a new context. This may sound less radical than revolutionary upheaval, but it offers a better way to advance our deepest human values.

Reading: "Artificial Intelligence" and "Renaissance Now", pgs 117-132 and 185-196 from "Team Human" by Douglas Rushkoff

May 18, 2021

SPECIAL MEETING

7:30 - 8:30 The Wisdom of Children
For the first hour of the Study Circle, we will focus on the wisdom of children. Our speaker will be Nancy Martin, a former Peace Corp volunteer and and retired Montessori teacher. She will share insights based on a lifetime of teaching children.

8:30 - 9:30 Creating Hope with His Holiness, the XIV Dalai Lama
At 8:30, we will stream a UCSB Arts and Lectures interview with HH the Dalai Lama, in conversation Pico Iyer on the topic of creating hope. This interview is being offered by UC Santa Barbara's Arts & Lecture's series and is free of charge. Regular participants of the Institute's Study Circle will automatically be sent a link to join the Study Circle meeting at 7:30 pm. If you do not normally receive a link to particiapte in the Study Circle, but woud like to join in this time, please email: donna@worldculture.org – no later than 4:30 pm, Tuesday, May 18th and a link to join the Study Circle will be emailed to you.

If you are too late to join the Study Circle, anyone may access the interview free of charge and without prior registration on one of these websites:
UCSB's Arts & Lectures: https://artsandlectures.ucsb.edu/Details.aspx?PerfNum=4621
Dali Lama's website: https://www.dalailama.com/live

Reading: None


May 25, 2021

Human Values and Humanistic Socialism
Our focus will be on the last sections of "Team Human", which propose ways to recognize the power of solidarity.

Reading: "Organize" and "You Are Not Alone", pgs 199-216 from "Team Human" by Douglas Rushkoff

APRIL 2021 – THE CHALLENGES OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION (continued)
"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed." ~ M.K. Gandhi
"The key words of violent economics are urbanization, industrialization, centralization, efficiency, quantity, speed . . . The problem of evolving a non-violent way of economic life [in the West] and that of developing the underdeveloped countries may well turn out to be largely identical." ~ E.F. Schumacher
M.K. Gandhi and E.F. Schumacher, Satish Kumar, Winona LaDuke and others, have offered creative, realistic and powerful paradigms for social transformation. How might we use them as models for a new world culture that operates as if people matter?
Apr 6, 2021 The Revolutionary Message of E.F. Schumacher: An Economy of Peace
Much influenced by M.K. Gandhi, E.F. Schumacher explores the roots of a possible economy of peace. Considering "Smalll is Beautiful", we will discuss some of the factors and changes that could help develop an economy of permaneance.
Reading:
Technology with a Human Face
From "Small is Beautiful", Chapter 5,
by E.F. Schumacher
Apr 13, 2021 The Doughnut Economy
The doughnut economy is a new way of understanding sustainable economies which accounts for both maximum limits while helping to set minimal criteria for allocating societal resources. We will discuss this schema while focusing on Amsterdam's attempts to live by this model.
Reading:
Doughnut City: Amsterdam tries to live by a radical new economic theory
"Time Magazine", Ciara Nugent
Apr 20, 2021 Food Economics: Our Relationship to Food
In a recorded video, Winona LaDuke, an Ojibwa farmer and advocate for regenerative food practices, talks about the challenges and possibilities of sustainable and healthy food systems and how we are impacted by our relationship to food itself. We will show this video and Warren Brush, co-founder of Quail Springs Permaculture in Ventura County, will join us to share Quail Springs and the principles of regenerative agriculture.
Reading:
Apr 27, 2021 Community Supported Agriculture
Carolyn Givens from John Givens Farm in Goleta, California will join us to talk about her family's experience starting and running a successful organic farm and the value of local and community supported agriculture.
Reading:
MARCH 2021 – THE CHALLENGES OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
Mar 2, 2021 Gandhi's Critique of Modern Civilization
In the essay, "Hind Swaraj", Mahatma Gandhi provides a powerful paradigm for an alternative civilization. He writes: "Western civilization is such thst one has only to be patient and it will be self-destroyed." Self-rule is only possible through the force of love and self-reliance.

Reading:
Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule
by M.K. Gandhi

Mar 9, 2021 Gandhi on Human Nature and Perfectibility
Gandhi asserts in his writings that human nature is essentially good and capable of perfectibility. This is important because it provides an optimistic basis for transformation.
Reading:
Human Nature, Perfectibility and History by M.K. Gandhi
Mar 16, 2021 Gandhian Economics for a New World Culture
Dr. Shobana Nelasco, Professor, Development Economist and Researcher in South Asian Studies, will join us on this occasion to share her concept of Gandhian economics. She has recently edited a volume on M.K. Gandhi: Gandhi, A Global Perspective.

Reading:
Gandhian Economics
by Dr. Shobana Nelasco

Mar 23, 2021 Elegant Simplicity
Reflections on what it means to live simply, by Satish Kumar, from his book "Elegant Simplicity." How can this concept apply in the 21st century?

Reading
Click here for video of Satish Kumar speaking on "Elegant Simplicity"

Click here for article on Soil, Soul and Society by Satish Kumar

Mar 30, 2021 Economic and Moral Progress
Gandhi makes the case that economic progress is often antagonistic to moral progress, and he explains the nature of voluntary poverty and its benefits.

Reading:
Economic and Moral Progress
by M.K. Gandhi

FEBRUARY 2021

FEBRUARY – WORLD CULTURES THROUGH POETRY AND STORIES
For February we will explore various cultures through their poetry and stories. We will look at what the symbols of transformation and renewal are, and what they tell us about that culture.

 
Feb 2, 2021

Amanda Gorman and "The Hill We Climb"
U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman caught the attention of the world when she read a poem she had written specifically for the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States. Her poem, "The Hill We Climb," opens with a question about the human condition writ large: "When day comes we ask ourselves / where can we find light in this never-ending shade?" We will look at what she is saying in the poem and what it is saying about the U.S.

Reading:
Poem: The Hill We Climb

Feb 9, 2021

Japanese Culture through Haiku
A haiku is the world’s shortest poem yet despite its succinct form, it contains the essence of Japanese people’s aesthetics, view of nature, philosophy, thought, and sentiments.

"A brief glimpse,
a poem or two, a piece of history,
some personal experience."
~Allan Cooley

Reading:
Selected Haiku Poems

Feb 16, 2021

Russian Culture and Its Poetry
The subject of Russian poetry is as vast as the country itself. In this presentation, we will explore its artistic origins – the 'Golden Age' of Russian poetry of the early 19th century, which was the earliest era of Russan poetry as a national art form. Poets we will look at are: Vasily Zhukovsky, Alexander Pushkin, Yevgeny Baratynsky and Mikhail Lermonov.
Reading:
Selected Russian Poems

Feb 23, 2021

Sindh Poetry and Culture
Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, the 17th century Sindhi poet, has captured the hearts and imagination of the Sindhis, an ethno-linguistic group who are native to the Sindh province of Pakistan. For nearly three hundred years, wherever there are Sindhis, his message of the unity present in diversity is extolled. A glimpse into his poetry reveals the transformative power of his belief in the power of love.

Reading:
Risalo by Shah Abdul Latif