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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 Wall Kimmerer
and Student



The IWC Study Circle meets in person and via Zoom on Tuesday evenings from 7:30–9:00 pm.
We meet in person in the Concord Hall Seminar Room, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA.
To receive a link to attend via Zoom please email
Our discussion cover a wide diversity of topics and themes over the year reflected in the
Institute's Theme for the Year and its Declaration of Interdependence

Participants will received a short article or essay a few days before each meeting.
These resources will also be posted on this webpage (below) before each meeting. 
The focus on our discussions is always how to apply what we learn in our lives for the benefit of the whole.
It would benefit the discussion if everyone could look at the material beforehand.
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. Our emphasis in the Study Circle is on learning how best to apply what we
learn in our daily lives in a way that uplifts the whole.

We very much look forward to your participation. 

How are the concept of Self-fulfillment and the idea that less-is-more related? Is the idea of using less a science? We will begin a discussion of these questions and more with a cartoon titled: "Enough is Enough" and then hear the classical Indian myth of Ganesh and Karttikeya. We will also discover what Glenn Loury, Abraham Maslow, Satish Kumar, Pico Iyer, Elaine Meyer and Henry David Thoreau have to contribute to the discussion with readings from their works.

: If the link to a readings is not active, please check back. We make every effort to provide the material the week before the relevent meeting.

NOVEMBER 1, 2022
Reading: "Enough is Enough"
Reading: "Ganesh vs. Karttikeya"
Reading: Chapter on "Economy" from Walden by Henry David Thoreau

NOVEMBER 8, 2022 -
Video of a talk: "The Ghost in the Machine" by Professor of Economics Glenn Loury will be shown during the meeting
Reading: "Hierarchy of Needs" by Abraham Maslow

NOVEMBER 15, 2022
Reading: "Yoga of Action" from Satish Kumar's Elegant Siimplicity
Supplemental Reading: "Kali Yuga", a Hindu term referrring to the most difficult of the fou rcosmic cycles. The reading describes the impulsion to more rather than less, and it is the cycle in which we seek the science of less.

NOVEMBER 22, 2022
Reading: "Passage to Nowhere" from "The Art of Stillness" by Pico Iyer
Reading: "Less Work, More Living" from YES! by Elaine Meyer

NOVEMBER 29, 2022
Reading: "Higher Laws" by Henry David Thoreau


In October we will be taking up several chapters from two books, "Sacred Nature: Restoring our Ancient Bond with the Natural World" by Karen Armstrong, and "Reimagining Global Philanthropy" by Kirk S. Bowman and Jon R. Wilcox. "Sacred Nature" tells us that many of our ancestor's myths taught them how to revere the natural evnironment. Unlike in our modern environmental discourse, nature was presented and experienced imaginatively and aesthetically rather than scientifically, and this involved the emotions and the body. Different cultures across the world saw nature as imbued with the sacred in remarkably similar ways. "Reimagining Global Philanthropy" provides the critical analysis we have needed for decades, but had not had until now, explaining why global philanthropy so often fails, and why dropping the ego and instead identifying and supporting grassroots actors will always be the most impactful, empowering and cost-effective way to make change. If our goal is really a world where everyone is able to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, ensuring our collective well-being in ways that preserve diversity and that promote belonging and care for our communities and ecosystsems, not only reimagining, but actually realizing, a de-colonial approach to philanthropy is imperative.

OCTOBER 4, 2022
Reading: Sacred Nature: Introduction and Chapter 1: "Mythos and Logos"

OCTOBER 11, 2022
Reading: Sacred Nature: Chapter 4: "Our Broken World"

OCTOBER 18, 2022
Reading: Reimagining Global Philanthropy: Chapter 2: "Everybody wants to change the world"

OCTOBER 25, 2022
Reading for Study Circle: "Reimagining Global Philanthropy: Chapter 4: "The Community Bank Model of International Philanthropy"
Additional Reading, only if interested: Reimagining Global Philanthropy: Chapter 3: "Lessons from Contemporary Global Philanthropy Practice"

The September focus of discussion will be on a few chapters of J.B. MacKinnon's book, "The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves". To some extent the economic changes spawned by the pandemic inspired MacKinnon to consider the possibililties and consequences of a world that consumes less. So far the world has not faced the issue that green energy is not a solution as long as we just use more and more energy. His book examines the consequences of reduced consumption to various aspects of our lives and the life of the planet that sustains us. How would reduced consumption effect our relationnships with each other and with the natural world? Economists often declare that a significant reduction in spending woud lead to economic collapse – unemployment – bankruptcy – overwhelming improverishment. So, what is the role of the consumer in world citizenship?

"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor." ~ Seneca

SEPTEMBER 20, 2022
Reading: Prologue: "We must stop shopping but we can't stop shopping", pages 7-14, and
Chapter 1, "What we give up and what we hang on to", pages 17– 29.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2022
Reading: Chapter 3, "It's not that time turns weird, it's a different kind of time", pages 43 – 55.
(Note: page 53 was copied out of order-it. You will find page 53 at the end of the selection).