Latest update: October 29, 2017
Netherlands: March 26, 2017
- Lakeside CONVERSATION
au bord du lac
Learning in the Anthropocene
- As on all previous occasions,
this particular Lakeside Conversation as well was hosted by Lya
and Jan Visser. A small and diverse group of individuals joined
the Conversation. The above photograph, taken by Jaap Swart,
shows four of them: From left to right: Jan and Lya Visser, Paul
Cobben and Walter Erdelen. Following is the full list of participants.
- Yolande Belghazi-Timman: Writer;
linguist; language teacher to immigrant communities.
- Paul Cobben: Philosopher; former
professor Tilburg University; actor.
- Walter Erdelen: Biologist; former
Assistant Director-General for Science, UNESCO.
- Arthur Kok: Philosopher; musician.
- Jaap Swart: Anthropologist;
former General Manager Radio Netherlands Training Center.
- Jan Visser: Theoretical physicist;
president & sr. researcher Learning Development Institute.
- Lya Visser: Educational scientist;
online learning facilitator; sculptor.
- Koen Wessels: Researcher and
co-founder/developer at 'De Bildung Akademie.'
- The conversation was prompted
by the following statement included in the invitation:
- Looking at some of the current
developments around the world it is time, I believe, to keep
the reality of anthropogenic impact on the human habitat, and
on the environment in general, continually in mind. It forces
us to think about the profound transformations members of our
species must undergo if we are to survive and flourish in the
Anthropocene. That's not a minor challenge. But it's a challenge
that calls for urgent reflection and action, a challenge of a
magnitude never before faced by humans. I sincerely hope it will
be seen, by those who participate in the conversation, not merely
as a threat, but as a unique opportunity for inspired, problem-oriented,
exploration, research and reflection.
- The conversation started with
a PowerPoint presentation which you find here. It opens in a new window.
- We made some headway and scratched
the surface of a hugely difficult problem area. We did so in
a way that convinces at least me and those among you with whom
I since spoke that we should continue this effort, digging deeper
into layers of human existence, and plant the seeds for practical
solutions to emerge. Awareness that such work should begin now
is one of the outcomes of our conversation. Some of the lines
along which we should work to create relevant changes in the
learning landscape became visible. Multiple foci of attention
were suggested, including diversity, complexity, value considerations,
the quality of thinking and reflection, compassion, and beauty..
- Reflecting on this particular
conversation as well as subsequent interactions with other people
on these same matters half a year later, it would seem that we
need a vision of how life in the Anthropocene will be different
from life as we know it today. Four key adjectives come to mind
in this regard. Life in the Anthropocene should be enjoyable,
compassionate, respectful, and responsible. Having
a shared vision inspired by such values is necessary for current
and future generations to navigate to a better world.
- May the conversation continue.
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