An Ecosystemic Approach to Live Better in a Better World: Integrating Public Policies, Research and Teaching Programmes

Friday, 3 July 2015: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
CLM.B.06 (Clement House)
Andre Francisco Pilon, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
The contemporary world is increasingly dependent upon very large, intertwined and interdependent complex interacting systems, which legitimize power as domination and exploitation, wealth as predatory exploitation, growth as unlimited expansion, work as a segmented specialization. In view of the asymmetries of power between citizens and corporations and the dominant political-technological-economical system controlled by egocentric producers and consumers, critical thinking, interdisciplinary and holistic, values driven approaches are needed,

To deal with the problems of difficult settlement or solution in the world, an ecosystemic approach is posited, encompassing public policies, research and teaching programmes, in view of the integration of four dimensions of being in the world (intimate, interactive, social and biophysical), as they combine, as donors and recipients, to induce the events (deficits and assets), cope with consequences (desired or undesired) and contribute for change (potential outputs), ideally preserving the singularity and dynamic equilibrium.

Problems are defined within the “boiling pot”, not reduced to the bubbles of the surface (effects, fragmented, taken for granted issues); deficits and assets of all the dimensions are considered, in order to strengthen their connections and seal their ruptures; the singularity (identity, proper characteristics) and reciprocity (mutual support) of the dimensions are taken altogether in a mutually entangled web (configurations), in view of the equilibrium between natural and built environments, the physical, social and mental well being.

The methodology is participatory, experiential and reflexive; in the socio-cultural learning niches, the individual and the collective projects of life are unveiled and dealt with by heuristic-hermeneutic processes, the contributions of the participants are analysed both from a thematic (“what”) and an epistemic point of view (“how”) in different space-time horizons of understanding, feeling and action; new forms of interpretation and understanding beyond the established stereotypes are developed to prepare the transition to an ecosystemic model of culture.

Instead of taking current prospects for granted, a previous definition of desirable goals and the exploration of new paths to reach them is posited, as ethics, education, culture, natural and man-made environments, physical, social and mental well-being are integrated into the societal structures and the collective project of quality of life; a concerted action by public and private sectors, social organisations, scientific and technical institutions is posited, so the various parties cease to defend their vested interests in benefit of a real change in the current world system.

In view of the large differences in power between natural persons and legal persons in public affairs, special attention is given to the role of people at the top of the scale of influence (economic, political, educational, cultural, military, artistic, media, entertainment), as new paradigms of growth, power, wealth, work and freedom, emerging in the socio-cultural learning niches, are embedded into the cultural, social, political and economical institutions in view of the transition to an ecosystemic model of culture