Planetary Systems Need Us to Be Smarter

2020 New Year’s Letter from Geoversiv’s Founder Dear Friends, As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, Geoversiv aims to reiterate the importance of embracing complexity, committing to critical thinking, and supporting the spread of creative collaborative innovation for social good and the health and wellbeing of people and planetary systems. In 2019, … Continue reading Planetary Systems Need Us to Be Smarter

World Ocean Day event on the SS LILAC

Answering the Ocean’s Call: Stewardship of Our Ocean, Our Future is a World Ocean Day event on the historic SS LILAC. Speakers included: Mary Habstritt, LILAC Preservation Society Nina Hitchings, The River Project Myra Jackson, Geoversiv Senior Advisor for Whole Earth Civics Joseph Robertson, Geoversiv Founder and President (moderator) Mary Crowley, Ocean Voyages Institute and … Continue reading World Ocean Day event on the SS LILAC

Geoversiv Commitment to Ocean Stewardship

Living Future Strategies for Ocean Neutrality The Geoversiv Commitment to Ocean Stewardship is intended as both an institutional action agenda and a process of exploration and discovery, generating roadmaps for others to follow. It operates through five areas of action: Information support Stakeholder participation Technical capacity Catalytic convening Institutional practice 1) Information Support The Geoversiv … Continue reading Geoversiv Commitment to Ocean Stewardship

Exploring Earth Systems

On Tuesday, May 9, the Norway House hosted a moderated discussion titled Exploring Earth Systems: the Geoversiv Approach to Smart Future-Building, with Don Shelby and Joseph Robertson. The event was held in the Norway House Galleri, where explorer David Thoreson‘s brilliant, moving photography exhibit ‘Over the Horizon’ was on display. Event details: Exploring Earth Systems … Continue reading Exploring Earth Systems

Critical Thinking, Humanities Needed for Widespread Educational Success

There are two visions of what education can provide, as a service: it can provide the opportunity for integral cultivation of the full human self, with the aim of yielding productive, conscientious citizens of a dynamic, free society; or, it can produce workers to take their place in a faceless workforce, where individual rights are subsumed in the thrust of the major forces that govern society.

For most of our history, we have understood the value of citizenship-focused education, a humanizing process whereby the individual is introduced to higher-order critical thinking and the ability to formulate and pursue knowledge in new and unique ways, but the trend toward standardization and processization of our educational system has shifted the focus away from the humanizing effects of education and toward the idea of an able workforce.

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Climate Destabilization & Cold Winter Weather

Climate change means “global warming”, so how can severe winter storms and excessively cold breezes be evidence of a warming climate? The key is in the word “global”: the warming of the overall global average temperature need not manifest in all places at all times as warmer weather. Throughout the history of human civilization, the Earth’s climate has remained relatively stable, due to optimal global average temperatures; as global average temperatures slip outside that optimal range, the warmer air makes the interaction between climate systems more inconsistent and more severe.

So, while monsoons are failing across Africa and southern Asia, and major rivers are starting to run dry for part of the year, failing to reach the sea, in northern climate bands, storms are getting to be more severe and winter weather is hitting harder. This is because climate bands themselves are blurring, becoming less rigid, less reliable, and so in traditionally temperate climate zones, arctic and tropical air are coming together more often than before, both demonstrating and exacerbating the ongoing destabilization of major climate patterns.

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‘Psychic Numbing’: Why does mass suffering induce mass indifference?

Psychic numbing‘ is a relatively new term, assigned to the phenomenon which shows people tend to feel less urgent compassion, and tend to give less, when the suffering in question is shown to be more systemic and more pervasive, or affecting larger numbers of people. Some psychologists believe it is linked to our intuitive sense that if one suffers alone, the suffering is worse, but if one is accompanied, there might be some security in numbers, not just emotionally, but practically.

The individual does not actually suffer less, but somehow, human beings —across cultures, ages groups and regions— appear to have an almost inborn tendency to convince themselves that the one who suffers with others is somehow safer. This is, of course, rarely true. While yes, a young boy might survive because his older sister goes without food, two young children in a population beset with pervasive, persistent scarcity or political disorder, may be at significantly heightened risk of violence, or even enslavement.

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In Defense of the Book, in All its Forms

Today is the Day of the Book, in part spurred by the urge to recognize two of the great progenitors of modern literature, William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, who both died on 23 April 1616, at least according to the official history. Their work and the various arts that go into making books, as such, are celebrated around the world as staples of modern global civilization and the human element of culture.

But the book is more than those sweeping historical energies; it is a concrete, observable register of intent and of meaning, which carries evidence of our humanity forward and informs and improves future worlds. The book, bound pages imprinted with text in one form or another, is one of the oldest continuously used and still highly relevant technologies, and for good reason.

Paper is both a simple and a complicated tool, requiring large amounts of industry and energy to produce, yet is produced in massive quantities and seems endlessly available. Staining it in a way that allows a visual rendering of a given code (a language and its preferred alphabet) allows us to create a record of ideas and thought patterns that holds up remarkably well against time and can be accessed with no technology aside from our own senses and knowledge of the code in question. Continue reading “In Defense of the Book, in All its Forms”

CSW54: New Media, Social Action & Women’s Economic Security

Motivating social action through social media was the subject of one of the morning sessions on Day 1 of the 12-day 54th annual Commission on the Status of Women, at the UN headquarters in New York. A panel of pioneering and accomplished women, from diverse fields of research, activism, and enterprise, offered a far-reaching exploration of the ways in which new media can help to effect change and improve the situation of women, around the world. Outreach, social networking, and informational access, were integral to the morning session’s discussion.

As social networking technologies have evolved, they have become not just user-friendly in the extreme, but have created a global forum through which individuals and communities, organizations and governments, can work to build connectivity among people, and share information in a way that promotes opportunity, liberty and stability for women in even remote corners of the world. Social networking tools decentralize the flow of information, allowing for a more flexible, dynamic application of global communications platforms, handing the control of access and information to the people who seek or require it.

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