Religion and Spirituality Archives - Earth Charter

Peter Blaze Corcoran Discusses the Earth Charter at Conferences in Vatican City and Kenya

Conference on “Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals: Listening to the Cry of the Earth and of the Poor”
Research Fellow Peter Blaze Corcoran attended the International Conference on “Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals: Listening to the Cry of the Earth and of the Poor” on March 7–9, 2019 in Vatican City. The conference was to aid the Holy See in its intention to enhance and support the contributions of the religions to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As part of the Vatican’s broad interreligious commitment to a sustainable future, the meeting included over four-hundred invited participants. Faith traditions, women, youth, indigenous peoples, and geographic regions of the world were well-represented. Corcoran was privileged to discuss the Earth Charter with organizers and distributed copies of the Earth Charter to attendees.

4th United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)
Research Fellow Peter Blaze Corcoran attended the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, on March 11–15, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. It was a diverse and multi-agenda meeting which drew 4,700 participants from all 194 UN Member States. Corcoran concentrated his efforts on an extraordinary five-day series of side events called Faith For Earth, which focused on the role of faith in achieving climate justice, sustainable production and consumption, and engagement of the faithful in pushing governments toward action. UN Environment has moved to partner with faith-based organizations to achieve the UN SDGs. The Nairobi events drew several hundred spiritual activists from many faith traditions and nations. Corcoran promoted the Earth Charter among organizers and participants.

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Earth Charter International and Martin Luther University College Join Forces to Foster Global Citizenship

With the arrival of summer, we welcome a new partnership between Earth Charter International and Martin Luther University College in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. With both organizations working in the field of quality and value-based education for peace and sustainability, and their dedication to forming leaders and broadening worldviews, we are convinced this official connection will lead to great collaboration.

Through the partnership, students and faculty of Luther will have access to the Earth Charter materials, which they can use to implement value-creating education in their university college. Luther will use the principles of the Earth Charter for planning and creating education that contributes to the college’s vision to inspire lives of meaning and services in God’s world by inviting spirituality to accompany academic curiosity.

Luther’s Principal-Dean Rev. Dr. Mark W. Harris says, “Martin Luther University College, which is federated with Wilfrid Laurier University, recognizes the Earth Charter as a ‘global consensus statement on the meaning of sustainability, as a reference document in the development of global standards and codes of ethics, as a community development tool, and as an educational framework of sustainable development.’ ”

“Partnering with Martin Luther University College, an organization committed to make the world a better place through education, as well as to the Earth Charter,” said Earth Charter Executive Director Marian Vilela, “makes it possible to reach faculty and students and help them in their professional development to support the transition to peaceful and sustainable ways of living.”

For more information, contact Irma Verhoeven at irma@earthcharter.org or Mary Philip a.k.a. Joy at mphilip@luther.wlu.ca

 

ECIMartin Luther University College

 

 

 

 

 

About Earth Charter
The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. The Earth Charter provides a valuable educational instrument. It encourages to search for common ground in the midst of our diversity and to embrace a global ethic that is shared by an ever-growing number of people.

About Martin Luther University College
At Martin Luther University College, students discover a rich social and learning environment: the close-knit community of a small college, the diversity of a dynamic city, and all the amenities of an excellent university. Luther is federated with, and is the founding institution of, Wilfrid Laurier University. The academic programming offers undergraduate, graduate and graduate diploma opportunities.

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The Earth Charter Lives the Message of the Laudato Si ‘During WYD

The Earth Charter supports the integral ecology campaign of World Youth Day (WYD). WYD is an opportunity to live the message shared in Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ on the care for the common home. This year, WYD will take place between 22-27 January in Panama with thousands of young people passing through Costa Rica.

The Encyclical Laudato Si ‘resonates significantly with the ethical vision proposed in the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter stands out as a contribution to a planetary ethic in the search for ecological citizenship, which Pope Francis speaks of in the Encyclical. The Encyclical highlights the ethic of care that is central to the Earth Charter, and focuses on some important issues framed in the Charter such as the principle of universal responsibility, interdependence, the common good, and economic and social justice.

In preparation for WYD, we share a guide to 50288850_2287199681534631_4637243144012824576_ndeepen your experience throughout your journey. This poster made in Spanish highlights 16 actions promoting a culture of care based on integral ecology. There are 3 actions to take into account before WYD, 10 during the event and 3 after WYD. They are based on 27 citations of the encyclical Laudato Si’ and it is relation to the Earth Charter. This poster was made with the purpose of inspiring the participants to arrive in Panama as pilgrims and return to their countries as ecological citizens. It is a call to promote an Ecological Pastoral that takes shape in Eco-Parishes, sustainable colleges and universities.

We invite you to participate in this campaign by sharing these materials and using the “Live Laudato Si’'” Framework on Facebook to share photos in solidarity with this ecological experience.

These materials were made with the contribution of Catholic professionals, of Colombia, members of DOMUS OMNIA Consulting (Ing. Iván Barragán, Arq. Martha Pinzón, Ing. Alirio Cáceres) in alliance with VIDERE (Alexandra Castellanos and Natalia Herrera, graphic designers of the Latin American and Caribbean Youth Ministry).

Laudato Si

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Earth Charter Panel at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Toronto, Canada

On 4 November 2018, a keynote Earth Charter Panel took place at the Parliament of the World’s Religions with the purpose of exploring the significance of the Charter as a civil society document that represents inclusivity and interdependence and to look at how the vision of the Earth Charter is being realized in both theory and practice. The panel was convened by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Co-directors of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, and included rich reflections from panelists on how the Earth Charter contributes to a sense of a shared future. The panel was very well attended with several hundred participants.

Among the key ideas raised was that the Earth Charter remains a vibrant and useful document—a timeless gift to humankind. Its educational value remains undiminished. The Parliament provided a large and critically important audience for the Earth Charter. The setting of our responsibilities within the universe story continues to be profoundly compelling. The Earth Charter was, and still is, ahead of its time.

Peter Corcoran, one of the panelists, closed his remarks by saying, “Finally, one of the many sources of hope is, I think, particularly appropriate to the Parliament of the World’s Religions’ aspiration for unity and this panel’s aim to contribute to a sense of a shared future. This is the Earth Charter as a vision of our highest ideals. We may not realize our ideals of democracy, non-violence, and peace; of social and economic justice; of ecological integrity; and of respect and care for the community of life; but they are like the stars, and currents, and landmarks by which we can navigate our journey. We need such a vision. Steven C. Rockefeller, Chair of the Earth Charter Drafting Committee, has written, ‘The Earth Charter sets forth a world affirming spirituality rooted in reverence for the mystery of being and reverence for life that finds meaning and joy in caring relationships with all that is.’ This reverence, these caring relationships are our hope.”

The programme was as follows:

Chair and Facilitator:
John Grim, Co-Director, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
John Grim is a Senior Lecturer teaching in the joint MA program in religion and ecology at Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School. Together with Mary Evelyn Tucker, he co-directed in the 1990s a ten-conference series and book project at Harvard University on “World Religions and Ecology.”

Panelists:
Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
Topic: The Earth Charter and the World’s Religions
Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale where she teaches in an MA program between the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Divinity School.

Tu Weiming, Director, Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Beijing University
Topic: Spiritual Humanism and the Earth Charter
Tu Weiming is a preeminent Chinese scholar, a representative figure of contemporary Neo-Confucianism, and a crucial practitioner on the research and transmission of Confucian culture.

Heather Eaton, Professor, Conflict Studies, Saint Paul’s University, Ottawa
Topic: What Role Can the Earth Charter Play in Conflict Resolution
Heather Eaton received an interdisciplinary doctorate in theology, feminism and ecology at the University of Toronto.

Peter Blaze Corcoran, Research Fellow, Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development, University for Peace, San Jose, Costa Rica
Topic: The Earth Charter in Action: Education and Sustainability
Peter Blaze Corcoran is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies and Environmental Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is a leading scholar of the Earth Charter—editor of two books and dozens of journal articles in Earth Charter research. He has been a visiting professor in Australia, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Kenya, and Fiji.

Kekashan Basu, Youth Ambassador World Future Council
Topic: Youth Empowerment through the Lens of the Earth Charter
Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize, 18-year-old Kehkashan Basu, has been impacting the global fraternity with her grass roots level work on environmental conservation through youth empowerment. She is the Founder President of Green Hope Foundation, which engages and empowers thousands of youth, especially girls.

In addition, in a Panel on Religious Pluralism, Dr. Mark Hathaway made a presentation on the Earth Charter in which he related it to some fairly universal religious values.

Click here for more information on the Conference.

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The Earth Charter in the 2018 Spirituality and Sustainability Conference, Rome-Assisi, Italy

Rome Assisi Conference 3 2018The Spirituality and Sustainability Conference, held in Rome and Assisi, Italy (25 May to 1 June 2018) was convened by St. Thomas University and Forum 21. Earth Charter International was a cosponsor (as were eight other organizations).

The Earth Charter was a major focus of the conference and the main topic during one of the seven days.

The following is a brief account of the day focused on the Earth Charter (Tuesday, May 29) covering The Earth Charter and Global Ethics.

The day opened with a presentation by Peter Corcoran on “Spiritual Reflections on the Earth Charter and the Ecozoic.” It was followed by a presentation from Hiro Sakurai on “What is the Earth Charter? How has SGI utilized it to promote education for sustainable development and global citizenship (with reference to SDG 4, target 7).”

rome Assisi Conference 6 2018The morning session counted with a Panel & Discussion on “Implementing Earth Charter ethics and values in China, Germany, the Netherlands: The Earth Charter in the context of religious and secular global ethics.” The panel counted with the participation of Song Li, Anja Becker, Sofia van Winden and Art Kane.

In small groups, participants were invited to look at Earth Charter principles and to engage in a dialogue to share views and learn from one another on the various approaches to this content.

Rome Assisi Conference 4 2018One of focuses of the day discussion was on how well the Earth Charter articulates a blueprint for an ecologically sensitive, sustainable future, ecozoic. Another focus was on how effective the Earth Charter movement has been in making transformative change happen in lifestyles and policy.

From these presentations and discussions the following were identified as important initiatives to advance the Earth Charter’s ethical vision and principles:

  • China and South Korea: Linking the Earth Charter and the Ecological Civilization Initiatives of China and the Centre for Process Studies
  • Earth Trusteeship guided by the Earth Charter
  • Education for Sustainable Development: bringing Earth Charter educational resources into the SDG target 4.7 related activities
  • Sustainable Development Policy: bringing the Earth Rome Assisi Conference 5 2018Charter as a document and a social movement to deepen and implement the new development agenda (agenda 2030)
  • Earth Charter 2020: We discussed a meeting in The Hague at the Peace Palace on the 20th anniversary of the Earth Charter’s launch in The Hague, connected to Unity Earth’s series of major events called the “Road to 2020.” (This event could also focus significantly on Earth Trusteeship)

Click here to see full programme.

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Dawn of Interspirituality Conference in Latin America

The Earth Charter International Secretariat was invited to participate in the International Conference “Dawn of Interspirirtuality in Latin America”, which took place on March 12 to 16, 2018 in Costa Rica.

Conference Dawn Interspirituality

Satyana Institute organized this conference.  This Institute, based in Colorado, USA, is trying to build on the Snowmass interreligious dialogue that Father Thomas Keating organized in a period of 30 years with religious leaders.

This was the first time that a conference of this type took place in Latin America, and they joined efforts with Institute of Interreligious Dialogue, co-founded by Pope Francis in Argentina.

“You are invited to take a step into the unknown, toward a possible future that can only be imagined, when the religions of the world truly meet each other”.  Father Keating.

This was part of the invitation of this conference; find a future of peace together.

The Conference speakers were important spiritual leaders of different religions, for example Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Tibetan Buddhist Nun; Sister Lucy Kurien, Catholic nun, founder of Maher;  Bishop Marc Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California and many others (see the Conference’s web page). The richness of their messages was enormous, but this conference tried to go beyond the rational and academic thinking, there were many moments of meditation and personal reflection, also music, art and ceremonies. It was a transformative experience for those who had the privilege of participating.

A graphic facilitator was capturing the messages of the different talks; the drawing below is her poetic interpretation of what Alicia Jimenez, ECI Staff member shared about the Earth Charter.

Earth Charter Poetic Drawing20180315_191413

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Major International Symposium on Laudato sì to be held in Costa Rica at the end of November

Laudato si conference imageThe International Symposium on Ecology “Laudato sì, Care for Our Common Home, a Necessary Conversion to Human Ecology”, one of the most important international, academic and ecological event of the year organized by the Vatican, will take place in Costa Rica from November 29 to December 1, 2017, at Wyndham Herradura Hotel in San Jose. It is the first time this event will be held in the Central American and Caribbean region.

This International Symposium will be addressing the topic of sustainable development and climate change on our planet through the lenses of the Laudati sì. The activity is organized by the Catholic University of Costa Rica with the support of Joseph Ratzinger – Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, which holds this event on an annual basis. This year´s event will be its seventh symposium and it is expected to involve academics, scientists, businesspeople, priests, seminarians, students from different areas, religious people, educators, government officials, and other participants interested in the care for our common home. Registrations are opened.

The event will gather highly prestigious speakers from the Vatican and some of the best universities around the world, including:

  • His Most Reverend Eminence Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M. Prefect Emeritus of Sacred Congregation for clergy and Amazonia Commission President
  • His Most Reverend Eminence Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
  • Gonzalo Tejerina Arias O.S.A., Dean of the Theology Department of the University of Salamanca
  • Tomás Insua, Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School- Executive Director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement
  • Augusto Zampini, University of Durham, Department of Theology and Religion, member of CAFOD
  • Michael Green, Executive Director of Social Progress Imperative
  • Roberto Artavia Loría, President of VIVA Trust
  • Fernando Chica Arellano, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to FAO
  • Father Josafá Carlos de Siqueira, S.J., Dean of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Unlike the previous events, which addressed theological/dogmatic topics, this year’s symposium focuses on practical theology, addressing a topic that is of global and common interest to everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs, political affiliations or nationalities, given that climate change and the protection of our planet concerns everyone. The symposium seeks to foster dialogue between reason and faith, bringing together theologians and scientists to discuss inevitable situations such as climate change, the health of our planet, and our legacy for future generations.Pope with partial quote

The event will include the presentation of an assessment tool to measure countries’ implementation of the Encyclical Laudato si. The Laudato sì Observatory of the Catholic University of Costa Rica will also be inaugurated. The objective of the observatory will be to conduct environmental and social monitoring for the planet, by collecting data to feed the development index as well as disseminating the results of each measurement and any related studies.

The Earth Charter International was invited to take part in this Symposium and help coordinate one of the roundtables, and to join the Laudato Si Observatory, collaborating with some of its projects. We welcome this collaboration, and intend to finds ways to show the close similarities and linkages between the Laudato sì and the Earth Charter.

See reflections on this in the following link: http://earthcharter.org/news-post/the-encyclical-laudato-si-and-the-earth-charter/

For more information and registration, please visit:

http://simposiumratzinger2017.com/en/home/

 

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Earth Charter International co-sponsors Spirituality and Sustainability Conference in Italy

Assisi 3From 27 June to 4 July, a group of about 60 participants gathered in Rome and Assisi for the Spirituality and Sustainability Conference, convened by The Center for Ethics of Saint Thomas University in Florida and The Center for Earth Ethics at the Union Theological Seminary in New York.

Earth Charter International was among the many co-sponsors of this unique event. The programme involved diverse informal moments for participants to share and connect, as well as panel presentations and discussions on:

– Encyclical Laudato Si´

– Thomas Berry Vision, Saints Francis and Claire

– Ecological Spirituality and its Indigenous Roots

– The Great Transition: Earth Charter and Ecological Civilization

– Transformative Paths: Education and Policy Advocacy

At the Earth Charter panel, Marryssa Pallis, an Honors student majoring in Political Science at Florida Gulf Coast University, opened the discussion with a wonderful presentation on the various and continuous efforts of FGCU in bringing the Earth Charter over the years to various courses, programmes and research projects, engaging and inspiring the student community with its articulated ethical vision of sustainability.

Assisi 4Sofia van Winden, from the Soetendorp Institute for Human Values in The Netherlands shared her thoughts on the importance of ecocentric values and spirituality in international cooperation, which has been a largely anthropocentric field focused on economic growth. She raised the question of whether modern development models can respond adequately to current concerns and asserted that adequate responses require a thorough analysis of the values that underpin global development policies. She also discussed her involvement in organizing a task force on the Earth Charter and Inter-faith spirituality.

Song Li, member of Earth Charter Associates and an ECI Advisor, shared a reflection on the current Chinese model of development; this model was successful in getting many people out of poverty, but it caused many other problems for the environment and people´s health. She suggested that China requires strong efforts to improve social and environment conditions, and for that a change of people’s minds and hearts is essential. She emphasized that the Chinese cultural tradition is very rich in regards to the relationship between people and nature, as well as the importance of building on and reviving traditional values for the common good of humanity.

Tommy Short, member of the Earth Charter International Council, shared his assisi 1belief that sustainability should be considered a logical transition and that we all need to embrace a new sense of future looking at the impact of our actions in the long term. He stressed his ongoing commitment to the Earth Charter Initiative mission and the importance of engaging the private sector at all levels in this vision.

Mirian Vilela, ECI Secretariat Executive Director, who moderated the panel, offered an overview of the Earth Charter movement and highlighted the fact that many discussions that helped to polish the Earth Charter text took place in Assisi towards the end of the 90s, especially around the principle of compassion.

Assisi 2She stressed the importance of the notion of Earth Community that is articulated in the Earth Charter and that it is found in the thinking of St. Francis and Thomas Berry. She concluded with a reflection on Principle 2 of the Earth Charter that makes a call to care for the community of life, understanding, wisdom and largeness of heart is essential.

The Conference continued with a panel on Education where Professors Peter Blaze Corcoran and Maria Roca from FGCU shared their experience in bringing the Earth Charter vision to their university, teaching practice and research efforts.

The Planning Committee of the Conference involved Rev. Msgr. Terence E. Hogan, Rick Clugston, Elisabetta M. Ferrero, Joe Holland, and Arthur W. Kane.

You can also read the Blog from Maryssa Pallis on this at:

https://maryssatradingplaces.wordpress.com/blog/

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COP22 and the ¨Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ retreat in Marrakesh

From 5 to 13 November, 2016, the Earth Charter International Youth Projects´ Coordinator Sarah Dobson visited the beautiful city of Marrakech, Morocco with a two-part mission: to connect with young leaders and civil society organizations from around the world at COP22, and to participate in the ¨Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ programme for young ecologists.

inner-dimensions-delegates-and-mentors-marrakesh

COP22, the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, convened government officials from around the world to create international policies and strategies to combat climate change along with thousands from civil society who joined to influence and report on the negotiations and build networks and partnerships. Sarah met with young leaders from Morocco and every region of the world who are working, studying, innovating, and living with the urgent and earnest intention to transform our lifestyles and current systems to align with the protection and preservation of our planet. She met with people working in different youth networks with specializations in education, social entrepreneurship, science and research, and activism and explored ways that the Earth Charter can serve them whether as an ethical guide, a shared vision, or through our online trainings in ¨ Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics. ¨

climate-change-student-educators

After a few days at the Conference, Sarah joined the first ¨The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ retreat, unique programme series organized to foster dialogue and discovery. Earth Charter International served as a co-partner to the event which was organized by the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) and sponsored by the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA).

The 4-day programme brought together 20 young ecologists from 14 African nations: Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Nambia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. They were joined by ecology experts and spiritual leaders of various traditions and backgrounds.

The first days were spent discussing problems and solutions from the African perspective in the areas of biodiversity, water, and agriculture before the conversation turned inward considering the attitude and paradigm which allow these problems to persist and have prevented a large scale shift toward sustainability.

dialogue-session

Woven throughout the discussions, the mentors shared their stories and wisdom. Ven. Bhante Duddharakita from Uganda spoke of the need to reduce not only carbon emissions, but greed emissions. Sraddhalu Ranade from India spoke of the androcentric and reductionist mindsets which have led us to the point of crisis. Tiokasin Ghosthorse from the Lakota Nation in North America spoke of how our language separates us from Mother Earth, pretending to be superior and separate to Mother Earth and inventing notions such as domination and ownership. We reflected on a paradigm shift to relationship with all life and contemplated how to retain and relearn knowledge cultivated and held by indigenous peoples.

The youth delegates and spiritual mentors brought their wisdom to the COP22, presenting ¨the Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ as a side event which drew great attention and curiosity as it offered a deep, honest conversation about climate and our own intimate relationship with one another and Earth. The final day together was spent in a small Berber village nestled in the Atlas Mountains where the group shared delicious Moroccan tea and food and a final dialogue circle of reflection and gratitude.

inner-dimensions-side-event-cop22

This program was the first in a series of regional ¨Inner Dimensions of Climate Change¨ retreats which will gather young ecologists and spiritual mentors to examine the deeper causes and solutions to climate change which begin with our mindset and relationship to the Earth. All youth delegates and mentors from each regional meeting are then expected to then gather together in 2018 to continue building bridges and relationships and strengthen the movement toward a more life sustaining paradigm and way of living.

 

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The Inner Dimensions of Climate Change: Young Ecologists Turn Inward

From 18 to 23 January 2017, thirty young ecologists from the Americas and Caribbean working in fields related to environmental education, conservation and climate activism came to Costa Rica for a retreat on the ¨Inner Dimensions of Climate Change.¨ Earth Charter International (ECI) collaborated with The Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) and the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA) to bring together young people with mentors from different spiritual traditions to uncover the deeper root causes of the climate crisis to inform our individual, organization, and systemic work in creating solutions.

gpiw_group_at_upeace

Participants and mentors spent their first day at the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development where the ECI Youth Project´s Coordinator led them in an interactive workshop to experience the Earth Charter. Participants explored the Earth Charter´s four interrelated pillars: (1) Respect and Care for the Community of Life, (2) Ecological Integrity, (3) Social and Economic Justice, (4) Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace, and then learned the incredible story of its creation which stands as the most participatory process of any document in history.

earth_charter_sculpture

The group then traveled to Puerta a la Vida, a unique eco-lodge in Puntarenas Costa Rica, where the group spent several days in ceremony, dialogue, and exploration. Dialogue sessions were facilitated by mentors who gave space to youth leaders to open discussions on topics related to their work. Topics included the impact of Climate Change on the Americas and Caribbean, loss of indigenous knowledge, and grassroots efforts to create change.

session_loss_of_indigenous_knowledge

Mentors Venerable Chang Ji, Jana Long, Dena Merriam, Mirabai Starr, and Hanne Marstrand Strong shared wisdom from their various traditions and experiences. Mentors Sraddhalu Ranade from India and Tiokasin Ghosthorse from the Lakota Nation in North America brought in systemic and biocentric perspectives to deconstruct colonial, oppressive, and anthropocentric paradigms and language to shift, expand, and deepen the conversations.  In one example, Tiokasin shared that he considers the famous statement ¨I think, therefore I am¨ is to be lost. He and his tribe instead live by ¨I thank, therefore I am—We thank, therefore we are.¨ He begins each day giving thanks to water, a word which in his native language of Lakota roughly translates to ¨the life energy that flows between us.¨

sunset_puerta_de_la_vida

The retreat closed with a ceremony of gratitude where each person chose to take with them a small, symbolic object that another had brought, bonding the participants to one another and the experience. This gathering was the second in the series of regional retreats; The first retreat was held in Marrakesh, Morocco in November of 2016 with African youth during the COP22. GPIW, DDMBA, and ECI will continue organizing spaces to build intergenerational and intercultural networks of grounded, conscious sustainability leaders with plans to host the next gatherings in Europe and the Middle East.

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