Global Change Seminar
"It's Your Move!"

Introduction

         "It's Your Move!" is an Internet seminar (a workshop) for small groups. This Seminar is a distance learning course designed to widen the perspective of participants about global problems and the human role in them. Participants establish small groups to learn about and discuss these issues, and become empowered and motivated to take constructive action-in the way that make the most sense to them at this point in time.

        To learn more about the Seminar, click on the following links:


         In these days of the global village, global warming, economic globalization, environmental destruction, corporations with larger bankrolls than most nations, outbursts of genocidal violence in many areas of the world, rapid species loss, and apparently irrational acts of terrorism, it is little wonder that so many feel helpless--even impotent--to influence their world, their countries, or even their immediate communities.  Yet many know that they want to have an influence.

         Billions of people are so hungry or stressed that they can't think much beyond how to get through the day. Untold millions--maybe billions--yearn for an end to armed conflict, cessation of ecological deterioration, and a more equal footing upon which to secure the basic needs essential to a life of reasonable well being. Millions who are in a position do something are too busy to attend to what's happening globally.   Most are numb from being constantly bombarded by advertising for interminable trivial purposes. And some wish for the wherewithal to find some way to straighten out the mess that the planet's in.

         The fabulous creativity of our species is matched only by its uncanny potential for stupidity.  We produce music, works of art, and words that touch the heart and warm the soul.  We have a magnificent capacity for love and altruism. Our ingenuity, drive, and creativity are breathtaking. At the same time, we make and use tools and techniques that destroy individuals, societies, and the environment.   Our advances in technology have not been matched by advances in ethical understanding and our collective behavior threatens the very survival of our species. In response, a huge upwelling of activity and concern has begun to arise - and this Seminar is part of that tide. It's about shifting your perspective to think more about humanity's global predicament, and the role of each individual in it.

         Over fifty years ago General Omar Bradley said  "Our knowledge of science has clearly outstripped our capacity to control it ....   Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants."    In the same period the eminent psychologist Abraham Maslow observed that "the ultimate disease of our time is valuelessness . . .   This state is more crucially dangerous then ever before in history."  On a more hopeful note, however, Maslow added that  "something can be done about this by man's own rational efforts."

          Only if there is an educated, informed, and alert citizenry can humanity learn from the painful lessons of history and episodic collapses of previous societies. We believe there is such a citizenry, and that we're part of it. You are too, and that's probably why you found your way to this Seminar.   To that we add one of our favorite sayings: "If you're uncomfortable with how things are, it must be your move - it's up to you to change them."  Peter Senge says that "We're stuck in a story of who we are on this earth as human beings, and something in us wants to break free of it."   

         So that's what this Seminar is about. That's why you and we are here.   It's about how we as individuals alone and in small groups can take action to move our world in the direction the overwhelming majority want it to go.  We know that's biting off a pretty big chunk, and we don't think we have any magic answers.  However, we do believe that in the three score and ten years of our life experience we've picked up some valuable skills and insights that we feel obligated to put to good use.  We've chosen to create and facilitate this Seminar--to help you-- as the vehicle for using them.

         We're increasingly uncomfortable with the way the world is heading; thus, this Seminar is our move.   We hope that through your participation in it, you will figure out what your move is--and then make it.

 

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Page last modified on July 9, 2008