Science, Wisdom, and the Future
Humanity's Quest for a
June 24-28 2009, San Luis Obispo, California
Open to all who wish to participate. If you would like to present, either
a talk or a poster, please contact us for consideration. All can participant in
Working Lunch Discussions,
or share information about your organization or work - see
Posters and Displays.
globe, individuals and organizations are taking a new look at the human species
and its relationship to planet Earth and all other life. There is a growing
sense that the sum of humanity’s experience, knowledge, and passions is bringing
life on earth to an evolutionary “tipping point”—one that will lead to our
transformation—or our extinction.
|This recognition crosses
all disciplinary, social, political, and religious boundaries because it is
clear that these traditional boundaries, cradles of our civilization, no longer
serve a maturing humanity. We are at the brink of adulthood as a species and
must understand our past and consider our future. We are universal life charting
a new course for itself into unknown territory. We are the primordial stardust
come to consciousness, aware of our evolutionary past in deep time. Will we
ignore this precious gift, and responsibility, of awareness or will we treasure and nurture it? Can
this awareness guide us as we attempt to chart our future course?
on Wisdom and Flourishing offered by
Dr. Richard Trowbridge, an
expert in wisdom studies:
1) Wisdom should not
be merely a filler term for "something good." It can be a
technical term meaning "the best possible choice." Some
definitions of wisdom are "knowing what is good for men and
women", "seeing things as they are and adjusting life to them",
"seeing through illusion", "the art of living well". For
Aristotle, wisdom had two aspects, sophia, knowing
first principles and what followed from them, and phronesis,
practical wisdom. The person of practical wisdom is one "who can
arrive by calculation at the best humanly attainable good" (Nicomachean
Ethics, 1141b13-14). All of these can be summarized briefly
as "Making the best possible choice." What that is, and how
exactly we go about determining it, are necessarily matters of
2) Flourishing can be defended as the telos of
What do we
actually know about what it takes to make individuals healthy, happy, and
fulfilled? Do social scientists understand why some societies are healthy and
others dysfunctional? Can they tell us why some cultures peacefully coexist
while others are continually embroiled in strife? What do we really know about
the interaction between a suddenly dominant sentient species and an obviously
finite planet? Is our scientific understanding sufficient to solve the problems
facing us, or do we need additional understandings beyond science itself to
create a flourishing humanity on a sustainable planet?
prescriptions have been offered to create fulfilled individuals in functioning
societies on a peaceful and sustainable planet? What is the true nature of
wisdom and its cultural impact? Is there wisdom in
philosophical, humanist, spiritual, and religious traditions that can guide us
toward a flourishing humanity? How has our developing evolutionary cosmology
impacted our understanding of our past and our future? What part does
evolutionary cosmology play in education? How should our local and national
political leaders deal with what to many appears to be an impending crisis? What
new directions in education, politics, cultural studies, spirituality, business,
and sustainability, are pointing the way to a desirable future?
How do we draw on
the best of both science and wisdom, and in so doing create a flourishing,
sustainable humanity on planet Earth?
The objectives of this
conference are to:
● Assess our current evolutionary research and scientific knowledge of individuals, human societies, the
relationships between cultures, and the relationship between humanity and its
home, planet Earth.
● Assess the
nature of wisdom and its potentials for good and the
prescriptions and the advice of philosophical, humanist, spiritual, and
religious traditions, as well as far seeing local, national, and global
business and political leaders.
● Draw on new visions in
business and sustainability to guide us in the practical application of
solutions to our planetary crises.
● Increase participant’s
capacity for networking and seeking answers through complex patterns of
interaction rather than more traditional linear solutions.
● Share knowledge,
wisdom, and creativity across traditional boundaries to stimulate synergies and
find paths for working together to achieve global flourishing.
● Help conference
participants to identify other compatible and fruitful individual or
organizational visions and efforts that can provide opportunities for shared
wisdom, networks, and resources.
● Draw in and encourage
"young" scholars of all ages to enter into the global dialogue on humanity’s
quest for a flourishing Earth.
● Enjoy the enrichment
presentations of artist, writers, and poets who will share their unique
expressions of the evolutionary story and our quest for sustainability.
registration fee for this conference is $295. This includes four buffet
lunches (with beverage, dessert, tax and gratuity) during the four days of
the Working Lunch Round Table Discussions (see
agenda) as well as a complimentary copy (including shipping and handling)
of the Science, Wisdom, and the Future proceedings which will be
published as the third hard-cover book in the Humanity Conference Series.
The registration fee can be paid in 3 payments (see registration page).
Day rates of $75/day are available and include lunch during the Working Lunch
Discussion (but does not include a copy of the proceedings.
The optional Where From Here? Workshops
on Monday June 29 will provide an opportunity to look back on the
conference and forward to the fruits of its labors. All are welcome but
you must register separately for the Workshops and there is a
small registration fee of $30 to cover the lunch and materials.
(Click here to register for the
Reservations for accommodations (please see "Lodging,
Meals, and Travel" page)
accommodations at The Embassy
Suites are two-room suites with a special conference rate of $165/night.
Two to four people can comfortably share a suite and everyone sharing a
room can partake of
the complimentary breakfast buffet with cook-to-order menu and the manager's
There are also several lower
cost motels and restaurants within walking distance of the Embassy Suites.
However, room sharing at the Embassy with free breakfast buffet, free evening
social time (including cocktails) makes the Embassy Suites an excellent deal.
We will also provide assistance with matching up those who would like to share a
Wherever you decide to stay,
make your reservations as soon as possible. The Embassy Suites and all
hotels and motels allow cancellation up to around 72 hours before check in and
June is high season for the San Luis Obispo area.
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