In July 2017 a research trip was made to Crestone Colorado to determine the exact location of the Sacred Sites Work in the Four Corners as part of Phase One of the Sacred Sites Work (done in partnership with UNESCO, Center for Earth Ethics and Forum 21). Since Mt. Blanca was determined to be the specific location, Kogi, Otomi and Lakota elders will go to Mt. Blanca and the surrounding areas to carry out the Sacred Sites Work. A smaller convergence leaders retreat will also be carried out in collaboration with Unity Earth and local Crestone community leaders.
In New York from July 9 to July 18, Forum 21 will participate in the HLPF meetings as participants and observers. The High-level Political Forum, United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, provides for the full and effective participation of all States Members of the United Nations and States members of specialized agencies.
High-Level Debate "What’s Religion got to do with it? – Debating the Good and the Not so Good about Religion and Gender Equality":
Forum 21 is being invited to speak as one of the 6 panelists of the high level auditorium debate “What’s Religion got to do with it?” Hosting an audience of some 500 attendees the debate will discuss how religion and religious dynamics support or challenge gender equality in the context of development cooperation and human rights. The event is organized by the European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) and the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development, as part of the two-day conference: European Development Days (EDD). The EDD is the EU's largest event on development, a two-day gathering organized annually, which brings together approximately 8000 governmental and non-governmental actors from all around the world, including policy makers, development practitioners and academia. This year's edition focuses on women's rights and empowerment and gender equality.
This will be the second consecutive Rome and Assisi Conference on Spirituality and Sustainability. This year Forum 21 Institute will be Co-Convening the conference with St. Thomas University of Florida. The conference will focus on: 1) the ecological convergence of diverse spiritual and religious traditions; 2) the sensibilities and practices of ecological spiritualities; 3) transformative movements such as the Earth Charter and the United Nations Agenda 203 on Sustainable Development; and 4) paradigm shifts in key institutions (e.g. science, law, and education). We are also inviting and supporting young ecological leaders to contribute to our deliberations.
Forum 21 representatives and Mindahi Bastida, director of the Original Caretakers Program of Center for Earth Ethics will research Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy) in preparation for the Sacred Sites work to be carried out in 2019. Collaborating with academics of Sicily-experts in the ancient history and culture of Mt Etna, the research team will explore and determine the specific locations for the work to be carried out (for more information please go to: link to programs, sacred sites).
Beyond GDP, lessons from Indigenous Cultures and Faith Traditions for Improving our Economic Measurements and Protecting Our Planet
This class will focus on the flaws of current economic measurements such as Gross Domestic Product and the ways in which Indigenous cultures - along with voices from faith communities - are contributing to alternative ways of measuring the success and well-being of a society. Topics to be covered include the UN Sustainable Development Agenda, the impact of colonization on the bio-cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples, the conflict at Standing Rock, the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si: On Care For Our Common Home, and the role of religion in development policy.
Political dysfunction is impairing our national ability to deal with clear and present dangers to our survival as a nation and to the habitability of the Earth.
Our focus is neither conservative nor liberal but on democracy which is to say, the set of mutually agreed upon rules by which we conduct the public business. Our Constitutional history and the long evolution of the ideals of self-governance require open and free elections, inclusivity, fairness, transparency, and accountability of officials. To meet this standard, democracy requires a free and fair press, broad civic intelligence, a fair and robust judicial system, and a reasonable distribution of economic costs, benefits, and risks throughout society.
The core idea is that robust democratic institutions are necessary to making real progress on climate change, sustainable prosperity, and security broadly defined.
We intend to further a national conversation about the state of American democracy and to advance the cause of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Specifically we propose a national discussion focused on two overriding issues but with special attention to those of voting rights and citizenship:
1. The Constitutional and historic origins of our present crisis; and the
2. Long-term changes necessary to accommodate the principles of self-governance to the realities of the 21st century
Oberlin College in collaboration with the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, the Schwarzenegger Institute and other organizations will launch this national conversation about the future of American Democracy on November 15-17. Subsequent events will occur in Denver, Los Angeles, and other cities.
This fall, key leaders from Korea will gather in Claremont to collaborate with US leaders around the shared vision of an ecological civilization, and the steps needed to initiate the transition on a global scale. Participants represent leaders in national and local government, NGOs, universities, journalism, and religions. Each participant and key speaker brings a unique set of skills, experiences, and achievements, critical to ushering in a new ecological paradigm. Inspired and guided by the work of John B. Cobb, Jr. whose vision was at the heart of the 2015 Claremont conference “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization,” we will examine big ideas toward a new paradigm for the future and how this vision is already being actualized by scholars, activists, governments, and politicians, in Korea. Forum 21 Institute will give a presentation on “Yoko Civilization (Kotama Okada’s vision) and Integral Ecology.”
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Midwest Symposium on Ecologically Informed Theological Education: Implications for Teaching, Learning and Seminary Life
Keynote speaker: Dr. Lonnie G. Thompson, a Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and a Senior Research Scientist in the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University
Forum 21 Inter-religious panel
When: Tuesday, October, 17 (afternoon starting with registration at 1pm) to Wednesday, October 18 (full day)
OPTIONAL: Tuesday, Oct. 17, 10am tour of Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at Ohio State (details below)
As a continuation of the UN SDG's and spirituality Workshop carried out on July 17, Forum 21 and the Center for Earth Ethics will convene an interactive dialogue between UN staff members and civil society representatives. We will discuss and share with one another the many successes and challenges of working with and within the UN system and the future direction and role of religion and spirituality at the UN.