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Will Modern Civilization be the Death of Us?

June 27 @ 08:00 - June 30 @ 17:00

These two webinars may be of interest:

Will Modern Civilization be the Death of Us?

Envisioning Tomorrow’s Earth

A Special Zoom Webinar.  Sponsored by: Institute on Religion in an Age of Science.  https://www.iras.org/

Dates:           Monday, June 29, and Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Time:             5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time.  11:00 PM European Summer Time

Register:      Be sure to register for each session.  No charge.

Q&A:             A live Q & A session will follow each presentation.



These sessions explore the view that our Modern form of civilization may well be the death of us – a view that is not yet well understood.  The speakers will offer a fresh way of understanding the trajectory we are on today and of envisioning our prospects for tomorrow.

On Monday, Bill Rees will lay out the case that our Modern civilization is in both ecological and cultural overshoot; that we are on a path to civilizational collapse.  On Tuesday, Ruben Nelson will build on Bill’s talk and explain that we are also in “civilizational overshoot”, what this means and what is required of us if we are to survive the experience.

Monday, June 29  with Dr. William Rees, professor emeritus, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Bill is an internationally respected ecologist and sustainability scientist.  He is the originator and co-developer of Ecological Footprint analysis.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_E._Rees

Modern Techno-industrial societies are in cultural overshoot.  This means we are destroying the biophysical basis of our existence.  The human enterprise is on a trajectory that resembles the plague phase of a one-off population cycle as is common to any species that is introduced to a new habitat with plentiful resources and no predators.  The outcome is always population collapse.  To avoid the worst of this fate we must change our civilizational trajectory.  Sadly, this option is not credible within our ‘socially constructed’ Modern cultural narrative.  The belief that we can dominate and control the natural world is too old, too well-worked into our daily lives and too widely-shared to be challenged seriously.  Therefore, it is not surprising that the prevailing response of modern cultures to ever more dire eco-crises is still yesterday’s Modern Techno-industrial response – we commit ever more resources to conventional, if more complex, techno-fixes.  This pattern of perception and response reinforces our trajectory towards collapse.  In effect, we moderns have come to believe that the core work of the 21st century is to make our inherently unsustainable Modern ways of being and living sustainable globally.  Even the “great transformative journey towards sustainability” is still overwhelmingly a Modern Techno-industrial project.  Success is not in the offing.

Register:      https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PiojqxMoTJ2STm6aqPfsCQ

You will receive an email containing information about joining the webinar.

Tuesday, June 30  with Ruben Nelson, Executive Director, Foresight Canada and past Vice-Chair, IRAS.

Ruben is an internationally respected futures researcher and practitioner of strategic foresight.  He coined the term ‘civilizational overshoot’ in 2018.  See:  https://foresightcanada.com/ruben-nelson-biography/

If we are to understand the power of the case Bill has made, we need to explore a new way of making sense of human history.  This will be offered.  The new reading of human history will enable us to see why it is the case that our Modern Techno-industrial cultures are almost wholly blind to:  (1) The case that Bill has made.  (2) The emerging reality that ours is one of the truly rare times in human history during which the dominant form of civilization (the Modern Techno-industrial) has already entered a long and irrevocable decline.  (3) The insight that the core work of the 21st Century is not as we now believe it to be (to make Modern cultures sustainable and global).  Rather, we need to accept that Modernity is our past, but not our future; that we need to learn to let it go; and that we face new work that is wholly unprecedented.  (4) The realization that our new work is to transcend our past at every scale from personal-to-civilizational as we learn to cooperate with our own evolution and become the conscious co-creators of the next form of human civilization – the Consciously Co-creative.  A path forward will be sketched, including suggestions regarding new roles for science, technology and religion.

Register:      https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HV8n8WYjS9ui5uU_w7ar9Q

You will receive an email containing information about joining the webinar.

Both webinars will be posted to YouTube after the events.

Inquiries to Ruben Nelson:  rubennelson@shaw.ca


June 27 @ 08:00
June 30 @ 17:00
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