Saturday, January 27, 2007

International Week at the U of A

The University of Alberta's international week 2007 : January 29 - February 2

Dear Children,

I am planning to attend the below listed upcoming events at the University of Alberta.

The Traps of progress; Queering Human Rights; Satyagraha as an Antidote to Terror; Preventing Violence Against Women; Education for all; Trade and Human Security; Change your lens; Food for Thought; Who defines Democracy?

Please read the following key note address by Ronald Wright.

With Love, Amma-Naana

In A Short History of Progress, Ronald Wright argues that our modern predicament is as old as civilisation, a ten-thousand year experiment we have ridden but seldom controlled. Ronald Wright is an English-born Canadian historian and writer who was asked to give the Massey lecture on the 'original study on subjects of contemporary interest.“Where do we come from? Where are we? Where are we going?”

For Wright, it is the third question, which intrigues him. “Where are we going?” Wright believes that careful reflection on the first two questions can ultimately answer where our species is headed.

"If civilization is to survive, it must live on the interest, not the capital of Nature.Wright concludes that "now is our chance to get the future right" — the collapse of human civilization appears imminent if we do not act now to prevent it.

The twentieth century was a time of runaway growth in human population, consumption and technology, all of which placed tremendous demands on earth, air and water - the very elements of life. The urgent question of the twenty-first century is how, or whether, this can continue.

In conclusion, Wright urges all readers alike to take advantage of what we have, that is to use the knowledge we have of past mistakes and to use them to prevent a similar fate.

He argues that in our blind pursuit of material progress, are likely to self-destruct because we are likely to face the collapse of our social and environmental order. Terrorism, violence, war, poverty, malnutrition, natural disasters etc. are all evidences of such in today’s world.