If we want to effect sustainable change, we need to do it scientifically. But which science, knowing that science is not neutral, nor fixed, nor without flaws? Here is a documentation of a talk by Nicanor (Nick) Perlas delivered in 2009 at the SEARCA grounds in UP Los Banos. Four years later more scientific developments may be cited, but the presentation still carries basic truths. Many from the academe are still to know or accept  many of the concepts that are already known and mainstreamed in the outside circle.

Nick Perlas, Agent of Societal Change

Perlas at Right Livelihood Awards Event, with co-awardees

The New Science: Implications for Advancing Initiatives


By Nicanor Perlas


Delivered on March 4, 2009 at SEARCA, College, Laguna.  Notes taken by Pam Fernandez. Some links, extracts, photos and graphics (from the internet) had been added.

The Evolution of Science

 I will share with you some of the developments of the new science and the implications for taking initiative. This is timely, since we are in an academic setting, and because what is going on out there, abroad, or in the mainstream is pretty amazing. As a scientific institution it be would be good for you to catch up a little bit on the new science developments.

But first we look at the origins of the university. The “university” started over 2000 years ago in Greece, in the academy of Plato, the Lyceum of Aristotle, which then became the basis of the universities of the Middle Ages. The university concept first emerged out of Europe then got exported to the US… then brought here (just in the last few decades) in the universities. Now we have what is called the university system. One of the main aspects connected to the university system is the whole process of knowledge.  Such knowledge can actually transform the foundation of who we are, and to what we can do to shape the world.

The science that we are normally being introduced to in the academe becomes a very important part of our formal education. Unfortunately, some of the assumptions of a lot of scientific research are stuck in the 19th century.  While science has actually moved on quite a bit; there are a lot of amazing discoveries in many different fields of science.  In this talk I will give some examples of some of these discoveries, then try to create a picture of what these discoveries mean to us as humans, for society, as well as to where the world is going. Then I shall subset that into a kind of practical mode, to answer the question:  given the new science what does it mean if we want to start an initiative ?

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