From MBA-ed Planet to Planetary Membership – Perspectives from Ecopsychology

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Wednesday 17 October
Winchester Business School, West Downs Quarter, University of Winchester, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 5HT

Planet Earth is the only place where we know of complex life in the entire universe. Its human species is so complex and 'successful' as to dominate and consume other species to the point of extinction. We are also complex enough to know consciously that we are doing this. Still, we seem impelled to continue, by a powerful pre-human and unconscious force that we share with other species. This force is the instinct for growth, consumption and acquisition.

Ironically, our hyper-success at biological adaptation is the root of our destructiveness, signs of which are now found throughout this small planet whose life depends on finely tuned relationships that have taken billions of years to evolve. We humans depend on being an embedded part of this ecosystem, every bit as much as other species, yet our success is now threatening this. The globally dominant belief continues to be that growth brings well-being, happiness and human development. This would be a good joke if its collective tortuous and suicidal consequences were not so serious.

This talk and discussion will elaborate on the psychological and ecological dynamics of this, framing them, and the questions they raise, in the context of my own life (including MBA) history, which I have spent trying to understand them since childhood, partly as a response to my family background of being caught up in genocide and torture. It will also consider ancient wisdoms, produced by humans ourselves, that point to different opportunities for finding meaningfulness in life, but that we have been adept at ignoring for an exceedingly long time.

We have a basic choice. One option is to continue to use the Earth merely as a resource for ourselves, the result of which is to continue today's trajectory of ecological dis-integration.

This talk will be delivered by Paul Maiteny

Paul Maiteny is an ecologist, anthropologist, and psychotherapist...and has an MBA. He has worked in ecological education and research for thirty years, held university research fellowships, and spoken widely, published and taught many courses on areas of systemic thinking, human ecology, sustainability and ecopsychology. He integrates scientific and mytho-religious ways of knowing in seeking to understand the evolving role of the human - person and species - as an intrinsic member of the ecosystem.


£5; free to staff and students

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