Heiner Benking:
The year 2000: My activities, synopsis, and concerns
Futures & Dialogue, Governance & Show or Schau?
were the central issues I was concerned about in the year 2000.
Below you will get a broader picture and how some of my fields, areas and activities were "touched" and connected.
 
 
 

EXPO 2000 

Most of the summer I have spent at the EXPO 2000 in Hannover associated to the United Nations Pavillon and exhibiting and participating at the GLOBAL DIALOGUES. Unfortuantely most of the material about this unique event is not available on the web anymore and so I want to focus on one issue we discussed over there. What can or could be a symbol for a world exhibition? AND isn't there a symbol built at the site mut people do not seem to realize that with the modern media and communciation means we can do the next step, go deeper and question beyond the surface. To make this more clear we have merged the picture of one of the highlight of the EXPO 2000 with another "cube" we have built for the GLOBAL CHANGE community 10 years ago, but whih unfortunately, as the Berlin wall had come down, not received public attention or interest.
 
 
 

So what we have done was taking the T-Digit German Telecom Cube is filling the frames with pictures in a well order form which helps us to locate "what we know and do not know" and that there are not only surfaces and physicalm, but also logical and conceptual "places", location where we can store and combine and overlay regions of "knowledge or data" and find it again, like with the known memory techniques. What we realized: We have touched the udnerstanding of what the media do: They tell they provide the overview and the"big picture", when instead they can only provide the surface, and focus on details or elaborate a specific angle using "their" objectives and filters.
The question raised was sensitive as "show" like in television or entertainment is not considered "serious", as staying on the surface of matters, not exploring the depth and pondering connections and relations. We have taken the Titel "Show or Schau? from the comment written for the APLS Journal (see below)  to make obvious what is at stake and where the challenges and potentials are.
What we did was trying to provide maps and models for culture and cyberculture which hopefully can help us be to the "point & place", being " concrete in order to integrate in the sense of Jean Gebser and increase tolerance by realizing that the observations and assumptions are "taken" from certain positions, levels, fields, and times and we can go beyond the "dualistic" trap of right or wrong by combining and taking viewpoints out and in, as we please.

HUMANITIES FATE and FUTURES 


I had asked myself how I could react best when asked by Lynton Caldwell to comment his unique and very basic: "Is Humanity Destined to Self-Destruct?" which is published with the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences. Here is my try and error (please also "performance" at EXPO 2000) : Comment: Show or Schau?
 

Please note: The Caldwell article is a revised version of a plenary lecture by APLS's founder and past president delivered at the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences, September 4, 1998, Boston. Some invited comments were discussed at the Twenties APLS 2000 Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. August 31-September 3, 2000 and will be published in the Journal Vol 18.2 Roundtable expected in early 2001.
Caldwell is one of the early people in Policy and Administration in the field of the Environment, Public Policy and Life Sciences and his insights are far-reaching, far beyond the scope and place of my synopsis. Please follow the links and the T-Cube exercise at EXPO 2000 below.
 
 
 

ALTERNATIVE FUTURES SCENARIOS and the AC/UNU GLOBAL LOOK-OUT

At Expo I have organized Millennium Day events and exhibtions at GLOBAL DIALOGUES to present in coordiantion with the United Nations Millennium Summit our "Millennium Report". More about this elsewhere. What we need to point out is not taht the Future is not set, that there are many altenative futures, depending how individuals and nations decide any moment. What is unique that we have here another example how we can paint altenative directions, like archetypes we can and will never reach as one complete scenario, but which can help us decide on individual and collective level on where to go and why. For the general direction, the places you do not need to reach but set your our sociaetal "matrix" accordingly, see Millennium 1000 years scenarios in the report: Very Long-Term Scenarios: Still Alive at 3000 End of Humanity and the Rise of Phoenix Itís About Time The Great Divides The Rise and Fall of the Robot Empire ETI Disappoints after 9 Centuries.
For what I mean by navigation and matrix in this context see the IFSR Newsletter: Embodying Situations & Issues,
Sharing Contexts, and Encouraging Dialogue.
 

NEW MEDIA _ NEW TIMES

In the beginning of the Year 2000 I worked at the Humboldt University Berlin in the field of Social and Cultural Ecology, presented the challenges Informationon Technology and Globalisation impose on our way we communicate and understand and how this was seen with German and Japanese Futurists 40 years ago. Please visit my Zeiten-Welten-Wende lecture and a collection of Powerpoint overheads ATTENTION: SORRY pls. use Microsoft EXPLORER!  and a presentation I did at the TU Technical University Berlin in the series Probleme der Philosophie: "Anschauung und Ausdehnung"
 

GENERATION DIALOGUE and EDUCATION

providing orientation and ways and means to survive, cope and share.

We exercise since years with a open-forum dialogue format with political bodies, peace organisations and new forms of conferencing on how to listen and share as a prerequisit to come to new forms of capacity and social system design.

Links to earlier efforts in the field of Education can be found here:


ART OF GOVERNANCE


How we can come to an "art of governance" in order to get beyond the noice to the data of value with their appropriate perspective, forcus, and scale - As I learned form Buzacott "Scale is for me more than size, it includes proportions and consequences". The question is how we can help decision makers to include and share levels, directions, and values and how to gauge the "human prospectus". This had been essential in my work pre and post the Earth Summit in Rio 1992, and had guided me to much deeper questions, trying to work with people who include values from diverse cultural perspectives. One of the person was the later Ralph Siu who died this year but has set forward a gargantuan piece of work now continued in the International Panetics Society, which can not only help to understand better the human prediament, but provide directions and means to steer ones personal life and at the same time on the socail and gloabl level increase the the basics for political decision making. His approach to compare the outcome of decision by judging the effects over generations and how much suffering is involved is a unique way to increase the "sukkha" in the world and might give another view on ethics and governance. Ralph over the years told me over the years not only to be cheerfuld and subsume and resonnate, but encouraed my with work as Cognitive Panorama as a scaffolding, matrix, grid,.. which can give data and findings a conceptual place, in order to help compare and evaluate alternative courses of action. See also the panetics speakers board and applying panetics (hand-out).
 

FROM KNOWLEDGE TO WISDOM, AN "OPTICS of ETHICS"

This much to with how we learn what we need in life the Values and how to make decisions. Conneceted to project to inteview the Elders in Generation Dialoge, the learning from the United Traditions, and our work for the International Peace University, and the CLUB OF BUDAPEST over the years, we have tried to invite people to come to a "global compassion", go beyond just our own "skin", and feel the position of the "others", and see with "other eyes" To show how that can be seen, felt, understood, and shared we have taken the habiltitation of  Prof. U Staudinger, Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education, Berlin, now TU-Dresden: "Über Lebenseinsicht und Lebensgestaltung zur Lebenskunst?" and "translated" the deeper "reasoning" in seminars into extented and connected "extra" worlds or spaces. See also: Staudinger, U. M. & Baltes, P. B. (1994). The psychology of wisdom. In R. J. Sternberg (Hrsg.), Encyclopedia of intelligence (S. 1143-1152). New York: Macmillan (note: polytopos - polytropos).
We have tried to embody some aspects and show how we can share levels and positions of situational/topological topics, like we would map and navigate in a geographical topos (model). See the "optics of ethics" and the Ethics Summit.
See also the presentation at the Konrad Lorenz Institute, Altenberg, and how that connects to "situation rooms"   - not "war rooms" !  -  and how we can endeavour to share situations, proportions, and consequences in such "realms". Pls. see "new ideas for sciences and arts - new spaces for culture and society" a Council of Europe conference.
 
 

FINAL NOTE - Background:
This synopsis of my works in the year 2000 can not be satisfying as you canot see exactly and concretely what is where and how it is connected. I invite you therefore to see an overview article,  the landscape-mindscape-merging morphing presentation, or the ISSS - Wholeness Seminar I and II. which provide an idea about the development over the last 12 years, for example some articles from the GeoJournal vol 23.3 (Harmonization)  and vol 26.3 Access and Assimilation, and how the new realities, augmented or virtual realities can be differentiated and located, how it helps locate and identify knowledge patterns, and how they fit into the picture of the new media (see powerpoint presentation and the lecture at Humboldt University). Maybe as a starter it can be best to see with "other eyes" by visiting scientist like Prof. Kim Veltman in Augmented Books, Knowledge and Culture" and other collegues, such as: Prof. Gerhard Budin in his Habilitation at the TU Vienna.