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A Global Voice for Survival: An Ecosystemic Approach for the Environment and the Quality of Life

Pilon, André Francisco (2016): A Global Voice for Survival: An Ecosystemic Approach for the Environment and the Quality of Life.

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Abstract

In view of the overwhelming pressures on the global environment and the need to disrupt the systems that drive them, an ecosystemic theoretical and practical framework is posited for the evaluation and planning of public policies, research and teaching programmes, encompassing four dimensions of being-in-the-world (intimate, interactive, social and biophysical), as they combine, as donors and recipients, to induce the events (deficits/assets), cope with consequences (desired/undesired) and contribute for change (potential outputs). The focus should not be on the “bubbles” of the surface (consequences, fragmented issues), but on the configurations deep inside the boiling pot where the problems emerge. New paradigms of development, growth, power, wealth, work and freedom, embedded at institutional level, include heterogeneous attributes, behaviours and interactions and the dynamics of the systems (institutions, populations, political, economic, cultural and ecological background). Instead of dealing with the bubbles (segmented, reduced issues) and trying to solve isolated and localized problems without addressing the general phenomenon, the proposal emphasizes the definition of the problems deep inside the “boiling pot”, where the problems emerge, encompassing the current “world-system” with its boundaries, structures, techno-economic paradigms, support groups, rules of legitimation, and coherence. In the socio-cultural learning niches, heuristic-hermeneutic experiences generate awareness, interpretation and understanding beyond established stereotypes, from a thematic (“what”), an epistemic(“how”) and a strategic (policies) point of view. The proposal relates to how taken for granted worldviews, values and perceptions affect environmental problems and quality of life.

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