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Conference Announcement on Educating for a Human Future

  • Subject: [cg] Conference Announcement on Educating for a Human Future
  • From: "Anna Wasescha" ariel@tc.umn.edu
  • Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 14:02:03 -0500
  • Importance: Normal

Title: Message

A posting from Ilene Pevec:

Join People from Africa, Asia and Europe Exploring Sustainable Living "Learning to Live a Personally Sustainable Life" The 2nd International Varindra T. Vittachi Conference on EDUCATING FOR A HUMAN FUTURE Crestone, Colorado, USA - August 3-9 & 10-16, 2003

Sponsor: Blue Sky Associates: Catalysts for Educational Change, Minnesota

Co-Sponsor: The Atalanta Association, Colorado

With Support from

The Guerrand-Hermes Foundation for Peace, Lewes, England

We invite young adults 18 to 35 from all over the world to attend the second international Vittachi Conference to experience many aspects of living a personally sustainable life in the 21st century. Participants from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa, Cambodia, Indonesia, China and Poland are already registered. The conference will be held in two one-week sessions for sixty young adults each week on the Atalanta property in Crestone, Colorado, from August 3 to 9 and August 10 to 16.

This conference is being held in a high-mountain rural location to offer the opportunity for people to work together on the land as they explore the learning opportunities offered by the many cultural and spiritual organizations that co-exist peacefully in the Baca Grande region of southern Colorado. Crestone is the North American capital of green building, and offers the opportunity to visit a variety of straw bale, earth-ship and different passive and active solar buildings. An international team of facilitators from New Zealand, Germany, Colombia, Canada, Australia and the US will lead workshops exploring the components of a dynamic, sustainable approach to life and work. Workshops include Peacemaking, earth bag/papercrete building, music, visual arts, holistic health, the use of the Internet for a human future, aquaculture, and permaculture.

Our host, the Colorado based organization Atalanta, has a community permaculture garden and uses solar energy for electricity. Atalanta means "living with personal responsibility in peace and harmony with all creation". The diverse experiences offered on Atalanta's 44 acres of high desert land will nurture the spirit within each individual and support conference participants to carry home what they learn to kindle new learning experiences in their own communities.

The San Luis valley in Southern Colorado is a unique environment surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Each conference day will begin with a prayer or sacred ceremony led by one of the various spiritual groups in the region to honor the many international religious and spiritual disciplines peacefully co-existing there. The mornings will then be a combination of communication workshops and collaborating in building a "Glorieta", a shade structure we will make with earth bags, a building technique that can create a home anywhere in the world for minimal cost. In this case we will be making an outdoor gathering space and an amphitheater for performances. Following lunch each day will be an hour rest period so that we do not have burnout in the mid-day sun.

In the afternoons, local San Luis Valley groups and conference attendees active in education, peace and social work will present workshops in environmental issues and successful projects addressing community needs. Workshops in the arts will allow participants to create a collective tile wall and explore creative movement and music. At 5pm each day we will gather in small- group wisdom circles for reflection on the conference experience thus far to be able to connect deeply with other participants and shape the conference collectively. Evenings we will join in joyful celebration with music and dance, star-gazing and story telling from around the world.

During two days of the conference we will take short hikes to explore the surrounding mountains including the Great Sand Dunes National Monument and Preserve and learn from local experts about the high-desert environment. Included will be opportunities to hear about local ways of earning a living, from community service to local entrepreneurship. There are no big employers in this part of Colorado. Many people are creative in using their talents to earn a living: ranching, environmental protection, water conservation, eco-tourism, "green" home building, alternative technologies, social services, holistic health, journalism, internet based businesses, and art will be some of the possible businesses to visit. Earth Knack will host us on their site for identifying edible and medicinal native plants and for a meal of wild game.

Sustainability requires diversity at all levels in the natural world and this holds true for people. This conference welcomes young adults 18 and over of any nationality, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. It will be necessary to speak English well enough to communicate comfortably at the conference. We regret that we cannot offer translation services. The conference site is not fully handicapped accessible in that the terrain is uneven, sandy ground and events will be in various places across the 40 acre site. However, if you have special needs and let us know about them we will do our best to accommodate you given the natural setting.

Conference costs include all meals, transportation from the Colorado Springs airport to the site, rustic accommodations on site and all conference activities. One week is $450 if paid in full by May 1 or $500 after May 1. The fees paid by North Americans and Europeans help to subsidize young adults from less developed countries.

Email: ipevec@istar.ca for a conference application form, or use the online registration form if you intend to pay with a credit card.

(www.Humanfutureproject.org) There are some limited scholarship funds, reserved primarily for young adults from countries where the US dollar exchange makes travel challenging. We encourage your enquiry and participation.

Websites: www.Atalanta.org


The first Vittachi international youth conference, "Educating for a Human Future," was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, in June 2001. It included 200 young people, ages 17 to 35, and staff, together representing 22 countries. Varindra (Tarzie) Vittachi, for whom the conference is named, was a Sri Lankan journalist who died in 1993. He served in the UN for many years, retiring as the deputy executive director of UNICEF. Dr. Vittachi's commitment to the world's children and youth as well as to education has inspired these conferences. The goal of all the Vittachi International Youth Conferences is to create settings where young people can connect with each other and adult mentors to create an international network of people committed to dynamic education for the ever-changing challenges of the 21st century.




Anna Wasescha
1312 Dayton Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota  55104
651.646.8733 (phone)
651.646.0034 (fax)

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