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  Science, Wisdom, and the Future
   Humanity's Quest for a Flourishing Earth 
            June 24-28 2009, San Luis Obispo, California

Open to all who wish to participate.  If you would like to present, either a talk or a poster, please contact us for consideration. All can participant in Working Lunch Discussions,
or share information about your organization or work - see Posters and Displays

Across the globe, individuals and organizations are taking a new look at the human species and its relationship to planet Earth and all other life. There is a growing sense that the sum of humanity’s experience, knowledge, and passions is bringing life on earth to an evolutionary “tipping point”—one that will lead to our transformation—or our extinction.

This recognition crosses all disciplinary, social, political, and religious boundaries because it is clear that these traditional boundaries, cradles of our civilization, no longer serve a maturing humanity. We are at the brink of adulthood as a species and must understand our past and consider our future. We are universal life charting a new course for itself into unknown territory. We are the primordial stardust come to consciousness, aware of our evolutionary past in deep time. Will we ignore this precious gift, and responsibility, of awareness or will we treasure and nurture it? Can this awareness guide us as we attempt to chart our future course?

Thoughts on Wisdom and Flourishing offered by
Dr. Richard Trowbridge, an expert in wisdom studies:

1) Wisdom should not be merely a filler term for "something good." It can be a technical term meaning "the best possible choice." Some definitions of wisdom are "knowing what is good for men and women", "seeing things as they are and adjusting life to them", "seeing through illusion", "the art of living well". For Aristotle, wisdom had two aspects, sophia, knowing first principles and what followed from them, and phronesis, practical wisdom. The person of practical wisdom is one "who can arrive by calculation at the best humanly attainable good"  (Nicomachean Ethics, 1141b13-14). All of these can be summarized briefly as "Making the best possible choice." What that is, and how exactly we go about determining it, are necessarily matters of debate.
2) Flourishing can be defended as the telos of existence.

What do we actually know about what it takes to make individuals healthy, happy, and fulfilled? Do social scientists understand why some societies are healthy and others dysfunctional? Can they tell us why some cultures peacefully coexist while others are continually embroiled in strife? What do we really know about the interaction between a suddenly dominant sentient species and an obviously finite planet? Is our scientific understanding sufficient to solve the problems facing us, or do we need additional understandings beyond science itself to create a flourishing humanity on a sustainable planet?

What prescriptions have been offered to create fulfilled individuals in functioning societies on a peaceful and sustainable planet? What is the true nature of wisdom and its cultural impact? Is there wisdom in philosophical, humanist, spiritual, and religious traditions that can guide us toward a flourishing humanity?  How has our developing evolutionary cosmology impacted our understanding of our past and our future? What part does evolutionary cosmology play in education? How should our local and national political leaders deal with what to many appears to be an impending crisis? What new directions in education, politics, cultural studies, spirituality, business, and sustainability, are pointing the way to a desirable future?

How do we draw on the best of both science and wisdom, and in so doing create a flourishing, sustainable humanity on planet Earth?

The objectives of this conference are to:
● Assess our current evolutionary research and scientific knowledge of individuals, human societies, the relationships between cultures, and the relationship between humanity and its home, planet Earth.

● Assess the nature of wisdom and its potentials for good and the prescriptions and the advice of philosophical, humanist, spiritual, and religious traditions, as well as far seeing local, national, and global business and political leaders.

● Draw on new visions in business and sustainability to guide us in the practical application of solutions to our planetary crises.

● Increase participant’s capacity for networking and seeking answers through complex patterns of interaction rather than more traditional linear solutions.

● Share knowledge, wisdom, and creativity across traditional boundaries to stimulate synergies and find paths for working together to achieve global flourishing.

● Help conference participants to identify other compatible and fruitful individual or organizational visions and efforts that can provide opportunities for shared wisdom, networks, and resources.

● Draw in and encourage "young" scholars of all ages to enter into the global dialogue on humanity’s quest for a flourishing Earth. 

Enjoy the enrichment presentations of artist, writers, and poets who will share their unique expressions of the evolutionary story and our quest for sustainability.


The registration fee for this conference is $295. This includes four buffet lunches (with beverage, dessert, tax and gratuity) during the four days of the Working Lunch Round Table Discussions (see agenda) as well as a complimentary copy (including shipping and handling) of the Science, Wisdom, and the Future proceedings which will be published as the third hard-cover book in the Humanity Conference Series.  The registration fee can be paid in 3 payments (see registration page).
Day rates of $75/day are available and include lunch during the Working Lunch Discussion (but does not include a copy of the proceedings.

The optional Where From Here? Workshops on Monday June 29 will provide an opportunity to look back on the conference and forward to the fruits of its labors.  All are welcome but you must register separately for the Workshops and there is a small registration fee of $30 to cover the lunch and materials.
(Click here to register for the workshops)

Reservations for accommodations  (please see "Lodging, Meals, and Travel" page)

All the accommodations at The Embassy Suites are two-room suites with a special conference rate of $165/night.  Two to four people can comfortably share a suite and everyone sharing a room can partake of the complimentary breakfast buffet with cook-to-order menu and the manager's evening reception.

There are also several lower cost motels and restaurants within walking distance of the Embassy Suites. However, room sharing at the Embassy with free breakfast buffet, free evening social time (including cocktails) makes the Embassy Suites an excellent deal.  We will also provide assistance with matching up those who would like to share a room.

Wherever you decide to stay, make your reservations as soon as possible.  The Embassy Suites and all hotels and motels allow cancellation up to around 72 hours before check in and June is high season for the San Luis Obispo area.

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