Enlightenment Now

Dear <subscriber>,

Welcome! This issue of CI News includes:

  • New ways to reduce and spread the cost for Bright Future Now
  • An antidote to the media view of the world
  • A profile of network member Mitra Martin

Financial Flexibility for Bright Future Now

Do you know someone, perhaps yourself, who’s felt held back from taking the Bright Future Now course for financial reasons? Graduates tell us it’s already an incredibly good value at $400 for the course and then lifetime membership in the Bright Future Network. But we know that’s still a stretch for some people and we want to include an even more diverse group of change-agents and cultural co-creatives from around the world.

Here are your options:

  • If you register for the Jul/Aug course through May 26th, the Early-Bird rate is $375.
  • If you take the course with a co-worker or housemate, the registration fee goes down to $350 each.
  • We have a payment plan that enables you to spread the cost over as many as 8 months.

All of these options are on the registration form.

If you feel you need financial assistance beyond these options, you can apply for financial aid.

However you do it, we look forward to sharing this journey into the Planetary Era with you!

Planetary-Era Book Club: Enlightenment Now

If your emotional sense of the state of the world is being shaped by the news media, you’re likely experiencing unnecessary suffering.

In his new book, Enlightenment Now, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker provides a great antidote.

He’s gathered up a wide array of long-term trends for life, health, sustenance, wealth, inequality, the environment, peace, safety, terrorism, democracy, equal rights, knowledge, quality of life, happiness and existential threats. Overwhelmingly, these trends illustrate the many ways that life has improved dramatically for the majority of humanity over the past 200 years or so. He draws heavily from the wonderful Our World In Data website but also adds many other sources. There are places where I feel he overstates his case but even with my caveats, I feel he provides an eye-opening tour of the state of the world.

Pinker uses these powerful trends to argue that the Age of Enlightenment values – reason, science, humanism and progress – should get sole credit for all that is positive in these trends and that we need to double-down on those values. Ironically, the way he makes his case – with overly categorical thinking and contempt for those he disagrees with – illustrates (at least from my perspective) the blind-spots, inconsistencies and psychological cluelessness that make the Age of Enlightenment – by itself – inadequate for our times.

Even though I disagree with his main premise, I whole-heartedly recommend the book. The trends will give you a wonderfully realistic – and encouraging! – orientation to the state of the world. His defense of reason, science, humanism and progress will help you think about these core questions of our times: How can we build on the strengths of the Enlightenment while going beyond its limitations? How can we also build on all that’s been learned since, on the wisdom of other cultures and on all of those facets of the human experience that aren’t well represented by “reason, science, humanism and progress”?

Meet the network: Mitra Martin

The Bright Future Network is currently over 120 wonderful people from 20 countries on 6 continents – and grows with each new set of graduates from Bright Future Now.  In previous issues of CI News, we’ve introduced Ousmane Pame from Senegal and Santhan Naidoo from South Africa – and now I’d like to introduce Mitra Martin from California.

Mitra is an educator, researcher and community builder who has been doing innovative work with peer-to-peer learning programs – skills she brings into many areas including body-centric folk traditions, especially Argentine Tango. You got a taste of her diverse interests as she authored the last three issues of CI News. Within the network, she coordinates the internal research team, is an active part of the organizational development team, and has initiated a common interest group devoted to Planetary Era approaches to education. You can connect with her via http://www.mitramartin.com/. Thank you, Mitra, for all the creative energy you pour into the world!

In this time of great potential, may you find your joyful ways to participate in the emergence of the Planetary Era.

With appreciation,
Robert Gilman
May 17, 2018

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