by Lucian Toma
Would you rather forecast or create the future? ~ Author Unknown
10 years ago, while I was studying Sustainable Development in a masters Program in Hawaii, I woke up to a persistent and deepening pain for our world. A lot of things that I was studying and most of the news I was turning to were pointing out to a continuously growing ecological and social degradation around the world. I was living a very comfortable and abundant lifestyle at that point, it seemed like these things I was learning about were not effecting me. Yet as I started to pay more attention, I realized that the effects of that ecological and social degradation were around me too. It became clear that the beautiful island of Hawaii was experiencing this also. It occurred to me that poverty, hunger, despair, pollution, deforestation and the likes were not facts just for places like my own ex communist home country or somewhere in the third world. It was happening everywhere around the world. Yes good things were happening too, however at a very close look, the main story of our world was one of continuous degradation, some part of it very obvious to most, but the biggest part of it unseen in the main stream cultural conversations (especially in the developed world).
In my studies I learned that there were people and organizations out there that were talking about and taking action to regenerate what was degraded and through education and training helping people put systems in place conducive to a regenerative and sustainability based future. Education, training and community learning that provided knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, courage, confidence and hope to create health, abundance, peace, to meet human needs while also healing, enhancing and sustaining ecosystems health. I knew immediately that through this type of approach, engaging in conscious, intentional and continuous learning and doing in community, a more beautiful world was possible.