The obvious facts of the development of communities show that there is a progressive replacement of rivalry by cooperation, and that the vitality of the social organism increases in direct ratio to the efficiency of the cooperation, and to the abandonment of the rivalry, between its parts. - Sir Norman Angell
Social sustainability for the 21st century
Some of the core activities within ENGL are focused towards development of the social skills that are essential in the interdependent world we face today. It is a constant flow of information that surrounds and challenges human being with its rapid speed. Education here goes far away beyond its traditional tasks and extends to non-cognitive learning, as well as development of the ability to solve problems together above differences, views and even individual ambitions.
There is a need for a dialog, not monolog in the educational field. Only by mutual reflection upon issues within the society can a human being evolve in his or her ability to improve environments that we share.
Dialog fosters simple, yet crucial shift in the perception from centric to systematic view. Once individuals learn to consider needs and concerns of various levels and types within the society, we can try to solve those.
ENGL projects are dynamic and have an emergent nature, nevertheless, they are monitored and guided by our team of experts. The main activities include educational events, round tables and active usage of technology to foster communication within the society.
Importance of the environment
Very important milestone, when it comes to individual cognitive self-awareness and development, is recognition of a constant exchange between one and its environments, interdependency and mutual influence between those. The environments can be physical, but within the ENGL Education projects we focus on informational, social and psychological environments that play the major role in forming, creating, also destroying well-being of an individual.
After understanding the significance of the information that surrounds one or values that are being cherished among one’s friends, an individual can learn to control and improve various aspects of his or her life. Ego-centric perception leads to limited ability to work with one’s character, mental health and potential. It ignores input in terms of emotions, energy or information that is regularly made from the surroundings.
One of the core principles of the Education for living in the Global World is to teach integral view upon an individual. It consequently extends both societal and personal capability to comprehend, act, reflect and create.
Culture of Dialog
Importance and many benefits of cooperation are widely known and accepted. However, there are many challenges that come along. Society use communication as a tool to achieve its goals. It is a valid attitude and gives various advantages compared to pursuing one’s goals with limited communication between parties involved.
Insufficient degree of co-planning, interaction or dialog appears, when all these activities are being undervalued. It arises with inappropriate usage and attitude, and lacking competencies to act and create together. As a result, one may decide that it is easier to get things done alone and loses opportunity to feel social cohesion, develop personally and achieve above average results.
Key to solution is seeing communication as a value in itself, not primary as a tool. In order to see it as a value, one should recognize benefits, enjoyment and meaning dialog can bear in itself. Interaction with others can and should go well beyond necessity, both societal (work, public institutions etc.) and personal (family, friends etc.) It should become the main tool and valuable activity for solving economic, social, environmental and political disputes.
The Education for living in the Global World program guided and managed by its experts has been developing methodology and practices that teach an individual to acquire maximum out of a dialog, maximum satisfaction and better results.
Feeling of responsibility and ability to influence has many positive effects on the global world. It among others creates joy of participation and togetherness. Indifference, on the other hand, leads to insecurity. Care can be present there, where one has a chance to see and feel one’s involvement and meaning. Trust is essential component in the business partnerships, romantic relationships or setting goals for oneself. Egoism, indifference, negligence destroys all that what can be easily built by caring, trusting society, where mutual responsibility is present.
The main challenge in creating, meaning educating such a society is to show degree of interdependency in the global world. Interconnectedness allows systemic solutions, which are conducted on a higher level of human interaction leading to improved quality of a human life. It extends not only to economic indicators or political debates. It exists in everyday life of each single human being. Unawareness of it is dangerous. It can lead to acting without proper consideration of all the consequences. The Education for living in the Global World incorporates intensive practices of broader perspective of one’s life in the interconnected world and one’s responsibilities. The course is built so that this does not lead to the feeling of a heavy burden, but to a freeing sense of social inclusion and personal importance.
Sustainability, much heard and discussed, seems to be absent in the minds of politicians or within big corporations or, if present, then conducted inefficiently. Intergenerational equity means having in mind needs of the next generations and implies reconsidered desires and discipline of consumption. However, consumption patterns and cherished through media values create inconsistency and make sustainability a big challenge.
Sustainable development should not mean fixing, where the damage is done (e.g. “green practices” and concern for starving children in Africa). More beneficial approach is about limiting or excluding those practices that harm well-being of another person anywhere in the world. It requires a lot of resources, both intellectual and nature’s. But first of all, it requires different thinking.
Experts within the Education for living in the Global World are involved in media projects that promote sustainable values in a manner that creates image associated with care, love and fun.
At the core of integration, very much needed in the European and worldwide society, should be integrity. Obviously similar words, but absence of one can make a difference. Integrity refers to consistency of methods, values, outcomes, expectations, and principles. Integration so far has been limited to economic needs, language learning and some knowledge of the culture one is faced with.
Knowing another person, being familiar with his or her personality traits does not lead to acceptance per se. There is a need for deeper reflection, seeking for understanding and empathic attitude. It can be developed by introducing popular psychological theories to a larger group of the society.
In a truly integral view there is no two-sided (good and bad, 99% and 1%) perception. We as the society create all the manifestations within society, media, economy, and every single issue can teach us about the mechanisms being used in building it up. Only this kind of approach will give tools to improve and change.
An average person in the industrial society goes through certain phases, where he or she gains certain knowledge and behavioural patterns. Among them are standard methods for solving problems, absence of flexibility. It is not a challenge to critique traditional educational system, after all. Educating personalities within the knowledge society has crucially different tasks than the educational system faces today.
First of all, person needs time and space to reflect, imagine and be creative. Secondly, knowledge society implies independence and pro-activity. An individual has to be able to assess situation critically from the integral view and act in a way that benefits interests of the society at whole. In this way constant synthesis of opinions is developed, which boosts creativity and joy of accomplishment together.
Ability to take responsibility for another human being is essential in the knowledge society and goes beyond one’s family. It works as an incentive for evolving and learning beyond one’s personal interests and needs. The team of experts within ENGL have developed methodology that has to provide above average personal development tools.