Evelyn about Mind and Life Conference in Zurich, Switzerland, about Altruism and Compassion in Economic Systems:
I was very excited to be at the same time in Zurich as the Dalai Lama and having the opportunity to participate in the above Conference which was accompanied by him. The Conference was held as a dialogue in 5 parts on 3 days between leading women and men from the fields of Economics, Neuroscience and Contemplative Sciences such as Philosophy and Buddhism. On the detailed proceedings of the conference please read this blog and find information about the Mind and Life Institute here.
My highlights from the conference:
When I studied economics in the eighties, emotions and compassion were explicitly excluded from economic laws and the whole science was based on a egocentric view of the human being which only wants to maximize his own benefit. This view is changing. Finally altruism and compassion start to be included into economic science.
It is not only talking. There exist already many projects which are based on ethics, compassion and generosity like
- the barefoot college in India, which trains grandmothers from Africa and India as solar engineers within 6 months
- the Forma Futura Invest company which invests and manages funds based on 180 criterias including ethical and ecological ones
- big banks who suddenly invest in microfinance projects. ok, they do it because they realize that these projects are successful.
Evelyn about her visit of Tamera Healing Biotope in Portugal:
Tamera is an experimental and educating site for the building of peace villages worldwide. It is located in the Alentejo, a very dry region in southwest Portugal, on 134ha of land. Currently more than 200 people live and study there. A part of the project is the permaculture design for a village with 300 people. The main issue in this region is the water supply. With 600mm/year there is enough rainfall, but due to mismanagement like overgrazing and roads built in the valleys the water runs away too quickly leaving the soil dry and causing erosion. Tamera asked Sepp Holzer, a permaculturist from Austria, for help and he immediately envisioned a landscape with connected lakes where the water can slowly sip into the earth. 2 years ago they started with building dams, moving the road and terracing the land around the lakes. Thanks to heavy rainfalls in the winter the lakes are already filled, the terraces are planted with various fruit trees and guilds of veggies. It looks like a miracle. Many wild animals are already attracted to the lakes. The river which usually went dry in summer runs now all year round. Yes, it can be done! Please find more information about Tamera on their website.
Beate told us that for a Visa to Germany you have to apply now at the embassy in Jakarta instead of Kuta. She went there and had a great time shopping.
Beate told us about her experiences from the participation at the Earth Day in Ubud. The theme was "what are you doing to make the world a little better". Many locals took part and were very motivated. Beate made valuable contacts. Her highlight was riding an electro bike through Ubud. She suggests that we take part next year with our group.
Beate has contacts to a group who wants to find and build trecking paths in Bali. How exciting to walk around Bali by foot. In the Algarve in Portugal they just finished the Via Algarviana, a walking path through the countryside to promote a sustainable development of the region.
BIWA wants to sponsor a digital mammogram machine at the cost of US$ 69000 for breast cancer diagnosing. Teres mentioned articles and studies that this does not prevent breast cancer. The only way to prevent breast cancer is a healthy lifestyle. So instead of investing money in an expensive machine it is probably better invested in promoting and educating women in a healthy lifestyle.
Burkhart informed us that in Lovina from now on only cow shit is allowed as fertilizer for rice.
We talked about how the meetings could be improved so that more people get interested and take part. The next meeting will be an excursion to the Temesi waste recycling project on Friday, June 18.