Saturday, March 4, 2017

Designing a Sustainable Future: A Series of Courses

Nonviolent Communication and Conflict Resolution Skill Building 

Co-taught with Joseph Attanasio, LCSW


This virtual course will train participants in nonviolent communication and conflict resolution using strategies and exercises from the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). AVP is an internationally recognized program that currently operates in all of Delaware’s prisons, bringing conflict management tools to participants. In addition, community workshops, such as this, bring the same training to a larger community. Course participants will engage in a variety of group exercises, led by highly experienced facilitators. The intent of the course is to provide hands-on tools to better engage with others. 

Responding to Domestic Extremism/Terrorism
This ten session virtual class will explore the realities and possible remedies for the extremism/terrorism seen in the US today. It will be a student-centered seminar employing a wide variety of speakers, videos and readings on topics ranging from specific domestic extremist groups (Proud Boys, QAnon, Oath Keepers, KKK, Neo-Nazi's, etc), the role of social media, current governmental responses, the re-socialization process and hands-on activities on how to engage with people with extremist views.

The Power of Non Violence
This course looks at the transformative and sustainable nature of nonviolent change. Videos from the A Force More Powerful series will provide the opportunity to deconstruct historical moments where nonviolent techniques helped various groups create change. In addition, the teaching techniques for this course will be centered around methodologies that will encourage each participant to bring their own life experience's into the course conversations.There will be short homework readings in this non-lecture formatted class.

Economic Inequality

This course examines economic inequality through the writings of Robert Reich and his documentary film "Inequality for All." Course participants will identify the causes of inequality and then design prescriptive solutions. There will be short homework readings in this non-lecture formatted class. The first teaching of this course will be a virtual  model in summer 2020.

Responding to Terrorism in the International System
This course looks at responding to terrorism in the international system from both a diagnostic and prescriptive manner.  The teaching techniques for this course will use a variety of methodologies to encourage participants to bring their own life experiences into the course conversations.  There will be short homework readings in this non-lecture formatted class.

Responding to Climate Change
This course is based on the assumption that man's involvement in climate change is proved science. It will use a variety of films, speakers and experiential materials as class participants identify its impacts and then design prescriptive macro policies and individual responses. The course will be a non-lecture, student centered learning experience, with short readings for each session. This unit is part of the larger "Designing a Sustainable Future" series offered by the teacher.

A New Economy as if People Mattered
This course follows the leadings of the E.F.Schumacher’s classic, “Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.” Course materials will explore the ideas of sustainable design as course participants envision a new economic model that is based on the assumptions of environmental stewardship, individual entrepreneurship and self-interest, sustainable production and consumption, measuring well being and designing local economic self-reliance. The instructional methodology will be a non-lecture, student –centered seminar format, using assigned readings and a variety of multi-media to provoke discussion. 

Imaging a Positive Future
This course has been adapted from materials created by Elise Boulding and Warren Ziegler from their respective Positive Futures initiatives. It has been taught in the past in a variety of ways and will emerge sometime soon as an exercise in prescriptive social science.

Real Politic to Satyagraha Stories 

The motivation for this segment of the blog comes from a longstanding desire to publish stories from my experiences with various people and places over the last 50 years. Selfishly, I want to dedicate these words to my 13 grandchildren, who someday might read these words and better understand some of what Rick was up to during his time on the planet.