Our world is facing an unprecedented threat. If we have any hope of averting the predicted consequences of the climate crisis, we need radical change and we need it now. Making minor adjustments that maintain the status quo is not enough. Putting green paint on unsustainable practices is not sufficient. We need a “Second Enlightenment,” a new paradigm, a fundamental change of framework on which we can build a more sustainable and just world—an Ecological Civilization. Such radical civilizational change will require collaboration around a shared vision for the future, toward mutual flourishing; bringing together the best in theory and practice across all areas of society.
This fall, key leaders from Korea will gather in Claremont to collaborate with US leaders around the shared vision of an ecological civilization, and the steps needed to initiate the transition on a global scale. Participants represent leaders in national and local government, NGOs, universities, journalism, and religions. Each participant and key speaker brings a unique set of skills, experiences, and achievements, critical to ushering in a new ecological paradigm. Inspired and guided by the work of John B. Cobb, Jr. whose vision was at the heart of the 2015 Claremont conference “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization,” we will examine big ideas toward a new paradigm for the future and how this vision is already being actualized by scholars, activists, governments, and politicians, in Korea and beyond.
Perhaps most important, this conference will serve as a first step toward building a Global Network for Ecological Civilization–bringing people together from around the world to collaborate on this common vision. While the 2017 Claremont conference will focus on Korea and the US, the 2018 Seoul conference (in partnership with the City of Seoul) will focus especially on forming an active network in Asia, that includes Korea, China, and Japan.