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EcoCiv Korea works with partners in Seoul and around the world to promote a new paradigm for ecological civilization, connecting with scholars, activists, governments, and politicians, in Korea and beyond.


EcoCiv Korea 2019 Events

EcoCiv President, Philip Clayton and Executive Vice President, Andrew Schwartz joined our EcoCiv Korea leaders Gunna Jung and Yunjeong Han for four consecutive events in September and October. First was the 2nd Transition City Seoul conference on the theme, “Beyond GDP Toward Ecological Transition.”  In collaboration with Mayor Park Wonsoon and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Prof.…

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Two elder scholars asked, “Are you happy?”

By Kumsil Kang, Executive Director of People for Earth, lawyer Two elder scholars from the United States visited Korea to attend the International Conference on Transition Cities hosted by Seoul on November 11, and the International Conference on Ecological Civilization held at Paju from December 12 to 14. They were John B. Cobb, Jr., Professor…

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“If Jesus is born now, he would first save the ruined environment”

An interview with international ecological theologian John Cobb By Kim Hwan Young All belief systems, including philosophy, religion, and ideology, continue to change and evolve. The conservative insistence on maintaining the purity of heritage from founders and doctrines often fails to meet the practical need to adjust to worldly changes. But if there is excessive…

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Is an Economic System in Harmony with Ecology Possible?

By Han Gui-Young 한겨레경제사회연구원 사회정책센터장  People for Earth Forum “Earth and People” hosts International Conference on Ecological Civilization If the entire world is to maintain Korea’s level of consumption, 3.5 earths will be needed Ecological conversion is no longer a task that cannot be postponed Immediately effective ecological conversion is more cost effective as well…

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“Ecological civilization must be realized with an ecological economy and education that serves the Earth”

By Kim Yu-Jin “You may believe that it is too late to avoid the consequences of climate change. But if we discontinue unsustainable practices now and make the correct choices, we can save billions of people.” Urgency emanated from the words of Dr. John Cobb, Professor Emeritus of the Claremont Theological Seminary who is considered…

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“Civilization will collapse”… What are the remaining tasks?

Do you remember the terrible heat of last summer?Temperatures that forbade restful sleep because they didn’t drop below 90 degrees? Receiving news of record-breaking temperatures every day, people must have begun to understand the serious nature of climate change. But as the cool breeze returned, those memories faded. How long can such forgetting continue? ‘Is…

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Three Ecological Transition Conferences in Korea

By Yunjeong Han, Research Fellow at the Center for Process Studies On the last day of the ‘Ecological Transformation on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia’ conference (October 12-14, 2018), participants walked 6 miles along the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) eco-trail. This green belt runs between South Korea, looking to transition from its industrial economy to…

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Paju Declaration

At the conclusion of the International Conference for Ecozoic Culture (October 14, 2018), EcoCiv joined 5 other organizations from China, Korea, and the USA in signing a shared statement on the world’s most urgent problems and a vision toward ecological civilization. See the English and Korean translations below. Paju Declaration Preamble Today, the global-scale ecological…

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A Conversation between David Korten and Park Won Soon (Mayor of Seoul)

The following is an abridged and narrated transcription of the conversation between Dr. David Korten and Mayor Park Won Soon, joined by Professor Cotton. Original translation was provided by Audrey Jang. ** ** ** On the morning of October 10th on the 6th floor of Seoul City Hall, Mayor Park Won-soon and Dr. David Korten,…

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Exciting Conference on EcoCiv in Korea

Green Transition: Toward Ecological Civilization in Korea Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 9:00 AM | Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 12:00 PM (PST) Claremont, CA | Claremont 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…

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Conferences & Events

International Forum on Ecological Urban Development and Regeneration

October 15, 2018

Korean society has been rapidly urbanized since 1960s. As more than 80% of Korean people are living in urban areas, South Korea is the highest urbanized country in the world. In particular, the four cities in the Northeast that have a long history as a residential area in Seoul have undergone urban decline (86.4% of urban decline exceeding 65.9% of the nation and 79.4% of Seoul average). Therefore, not only The urban regeneration projects that rebuild the citizens’ residential zones have implemented in various places, but also the economy-based urban regeneration project, so called ‘Changdong-Sangye Project’ to develop this area into one of the economic hubs of Metropolitan Seoul. Read More

International Conference on Ecozoic Culture

“Ecological Transformation on the Korean Peninsula and in East Asia”
October 12-14, 2018

Recently, the world witnessed the Korean Peninsula taking a huge first step toward a peace regime. With the inter-Korean summit and the US-North Korea summit that address agendas left from the 20th century, there is already a sense of peace and hope that can be felt on the Korean peninsula. However, right now, far into the 21st century, great shadows loom over our world. The climate change is taking effect all over the globe and we hear of many new diseases every year. These are just a few of the signs that point to the destruction of our global ecosystem amidst wary forecasts of an era of “machine-fused humans” and “genetic manipulation” enabled by artificial intelligence technology. Read More

Civilizational Transition and the Role of the Cities

October 11, 2018

Recently, Seoul citizens are suffering from a record-breaking heat wave and fine dust. The government regards the heat wave as one of the major disasters. Such a drastic climate change is happening all the cities around the world. Not only human dwelling but also habitats of plants and animals are greatly affected by climate change. Moreover, deep-sea fish, which seem to be irrelevant with human activities on earth, are threatened by micro-plastics. Since the Rio Earth Charter in 1992, the world has been engaging in discussions on sustainable growth and developing international agreements. Still, our future does not seem so bright. Besides climate change, human society has many problems of extreme wealth gap, inequality, and violence. Read More

Green Transition Toward Ecological Civilization: A Korea-US Dialogue

November 7-9, 2017

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. Read More

Our Work

Agenda of sustainable society

  1. increase green energy, industry & agriculture
  2. build social economy, local community
  3. solve unemployment, aging problem
  4. reform competitive, biased education

For sustainable society, Ecological Civilization in Korea is going to

1.Study and introduce Whiteheadian process thought, John Cobb’s process theology and it’s environmental implication.  Also, we research modern Korean ecological theories and thoughts.

2.Visit local communities like Pilgrim Place and Uncommon Good, to collect materials to learn from their challenges and successes.

3.Provide policy model of social economy, local community and make educational courses based in ecological civilization philosophy.

4.Cooperate with church and university, local government to support community.

5.Publicize our activities in website, seminars & books.

Ecological Civilization in Korea

Humanity is facing a dreadful threat of current catastrophe. Merely changing social and cultural patterns, which are based on the mechanical understanding of ecology and civilization, will not be enough; nothing less than civilizational paradigm change is necessary if humanity is to avert the predicted consequences in the near future. Even though we seem to be aware of the approaching crisis, we are hesitant to think and act differently because we feel that we are not ready to radically change or we do not know where to go.

Each sector of society must be analyzed for its potential contribution. EcoCivKorea seeks to lay the groundwork for civilizational change in Korea. That requires clarifying the problems that have led us to the brink of catastrophe, engaging in research on possible alternatives, advocating practical long-term solutions, and supporting the implementation of changes on both large and small scales.

EcoCivKorea seeks to promote the Ecological Civilization which is related to the common good by means of the relational approach found in process thought. Process thought is based on the work of philosophers Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne, and John B. Cobb, three contemporary examples of a long standing philosophical tradition that emphasizes becoming and change over static being.

Process thought is a philosophical system that describes the world in fundamentally relational terms. According to process thought, every unit of reality is in an ongoing process of change, and everything that occurs is a confluence of one’s inherited past, contextual possibilities and individual agency.

Thus Process thought helps to harmonize moral, aesthetic, and religious intuitions with scientific insights. EcoCivKorea follows the great thought in Process philosophers to develop and enhance the discussion between Eastern and Western religious and cultural traditions, especially in Western societies and Korea. Process thought offers an approach to the social, political, and economic order that brings issues of human justice together with a concern for ecology and sustainability. Our wide range of interests includes multicultural, feminist, ecological, inter-religious, political, and economic concerns. Our ultimate vision, what we hope to achieve, is to research and advocate the policies required for an ecological civilization in Korea.

인류는 현재 가까운 미래에 다가올 환경적인 위협에 직면하고 있습니다. 이것을 해결하는데 생태와 문명의 기계적인 이해에 근거한 사회적, 문화적 패턴을 바꾸는 것만으로는 충분하지 않습니다. 가까운 미래 우리가 직면하게 될 환경적 대참사를 피하기 위해서는 인류의 문명 패러다임의 변화가 필요합니다. 우리가 다가오고있는 위기를 인식하고있는 것처럼 보이지만 근본적으로 변화 할 준비가되어 있지 않거나 어디로 가야할지 모르기 때문에 우리는 생각이나 행동에 주저하고 있습니다.

EcoCivKorea는 한국의 생태학적 문명으로 변화를 위한 토대를 마련하는 것을 목표로하고 있습니다. 그러기 위해서는 우리의 문명이 재앙의 위기에 이미 이르렀다는 문제의식을 명확히하고, 가능한 대안의 연구에 매진하고 장기적이고 실용적인 해결책을 찾기위해 노력해야 합니다. 이를 위해서는 거시적이고도 미시적인 실행 대책이 필요합니다.

EcoCivKorea는 프로세스적 사고(Process Thoughts)에서 발견되는 관계적 접근 방식을 통해 공동의 이익과 관련된 생태 문명을 촉진하는 것을 목표로하고있습니다.프로세스적 사고의 개념은 철학자 Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne, John B. Cobb의 연구에 기초하고 있습니다. 이 세명의 현대적인 연구자들이 서 있는 철학적 전통은 ‘변함의 과정’과 변하지 않는 존재가 아닌 변해가는 존재에 강조점을 두고 있습니다.

프로세스적 사고는 근본적인 관계성으로 세계를 설명하는 철학적 시스템입니다. 프로세스의 사상에 의하면, 현실의 모든 개체는 진행중인 변화의 과정에 있습니다. 모든 발생하는 사건들은 한 시점에서 그 이전의 과거로부터 받은 기본적인 현실적 요소들과, 문맥적으로 어울리는 가능성들과 개별 행위자들의 선택의 조화합니다.

따라서 프로세스적 사고은 도덕적, 심미적 종교적 직관과 과학적 통찰력을 조화시키는 데 도움이됩니다. EcoCivKorea은 동아시아와 서양의 종교, 문화적 전통, 특히 서구 사회와 한국에서의 논의를 연결하고 발전시키기 위해 프로세스 철학자들의 생각을 따릅니다. 프로세스적 사고는 인간의 정의의 문제와 생태적 지속 가능성에 대한 우려를 가지고 사회적, 정치적, 경제적 질서에 대한 철학적이고도 현실적인 접근을 제공합니다. 우리는 다문화, 페미니즘, 생태, 종교간의 대화, 정치적, 경제적 문제들에 다양한 관심이 있습니다. 우리의 궁극적인 비전은 한국적 생태문명에 필요한 정책을 연구하고 그것을 옹호하는 것입니다.


Dongwoo Lee
Co-Director of Ecological Civilization in Korea Project at Center for Process Studies, Claremont School of Theology. Pastor of US Presbyterian Church.

Keunhwa Jung
Research Fellow of Ecological Civilization in Korea Project at Center for Process Studies, Claremont School of Theology. Economics Professor of Hanshin University, Korea.

Yunjeong Han
Research Fellow of Ecological Civilization in Korea Project at Center for Process Studies, Claremont School of Theology. Ph. D of Comparative Literature. Journalist.

Kiho Park
Photographer. Photojournalist. Lecturer of Yonsei University, Korea.

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