Education as the Fulcrum of Civilizational Transition

Can our planetary crisis be a species-wide learning opportunity?


DATE: Friday, March 25, 2022

TIME: 18.00 to 21.00 CET, 1pm to 4pm US-EDT (For other locations, please check World Time Buddy.)

Zak Stein has a powerful vision of education as both the source of the metacrisis we collectively are facing and its possible solution. He is not talking about schooling, but in how we learn as a culture, how we pass on knowledge and ways of living and being—and how we “course correct” when our lives and ways of living end up at odds with new realities. Today, facing the potential of extinction-level events, intergenerational transmission is broken. As a culture, we no longer know how to lead children into ways of being, thinking, and acting that will lead to a healthy, thriving culture of diverse humans in deep relatedness with Nature and the more-than-human world. In a new essay published by Perspectiva, Education must make History Again, Zak writes: “Our civilization is starting to mishandle the basic task of equipping the next generation with the requisite skills, personality structures, and cultural resources needed to maintain essential social systems…. Drastic educational crises that remain unresolved result…eventually [in] civilizational collapse.”

In this evolve LIVE! online event, Zak invites us to think together about the educational crisis we are in the midst of and to imagine new ways of envisioning education that might carry us through this dangerous and turbulent time.

Zak speaks of our present moment as a “time between worlds,” which is a liminal time “when one world is ending while another is waiting to be born.” While the stakes right now are exceedingly high because the continued existence of complex life on this planet may be at risk, there have been other times between worlds, for example, the shift from the medieval to modernity. What lessons can we learn from earlier transitions? Zak explores the life and work of the educational theorist John Amos Comenius (1592-1670), who lived right in the middle of this last shift. What can we learn from Conemius that might guide us in developing new processes and contexts for educational transformation? How can we engage with education, thought of in a broad sense, so that it becomes a fulcrum for civilizational transition?

Join us on Friday, March 25, from 18:00 to 21:00 Central Europe Time. (For the time at your location, please check World Time Buddy.)

evolve LIVE! events are live and interactive. The intention is to create a forum for shared inquiry that is catalyzed by the contribution of a compelling thinker or innovator, in this case, Zak Stein. Beginning with a dialogue between Zak and our host, Elizabeth Debold, you will have the chance to join the dialogue with Zak and then to work in small groups together with like-minded dialogue partners. Then we come back together, with Zak, to share and continue the investigation.

COST: This event is part of the “evolve gift cycle.” That means you can support it with a contribution at your own discretion. (To cover our costs in producing the event, on average, that comes to 30 euros per person) If you can, feel free to give more. By doing so, you are supporting others to join and enabling us to organize these events in this way. Feel free to give as much as is possible and appropriate for you. And if it’s not possible, feel free to take it as a gift.

You will receive the link to participate and all other relevant information close to the event.

To read some of Zak’s work, check out the links below:


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