Leo Burke (Fellow)

Global Cooperative Forum, Commons & Trends Advisor School of Socio-Economics & Ecology

Leo Burke

There are three areas of teaching interest that I offer in service to the overall vision of the NewEarth Project:

1. Global Cooperative Forum.
What if human civilization was actually based on reality? That is to say, can you imagine a civilization founded simply on the truth of our inherent condition? Through eons of time humanity has conducted its affairs based on an implicit and uninspected false idea—the presumption of separation. This assumes that, in an absolute sense, I am different from you, your tribe is different from my tribe, and so on. And it is this presumption of separation that is the root cause of unhappiness, war, and human suffering.  Today the insights of both science and great sages reveal that, at its most basic level, all of existence is an intrinsic indivisibility. As this understanding becomes the indispensible principle of human existence, our political, economic, social, and cultural systems will shift radically. One vision for enabling such a world to emerge is the Global Cooperative Forum. Dr. Carolyn Lee and I offer educational events on the Global Cooperative Forum, a process involving all of humankind.

2. Global Commons.
The commons refer to those resources that are available for the welfare of all.  For instance, there are natural resources commons, such as the oceans, rivers, mountains, forests, and even the atmosphere. There are cultural commons such as customs, language, sports, and fashion.  There are digital commons such as the internet, open-source software, and remixes of all kinds. There are knowledge commons such as the periodic table, the scientific method, libraries, and public domain literature.  Commons are not owned but, rather, are stewarded for the benefit of both current users and future generations. Such stewardship characteristically involves deep cooperation, personal responsibility, and structures of accountability. The commons are categorically different from both the private sector and the public sector. And healthy, viable commons are essential for a world that would live in peace. My teaching in this area focuses on understanding the commons and encouraging their development.

3. Global Trends.
My current university teaching includes courses on emerging global trends that are likely to significantly impact both our species and the planet. As we continue on a trajectory toward ten billion people, and as we consider that our resource utilization is far beyond the earth’s carrying capacity, it becomes evident that this is a period with unprecedented transformative potential. Long established ideas of property, interest, growth, and sovereignty are giving way to new views of what is required to live in a world of sustainable equilibrium. This also requires creative and innovative approaches to technology, energy, food, and money. My courses in this area examine critical trends, raise provocative questions, and generate stimulating dialogues.



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