on September 17th this year I will present a paper to the Tropics of the Imagination conference at the Cairns Institute of James Cook University, Australia.
Here is a sneak preview of the introduction.
How can we participate in a culture which inspires humans to responsibly steward the planet for future generations of all beings?
As the tropics of planet earth are home to a rich profusion of diverse and unique life forms, so the tropics of the imagination are the fertile centre from which springs an infinite diversity of unique thought forms. This resource of inspiration and innovation has been a vital fuel in the evolution of human culture to date. At this time, on the bridge between the juggernaut of history and an uncertain future, imaginative contributions to the ongoing quality of life on earth, for all biological life-forms, is undeniably necessary.
This paper sets out to explore international and local trends toward a culture of bio-regional, and by extension, planetary ecological protection, where biodiversity and life-viability are recognised as keys to our future. Proposing that by creatively combining our expertise and resources, creative artists, scientists and engineers can work toward supporting cultural change.
… a culture where quality of life, and ecological values are the measure of wealth.
To frame our inquiry we will need to develop a guiding set of questions. We will need to approach our topic from multiple perspectives in order to glean insight into the possible lines of inquiry that might yield the information we require in order to actualise the imagined scenario.
Framing this imagining of a culture where quality of life, and ecological values are the measure of wealth as a line of inquiry has the potential to empower us, as academics and concerned global citizens, to find inspiration and purpose in the myriad challenges we know that we are facing in our collective future. The power of imagination can be harnessed in service of long-term beneficial outcomes for not only the human species, but for all life on this beautiful planet. Even if we humans succeed in travelling to and settling upon other planets, as some propose but cannot guarantee, we will need a culture of respect for life and planetary life support systems in order to survive there. So the time is ripe for us to begin taking seriously the challenge of developing and promoting an irresistible and irrefutable alternative to the destructive global paradigm which is currently being proliferated.