Tracks will have 8 concurrent sessions–each 90 minutes
Pick your favorite and participate in these working group discussions!

Most of this conference will be devoted to meeting in small working groups about particular topics of real importance. These 82 groups (“Tracks”) are organized into 12 key themes, “Sections.”  The task of each Track is to advance thinking on this issue in the direction needed if we are to move toward an ecological civilization. This is why they are better thought of as working group discussion, and not a series of presentations. All conference attendees are thus invited to actively participate in a track and make substantive contributions to the conversation. Please note there are five individual tracks that are eligible for CEUs for mental health professionals licensed by California’s Board of Behavior Science.

Section I Section IV Section VII Section X
Section II Section V Section VIII Section XI
Section III Section VI Section IX Section XII

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2:00 PM – 3:30 PM        
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11:00 AM – 12:30 PM    
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Section I. The Threatening Catastrophe: Responding Now (John Quiring, organizer)

Section Plenary: “What Can Trigger Transformation?” (Catherine Keller)

1. Catastrophic Climate Change (David Griffin, chair) Crookshank Hall, Rm 2

The response to the threat of catastrophic climate change will be considered from moral, cultural, and political perspectives as well as technical ones. It is a global threat and a response requires some form of global governance. Accordingly the possibilities and problems of global action will be a major part of this discussion.

2. The Technological Response: Geo-Engineering (Kevin O’Brien and Forrest Cingerman, chairs) Smith Campus Center, Rm 217

In response to climate change, some are now proposing large-scale engineering projects, such as creating artificial clouds to reflect sunlight or seeding algae blooms in the ocean to more CO2. This track will pursue ethical and religious responses to these proposals and consider how decisions about them can be evaluated and, if need be, implemented.

3. The Threat of Massive Hunger (Evaggelos Vallianatos, chair) Smith Campus Center, Rm 218

The demand for food of a growing population and the diminishing supply threaten acute global food shortages in the near future. Climate change worsens the prospect. Thus far high tech solutions have worsened the problem, e.g. by exterminating bees. This track will consider urgent near-term changes in policy and positive steps individual and communities can take to feed themselves.

4. Just Peacemaking: Response to Threats of Catastrophe (Jay McDaniel and Paul Bube, chairs) Smith Campus Center, Doms Lounge

This group will consider the continuing threat of nuclear war, the problem of empire building, and the realities of violence in regions such as Africa, Iran, Korea, and the Middle East and consider how Just Peacemaking can bring lasting peace. Conversations will focus on proven practices at local levels and on ways that foreign policies of powerful nations can be re-crafted to respect the earth and foster creativity, compassion, and justice among people in local communities.

5. Economic System Transformation (David Lewit, chair) 2014 Hall, Rm. P 106 Pitzer College

In Sessions 1-6 auditors watch a variety of visionaries dialog to develop consensus on new or transformed institutions needed to achieve a humane, ecological, global economy by 2030. Auditors take over sessions 7-8 to revise visionaries’ consensus whose perspectives include  globalization, banking, wealth distribution, economic democracy, technology, military, change psychology, and movements.

6. Political Collapse (John Culp, chair) Smith Campus Center, Rm 201

The group will analyze the breakdown of nation states and democratic governance as global capitalism dominates development, but also note positive developments and what may still be done at the national level. Most of the time will be devoted to promising movements and experiments especially at the local level such as public control over money creation and local food sufficiency.

 7. Organizing for Change and Sustaining Involvement (Roger Gottlieb, chair) Frary, PDR South

The point of this track is the experiential life of the environmentally aware and active human being: how do we survive emotionally, morally, and spiritually when we are in the midst of a slowly, irrevocably unfolding disaster? Our sessions will not be social theory, but  (as Kierkegaard might say) the ‘existing individual’. Consider that each person at the conference has to confront the bad news and what it means for life on earth. How are we to remain active and alive, whole and sane, in the face of the truth?

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Section II. An Alternative Vision: Whitehead’s Philosophy (Roland Faber, organizer)
Section Plenary: “Philosophy is not only for Philosophers” (Helmut Maassen)

1. Whitehead and Analytic Philosophy (Dan Dombrowski & Don Viney, chairs) Seaver Commons, Rm 104

The dominance of analytical philosophy in the English-language world has led to Whitehead’s virtual exclusion from most departments of philosophy. However, there are a growing number of analytical philosophers who recognize the value of dialog with Whiteheadians. This track will take up this dialog and seek to enlarge and advance it.

2. Whitehead and Continental Philosophy (A) (Helmut Maassen, chair) Seaver Commons, Rm 103

Many European philosophers are interested in postmodern thought. This has been primarily that of the great French thinkers including Deleuze. Deleuze has spoken favorably of Whitehead and opened the door to discussion and collaboration. This track continues and develops this conversation.

3. Whitehead and Continental Philosophy (B) (J. R. Hustwit, chair) Frank Hall, PDRW

This track will discuss approaches that gather insights from European philosophy and Whitehead in order to press those insights into the service of societal transformation. It will also worry the problem of the problem, namely how a historically contemplative discipline can bring about meaningful action.

4. Whitehead’s Value Theory and Ethics (Theodore Walker, chair) Seaver Commons, Rm 102

Modern philosophies and visions of the world continue encouraging ecologically unsustainable practices. This track concerns Whiteheadian advances toward an alternative value and moral theory, and how Whiteheadian visions, along with other alternative visions, can encourage technological and moral guidance toward ecological civilization.

5. Whiteheadian Philosophy of Religion (John Quiring and Jea Sophia Oh, chairs) Frank Hall, Blue

This track will represent the achievement of Whiteheadian philosophy of religion and apply it to ecological civilization. It will identify Whiteheadian priorities within both APA and AAR conceptions of philosophy of religion; then addressing philosophy of religion concerns that arise within environmental studies, bio-philosophy, environmental philosophy, environmental ethics, religion-and-ecology, eco-spirituality, and eco-theology.

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Section III. Alienation from Nature: How it Arose (Gene Wallace, organizer)
Section Plenary: “Have You Ever Wondered what it’s Like to be a Mouse?” (Nancy Howell)

1. What is Civilization and what are its Consequences for Human Relations to the Rest of the Natural World? (Rosemary Radford Ruether, chair) Lebus Hall, Rm 113

This track will examine the rise, nature, and effects of civilization, showing how far it is from the norm of ecological civilization. It will give special attention to the attitudes toward the natural world that it has expressed and fostered and the expressions of these attitudes in custom and practice.

2. (Bilingual) How Have the Enlightenment and Industrialization Reshaped the Relation to the Natural World? (Zhihe Wang and Guosheng Wu, chairs) Lebus Hall, Rm 217

The European enlightenment emphasized science, individual liberty, and respect for persons, but neglected community and tradition. It intensified alienation from the rest of nature by treating it as different in substance (Descartes) and developing industrial methods of exploiting it. The track will consider its effects in the West and its later effects on other cultures, especially China.

3. Late Modernity and its Re-imagining (Matthew Segall, chair) Lebus Hall, Rm 201

The discoveries of geological deep time and biological evolution that emerged during the 18th and 19th centuries dealt a death blow to substance dualism, forcing humanity to make a fateful ontological decision: either, (1) re-imagine nature as ensouled or (2) re-imagine the human as a machine. This track will examine Western civilization’s choice of the latter option, contrasting it with the former one.

4. What Effects has Civilization, especially in its Current Form, had on the Human Psyche? (David Roy, chair) Lebus Hall, Rm 110

Alienation from nature has led to thoughtless destruction of the environment. It has also damaged human health. Studies of indigenous people have shown that their upbringing and cultural practices nurture a psychological wholeness to which moderns can only aspire. This suggests both that an ecological culture may require psychological healing and that it may be essential to real psychological health. CEUs available for this track to licensed mental health professions who are licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; we also will be applying for approval by the American Psychological Association.  See track page for more information.

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Section IV. Re-envisioning Nature; Re-envisioning Science (Philip Clayton & Beth McDuffie, organizers)
Section Plenary: “Mind vs. Matter” (Philip Clayton)

1. Telling the Story: Systems, Processes, and the Present (Zach Simpson, chair) Mason Hall, Rm 001

We call for storytellers, artists, activists, and gifted communicators to join us in an open-ended, creative quest. Among others, we seek authors of fiction and poetry, gadflies, journalists, visual artists, cultural creatives, independent scholars, prophets and spiritual visionaries, and performance artists. Our goal is to listen to the sessions occurring around us, and then to begin to create new ways of expressing what it is that they are all pointing toward. We aim not to create new knowledge but to communicate powerfully, effectively, clearly.

2. Intuition in Mathematics and Physics (Ronny Desmet, chair) Mason Hall, Rm 005

Mathematics and physics need to be imaginatively re-envisioned by taking our deepest intuitions into account. Physicists focus on “lifeless nature” and hence exclude from their descriptions all characteristics of “nature alive” such as feeling, creativity, purpose, and value. By contrast, in these sessions we challenge the separation and turn the opposition between physics and intuition into a fruitful contrast.

3. Systems Theory, Complexity Theory, and Radical Emergence (Michael Dowd, Dongping Fan and Stuart Kauffman, chairs) Mason Hall, Rm 002

Short description: Systems theory, complexity theory, and emergence help biologists to understand the evolution of radical novelty. Together they stretch traditional conceptions of science. This working group begins with the groundbreaking contributions of Stuart Kauffman, who will be present. We examine these important resources in the biological sciences and the new vision of the biosphere that they are producing.

4. Beyond Mechanism: The Emergence and Evolution of Living Agents (Adam Scarfe, chair) Mason Hall, Rm 004

We begin with the hypothesis that organisms are agents in the evolutionary process. The focus of the group is to explore how living agents emerged from so-called “inanimate nature” and how they evolved. Sessions will show how the hypothesis solves unsolved problems in the Neo-Darwinian synthesis and advances biological understanding of the natural world.

5. Ecologies, Becoming, Networks, and Value (Robert Ulanowitz and Elizabeth McDuffie, chairs) Mason Hall, Rm 003

In this track we explore relationally-based ecological models and their implications for human life within ecosystems. Sessions will use non-reductive paradigms to illustrate new work on ecological processes and discuss the fruitfulness of these models, translating the science into value-infused narratives that can aid in forming an ecologically based civilization.

6. Unprecedented Evolution: Human Continuities and Discontinuities with Animal Life (Spyridon Koutroufinis and René Pikarski, chairs) Mason Hall, Rm 006

This group considers the uniqueness of humans as one species among many others, using the lens of process thought. We look especially at the evolutionary divergence of the human race in order to offer a process-evolutionary perspective on the animal we have become — able to produce beauty and value while at the same time causing irreparable destruction to the biosphere.

7. Neuroscience and Consciousness: Toward an Integral Paradigm (Alex Gomez-Marin and Rod Hemsell, chairs) Mason Hall, Rm 011

In this track we will concentrate on moving aside obstacles and opening the doors for the emergence of a trans-subjective unity of consciousness and matter. Such an emergence is dynamic for both knowledge and action in the world. We presuppose that neuroscience without real philosophy doesn’t actually study consciousness but only matter. Conversely, philosophical abstractions that do not attempt to touch ground with current neuroscientific findings often wander away from the urgent task of lessening the duality between the double-headed hard problems of “matter” and “mind.” CEUs available for this track to licensed mental health professions who are licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; we also will be applying for approval by the American Psychological Association.  See track page for more information.

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Section V. Ecological Civilization (Angela Donnelly & Charlene Tschirhart, organizers)
Section Plenary: “What Can We Hope For?” (Sandra Lubarsky)

1. The Psychology of Wellbeing and its Ecological Implications (Jeanne Nakamura, chair) Smith Campus Center, Rm 208

Psychologists have focused extensively on the causes and cures of illness. An ecological civilization needs to focus on what makes for sustainable human wellbeing. This shift is occurring, along with analogous developments in thinking about the goals of society and the economy. This track will comprise a working group to foster and better define how psychology, notably positive psychology and conservation psychology, may help to advance an ecological civilization. Registration needs permission of the track organizer (please contact

2. Sustainable Practice and the Cultural Dimensions of Ecological Health (Sandra Lubarsky, chair) Pearson Hall, Rm 003

In order to overcome the managerial mindset of the modern world, practices of sustainability (e.g., forest restoration. fishery recovery, community development, etc.) must make values such as goodness and beauty central to their methodology. In this session we will explore efforts to make life-affirming values central to on-the-ground sustainability efforts.

3. Population and Women (Marilyn Hempel, chair) Pearson Hall, Rm 101

In 2011 the world topped 7 billion people—and kept right on growing. In the 1990s, worldwide efforts to provide family planning services slowed population growth, but that progress has stalled. The question is: what will be left of civil society and of the non-human life on Earth by the time human population finally stops growing. One vitally important response: give every woman and girl access to family planning.

4. Seizing an Alternative: the Future of Meat without Animals (Brianne Donaldson, chair) Pearson Hall, Rm 102

This track explores “The Future of Meat Without Animals,” following recent financial and cultural endorsements of meatless meat companies by major public figures. Participants will address ethical, economic, agricultural, religious, cultural, and gender issues surrounding a future of meatless meat during the event as well as in pre-conference online forums.

5. Agroecology as Foundational for Ecological Civilization (Dean Freudenberger, chair) Pearson Hall, Rm 202

When humans began to plough, they began to deplete and degrade the soil. Now its exhaustion is in view. To renew the soil while feeding humankind, we must reimagine and reinvent agriculture. This track will show how we can learn from nature to produce abundance while enriching the soil. It will consider how this urgent transformation can be effected.

6. (Bilingual) Birth-pangs of Ecological Civilization (Barbara Muraca and Fubin Yang, chairs) Pearson Hall, Rm 203

The world as a whole is still dominated by people for whom the sustainability of wealth and power are more important than the sustainability of food and water. Still people are recognizing the need for radical change and creating movements to implement this change. This track will consider how what this conference calls for can build on what is already happening.

7. (Mandarin Language Only) China and Ecological Civilization (Xiaoting Liu and Tao Yang, chairs) 2014 Hall, P103 & P105, Pitzer College

Scholars from China will present papers and exchange ideas as to the progress being made in China toward an ecological civilization along with projects and models for the future.

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Section VI. Reimagining and Reinventing the Wisdom Traditions—A (Jim Burklo, organizer)
Section Plenary: “World Loyalty” (Mary Elizabeth Moore)

1. Reimagining and Mobilizing Religious Traditions in Response to the Eco-crisis (Chris Ives, Bill Lesher, and Joseph Prabhu, chairs) Lincoln Hall, Rm 01-109

We will primarily explore interreligious mobilization in response to the contemporary global eco-crisis. After delineating recent shifts in socio-religious consciousness, we will identify ecological resources in at least five religions and examine interreligious responses. We will consider what further reorientation and action are needed in response to the crisis.

2. The Jewish Contribution to Ecological Civilization (Jonathan Singer, chair) Lincoln Hall, Rm 01-121

Judaism has given birth to Christianity and Islam, the world’s two largest wisdom traditions, but it has also retained its distinctive identity. This track will discuss its own unique contributions to make to global thinking and practice in facing global crises. In doing so, it will consider the possible assistance of Whitehead.

3. Islam and Whitehead in Dialogue (Jihad Turk, chair) Lincoln Hall, Rm 01-122

Hot-button topics for American Muslims correspond to points of resonance between classical Islamic and process thought. Where do we draw lines between culture and religion? How can engagement with Whitehead’s thought stimulate reflection on questions of power, authority, gender relations, and environmental and economic justice in Islam?

4. Islamic Response to the Global Ecological Crisis (Ozgur Koca, chair) Lincoln Hall, Rm 01-125

This track will discuss how spiritual and intellectual accumulation of Islamic tradition can nurture, today, a constructive environmental consciousness and ethics. A particular attention will be paid to the practice and message of the Prophet of Islam, contemporary Muslim thinking about ecological problems, and the possibility of a dialogue between the Whiteheadean process thought and Sufi metaphysics.

5. Thomism and Whitehead: Partners or Opponents? (Joseph Bracken, chair) Lincoln Hall, Rm 02-114

A conversation among scholars familiar with both classical and Whiteheadian philosophy and theology with an eye to assessing the similarities and differences in overall world view. The goal is not to produce a synthesis of the two cosmologies but to establish a common ground where fruitful dialogue can take place.

6. The Role of Whitehead in Indigenizing Christianity (Andre Cloots, chair) Avery, Rm 224, Pitzer College

This track deals with the relevance of Whitehead for the development of Christian thinking in different continents and cultures, all over the world. To what extent has Whitehead’s philosophy contributed to the ‘inculturation’ of Christianity and what are its potentialities (and/or maybe its inconveniences?) in this regard?

7. Reclaiming Love for Paradise Here and Now (Rebecca Parker, chair) Burkle, Rm. 14, Claremont Graduate University

Rebecca Parker and Rita Brock wrote Saving Paradise, a book that reconstructs the history of Christianity to show that for at least eight centuries its character was much friendlier to what we need today than the Christianity that developed under Charlemange and Anselm. This track will consider how the church might recover its ancient sources and build anew out of them.

8. A New WAY for a New Day (Tripp Fuller and Brian McLaren, chairs) Lincoln Hall, Rm 01-135

There are many people who care about faith but are alienated from traditional institutions and doctrinal formulations. Among those who have given leadership to these people are Brian McLaren and Tripp Fuller. They will discuss both the beliefs and the potential communities among them.

9. Christian Process Theology (Bruce Epperly, chair) Studio Arts, Rm 122

Theology is the field in which Whitehead’s influence has been most fully developed. This track will show how that has been expressed and assess the current problems and potentials of process theology. It will consider next steps in its development.

10. Reading the Bible for the Sake of the World (David Lull, chair) Avery, Rm 226, Pitzer College

The Bible, globally the single most influential book, has often been used in ways that are destructive of human wellbeing and the natural environment. It has also been used in very positive ways. Track 9 will explore how to strengthen its positive potential at this historical juncture.

11. Can Mormonism Contribute to Ecological Civilization? (James McLachlan & Dan Wotherspoon, chairs) Avery, Rm 204, Pitzer College

Mormonism may be the most successful new religion of the past two centuries. Today it is a significant part of the global religious scene. Many Mormons want to participate in the creative response to current crises, and some find help in Whitehead in this regard. This track will discuss the resources of this community.

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Section VII. Reimagining and Reinventing the Wisdom Traditions—B (Ignacio Castuera, organizer)
Section Plenary: “Spirituality” (Ignacio Castuera)

1. Hindu and Indic Practices and Perspectives on Sustainability (Rita Sherma, chair) Carnegie Hall, Rm 12

Hindu and Jain thought build on and give rise to cosmological systems rooted in mystical and visionary experience and, in the case of Hindu thought, reflection on the Vedic scriptures. They often guide spiritual development. Whitehead is unusual among recent thinkers to have developed a cosmology, in this case informed more by science. This track will consider whether these different cosmologies can enrich one another.

2. Sikh Values for an Ecological Civilization (Ravneet Singh, chair) Burkle, Rm 12, Claremont Graduate University

Under leadership from the EcoSikh movement this track will share how the values of the Sikh path of spirituality can contribute to deal creatively with the ecological issues confronting humanity. Sikh Gurus have always believed that humanity has an innate sensitivity to care for the environment. Along with other Wisdom traditions, Sikhs affirm that earth is our Mother and it must be revered and protected.

3. How Does Buddhist Nondual Process Thought Respond to the Global Crisis? (Lourdes Arguelles, chair) Avery, Rm 201, Pitzer College

Westerners, especially process thinkers have come to appreciate nondual thought and to hope that it will help the world to overcome its alienation from nature. Buddhists developed rigorous nondual thinking two and a half millennia ago. This track will ask what a variety of forms of Buddhism have experienced and learned that can give guidance to us today.

4. (Bilingual) Confucian Thought and Whitehead (John Berthrong and Haipeng Guo, chairs) Carnegie Hall, Rm 11

In China there is a widely felt need for new foundations for culture and life. Many are seeking these in a renewal and development of classical Chinese thought, exemplified especially in Confucius. Others have found a home in constructive postmodern thought, exemplified especially in Whitehead. This track will consider how these differ, but also how they may support each other.

5. Thinking Independently in the Tradition of Classical Greece (Donald Crosby, chair) Carnegie Hall, Rm 110

Sixteen speakers will present current philosophical perspectives on a number of subjects, including relations of present philosophy to the Greek philosophical heritage, varieties of process thought and its applications, philosophy of nature and other metaphysical topics, and ways of recognizing and overcoming destructive effects of anthropocentrism on nonhuman creatures and their environments.

6. The Contributions of Indigenous Wisdom (Chris Daniels, chair) Carnegie Hall, Rm 107

Historically the Indigenous peoples of the world have the longest and best track record for living ecologically. This track will be exploring the alternative ways of understanding and knowledge that Indigenous people have to offer in moving all of us toward an Ecological Civilization, and how that parallels Whiteheadian process thought. CEUs available for this track to licensed mental health professions who are licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; we also will be applying for approval by the American Psychological Association.  See track page for more information.

7. The Contributions of Africa (Toni Bond Leonard, chair) Carnegie Hall, Rm 214

The people of Africa have been heavily affected by Europeans. Nevertheless, many of them are still deeply rooted in their distinctive culture. This has given them astonishing capacity of survival through exploitation and slavery. Both in Africa and in the diaspora it continues to express a wisdom we great significance for all. Its distinctiveness and power need clarification and fuller recognition.

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Section VIII. Reimagining and Reinventing Education (Linda Handelman and Tom McElvain, organizers)
Section Plenary: “Are We Really Related?” (Franz Riffert)

1. Home and Community-based Education (Carol Toben and Harrison Smith, chairs) Crookshank Hall, Rm 1

Alternative learning communities are thick with examples of cognitive growth nurtured by everyday living experiences. As we evolve toward recognition of our inextricably intertwined interrelatedness, these examples offer clear evidence that a whole-life approach to learning is richly successful. In this track we will share stories, ideas and practices of learning in which our intrinsic interconnectivity is the underlying core belief.

2. Schools for Children (Tom Welch and Brian Flannery, chairs) Crookshank Hall, Rm 1

Public school education has suffered from the dehumanizing effects of No Child Left Behind and similar policies. Can our public schools be revitalized? Track 2 will examine the effects of government bureaucracy on K-12 education. It will also explore how we can renew philosophies of education that focus on teaching the whole child and promoting sensitivity to nature.

3. Higher Education (Marcus Ford and Stephen Rowe, chairs) Crookshank Hall, Rm 8

How can our colleges and universities best meet the intellectual and human developmental challenges of an ecological civilization?  The focus of this track will be on liberal arts education, but it will also consider issues such as training professionals, research, and educating liberal arts teachers. Hopefully, one session will be co-convened with the Teaching Compassion track. 

4. (Bilingual) Teaching and Learning (Mary Elizabeth Moore, Hengfu Wen, and Na Li, chairs) Crookshank Hall, Rm 10

Currently, schools focus on how to transfer information and skills that will help individuals operate successfully in our technologically complex society. But, we must continue to explore what true learning actually involves and what is most important to learn. This track will explore how to restore the development of moral feelings as an essential component of the learning process.

5. Learning Compassion (Pat Taylor, chair) Crookshank Hall, Rm 210

Currently there are moves to teach fundamental values and relational skills in a variety of contexts. We have singled out the learning of compassion as an extremely important supplement to add to existing educational programs. We have found that compassion can be taught; therefore, it certainly should be taught. Track 5 explores innovative approaches to teaching compassion.

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Section IX. Reimagining and Reinventing Bodily-Spiritual Health (Robert Ireland, organizer)
Section Plenary: “Do Ideas Matter?” (John Sweeney)

1. Bodies Count: Embodiment and the Effects of Bodily Activity (Beth Johnson, chair) Carnegie Hall, Rm 109

Obstacles to realization of our embodiment occur in racialized, speciesed, gendered, abled, and sexually-oriented bodies with historical, ethical, spiritual, and practical implications for whose bodies are valued. Play, dance, body-centered practices, and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques for social justice through rallies and civil disobedience can be empowering and transformational.

2. Rethinking “Sexuality” (Gianluigi Gugliermetto, chair) Hahn Hall, Rm 107

Traditionally serving societal lineage and inheritance, with women’s non-reproductive sexual activity repressed, “sexuality” is understood today as a contribution to full self-expression and enjoyment. Whiteheadian thought offers ways to deconstruct “sexuality,” reframing ideas of eros, friendship, sexual relationships, and sexual identities, while making apparent the promises and pitfalls of the modern eroticized body in terms of violence, morality & religion. CEUs available for this track to licensed mental health professions who are licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; we also will be applying for approval by the American Psychological Association.  See track page for more information.

3. The Quest for Wholeness: East and West (Andrew Park, chair) Hahn Hall, Rm 108

In the East there is a bio-psycho-spiritual approach to healing bodily sickness, while Western medicine has been biologically focused, separating key dimensions of human existence. While recognizing Eastern methods as acupuncture are effective, an adequate Western explanatory theory has not developed. A comprehensive and inclusive understanding of ourselves as embodied minds and spirits requires change for healing professions and institutions.

4. Extraordinary Challenges to the Modern Paradigm (John Buchanan, chair) Hahn Hall, Rm 214

This track will look at how transpersonal psychology and parapsychology challenge the materialistic foundations of the modern worldview. We will explore how a Whiteheadian event metaphysics can help us better understand the extraordinary phenomena studied by transpersonal psychology, such as extrasensory perception, shamanic healing, near-death experiences, and psychedelic states of consciousness. Some broader implications of a transpersonally-informed Whiteheadian cosmology will also be examined. CEUs available for this track to licensed mental health professions who are licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; we also will be applying for approval by the American Psychological Association.  See track page for more information.

5. Mystical Disciplines, Ritual, and Worship (Chris Chapple and Steve Odin, chairs) Hahn Hall, Rm 215

Transpersonal psychology data are often amassed by those who engage in other forms of disciplined meditation, though meditation itself has other more important goals. An overview of the achievements of various forms of meditation is presented with respective contributions to ecological civilization. This is distinct from prayer, study, and praise characterizing worship in theistic traditions.

6. Eco-feminism (Heather Eaton, chair) Hahn Hall, Rm 216

The convergence of ecology and feminism offers many possibilities that will be explored in depth in terms of basic assumptions, essential history and analyses, compelling issues and promising directions. Ecofeminism, like Whitehead, rejects Cartesian dualism, and grounds its critiques in concrete experience, especially that of women.

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Section X. Reimagining and Reinventing Societies and Social Thought (Vern Visick, organizer)

Section Plenary: “Extinction Events and Entangled Humanism.” (William Connolly)

1. Social Life (Michael Halewood, chair) Mason Hall, Rm 013

For too long, the discipline of social theory has focussed only on relations between humans. There is a need to rethink and to broaden its remit to include many kinds of entities; including animals, organisms, fictions and others. The discipline needs to be reimagined, and the thought of Alfred North Whitehead can help us to bring the words “social” and “life” together in a richer and more productive way.

2. Process Philosophy and Eco-politics (William Connolly and Les Muray, chairs) Mason Hall, Rm 014

When politics was degraded to a question of who gets what, when, and how (Lasswell), it was rendered unable to help us respond to the ecological crisis in which we find ourselves. Alfred North Whitehead can help us reimagine political theory, and in the process help us to renew the conditions for life to flourish under contemporary conditions.

3. Governance and Public Administration (Margaret Stout and Jeannine Love, chairs) Mason Hall, Rm 015

This Track harkens back to the early days of the “PA Theory Workshop” in which scholars demanded the opportunity for unrestricted dialogue and deliberation as the foundation of and inspiration for inquiry. An emergent method will be used to explore the history of process thought in public administration, collectively identify five key issues in governance that can be informed by process thought, and workshop those questions toward a shared research agenda.

4. Law, Legal Theory, and Law Practice (Herman Greene, Howard Vogel, and Mark Modak-Truran, chairs) Mason Hall, Rm 018

The Law Track will assess and evaluate the participation of law in the ecological crisis and explore how relational philosophies and worldviews, including but not limited to Whitehead’s process-relational thought, can be useful in critiquing the current state of legal theory and practice and in offering constructive proposals for reform.

5. Ecological Economics  (Joshua Farley, chair) Mason Hall, Rm 019

Despite their many achievements, classical, neo-classical, and institutional economics have not been kind to the natural world in which we live. A new economics, one that takes the carrying capacity of the creation into account, and which, furthermore, is based on a cooperative rather than a competitive understanding of “economic man,” is in the process of being established, and the thought of Alfred North Whitehead has been helpful in “forging this new economics.”

6. Management (Mark Dibben and Bruce Hanson, chairs) Mason Hall, Rm 022

Contrary to the assumptions of many in the field, leadership in large organizations (business management) does not have to be practiced in an inhuman and destructive manner. “Applied Process Thought, ” inspired by the thought of Alfred North Whitehead, can help the workplace be much more relational and friendly place in which life can flourish.

7. Reimagining and Reinventing Societies and Social Thought: Whitehead and Marx (Ouyang Kang and Philip Clayton, chairs) Mason Hall, Rm 020

The Marxist tradition, which has been so important in the development of modern China, has over the long run proven itself to be ambiguous. The thought of Alfred North Whitehead, in dialogue with various pre-modern schools of Chinese thought, can help to update the Marxist tradition so that not only human but also natural life can flourish.

8. Technology (George Strawn, chair) Mason Hall, Rm 023

Technology, a pervasive and taken-for-granted aspect of our modern life, has lately been showing not only its creative, but also its destructive, side. According to the late Frederick Ferre, the thought of Alfred North Whitehead can provide the basis for a more appropriate technology, one that can help all of life, human and nonhuman, to flourish.

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Section XI. Reimagining and Reinventing Culture (Wm. Andrew Schwartz, organizer)
Section Plenary: “Culture in the Interstices: Finding Ecological Elbowroom in Whiteheadian Propositions” (Luke Higgins)

1. Journey of the Universe and Inclusive History as A Context of Meaning (Mary Evelyn Tucker, chair) Edmunds Hall, Rm 101

Comprehensive histories have been largely replaced by detailed studies of particular events and movements. Our culture needs also a universal story dealing with all of nature and locating humanity in the cosmic context. This track will begin with showing and discussing “The Journey of the Universe” and then continue the human story in its interaction with the environment as context for understanding and responding to today’s crisis.

2. Entangled Difference: Gender, Sex, Race, Class, Etc! (Catherine Keller and Dhawn Martin, chairs) Edmunds Hall, Rm 114

The deep relationality of process thought was long hospitable to feminist thought—but not as an identity politics pitting vulnerable bodies against each other. Knowing ourselves entwined in our multiple differences, in the economies, ethnicities, sexualities that form and deform us, we may create vibrant new coalitions.

3. Good Work: Core Challenge for an Ecological Civilization (Henry Atkins, chair) Edmunds Hall, Rm 111

On today’s unsustainable path, a joyless and harsh work regime for the great majority supports joyless overconsumption by the middle class. We will chart what a different path looks like: how work can become more intrinsically rewarding as we avert environmental catastrophe.

5. End-of-Life: From Medical Failure to Sacred Experience (Sarah Nichols, chair) Edmunds Hall, Rm 136

In this track, we will challenge the existing paradigm that often isolates aging adults and those at end-of-life and measures them in degrees of diminishing functions. Our sessions will highlight programs and initiatives across the globe that offer life-giving and community-building alternatives so that, together, we might have the tools to reclaim aging and end-of-life as sacred experiences.

6. Popular Culture: Social Media and Entertainment (Randall Auxier, chair) Edmunds Hall, Rm 130

In light of the mission of the conference, this track seeks to integrate the study of process thought with active effort to introduce positive social change. Such changes are informed by our cultural aims. Cultural aims include but are certainly not limited to only art, adventure, truth, beauty, and peace.

7. (BiLingual) The Built Environment (Matthew Witt and Zonghao Bao, chairs) Edmunds Hall, Rm 219

In recent days, ecological crisis roots mainly in social problems. Several cities in China started exploring new models of eco-city and to attempt practical construction with a new concept of ecological civilization. The case analysis of Sino-Singapore Eco-Town in Tianjin, China will be presented at the track, including the construction concept, the value orientation, and the new model of social development and management.

当前,生态危机有着深层次的社会问题根源,如果不彻底解决社会问题, 生态问题就不可能 被正确认识,更不可能得到破解。为此,中国部分城市以一 种新的生态文明理念开始了“生 态城”建设的实践探索。在会议上,将介绍中国 案例“中新天津生态城”建设的经验,包括建 设理念、价值导向以及社会发展与 管理的新模式。

8. Documentary Films (John Forney, chair) Hahn Hall, Rm 101

Documentary films have replaced investigative journalism as the means of communicating the deeper truth about current events and the world.  This track will consist in discussion about this new form of communication, the showing of examples, and discussion.

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Section XII. The Transformative Power of Art (Sheri Kling, organizer)
Section Plenary “Creativity” (Marjorie Suchocki)

1. Imaginal Communities: the Power of Place in Art and Story (Lisa Mount, chair) Thatcher Music Hall, Rm 109

How can art and story can transform communities and the people who live there? We’ll seek to discover old and new ways that a “sense of place” builds stronger relationships among and between a place’s residents and the land on which they walk and the community and culture in which they are embedded.

2. Eco-Acoustics: The Powerful Ecologies of Music (Ann Hidalgo, chair) Thatcher Music Hall, Rm 210

Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and others firmly planted music deep within environmental action. Yet humans have always listened to, and co-created with, the sounds of the natural world. In this track, we’ll explore music not only as a means of protest, but also as an aesthetic ecology and a way of participating with, and attending to, “the other.”

4. Film and Hope: the Power of Film to Awaken the Mind (Marjorie Suchocki, chair) Smith Campus Center, Theater

Participants in this track will watch and discuss three types of films in two sessions each. Provisional choices are “The Mission” to consider the “other,” Flannery films to consider the human relation to nature, and a Jason Starr film, to consider the arts.

5. Liberating Human Potential through Design and Graphic Art (Alex Molloy, chairs) Edmunds Hall, Rm 251

What is the role of design in shifting civilization? Track organizers explore the question with the hands-on participation of leading members of the art and design community. They will roam throughout the conference to observe, record, and interpret first-hand — and then produce tangible artifacts from conference events.

6. Anima Mundi: Listening to the Art and Soul of Nature (Bonnie Tarwater, chair) Edmunds Hall, Rm 217

The idea that the world itself may have a soul has become prominent again in various spheres of thought, including archetypal psychology, Gaia theory, eco-feminism, and consciousness studies. If the world does have a soul or psyche, might this psyche ‘speak’ in the same symbolic language and imagery as the personal or collective unconscious – through art and dreams? In this track, we’ll weave together discussions of Nature’s creativity and creative expression, pan-psychism/pan-experientialism, and more.

 7. (Bilingual) Ecological Aesthetics: East and West (Meijun Fan, Yuedi Liu, and Carl Welty, chairs) Thatcher Music Hall, Rm 212

Track 7 will consider aesthetic theory as it has developed in East and West and how this has expressed itself the arts. It will particularly examine the differences between Chinese aesthetics and the Western tradition and ask whether Chinese perceptions of the natural world could modify Western anthropocentrism is a beneficial way.


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