The Proteus Initiative is privileged to host Craig Holdrege of The Nature Institute, upstate New York, to participate and teach in ‘Discovering how a genuinely holistic perspective affects our thinking with respect to every aspect of environmental concern’ in August 2011.
In the heart of Cape Town, Craig Holdrege will work with botanists, environmentalists, environmental educators and activists to achieve a real grasp of the meaning of ‘holistic’, and what it may imply to work holistically with respect to nature, the environment or our culture itself.
Craig’s grasp of the nature of living process, of living ways of thinking and seeing, and of the nature of both holism and the importance of context, yields new possibilities for thinking about ecology and ecological responses to our current environmental challenges and dilemmas.
Craig’s mastery works across and unites the boundaries of the natural sciences, offering an interdisciplinary, rigorous and living way of seeing the kingdom of Nature each time as if for the first time.
A magnificent variety of possibilities
Cape Town offers a magnificent variety of possibilities for this process. The workshop will be held at Kirstenbosch, as well as on various walks on the Cape Peninsula, where we will be able to observe plants in context.
The Nature Institute
‘Modern biology has increasingly moved out of nature and into the laboratory, driven by a desire to find an underlying mechanistic basis of life. Despite all its success, this approach is one-sided and urgently calls for a counterbalancing movement toward nature. Only if we find ways of transforming our propensity to reduce the world to parts and mechanisms, will we be able to see, value, and protect the integrity of nature and the interconnectedness of all things. This demands a new way of seeing.
Our methodology is inspired by integrative thinkers and scientists, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Rudolf Steiner, and Kurt Goldstein. We develop ways of thinking and perception that integrate self-reflective and critical thought, imagination, and careful, detailed observation of the phenomena. The Nature Institute promotes a truly ecological understanding of the living world.’
Craig Holdrege is the author of Genetics and the Manipulation of Life: The Forgotten Factor of Context and Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering, as well as many articles.
Craig, together with colleagues, hold the Nature Institute, based in Upstate New York, USA, and produce a biannual (and very influential) newsletter called In Context.
The Proteus Initiative
(Allan Kaplan and Sue Davidoff)
After many years of working in the social realm across many different countries, regions and situations, we have together founded The Proteus Initiative as a vehicle for developing the organic and holistic methods of JW von Goethe into a new understanding and approach to the sphere of social renewal. Our work is an attempt to realise the consequences of true participation, of socio-ecological complexity, and of an emerging consciousness which holds freedom and responsibility as a generative polarity in the quest for wholeness. We seek to develop an agile, flexible, alert consciousness in social practitioners. Proteus is about an inner path of social change, enhancing the faculties needed to hold and nurture our emerging future.
By Allan Kaplan
Allan Kaplan is the author of The Development Practitioner’s Handbook and Artists of the Invisible: Development Practitioners and Social Process. Sue Davidoff is the author of The Learning School: an Organisation Development Approach and The Courage to Lead.