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The Bubbles or the Boiling Pot? Sustainable Development and the Quality of Life

André Francisco Pilon
University of São Paulo / International Academy of Science, Health & Ecology
André Francisco Pilon
University of São Paulo / International Academy of Science, Health & Ecology
Open Panel

Abstract

The conceptual direction and the legitimacy of development strategies are examined in view of a comprehensive ecosystemic approach, considering the ensemble of the multiple problems of difficult settlement or solution in the contemporary world. A framework for planning and evaluation articulate four dimensions of being-in-the-world (intimate, interactive, social and biophysical), as they combine to elicit the events (desired and undesired), cope with consequences (deficits and assets), and reorganise for change (potential outputs). The proposal presents not only a descriptive, but also a normative position, critically inquiring into prevailing assumptions of growth, power, wealth, work and freedom and the role of cultural, social, political and economical institutions in view of the transition from a non-ecosystemic to an ecosystemic model of culture.. The objective in the socio-cultural learning niches is to develop heuristic-hermeneutic processes to unveil and work with the dynamic and complex configurations responsible for the quality of life. A framework for diagnosis and prognosis is proposed for public policies, research and teaching programmes, which (a) define the events as by-products of a dynamic field, intertwining the four dimensions of being-in-the-world; (b) assess the deficits and assets of the different dimensions as donors and recipients, in a mutually entangled web (configurations); (c) develop the singularity (identity, proper characteristics) of and the dynamic equilibrium between (reciprocity, mutual support) all dimensions of being-in-the-world. Problems related to education, culture, ethics, physical, social and mental wellbeing, natural and man-made environment are treated as ecosystemic configurations, not as separate objects of separate programmes.