Exploring a Green Present" - An interactive seminar

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Science for Life Courses

The Green Series

The "Green Series Courses" focus on a variety of green aspects of our everyday environment. The first seminar, on Saturday 3 August 1996, invites to be an active participant. You may voice your own personal visions on how you would develop your life, and your environment. We will "Explore a Green Present" in an attractive mixture of fun exercises, seminar presentations, and discussions.

"Exploring a Green Present" - An interactive seminar


(8 hours: 9.15 am - 4.30 pm, including 1 h lunch break, two 30 min. coffee and tea breaks)

(9.15 am) Introduction (15 min.)

a. Introduction to the Green Series

b. Introduction to this seminar

- personal presentation round (brief)

- explaining the method: interactive

- rules of the game: open and confidential

- seminar goals and questions: why did we come here, what do we expect?

A touch of leadership (warming-up exercise, 15 min.)

Pairs touching hand palms and one leads the other who has the eyes closed; change roles; change duos and repeat; discuss experience.

An Orienting Parade of Human Needs (presentation, 30 min.)

Freud, Maslow, Adler, and others on the development of the "self", basic (human) needs and commonalties.

Retrieving our past (exercise, 15 min.)

We go outside, think of a thing (object), possibly in nature, that has had a particular importance in our personal past, possibly in our childhood. We take it back inside. If we can not find the object, we draw it on a sheet of paper. We keep it just for us. There is no explicit need to show it, or to explain it to the group.

(10.30 am) Morning Coffee Break (30 min.)

Time-discounting (presentation, 15 min.)

The economics of discounting of present and future values, and of environmental assets.

A Fun Speed Race (exercise and discussion annex presentation, 45 min.)

Walk, run, hop, walk on hands and feet; calculate speed, energy need, energy efficiency; discuss relationships for different means of transportation, including resource use for manufacturing, infrastructure, and other. Prizes for the best speed-racer.

(12.00 Am) Lunch break (60 min.)

The Words Juggler (exercise, 30 min.)

Draw cards with words from a bowl and discuss their meanings and implications in groups of four; then in full seminar group; use dictionaries and handbooks to find out about the details. Answers provided on the inside of the folded task cards

Stone Age Economics (presentation, 30 min.)

The "Environmental Footprint" of our ancestors.

ClayCon - a construction exercise (30 min.)

Make something out of clay, in groups of two, discuss the materials used within the duo group.

(2.30 pm) Afternoon Tea Break (30 min.)

Creative visualisation (exercise, 30 min.)

Design and describe my preferred scenario of the future, use verbal and non-verbal means of expression.

Freedom of choice (discussion, 30 min.)

ECHO Ecologic Chance - Human Options: Why do things happen? Do things happen or do we make them happen?

A touch of breath (debriefing exercise, 30 min.)

Yoga breathing and sitting, relaxation, debriefing of experiences, feedback.

(4.30) End of the Seminar


Meet 9.00 am at the WWF Botanic Garden Education and Environment Centre


Pencils, paper, colouring pencils, black board and chalk (no white board!), OHP

Lunch - Catering to be arranged (vegetarian?)

Facilitators - Helmut Lubbers M.Soc.Sc. and Lee Davidson, BSc.

"Exploring a Green Present" - An interactive seminar

Course goal and organisation: (FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY)

Course goal:

Creating awareness of the interdependence between one's individual needs, strivings, and environmental perspectives, and the larger perspectives and realities of the development of the Earth's environmental condition. At the end of the day the participants will have learned to observe environmental issues from different perspectives. They will also acquire substantial new knowledge on environmental issues.

Course outline:

The one-day seminar offers an attractive sequence of seminar presentations and interactive participant activities.

The Introduction will, among other things, ask the participants to write down individual expectations to the course. This will help structuring experiences and feedback at the end of the day.

The first exercise, A Touch of Leadership helps creating intimate contact and trust, needed to participate freely in the seminar.

An Orienting Parade of Human Needs prepares the ground for the next exercise.

Retrieving our Past takes the participants back to the roots of their present. Since this can be quite threatening, the introduction to the exercise asks the participants to also think of a part of their past that they would like the others to experience as well (something good). This exercise is purposely set just before

The Morning Coffee Break: experiences can be discussed in an informal way.

Time-discounting throws (another) light on the practice and validity of monetary discounting of environmental assets.

A Fun Speed Race demonstrates the physical relationship between speed, energy and power. It leads over to a discussion and presentation on the efficiency of the transportation aspect of our current mode of production.

The Words Juggler presents different meanings of the same word or terminology in a playful manner, at the same time offering environmental data.

Stone Age Economics picks up the thread of thought about the past and basic needs. It counterposes with the notions and facts explored in the Words Juggler exercise.

A construction exercise ClayCon makes participants cooperate and discuss the materials used and needed. The discussion leads over the the next exercise

Creative Visualisation invites participants to creatively voice and present their own preferred futures.

The Afternoon Tea Break is again set after an exercise so as to allow the continuing of the discussion of the previous exercise in an informal way.

Freedom of Choice is a discussion that will encourage participants to be what one wants to be, and to do what they want to do. It will connect with the expectations that were written down at the beginning of the day.

A Touch of Breath is the final and debriefing exercise, including feedback.

  • Thesis Project description
  • Project status as from March 1996


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