A group of Earth Forum ‘responsible participants’ have recently carried out the first Earth Fora in China. They were trained by Shelley Sacks last week in the run up to the MAD Forum on 30 Jan – 1 Feb. They have great ideas for continuing the work in Hong Kong. Future actions will be announced here and on the new University of the Trees website.
On the big stage on Sat 31 January Shelley Sacks introduced the University of the Trees to a group of 500 young ‘change-makers’ from 130 countries. The presentation emphasised its role in the field of transformation as an arena for us to come to consciousness about how we live in the world and for rethinking through connective forms of knowing. Her talk also emphasised the various dimensions of social sculpture including Instruments of Consciousness, Direct Democracy and Unconditional Basic Income – and current initiatives that are working toward a humane and ecologically viable society that will enable ‘every human being to be an artist’. She stressed that the ‘Free Democratic Socialism’ that lies at the heart of all these social sculpture initiatives is completely different from all the top down totalitarian forms of so called socialism. As Beuys and other emphasised, this new sociality that we are all in the process of evolving is synonymous with direct democracy and the overcoming of false forms of ‘growth’, ‘profit’ and wages for labour.
Her talk ended on the call for us to ‘never look away’ and to recognise that ‘Just as trees and plants transform the light into the green mantle of the earth and create the sustenance for us all, we are ‘agents of change’ who can and must transform the difficulties into a humane and ecologically just future.