Master Class: “Sustainability and Survival”

Master Class: “Sustainability and Survival”




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The Institute for Graduate Studies & Research of the Anton de Kom University of Suriname, IGSR, organizes the International Master Class ‘Sustainability and Survival. Reconnection to Development and Evolution’ from August 17 to 25, 2017. From a historic, evolutionary, contemporary and future-oriented perspective the Master Class focuses on the threats that endanger the stay of humans on Earth and addresses the major challenges humanity is facing now regarding development, ecology, peace and emancipation from mental slavery in a time when there is a growing call for alternative roads to secure our future.

The historical path of humanity, the diagnosis of today’s threats and alarming trends, the contours of a better future and the possible roads to turn the tide constitute the core concerns of the discussion and analysis. In an interactive experience, participants must make well-argued presentations after reviewing critical literature selected from all continents. Part of the required readings is the recently published Quest to Rescue Our Future, which delves into these themes and identifies harmony with nature, with fellow humans, with other cultures, with other worldviews and with other religions as the main casualty of the tortuous path of our species. Humanity has been tampering dangerously with the exceptional conditions that made life possible on Planet Earth and is now facing the urgent need for a fundamental change of course, before it is too late. We have reduced nature into a legitimate object of predation and turned war into the supreme arbiter to settle discords.

The Master Class will be given by Glenn Sankatsing, Coordinator of the PhD Program of the University of Aruba, Director of Caribbean Reality Studies Center and board member of Rescue Our Future Foundation ( He holds a PhD in social and economic sciences and is the author of Caribbean Social Science. An Assessment (Caracas, UNESCO, 1989) and Quest to Rescue Our Future (Amsterdam, Rescue Our Future Foundation, 2016), which was launched in December 2016 at the University of Suriname with comments of a panel of experts, after book presentations in the Aula of Siglo XXI Editores in Mexico City and at the University of Aruba. The Master Class builds on MSc and PhD courses on the social evolution of humanity from a holistic perspective given over a decade at several universities. It also nourishes from critical meetings of committed experts, such as the four days retreat in pristine nature of the International Amazon Forest Encounter ‘How to Rescue Our Future’, which has been held annually during twelve years on the top of the Brownsberg (Suriname), where a total of more than 180 participants from 14 countries joined the discussion.

This six credits (ECT) Master Class is open to Masters and PhD students, university lecturers, development experts, staff of government departments, and CEOs of international organizations and NGOs. To achieve a balance between local and international participation, the University of Suriname will make use of its cooperation agreement with universities in China, India, Brazil, Guyana, Frans Guiana, the Caribbean, the Netherlands and Belgium. The venue of the Master Class is the Institute of Graduate Studies and Research, Staatsolie Building of the University of Suriname, including a field orientation with a two day stay in the Commewijne District to visit abandoned plantations, as fossils of a flourishing colonial era, and development in new plantations erected upon the ruins of the past.

The rich nature and the cultural patrimony of this district aptly reflects the close interaction of biodiversity, culture and history.

The Master Class connects to the strategic policy goals of the University of Suriname pursuing knowledge generation, specifically related to diversity of nature and society and a sustainable local production. The Master Class fits well in the pursuit of IGSR to place science and research at the service of development and the solutions of critical problems.

Detailed information at MasterclassDocumentSustainabilityandSurvival, including the program and the link to download the registration form. The costs, including the two-days field orientation in Commewijne and all required readings, are US$ 350. Registration for this Master Class is now open until July 172017.

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