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December 20, 2016

Solidarity Day, the SDGs, Objective and CITIZEN SCIENCES, … what a week at the UN Geneva and elsewhere

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heiner Benking @ 10:27 pm

sdg-human-solidarityPRELIMINARY !!!   in view of SOLIDARITY DAY  today and EARTH DAY EQUINOX Mach 20, 2017

Below is a report OSIs 25th at the UN in Geneva Dec 12-17, 2016

Wednesday CITIZEN SCIENCES [link] and Thursday (HARMONY WITH NATURE)  were highlights beside the Networking Spaces the GENEVA FORUM and the Market Places:
* Pedagogy, Travel and Tourism for Peace and Development
* Participatory Research, Citizen Sciences and Fab Labs for Peace and Development
* Philanthropism for Peace and Sustainable Development
* CrowdInnovation, CrowdFunding, Smart Finance and Appropriate Technologies for Peace and Sustainable Development
* Rights of Nature for Peace and Sustainable Development

Here is the report of the CITIZEN SCIENCE DAY:

Thursday, December22  –  an extract of this summary will be published in the ECSA Newsletter:

Geneva Peace Platform: Objective Sciences International (OSI)

ECSA was invited to Objective Sciences International Symposium Series at the UN in Geneva (Dec 12-16) 2016

The GENEVA FORUM 2016, organized by Objectif Sciences International (OSI), a member of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), took place at the UN Palais des Nations, Geneva. This represented the perfect opportunity to celebrate the 25 Anniversary of OSI. The Forum had a duration of five days and included four main conferences: Participatory Research and Citizen Science, Contributions and Challenges for Peace and Development for Participatory Research, Citizen Sciences and Fab Labs (presentation by Pia Viviani and Heiner Benking), CrowdFunding and CrowdInnovation; Pedagogy, Travel and Tourism; and the Rights of Nature.

Over 400 people from 65+ countries were registered, including 45 external speakers who gave presentations during the various conferences. The Forum provided a meeting opportunity for the members of OSI from all over the world and for engaging in dialog workshops.


Thomas Egli and Heiner Benking


This year the 5th annual conference dedicated to the Rights of Nature had the highest attendance ever. Among the participants were representatives from the UN office of “Harmony with Nature” and the Geneva mission of Bolivia. In the closing session it was agreed to extend the duration of this conference from just one afternoon to two full days for 2017.

The three other conferences saw their début during the Forum this year. The symposium dedicated to CITIZEN SCIENCE counted with sixteen abstract presentations. For 2017 more presentations are expected, and therefore the symposium design will count with multiple slots. This symposium was co-chaired by Heiner Benking (ECSA Advisory Board Member). He and Pia Viviani (Stiftung Science et Cité) presented ECSA in this presentation: Contributions and Challenges for Peace and Development for Participatory Research, Citizen Sciences and Fab Labs

Afterwards Heiner pitched the following exemplary best-practice cross-sector projects:

ABSTRACT #1  The BookBoXX – A civic vocational training, community building and cultural and media heritage project

SYNOPSIS and OUTLOOK  after 16 pitches a 5 minutes

Including:  ABSTRACT #2  THE WISDOM OF THE PEOPLE   –  RE-INVENTING DEMOCRACY across SCALES and VALUES/MINDSETS/PRIORITIES and  ABSTRACT #3  Socio-Ecological Development-Funding & “SDG – Leveraging Solutions” Meaningful solutions that matter across scales, sectors and cultures/times. See there see “REEFS” exemplary Leverage Solutions  project (PDF) publiahed in Mother Pelican: SDG  WIN WIN  WIN projects und poster presentation.   Mentioned were also other activities in the context of ECOSOC. This included the World Peace Gardens and Holistic Tourism Education (IHTEC) which is also part of the work done in the Global Commons Alliance and the GlobalTrust.



Poster presentation with Heiner Benking, Mohamed Elyes Kchouk, Gabriele Harrer-Puchner, Dr. Christa Muth


After the presentation phase, conversations experimented with the format of the SHARING SEEDS Magic Roundtables. This was a highlight as it was facilitated according to the principle of “sharing and gifting” in all symposia of the OSI week. In this methodology, embodied tokens help to condense and focus an immense wealth of inputs into rich round table discussions. The format can be considered as an Open-Space of 60 minutes, and includes a  market-place and dynamic encouragements and qualitative focusing and harvesting. See the Resource Page for further reflections on igniting intense exchanges.

The number of participants and the depth and spirit of this series of events was encouraging. Furthermore, progress was made towards considering the methods required to achieve the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Overall, it amounted to a very interesting, productive, exhausting and intensive week at the United Nations in Geneva.

Side events:
A summary of the events of the week and an outlook for further events in Geneva in 2017 was presented to Cyril Ritchie, president of the John Knox International Reformed Center, a hospitality Center in the vicinity of the UNOU and Nicola Furey , Global Youth Conferences and Earth Focus Foundation. The next EARTHDAY anniversary event is scheduled for March 20th 2017 in Geneva  and takes place also elsewhere, not only around other UN centers around the globe.

Here you can find a report of the EARTH DAY EQUINOX Peacebell event in the Ariana Park at the UN Headquarter in Geneva 2011, ringing the Japanese Shinagawa Peace Bell and other events with John McConnell, Margaret Mead, Robert Muller, even in the beginning with Sithu U Thant in New York and Geneva, and later Vienna, Tokyo, Berlin, … over the decades under the umbrella of of the Earth Society Foundation and many others….

Another highlighted “side event” was an informal meetup with Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) at the opening of the exhibit “Geneve, sa gueule” by Sandrine Salerno, Conseillère administrative de la Ville de Genève. The exhibition highlights the diversity of the people in Geneva and is curated by, Ninian Hubert van Blijenburgh,  Agenda 21 – Ville durable (A21). This attracted the participants of the OSI multi-symposia and delayed the schedule of the last day. Good facilitators learn to juggle with the unexpected to return to a planned events’ agenda.

In summary: Thomas Egli, OSI president, kept the week as a bricoleur intuitively in good order as the event was designed well and open at the same time. Quite an experience and achievement… Quotes like “Surprise in Nature has to go hand-in-hand with Surprise in Groups” or  “Tipping Points need appropriate Leverage Points” were shared and received some attention (free after Donella Meadows, Club of Rome).

For additional information check this Resource Page  and this  BenkingNews Newsletter.



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