BenkingNews’s Weblog

April 17, 2010

The Cloud – or Last call / Final Calling wake-up call ?

Yesterdays neruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano called back lasting memories, a story from 1988, where in the press conference Prof. Degens from Hamburg was not ready to paint a picture of a lasting nightmare of an overheated planet or ice-age planet. (it was the major international event with Willy Brandt…. [more])
The media pushed hard but he refused to paint a nighmare scenario, as this would not be science he said roughly, the media should look back in earth history and make out there own conclusion, he only mentioned later that new might be only the degree of possible rapid change.
For people in environmental research this is obvious if we think twice, but it was for the media something they angrily commented: Scientists not telling what to expect and what is going on !
Now 22 year later this looks funny, now we know, even created possible ceilings and guard rails, as politics were more demanding than media, to have scientist do the forecast or outlook requested. But what is this IPCC knows and can predict the Future, specially when there are obviously only futures in plural and can not be predicted Neither in natural nor in social and cultural human worlds !
This is not a contrarian view ! I was reading with Ernst Ulrich von Weiszsäcker about CONTRARIANS already in the late 80ies, when he was in Bonn and Brussels, about these denying “CONTRARIANS” who refused to consider man-made impacts – on this considered stable and endless system of Planet Earth !
What an ignorance ! please see this article soon hitting the streets: “ignorance or compassion” or the work on GLOBAL CHANGE we introduced in late May 1990. Please wait for May 30th “Challenges to Science and Politics” touring exhibition.
At this point I can only link to the exhibition <a href=" and EARTH IN TROUBLE ! and check Human Dimensions and Human Responsibility with time and space horizons (Hans Jonas) , as this is the time, likt with Mount StHelen where we can experience natures ! non-point polution impacts!

Why I call this piece? Last call / Final Calling ? Because I think we should follow up on this question: Do we need “New Science, new Language, new Thinking ?
HOW ABOUT? OLD and proven, traditional and NEW Thinking and Doing and Sharing ?

please come back later – we had challenging days these days and years and need to step back, consider deep and other questions and answers

Meanwhile follow the links and consider what the founder of this encyclopedia of systems and cybernetics said about complexity, surprise and predictability when we introduced the new edition: and maybe these concepts to consider being concrete and share common frames and schemas:

In Santa Fe we learned that the more we study complexity, the more we are perplexed ! So let us step back, check the issues and context and not not consider we know whne we do not ! – or just need to meet at certain number to be safe and can continue to muddle trough as always, all heads deeep in the sands, fogs, dust, ashes….

Finally, what we experience today is not the last call ! Nature as icon in time has experienced much worse in times, but humanity is getting more fragile ever day, so we have to be on the watch on the proportions and consequences, the potential infliction of suffering.

November 9, 2009

Wall or no-wall – anyway which and what kind of wall !!???

reporting from BERLIN 20 years after…
a lot experienced – a lot is missed …
but as as WALLS are dear to me – and how we can trancend them !!
I willa dd here later – just comming from BRANDENBURG GATE ! in Berlin

here and so late in “these times”.. I can only recommend my “favourite”! Friedrich Rückert:

Whoever imagines mental barriers
which actually do not exist
and then thinks them away, has understood the world.
As space is entrapped in geometry’s network of lines,
thought is caught in its (own) inherent laws.
Maps make the world comprehensible to us;
we are still waiting for the star-maps of the spirit.
In the same way that ambling through fields
we risk getting lost, the spirit negotiates its terrain.

Friedrich Rückert, Wisdom of

I have seen so many walls – no walls – breaking – dissolving creating nes boundaries . that I feel beside SPACE WALLS and BOUNDARIES are my field !! – so you can hear about this here later !
about my “field” I recommed my/these WHOLENESS seminar pieces:

more at:
or maybe:

and/or see my BLOG


February 9, 2009

Cinema for Peace, Berlinale, Mikhail Gorbachev & Shared Visions and Actions

berlinale-baergorbi-scinema-for-sBerlin is vibrant as ever, yesterday was the opening of Cinema for Peace at the Berlinale and Mikhail Gorbachev was there to remember 20 years ago when the wall came down, and his “new thinking” request. We discussed later at the press conference if we not still have this chism of East-West, Good-Bad, Capitalism-Socialism in our minds, in our ways we think and act. Mikhail Gorbachev called it a human-made TRAP which humanity seems to be doomed to create, but also saw some change in politics and our mindsets ! – and presented his Green-Cross foundation is making differences.
Later we discused engineering blueprints and architectural designs, not for building the other trap-dilemmas, but to more comprehensively connect old and new designs and vision. I showed to some collegues our work on “orientation frames” for education and capacity buiding. See here the discussion, coverage, and picking up of his “new thinking” for nearly 20 years as well}…. see the  “old” Club of Budapest Viewsletter.}

Mikhail Gorbachev told us also how he encountered Reagan, how he made shure they talked on the same level, on “equal footing”, and so stared a new era of going beyond “empire” and mono uni-lateralism to a multi-polar and mult-lateral world. Is this a new or old, as a vision or reality…?
Thinking about the Thinking Learning Spaces in the “Age of Engightenment” and workshops on “Out of the Box Thinking” and “Paradigm Mapping” we do I decided to make it back to the glamour and celebrities today. Tonight is the “Gala” – so come to the Gendarmenmarkt” <sik> or come back here later to this site:

November 5, 2008

Obamas World – Africa and the World beyond Poverty! – but how? – which world??

 “CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA” – THE WORLD REACTS I read in Huffington Press Blog.  But how about Africa and the rest of the World?

I was pleased to hear Bishop Tutu speak up and was congratulating. MY hope would be to revisit AFRICA BEYOND POVERTY. Lots of work done between 1993 and 1995 with strong support from Bishop Tutu but also the Finish and Dutch governments, and also revisit not just “footprints”, but proportions and consequences.

Lots of work was lost as the event was so much contested and as our conference president “passed away” the day after the Conference in Nairobi in 1995 – losts of work, content and vistas have been lost – the central outcomes and workshops not even published ! Only some big potatoe speakers were published – as we expereicne that in too many technical-scientific-economic-political conferences.
was not only different, but timely and critical – if you consider the urgencies and importancies – proportions and consequences “touched”.

I hope there is a chance to revisit and up-date – so we can ask the contributors to have their up-dated contribution in ! AND THE ISSUES so get tabled. 
We should involve the sponsoring governments – and also our new OBAMA – and involve Tutu, Pentii,… and others of the drivers, stakeholders and risktakers form 1995.
please check out “AFRICA and the WORLD BEYOND POVERTY”  and certain sections like ECOLOGY and ETHICS – not just talks like ROBUST PATHS and REBOUND EFFECT Papers which have been published widely…

One step would be to revisit scales and proportions, how come that we still have a distorted world-map-picture in our minds and schools – and very oftern also on our monitors !
OBAMA might want to revisit the WEST WING series and our Earth Literacy – Map Alphabetisation efforts with the UN Decade for Sustainability Education UNESCO-ESD.
more links about the Frankfurt Bookfair and Literacy – or with Cartography Experts of ICSU-CODATA about this themes can be found there. Maybe this article mentioning Georg W. Bush and his Earth Illiteracy after an INTERCARTO 2006:

It would be silly to just blame George W. Bush, as he never really has been alone outside of his “sweet isolation”, so I asked 2 weeks ago the Nobel Peace-Laureate José Ramos-Horta from East Timor – he as president and being with the UN, a globally active and politcally insightful person all his life – I asked, if he was aware of how strange pictures guide our policy bodies and leaders – and he was not aware but had always wondered why traveling the miles traveling 3 days in his country and the miles traveling 3 days for example in Europe where sooo different. But oldies seem to have forgotten to check if they are puzzeled. But I hope Obama is young and curious enough in his mind and having been in the FareEast and Africa – to revist the West Wing series on WorldMaps after looking at the different shape and size of AFRICA on the WorldMap of the SAME ! United Nations organisation ! (UNESCO) – nobody seems to care – even when the issue has een posted and distributed widely !
see this WestWing YouTube scene of the Parody US Television Series:

Please see these WestWing YouTube scenes of the Parody US Television Series: Please see these Trailers:
Arno Peters: Radical Map, Remarkable Man

November 4, 2008

Vison Summit 2008 Berlin: Responsibilities & Authenticity

Filed under: cognition,creativity,Education,governance,imagination — Heiner Benking @ 12:25 am

last weekend – exhausting to the very end, Berlin groofed around the 2nd VISION SUMMIT at the Berlin Free University. vis-summit1
The theme? Social corporate, corporate environmental, or cultural, economic, historic responsibility,… I lost track. pls. excuse…. more about this confusion and orientation later…

Here we report about Mahammed Yunnus, but ALSO Genscher, Geissler, Alt, Spiegel,… [more] ? goto:


What I will remember and take home?: 
My brief exchange with our former German Foreign Minister Genscher, who was one of the laudators of the TWO WINGS AWARD. and started German Environmenal Administration on the Federal Level already in 1972  (UBA).
What we spoke about ? Not Mohammed Yunnus, BUT Hans Jonas ! Principle Responsibility. Responsiblilty with Space and Time Horizon !
Our both eyes where sparkeling when we menitoned Hans Jonas, his Wife Elionore, and Helmut Plessner, reaching a little wider than these people – full of good heard and energies, but totally lost between the questions who responsible for what and where, why and how long?
I promised Hans Henscher the Matrix of individual-familiy-group-corporate-social-cultural responsibility as one axis and the reach (proportions & consequences across space and time) and how it links to the art of governance by Ralph Siu (Panetics) and how that bridges to Eberhard Richter 8th birthday synopsis (expanding the realm of compassion) and (Siu) reducing the infliction suffering in the world. (more on request).
Naturally it was a pleasure to greet like every year Mohammed Yunnus who is resourceful and radiating like always, but did not answer the central question at the Press Conference of the Tragendy of the Commons. My question was when everybody drills deeper for water and the water table plummets, not only in India, and Mohammed just referd to the Arsenic Water Polution in the Delta, avoiding to tackle the central questions for shared order or agreed commons as another key-noter:
 raised so aptly !
My resume and synopsis of the Vision Summit?
A well organised event for 1000 people with ample space in-between to share and mobilize actions. Thanks to the organizer Peter Spiegel. Peter is a publicist and go-getter who has seen many strands of life and ego. He finally now in Berlin makes his “own” thing GENESIS. Not following the gurus and leaders, the Clubs and Celebrities, but caring fot quality with human dimensions. I wish him all the best.

PLEASE CVOME BACK LATER – as I intend to include links to JONAS, PLESSNER and other issues relating to reponsibiltiy and relevance across scales !

September 22, 2008

700 000 000 000 Dollar ?

How to avoid risk at unprecedented scales without idea & conceptualization, touch & feel and sharing with too much daring out of proportions and without perspective?

Very roughly by rule of the thumb: 2 000 Dollar per capita, for every person in the USA ? or 100 Dollar for each inhabitant on this planet ? – for money given away for bad risks? – and how much alltogether already for such trash funds? 1.5b Dollar?, money given away for bad risks?
The problem seems to be not just of grounding and ethics, but the whole thing is intangible and abstract, so we have to imagination, no senses for what is going on and at stake.

The problem seems to be not just of grounding and ethics, but the whole thing is intangible and abstract, so we have to imagination, no senses for what is going on and at stake. I write since about 20+ years about scales, proportions, and consequences. I learned it in the field of ecology, where you have slow and rapid change, dynamic interactions across subjects and sectors, and levels.

Milliards or Billions 10 power 9 or 12 – are quite different in German and English. We need 1000 Billions in German words for 1 Billion used in the English language space! Confusing isn’t it ? So some people propose to speak about Giga (power9) and Tera (power 12). Why I focus on this many zeros? Beside the examples below I had my kick when someone entered our office and told us about the data stored on all their CDC computers in the world. It was Penta (power 15) ! So now consider all the data stored today in earth-sciences or worse on all GOOGLE servers today !

So who would be educated and experienced to discuss the magnitudes involved here, and can help us get a clue on how to not loose “touch”, come to grips, and help us to jointly confront and grapple with the issues related with such “new dimensions” ?
Our leaders and journalist all too often fail – they confuse by factor 100 or 1000 on a daily basis. But how to make a difference, when not to learn, imagine, and communicate in new ways.

I want to present below what I learned and “collected” as examples, as a approach-repository established in the last 100 years to help us build on towards the challenges we face today with globalisation and cyberculture, and how I hope we can jointly build not again such a world economy, but an ecodomy build on ecological principles. See about ecology, ecumene, and oikos here: [link]

1. Gregory Bateson asked us to develop “antenna” for time horizons when he observed how generations have cared for the long view for preserving nature or looking into how to rebuild houses after generations in a sustainable, caring, not exploiting way.

2. Heinz Haber, fore-runder of the German “Picture of Science” magazine, Bild der Wissenschaft, explaining the he only became a geo-paleontologist, because he collected as a young boy in inflation times, and so developed a “rulers” with the knuckles of his two hands, with each finger one power more, 10 power 1,2, 3,… 5, … 10 – and so creating a visualization for magnitudes. A concrete image and model for the scales, proportions, consequences we are confronted here at our capital markets today. So he had as a young boy a “realization” of Billion. Who in charge today in politics, economics, science has a similar conceptualization and is able to cope with scales and changes.

3. The founder of a Planning Science called Ekistics Doxiadis [link] or [link]
created a schema or grid to relate structures and scale platforms so patterns and their overlap between the issues can be visualised and so issues between “scale levels” become visible and so can be addressed and communicated.

4. Paul Weiss is another person who “visualized” in concrete models issues between the levels and to show the dynamics between the scales, [link] – in an organismic, perspective, holistic way. The author of this blog has show the graph Paul Weiss used in Alpach in 1968 to show the interactions across scales. Please see this presentation about the necessary cognitive, evolutionary leap-frogging of possible embodied thinking:
[link] and [link]

Why I focus on the dynamics and interactions along and across scales?
Because we need to go beyond out splendid isolation in our self-created “boxes” and even into the next valleys or into other “worlds”.
Possible common frames fo references to share the positions have been long proposed for confronting the global dimensions and interactions, see cognitive panorama and spaces: [link] and presented before and after Rio ’92: [link] and that we need to overcome isolated measures by not confusing Show with Schau” [link] and using new dimensions (scales) and qualities to compare and avoid consequences, like short and long term, heavy and light suffering: [link][link]
Please see also the need to widen the horizon of compassion and reducing the suffering in the world: [link]

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