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Welcome to the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and Biosphere. Whether you are a member of a node, an associate, or someone who shares the mission of the MAHB, I hope you will take the time to catch up on the revitalized organization.
Millennium Alliance for Humanity and Biosphere

Greetings from the Executive Director:


Welcome to the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and Biosphere. Whether you are a member of a node, an Associate, or someone who shares the mission of the MAHB, I hope you will take the time to catch up on the revitalized organization.

This first MAHB Newsletter 2012 introduces you to our new website including its forum, library, blogs and continual updates on nodal activities; includes a letter from MAHB co-founder Paul Ehrlich; covers a few of the recent publications and presentations from Coordinating Committee members; and briefly discusses some of the major MAHB initiatives. Read the Welcome article and learn more about the how the collaborative work of natural scientists and social scientists is serving the engagement civil society arm of the MAHB.

MAHB is addressing one of the most pressing problems facing humanity-- the seemingly “irrational” gap between our knowledge about the lethal and escalating threats posed by the degradation of our life support systems which are intertwined with over-population, over-consumption by the wealthy, poverty, war, financial crises, climate disruption (to name a few) and the actual actions of individuals, institutions and societies to behave in ways that will reverse the current trend. Even though scholars in the natural and social sciences have extensively researched the issues and worked with civil society to produce popular books, films, and lectures, humans continue to deplete our natural resources and globally the gap between rich and poor is ever increasing. In response, MAHB has created a new paradigm, Foresight Intelligence, a field of study focused on finding ways to implement the behavioral and institutional changes necessary for humans to ensure a sustainable and equitable future for all.

In the coming months the secretariat will be reaching out to MAHB members and prospective members; please, if you haven’t already, Join the MAHB.

Joan Diamond
Executive Director


Letter from MAHB co-founder Paul Ehrlich

MAHBsters:
For more than half a century the scientific community has been attempting to warn humanity of its environmental peril.  In 1993, 58 Academies of Science released a statement on the population-resource-environment predicament...  [Click Here to Read the Whole Letter]

Recent MAHB Central Accomplishments

  1. A mailing list of 1500 interested groups and individuals;
  2. Thirty Nodes—groups constituting the MAHB network that support our mission and are building webpages as part of the MAHB website; Nodes are not governed by MAHB, rather they are part of the community, the force for change who align themselves with MAHB for greater impact.
  3. 336 registered Associates, individuals who support the mission and are finding ways to engage at the front line of policy and building social awareness with the goal of realizing the desired future world;
  4. A website (MAHB.stanford.edu) that is rapidly building pages of resources (books, articles, movies) for policy makers, media and civil society, ideas for engaging in action furthering the Mission, forum for discussion and a growing list of activities reported from the Nodes;
  5. Hosted several workshops and seminars devoted to various facets of the global problem;
  6. Hosted its first symposium Social Movements, Competing Crises and Effective Action on the Stanford campus.
  7. Initiated a process to develop a compelling and plausible Vision for 2050, an equitable world moving at an acceptable rate towards sustainability;

New MAHB Website!

Visit the new MAHB Website!  There are several features of the website that allow people access to high quality information and the ability to communicate with other MAHB associates and Nodes.
  1. Join the MAHB and sign up on the new website: http://mahb.stanford.edu/
  2. Explore & Use the MAHB website!
 
The MAHB website hosts resources to facilitate a thriving MAHB community including:  recent publications that are seen as highly valuable;   an “Article of the Month” that is selected and featured; information on upcoming and past MAHB events; breaking news feeds related to MAHB topics; a communication hub for MAHB nodes & associates; a forum for discussion among members; and much more!
 
We have an ever growing and evolving library of high quality resources on MAHB related subjects!  To see them visit: http://mahb.stanford.edu/library/mahb-library/
 
Interaction between member nodes (ie groups) and associates (ie individuals) is facilitated on the newly revamped website.  Once you are signed up you can post you/your groups latest achievements, advertise upcoming events, participate in the Forum [http://mahb.stanford.edu/forum/mahb-forum], and see what the other members have been posting [http://mahb.stanford.edu/activity/].
 
Ilan Kelman [http://www.ilankelman.org], a renowned scientist of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), will be blogging on the MAHB website!
 
For more information on how to utilize the website, visit here:  http://mahb.stanford.edu/faq/

MAHB and the Wall

 Every year Germany commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall with a conference. Sixteen scholars, researchers, and scientists are invited to speak for 15 minutes each.  So symbolic an occasion is the conference that in 2011it was keynoted by Angela Merkel, who appeared even in the midst of the Euro Crisis.
 
MAHB Coordinating Committee member Robert E. Horn was one of the 16 speakers.  His talk was called: “Breaking the Wall of Organisational Ignorance. How Visual Language Supports Decision Making about Wicked Problems and Social Messes.”
 
The talk can be seen at:

http://falling-walls.com/speakers/speakers-2011/

Join us on Facebook

Please join our MAHB facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/229287493763308 (you must be logged in to view this page) and post your sustainability-related ideas, links, projects, commentaries, and discussions!  Some of the content might even make it onto the MAHB blog!  MAHB.stanford.edu

Recent MAHB Events

In addition to the many international scholarly and civil society events where MAHB has an active presence, the organization sponsors workshops and symposiums.

December 7, 2012 
MAHB organized  a symposium on Social Movements, Competing Crises and Effective Action. Doug McAdam, Professor of Sociology and Director of Urban Studies facilitated the discussion. Our goal was to explore how academics and civil society as a whole might shift concerns for humanity into high impact action given the competing crises. Is there a way to bring these threats into one coherent compelling call to action? A video of the presentation and respondents is available HERE.
 
January 30, 2012
MAHB hosted the first in a series of workshops designed to chart the components and qualities of a compelling world in 2050 that is equitable and ecologically sustainable. Using the World Business Council’s Vision 2050 as a model and starting point, Bob Horn, a leader in that process, facilitated the conversation. The development of a MAHB Vision for 2050 will continue over the coming months and be a focal point of the MAHB agenda. The goal is to use this vision as a rallying point and common ground for civil society groups: to lift the voice of the millions who are committed to building a future that works for all humanity.

Responding to the crisis of complexity—the interconnected threats to human existence

In the face of this absolutely unprecedented “crisis of complexity,” the global community has no choice but to take dramatic action to reverse the current destructive trends. Either humanity will change its ways, or they will be changed for us...

To save the planet, listen to everyone

Big business, rich elites, poverty protesters, desperate refugees, beleaguered NGOs… Twenty years after the Rio Earth Summit, we seem as divided as ever, but if we want a sustainable future we must look for consensus across the divide, urges Robert E. Horn in the New Scientist Article that can be found HERE.

Upcoming Seminar Series: Speciesism and the
Future of Humanity- Biology, Culture, and Sociopolitics

From April 2012–May 2013, members of the MAHB and faculty at Berkeley and Stanford will be organizing an academic and public seminar to discuss Speciesism and the Future of Humanity: Biology, Culture, and Sociopolitics. The series is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and will focus on numerous themes that lie at the core of the MAHB’s mission to inspire a global dialogue on the present and future state of sustainability, conservation, and public policy measures. We will begin with a biological emphasis, and highlight how scientific and evolutionary worldviews prime self-perceptions, behavior, and sociopolitical worldviews. We will then draw upon data from the humanities, social-, and natural sciences to outline our prospects for longterm global sustainability by examining the difference between proximate and ultimate aims to generate public policy solutions to unsustainable practices. For further details, please see the link on the MAHB’s homepage.

Visit here to learn more 

MAHB at the Oslo Sustainability Summit 2012

On May 23, 2011, MAHB regulars, Atle Midttun and Nina Witoszek presented the Oslo Sustainability Summit 2011 – The Age Of Stupid Or The Age Of Wisdom. Stanford University MAHB member Robert E. Horn was one of the 11 speakers.  His talk was called: “40 Must Haves In A Nobody In Charge World”. Bob’s talk can be seen at: http://www.sum.uio.no/oss/videos/

Also see MAHB 2012 Report #1, The Must Haves for a Sustainable 2050

MAHB at the Oslo Sustainability Summit 2011

Make sure to Join MAHB on our website MAHB.stanford.edu and use the high quality research, news, and the discussion forum that are available. 

This letter was prepared by the MAHB Coordinating Committee.  

Our mailing address is:
Info@mahbonline.org 
Acknowledgements:
 
Peter and Helen Bing
Larry Condon
Wren Wirth
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
The Mertz Gilmore Foundation
The Winslow Foundation