Compassion, Connection and Response-Ability
Today’s social and environmental challenges call all of us to engage in creating a more humane and ecologically sustainable future. But, when the media is tuned to the hyperbole of catastrophe in all areas of our lives – security and safety, economic collapse, ecological disaster – what motivates and inspires individuals to engage in initiatives to create positive change? A feeling of compassion – the desire to help - is often the response when we become aware of the distress of another human being, or an animal, or an entire community of people, or an endangered species. However, such feelings do not necessarily lead to engagement in either personal or communal action. In fact, we are often overwhelmed by these needs and unsure of how we could adequately respond.
You are invited to further our understanding of the intersection of compassion, connection, and engaged social action through your reflection, research, and practice.
These are examples of some of the questions you might consider:
Ø What inspires a desire to respond to the distress of other human beings, animals, or the natural world? Is it experience, knowledge, feelings, or some other qualities?
Ø What motivates people to make changes in their lives for social good?
Ø What kinds of experiences – childhood/family, education, media, travel, etc. - inspire
people to become engaged in responding to environmental and social issues?
Ø In what ways might engagement in social or environmental change alter self-perception?
Do specific labels, such as “activist,” “do-gooder,” etc. promote, or inhibit participation in
social and environmental actions?
Ø What knowledge and skills do individuals need to be effective agents of change?
Ø How can community groups, organizations, or businesses dedicated to the values of social
justice and ecological sustainability engage individuals in meaningful participation in their efforts?
Your response to the theme “Compassion, Connection and Response-Ability” may be addressed from a variety of perspectives, for example:
A philosophical or theoretical reflection, e.g., on inspiring compassion; on developing the capacity to connect to others, including the natural world; on cross-cultural engagement for social and environmental change, on education programs, etc.
A report on a current or completed research study, a community project, or other creative endeavor engaging individuals or groups in responding to social or environmental needs
An analysis of a specific social or environmental issue and action plan to engage individual, group, or community response, for example, poverty and income inequality,
ecosystem preservation in a specific area, quality education in low income communities, mental health issues in the context of gun violence debates, response to the “sage brush rebellion” attempts to take back public land, the black lives matter movement, the Syrian and North Africa refugee crisis and the response of Western countries, organized efforts to stop sustainability legislation and programs, “green” business promises and practices, the organic/sustainability movement in the “big box” market sector, etc.
Whatever the specific topic, your presentation needs to illustrate Human Science perspectives. That is, your response should be grounded in an appreciation of other ways of knowing, cognizant of different cultural contexts and diverse perspectives, and focused on responding to real world problems. Please see our mission statement at http://humanscienceinstitute.org for insight into our approach to Human Science scholarship and practice.
Submit your proposal by June 6, 2016 and follow the guidelines below:
Oral presentations of not more than 20 minutes. Our preference is for discussion style presentations rather than reading papers; presenters should talk about the major ideas or findings in their work. Time for questions/discussion will be built into the schedule and session leaders will facilitate discussion. You may also submit panel (3 or more presenters), or workshops (2 or more individuals), which will be scheduled for 1 and 1⁄2 to 2 hours.
We will be publishing selected papers in HSI’s journal “Human Science Perspectives.” If you wish to have a paper based on your presentation considered, please submit it no later than November 1, 2016. See the Submission Guidelines posted on the Institute website.
For individual presentations, please submit a 250 word abstract with the title, your name, discipline, physical address and contact information, and affiliation. For panels, please submit a 350-500 word abstract with the title, names of chair and all presenters, their disciplines, physical address and contact information and affiliations.
Note: Please limit titles to 30 words and include 3 keywords for your presentation. The Conference Program Committee may contact you to discuss an alternate format of
Please email your proposal as a Word.doc or Docx format document to
firstname.lastname@example.org and insert “presentation proposal” in subject line.
After submission of the proposal, an email confirming receipt will be sent to the submitter
within 3 days.
HSI conference, September 8-10, 2016 – call for presentation proposals 2
Deadline for submission: June 6, 2016
Notification of Acceptance: June 27, 2016
Presenter Registration/Confirmation: August 1, 2016
Presenters are required to register for the Conference by August 1, 2016 to confirm their acceptance and be included in the Conference Program. Accepted authors who do not register by the deadline will not be included in the Conference Program. The conference schedule will be finalized on August 5, 2015 and no changes to the conference program will be made after this date. Register: http://humanscienceinstitute.org
Review: Please review your abstract prior to submitting it. The content you submit will be used for publication purposes.
Handouts: We suggest bringing handouts with you, but will list nearby vendors on the conference website.
Technology: Standard hotel audio/visual equipment will be provided.