[Scpg] Sacred Wheel of Water International Forum August 28-31, 2003
Wesley Roe and Marjorie Lakin Erickson
lakinroe at silcom.com
Sat Aug 9 00:18:52 PDT 2003
Sacred Wheel of Water International Forum August 28-31, 2003
"The Sacred Wheel of Water: An Holistic Inquiry into the Future of Fresh
Water," to be held from August 28-31, 2003, at the University of California
at Santa Barbara. The forum is designed as an interdisciplinary
exploration of the worlds fresh water crisis, with the intention of
developing an integrated set of proposed solutions, and a corresponding
strategy for their implementation.
Water is the very blood of the Earth: it is the tear on the cheek of a
child, the energy in a fuel cell, the nourishment in food, the necessary
catalyst for the flourishing of all life. One of the greatest needs of our
time is to recognize that immediate action is required by the rapidly
depleting supply of fresh water, as well as develop a global constituency
willing to take responsibility for its future preservation and wise use. An
original and creative approach to the meeting of such a challenge is
Thirty-three years after the first commemoration of Earth Day, the worlds
environmental predicament is worse than ever. If we really wish to make
just and sustainable living a reality, we need to make strides towards
developing a compelling environmental vision, based upon a reverence for
Through studying, honoring and publicizing the universally potent yet
mysterious and enigmatic role of fresh water in the functioning of natural,
social and symbolic systems, we are more likely to unite the intelligence,
hearts and practical skills of all those concerned to correct the rapid
disappearance of this vital resource.
"The Sacred Wheel of Water," will consider the fresh water problem from
each of the twelve different perspectives outlined in the accompanying
diagram (to view the diagram please visit our website at
www.wheelofwater.org). To date, this approach represents the most
comprehensive attempt to explore this topic. We intend to organize
workshops and presentations within each of the focus areas, as well as
panels and discussions designed to encourage participants to attempt
innovative dialogue and applications across conventional categories of
thought. Special attention will be given to creating a youth constituency
for fresh water, and exploring new ideas for implementing recommendations
that issue from the retreat.
We hope to examine some extremely controversial and difficult questions
during our time together:
<sum> How can cultural traditions be utilized to restore a sense of
reverence about water?
<sum> How can public education be designed to support sustainable uses of
<sum> Should water be seen as a planetary resource accessible to every being?
<sum> Can we continue to view the human use of water independently of the
intricate ecosystem that sustains our entire planet?
<sum> Can the market play a role to ensure fresh water is provided through
a fair and progressive system of pricing that leaves no being in need?
<sum> Who should be responsible for restoring, purifying and protecting the
worlds fresh water from patterns of abuse that have rendered it polluted
<sum> Which of the primary uses of water are wasteful and destructive to
<sum> Where do we draw the line between public demand, planetary necessity
and private control?
At the conclusion of the forum, we intend to draft a comprehensive
declaration of suggested protocols that integrates the best thinking from
each of the focus areas we have identified. Each set of protocols will be
accompanied with a suggested plan of action to facilitate their widespread
dissemination, discussion and eventual adoption. The four days of
conversation are intended to facilitate the drafting of this statement.
Each evening, writers will attempt to put into manageable form the
discussions that have been recorded that day.
The Walter H. Capps Invitational Forums have attracted leading thinkers,
policy makers and agents of social change to Santa Barbara for over thirty
years. Testimonials from past participants have demonstrated a great
appreciation for the opportunity to join together with others who share a
mutual interest in both probing the deepest questions of our time, and
suggesting pathways of practical action that could improve the lives of
future generations. We hope you will take advantage of this great
opportunity to share in this holistic, integrated and intergenerational
discussion for the future of fresh water and the means to secure its
availability to the countless forms of life it supports.
All of us at the Walter H. Capps Foundation are looking forward to sharing
this time with you. Please RSVP to Don George at (805) 565-9062; or fax
(805) 565-0192 or email: <don at wheelofwater.org> For further information or
to register, visit our website at www.wheelofwater.org
ROBERT MULLER, former Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations
United States Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-California) would like to thank
you for taking time from your busy schedule to participate in The Sacred
Wheel of Water International Forum, August 28-31, in Santa Barbara. The
SWW Forum has been organized by the Walter H. Capps Foundation to realize
the dream of the late Representative Walter H. Capps to conduct holistic
educational programs on pressing public issues of critical concern to
local, national and global constituencies.
In terms of our model (please consult our website: www.wheelofwater.org to
view a diagram of the model we are employing), the argument about fresh
water has been chiefly confined to only three dimensions: business and
economics, science and technology, and law and governance. A fourth
dimension, community health, is claimed by all sides as the beneficiary of
their particular resolution of the problem. The SWW Forum adds eight more
dimensions to the perspective the Walter H. Capps Foundation believes
should be considered when tackling the fresh water issue.
Since the collapse of the Kyoto Water Summit over the question of
privatization of water resources, various international agencies and groups
have been searching for a way around the impasse. The holistic model
around which our forum is organized is a way to reformulate the fresh water
problem to take account of more of the factors driving the various parties
at loggerheads over what to do about the crisis.
At least five international groups are sending participants to the forum to
study our holistic discussion model. These include UNESCO, Columbia
University's Earth Institute, The World Parliament of Religions, Global
Green and Rotary International. All have forums on water planned for the
future in which they intend to take the best ideas from this four day think
tank and use them as points of departure for their own work.
Anticipated participants number 100. They include distinguished water
specialists from all the twelve areas of specialization indicated on our model.
A list of confirmed and expected participants will be posted on the
website. They include Roberto Lenton of the Earth Institute, Ambassador
John MacDonald, Robert Muller, Jerome Delli Priscoli, F. Batmanghelidj,
Helen Mayer Harrison, Richard Falk, Hilal Elver, Harindapaul Kaur, William
E Marks, Yoshitaka Ohno, Marcela Olivera, Tiahoga Ruge, Robert Wilkinson,
Patrick Bond, Mae-Wan Ho, Oren Lyon, Henry Vaux, Guy Preston, Peter
Warshall and many others.
We also have assembled a distinguished post-production team to disseminate
the best ideas and practices originating from this forum through video, TV,
internet, texts and curricular materials for adult and traditional
education. A special focus is to use the online materials as a basis for
curricula to be
utilized by government agencies, NGOs, and religious organizations. A
notable example of success with the latter is Africa, where online
education through churches and mosques has proven particularly effective.
Please make a special note that The Walter H. Capps Foundation and UC Santa
Barbara The Walter H. Capps Center have moved the Forums venue location to
La Casa de Maria, situated in the foothills of Montecito, overlooking the
Pacific Ocean. If you have any questions, please call us at
805-565-9062. You may also contact the SWW coordinators: Don George
don at wheelofwater.org, Philip Grant phil at wheelofwater.org, or Bruce L.
Erickson bruce at wheelofwater.org
If you havent yet submitted a registration form please download the
reservation form and mail or fax to:
La Casa de Maria
The Sacred Wheel of Water
801 Ladera Lane
Santa Barbara, Ca. 93108
As the event draws closer, look for further correspondence updating you as
to the latest details regarding the conference. In the interim, feel free
to visit our website www.wheelofwater.org, as the current agenda is posted
We look forward to sharing with you four days of inspiring and fruitful
All the best,
Don George, Director, The Walter H. Capps Foundation
PS Due to the change in venue, please note that there are several changes
to the registration form. First, for those that need accommodation,
housing will now also be at La Casa de Maria ($230 for three nights and 9
Second, commuters are asked to pay $130 to cover the cost of conference
facilities and meals (lunch, coffee breaks, and dinner 6 in total). If
you need assistance with any of these charges, please indicate so on the
scholarship section on the registration form.
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