THE POLITICS OF PERCEPTION

HEALTH & WATER
TV spot with Bernardo Bertolucci.  Funded by UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF & WHO. Filmed in London in 2001. 
A PLEA FOR GLOBAL EDUCATION
By Guatemalan human rights activist an Nobel peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum. Filmed at the UN headquarters in 1993. Transcript.

A CASTLE IN TUSCANY

All we have learned of psychotherapy suggests that it is at the precise time when the individual feels as if his whole life is crashing down around him, that he is most likely to achieve an inner reorganisation constituting a quantum leap in his growth toward maturity.
xx
Our hope, our belief, is that it is precisely when society's future seems so beleaguered – when its problems seem almost staggering in complexity, when so many individuals seem alienated, and so many values seem to have deteriorated – that it is most likely to achieve a metamorphosis in society's growth toward maturity, toward more truly enhancing and fulfilling the human spirit than ever before. 
xx
Thus we envision the possibility of an evolutionary leap to a trans-industrial society that not only has know-how, but also a deep inner knowledge of what is worth doing.
SS
— Willis Harman

INTERVIEWS

TEXTS

MORE FILM PROJECTS

VV

Michael O'Callaghan has been producing and directing video interviews and talks on global issues with leading thinkers from around the world since 1978. (Affiliations indicated for date of production). Click image for videos & transcripts (coming soon).
xx
Participants include inventor and designer R. Buckminster Fuller (author, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth) • paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey (Chairman, Kenya Wildlife Service) • primatologist Jane Goodall (member, World Future Council) • Vandana Shiva (Boardmember, International Forum on Globalization) • Mathis Wackernagel (president, Global Footprint Network) • Randy Hayes (founder, Rainforest Action Network) • Jonathan Lash (president, World Resources Institute) • Claude Martin (Director-General, WWF International) • Hazel Henderson (economist and futurist)Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland (Director-General, WHO) • Helena Norberg-Hodge (co-founder, International Forum on Globalization) • Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker (president, Wuppertal Institute) • Benedikt Haerlin (Founder, Save our Seeds) • Medard Gabel (co-founder, World Game Institute) • Colin Campbell (peak oil petroleum geologist) • Werner Zittel (co-founder, European Business Council for a Sustainable Future) • Danny Schechter (Executive Editor, The Media Channel • Wally N'Dow (Secretary-General, Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements • David Woollcombe (President, Peace Child International) • Robert Müller (Under-Secretary-General, United Nations) • Brendan Hoare (co-convenor, Organic Federation of Aotearoa New Zealand) • Kaarin Taipale (executive committee chair, International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives) • Rémi Parmentier (policy director, Greenpeace International) • Emilio D'Alessio (Deputy Mayor of Ancona) • John Bradin (financial adviser, Progressive Asset Management Inc.) • Bushra Razack (co-editor, Rescue Mission) • Bernward Geier (director, International Federation of Organic Agriculture) • Marc Halle (chairperson, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development) • Barry Coates (director, World Development Movement) • Felix Dodds (exective director, UN Stakeholder Forum for our Common Future) • Achim Steiner (Director, IUCN and then Director-General, UNEP) • R.D. Laing (psychiatrist & author, The Divided Self)John Weir Perry (psychiatrist and author, The Far Side of Madness) • film director Berdardo Bertolucci • Nobel peace laureates Rigoberta Menchu Túm and the Dalai Lama

APOCALYPSE or SYSTEM CHANGE?

A CONVERSATION WITH JUNGIAN PSYCHIATRIST DR. JOHN WEIR PERRY

We are now in development on this feature documentary film about the connection between the global crisis and our ways of seeing it. Principal photography will take place during a multi-stakeholder conference involving a related theatrical play and art exhibition we are planning with a world-class lineup of planetary leaders and visionary thinkers in Geneva in 2021.

CURRENT FOCUS

TIME FOR CHANGE
A millennium message from the Dalai Lama funded by UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF & WHO. Filmed in India in 1999.

OTHER PROJECTS IN VARIOUS STAGES OF DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT

BE THE CHANGE!
The global teenagers were already calling for system change in 2003. We shot this film with 1,000 young people from 130 countries at the World Congress of Youth organised by Peace Child International in Morocco.
The Global Vision Project is an artistic strategy to catalyse creative system change for a sustainable, regenerative, post-growth future.  The project is being produced by the Irish information-artist Michael O’Callaghan under the aegis of Global Vision Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. It involves the production of related films, conferences and artistic events in collaboration with a trans-disciplinary network of advisers and organisations including United Nations agencies, Nobel laureates, civil society organisations, corporations, universities, institutes, journalists, scientists, musicians, artists and leading thinkers around the world.

Context

  • The global crisis we face is existential and far more serious than most people realise. Its systemic nature portends eco-social catastrophe, the end of democracy, and the possible collapse of civilisation in our lifetime. Symptoms include ecological overshoot, climate chaos, rising sea levels, species extinction, resource depletion, mass migration, colossal debt, widespread institutional dysfunction, corporate capture of governance, economic injustice, disinformation, distrust, mass surveillance, social unrest, repression, revolution, terrorism, perpetual wars, and loss of hope for the future. Time is running out.
  • As Fritjof Capra explains "It is becoming increasingly apparent that the major problems of our time —whether economic, environmental, technological, social or political— are systemic problems that cannot be solved within the current fragmented and reductionist framework of our academic disciplines and social institutions. We need a radical shift in our perceptions, thinking, and values."
  • We have the knowledge, goodwill and resources to resolve the crisis. Global civil society, scientists and youth movements are calling for creative system change to implement a rapid non-violent transition to a sustainable, regenerative post-growth future. The prerequisite is widespread collaboration and prior agreement on the goal. But this is blocked by perceived conflicts between the private and public interest. Nobody knows how to overcome this blockage. It's a no-exit situation.
 
Strategy

The Global Vision project is a cognitive response to this challenge. Informed by neuroscience and the emergent properties of complex dynamic systems, our stategy is inspired by  Lao Tzu, Alfred Korzybski, Guy Debord, Gregory & Nora Bateson, Edgar Morin, Fritjof Capra, Umberto Maturana, Francisco Varela and other leading thinkers (see our interviews and strategy papers). Our project is conceived as a work of information-art. It involves the co-creation of media products and events designed as non-adversarial contexts of information or situations that focus the attention of participants on the connection between the global crisis and our ways of seeing it.

The great paradox of our dismal zeitgeist is that critical thinking and individual common sense are now the biggest untapped resources on the planet. But everyone has the innate capacity to distinguish between knowledge and opinion, to thus admit our ignorance and then engage in mutual learning to unleash the collaboration required to overcome the blockage. Creative system change begins in the mind and perception is a political act! Instead of focussing on what is seen, we need to focus on how we see and how we communicate

Global Vision Foundation

Global Vision Foundation is an international public interest non-governmental organisation under supervision of the Swiss Confederation. We are based in Geneva — the microcosm of the planet where the meridians of global governance, trade, finance, politics and civil society intersect.  Donations are tax-deductible in Switzerland. Please contact us for enquiries.

XX

 




CC

 

 

AAA

     A selection of texts about worldview transformation:

  • Perception is a political act. A manifesto for responsible cognition. By Michael O'Callaghan, 2018.
  • The Edge of Now. A short text by Nora Bateson and Gil Friend, 2019.
  • A Conversation with Dr. John Weir Perry about worldview transformation in madness and society. By Michael O'Callaghan, 1981.
  • Changing Images of Man (PDF). By Joseph Campbell, Duane Elgin, Willis Harman, Arthur Hastings, O.W. Markley, Floyd Matson, Brendan O'Regan and Leslie Schneider. Center for the Study of Socal Policy, SRI International, 1982.
  • Global Strategy: Promoting the concept of sustainability as a global goal (PDF). NGO Position Paper for the Second Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) May 16 - 28, 1994. By Michael O’Callaghan. Updated November 14, 2000.
  • Sustainability: Positioning the concept as a global goal (PDF). NGO Position Paper for the International Conference on Environment and Society: Education and Public Awareness for Sustainability, organised by UNESCO and the Government of Greece at Thessaloniki, 8 - 12 December 1997. By Michael O’Callaghan, Global Vision Corporation. Published in Environment & Society : Education and Public Awareness for Sustainability, proceedings of the Thessaloniki International Conference organised by UNESCO and the Government of Greece, University of Athens, 1998, ISBN 960-86312-0-3. Re-published in Sustainable Development: Education, The Force of Change, Transdisciplinary Project “Educating for a Sustainable Future”, (EPD) UNESCO, 1999, Paris, ISBN 92-9143-039-0.
  • The Pattern that Connects (PDF). Introduction to the Global Vision Planning Manual: Cognitive Process in Self-Organising Systems. Conceptual framework for the collaborative design of the information content of the Global Vision feature film, an impressionistic motion picture conceived as a collective self-portrait of Humankind and the biosphere. By Michael O’Callaghan, 1982.
  • When the Dream Becomes Real: Visions of Apocalypse in Mythology, Madness and the Future. By Michael O'Callaghan, 1981.
Thinking about symptoms of the global crisis such as climate change, mass migration, the wealth gap, terrorism, unfair trade policies, species extinction and dysfunctional governance at the planetary level is complex but relatively easy. Implementing solutions in the real world is more difficult. It requires engaging relevant public and private stakeholders (such as citizens, governments, corporations, lobbies, international agencies, civil society organisations etc) that have real or perceived conflicts of interest, and are often trapped by silo-ed views of the whole system of which they are a part. So in order to implement solutions that work, these diverse stakeholders need to find agreement on common goals, and then collaborate to realise them. This requires community organising. Here for example, we describe the sucess of the GM-free Ireland project which required years of community organising to keep the island of Ireland off-limits to the cultivation of genetically modified seeds and livestock. Coordinated by Michael O'Callaghan, this project applied our information-art and situationist approach to catalyse a policy U-turn by an EU member state and a better policy at the European Commission.

RESOURCES

SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
We seek a donor or sponsor to publish our  historical archive of 40 video interviews with leading thinkers on the origins of the emergent global civil society consensus about the future of the planet. Filmed around the world from 1978-2008. 

COMMUNITY ORGANISING

SUSTAINABILITY: THE BEST INVESTMENT
The annual investment to solve the world's major problems is less than 1/3 of the global military budget. Produced in London in 1998.

IDEAS

We seek a benefactor to establish of a world-class learning centre for creative system change in this 1,000-year-old gem of mediaeval vernacular architecture: a symbol of sustainability and a convivial setting for conversations that make a difference!