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SEE-Change centres, grey power and hope

Bob Douglas

Published August 2006

The book

The author argues that a positive outcome to the current human predicament will depend upon a major culture shift and that in Australia this shift could be initiated by a coalition of thoughtful older and younger people acting together through a newly evolving institutional structure in Australian society.

He believes that a safer social and environmental path is both feasible and practicable and that a cultural 'tipping point' is imminent in Australia. He suggests that cross-generational SEE-Change centres could become a meeting ground where concerned Australians could discuss future options and reclaim control over our currently uncertain future. He shows how SEE-Change centres can be established and operated in Australian communities. SEE stands for social, environmental and economic and the book describes how the Change can be driven by the community-based centres he outlines.

Target readership

This has been written for Australians of all ages who are concerned at the mounting evidence that humans are placing unprecedented strains on the planet and are wondering how, as individuals and communities, they can begin to turn society in new directions of sustainability, equity and peace.

From chapter 1

Things are looking grim for the next generation if we stay on our present course. The seriousness of the human predicament is not yet widely acknowledged or understood in Australia. Much of the electorate has given up on the political process and many feel impotent about their ability to change things. This chapter suggests a strategy for Australians to regain some control of our future and respond to the evolving global social, economic and environ mental crisis. We need now to embark on a process of cultural adaptation that challenges a number of entrenched values and beliefs. Change will be required in the domains of stewardship, economy, empowerment, purpose and solidarity.

Contents

Chapter 1.  Facing the future
Chapter 2.  An evolving vision of hope
Chapter 3.  A SEE-Change movement
Chapter 4.  Grey power at the leading edge
Chapter 5.  Reasons for concern
Chapter 6.  Nature’s economy trumps ours
Chapter 7.  Which values will we need to change?
Chapter 8.  Finding the pathway
Chapter 9.  We can all be world changers
Bibliography and further reading
Appendix 1.  The Earth Charter
Appendix 2.  The Well-Being Manifesto
Appendix 3.  Some ideas for our future, discussed in 'Imagining Australia'

Approx 100 pages, bibliography, index. ISBN

The author

Bob Douglas graduated in medicine at the University of Adelaide in 1959. In 1967 he became a specialist physician in Papua New Guinea where he developed an interest in the prevention of pneumonia, which led to work in the USA on licensure of pneumococcal vaccine and later with the World Health Organization on programs to reduce child deaths from pneumonia. After working as an academic in public health and as Dean of the Medical School in Adelaide, he became the first Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University. Since his retirement from that post in 2001 he has worked with others to establish a new organization, Australia 21, which is supporting networks of scholars and thinkers to consider the challenges ahead. In 2000 he became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions to respiratory disease and the development of public health training in Australia. He lives in Canberra with Rosemary and they have three children and eleven grandchildren.

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