April 6, 2013

SEED: Connected Wisdom: Living Stories about Living Systems

There is a lot of talk these days about how everything is connected to everything else. Most of the time these connections are hard to see. But we now know that the kind of car I drive in Boston, Massachusetts, may affect the health of polar bears in the Arctic. Whether they’re found in nature, your body, your family, your organization, or your country, these interconnected networks are called living systems. Living systems are all around us. When you work on a SEED project—for example, a water project—you are deeply engaged with many living systems, including your local river, canal, lake, or watershed, as well as your school and community.
Why learn about the laws of living systems through folktales? Folk wisdom—whether it comes from the myths and tales of ancient Greeks, early Africans, fifth-century Chinese philosophers, or Buddhist masters or from the sages of Native American and other cultures—has long been a way to pass on wisdom from one generation to the next. Many folktales and myths, including those in Connected Wisdom, were used by the ancients to explain and understand the physical world around them.
We invite you to explore, through timeless folktales and modern examples, how the principles that guide living systems can also guide how we live and learn. Connected Wisdom contains twelve folktales from around the world that have been adapted to illustrate the different principles influencing how nature works. The book is available in seven languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, from SWPS and the SEEDSTORE.

SEED collaborated with Linda Booth Sweeney and storyteller Courtney Campbell to record all 12 folktales, with adapted explanations of the related systems thinking. The CD is available in English only from SWPS and the SEEDSTORE. Catch a sneak preview of one chapter from the Connected Wisdom CD.
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