addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo

21st Century Enlightenment Group

Following on from our ‘conversations and confrontations’ last time (in August), this study circle has now developed into a theme group.

The Objective

The objective of the theme group is to explore what does it mean to be an enlightened citizen in the present age (and are we indeed entering a new age of enlightenment or one of darkness). What would an enlightened community, organisation or person look, feel and be like (behaviour, character, motives, outcomes)? There is a need for a new enlightened model for how we can create/recreate our future, but will it come from the top or the bottom of our current power structures, or is a combination of both necessary for success? 

The discussions will move away from the 18th Enlightenment and onto what is the appropriate form of Enlightenment for today (and even, how do we know when we are enlightened, for example, are we balancing our responses in terms of both 'reason' and more 'emotional' qualities such as kindness, compassion, connection and empathy.

The Process

Each meeting will come with something for us to focus on, for example, a short article to read in advance, or a short presentation to consider. I am currently identifying potential interesting ‘short presenters’ (i.e. not a lecture – the unstructured discussion with a little structure to get it going is valuable for emergent and unexpected ideas).

In the next few days I will post an article for us to focus our discussion on. This will set the agenda, direction and what we may want to achieve (goals) in the short time we have together. If you have something in mind you think would be good for debate, please message me directly.

For first timers, it is not necessary to have attended previous meetings in order for you to join in. The discussions are intended to provoke debate around conceptual and practical alternatives. How can we integrate both existing and better ways of living? What new frameworks can we create for a healthier concept of society and politics? And how can we use these to bring our systems back into balance - and align them with the right to prosperity and peace for all?

Outcome from the Original House Meeting:

In 2012, the first house meeting of this group agreed on the importance of shared meaning, on the need for more conversation (and less TV), more curiosity and imagination (and less fear and rigid thinking), more pleasure generated from accomplishing things and less reliance on our addictions and distractions - technology or otherwise. Enlightenment is a choice we all make as individuals, as communities and as a global society.

Context Behind the Original House Meeting:

The Enlightenment is a philosophical movement of the 18th century, characterised by belief in the power of human reason and by innovations in political, religious, and educational doctrine. The Enlightenment flourished until about 1790–1800, after which the emphasis on reason gave way to Romanticism's emphasis on emotion. Today the spirit of The Enlightenment is also being challenged as reason alone has not created an enlightened society.

How do we create a new spirit of enlightenment in the 21st century which is a ‘practical’ movement characterised by belief in the power of human sovereignty and by innovations in political, religious, and educational doctrine. Enlightenment has always been about breaking free of the restrictions of the mind, the belief structures that we have created based on our judgements of the results of past events. Today we need to do that more than ever but how - especially in an age when there are new dark forces challenging this process.

Kathryn Best is a writer, speaker, educator and consultant in creativity, design and business, and the author of 2 books on Design Management. Her new book on design and systemic change is due out next year.

Join or login to comment.

  • Kathryn B.

    December 13, 2013

    • Kathryn B.

      Nick, I think you need to (en) lighten up :)

      December 13, 2013

    • Nick S.

      Thank you for that thought, Kathryn. But pass the word to the mums: stop cossetting the boys; give them a chance to grow - and (en)lighten) - up! :-) Oh, and get connected.

      December 13, 2013

  • Jonathan W.

    I was interested to read the academic paper linked below this morning. It discusses the location and effect on obesity on different social/economic groups of fast food restaurants.

    https://www.academia.edu/1601156/Cause_and_Effect_Premise_The_Role_of_Poverty_Access_to_Fast_Food_Restaurants_such_as_McDonalds_and_The_Obesity_Epidemic

    December 11, 2013

    • Jonathan W.

      That reference was to Marcial Losada and the Positivity:Negativity (6:1), Inquiry/Advocacy (1:1) and Self:Other 1:1)

      December 13, 2013

    • Jonathan W.

      Sorry about that typo! The quickest thing to do may be to Google "Losada Ratio" and/or look at Wikipedia, where there is now some very interesting debate. To me the "big idea" seems to make sense. Where I have tested it with teams it makes sense and provides real insight. Unfortunately, I think, Marcial has got a bit carried away with mathematics, conflating and confusing metaphor and measurement. He derives these extraordinarily apparently precise numbers that I think may actually be artefacts of division to get averages from observations.In practice too, the observations are quite subjective and in capable of such precision.But the idea can still be generally right and the 6:1 positivity that is actually from about 3:1 to about 11:1, was similarly observed by John Gottman in his fascinating and helpful work on relationship where he found enduring, flourishing relations were characterised by a ration of about 5:1 positive comments and gestures people made to and about each other.

      1 · December 13, 2013

  • Azi

    Enlightening and engaging

    December 12, 2013

  • Nick S.

    Thanks to Kathryn for setting up the event. I was surprised by her choice of theme - somehow obesity and enlightenment didn't seem to my (unenlightened) mind to fit well in the same sentence, but they did after all.

    I feel that enlightenment depends a lot on connections (all those 18th cent salons), and - much as I enjoyed the evening - I felt we were focusing too much on self-improvement and awareness, and not enough on our connections. To be enlightened - I feel - is to truly understand that everything is connected to everything, and everything we do has an effect on ourselves and others. This creates a continuous swirling world of change, in which overall I think things are slowly getting better. On the theme of obesity, I enjoyed what was said, but wd like more emphasis on the theme of feeling at peace with oneself. I know that researchers need to research subjects which give objective results, but I feel that the root of health lies in states of mind. Can we look at that?

    December 12, 2013

    • Phil S.

      Hmm…States of Mind and Change…
      The Obesity subject drew out discussion about states of mind but it would be interesting to pursue this in other contexts.
      Regarding Change, Seth Godin recently said “We didn't get the rock of the 1960s or the Miles Davis Quartet or the design revolution because there were a bunch of gifted artists standing around. No, those artists showed up and shared their best work precisely because there was a revolution going on.
      Rapid change exposes the work of outsiders, neophytes and most of all, those attracted by the chance to grow, fast. Rapid change sweeps aside the status quo and those that defend it (the stuck former geniuses and the stuck bureaucrats). It replaces them with those willing to leap.
      Revolutions make heroes at least as much as heroes make revolutions.”
      And from the Enlightenment perspective I think he expresses this very well.

      1 · December 12, 2013

  • Phil S.

    A positive constructive and lively discussion that I'm sure will develop over next year. Loved the slightly more structured approach with a specific top to start us off. Very interesting people and a great venue!

    December 11, 2013

    • Fiona W.

      I know I'm supposed to be positive, but I'm afraid I can't agree with Phil about the venue. Yes, it was nice and central and easy to get to, but it was hot, smelly

      December 12, 2013

  • Anne B.

    Kathryns leadership and the successful 'topic led' experiment are helping us enormously - enlightenment is a worthy work in progress

    December 12, 2013

  • Jayne F.

    Interesting discussion, I look forward to more when I return from Africa in the spring.

    December 12, 2013

  • Fiona W.

    Childhood Obesity was the subject of Today's R4 phone-in. Just Google 'BBC R4 Call You and Yours' to listen to the programme (55min).

    December 10, 2013

  • Kathryn B.

    The article is on the GlobalNet21 site, under the drop down menu item "More", then File.
    It is called image, and references the c21st Enlightenment group in the posting title.

    December 10, 2013

  • Kathryn B.

    I have circulated a topic for discussion to the members that have signed up for this event. Please private message me if you need to know more. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday evening.

    December 10, 2013

  • terence f.

    Sorry to miss this but assisting a local community library event. Have a great meeting and seasonal greetings.

    December 1, 2013

27 went

Annual Subscription

GBP15.00 a year

This covers: Contributions help us cover administration costs, site costs and development.

Payment is accepted using:

  • PayPal
  • Cash or check - “Members can pay through PayPal. Those who want to pay be cheque should contact the Organiser.

Your organizer will refund you if:

  • Joining fees cover a year of activities of GlobalNet21. If anyone thinks that they should be refunded then they should contact the organiser and discuss that with him.

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy