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Members' Activities 2006

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World Culture Project Website

www3.sympatico.ca/dpaulschafer

The World Culture Project is based on the belief that culture and cultures have a central role to play in global development and human affairs and are the key to environmental sustainability and people’s well-being in the future.

For purposes of the Project, culture and cultures are defined in the holistic sense as complex wholes or total ways of life that are composed of many interrelated parts - environmental, economic, social, political, educational, artistic, scientific, recreational, religious, spiritual, and the like. They are concerned with the way people visualize and interpret the world, organize themselves, conduct their affairs, elevate and embellish life, and position themselves in the world, and therefore with worldviews, values and value systems above all else.

The Project is divided into an International Component and a Canadian Component. This makes it possible to examine the holistic understanding of culture and cultures in broad, general terms, as well as specific, operational terms. Canadian culture is used as a case study to show how the holistic understanding of culture plays out for a very specific culture in the world. (See the publications section of the site and Culture and Customs of Canada under Hot Topics).

Since the world system is based on the centrality of economics and economies rather than the centrality of culture and cultures, a significant part of the Project is devoted to making the case that culture and cultures are "the real foundations of human existence" and "the engines that drive the train."

As a result, a great deal of attention is focused in the Project on: how to develop culture and cultures in breadth and depth and situate them properly in the natural, historical and global environment; making cultural development rather than economic growth the centrepiece and driving force of development; viewing the arts as "gateways" to culture and cultures in the comprehensive sense; dealing with the positive and negative aspects of culture and cultures; making the transition from an economics-based to a culture-based system of politics; and seeing the world from a cultural rather than economic perspective. (See the Hot Topics section for articles and advocacy statements related to this. By making these articles and statements available for downloading as well as reading online, it is hoped that the Project and its site will serve a useful purpose for members of Culturelink and people working generally in the cultural field).

For more information on the World Culture Project and its website, please contact Paul Schafer at dpaulschafer@sympatico.ca, and see www3.sympatico.ca/dpaulschafer.