All things are connected

All things are connected

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Margaret Burger (van Zwol) | Field of interest

I was recently asked to describe my field of interest.  So certainly not limited to the explanation that follows, I tried to explain ...

Margaret Burger (van Zwol) | Field of interest | September 2015

Complexity and chaos, theories and practices, changing ways of producing knowledge by becoming the learner and listener, civic ecology, how we learn as a human species, consciousness, capacity and agency, tracing the threads of socio-ecological systems and how they have come to be, as well as how we can assist change in how we regard the world.  Reading and research, finding data through narratives and civic participation. Citizen science, embedded knowledge, sense of place, the nature of cities (as opposed to wilderness) and how we as a species became disconnected from nature to the point where species become extinct and think of nature as a service to be managed. These are questions which require a philosophical and relational approach.

More specifically, and in keeping with my profession, transformative environmental learning so that as humans entering the Anthropocene we are able to understand concepts such as climate change (planetary boundaries), biodiversity (humans as inter-beings interconnected to every strand that makes up the web of life), sustainable livelihoods (creating resilience through human capacity development, agency, and a broader view of the concept of security or its alternative ‘risk’). In practice this means I work with individuals and emerging entrepreneurs in environmental work and business functionality.

This curiosity underpins my deep interest in urbanism as a phenomenon, historically (how did we get to where we are now), socially (layers, schemes, inter-play and interaction), economically (alternative ways of functioning), environmentally (natural resource management i.e. the concept of ecosystem services). Unravelling the threads of how all things are connected and where and how the disconnect in understanding happens.  How do we develop consciousness to a level where we as humans are able to participate in the world as inter-beings?  In practice this means we network, we talk, interact and reflect.

On a practical level and in line with the thesis I am completing for my Masters in Environmental Education at the Rhodes Environmental Learning and Research Centre, I examine learning (in adults) as performance, learning as a democratic process and learning as connection (socio-cultural, socio-ecological, meaning making and relevance). 

Margaret Burger, with the Umoyomuhle directors, Ntombifuthi Msizazwe, Phumzile Majoka, Dumisani Kweyama, Cinsdiswa Ncane,  Mthini director Mthokozisi Majola, and director Muziwandile Chili of Muzi Chili Communications

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