I would like to express my deepest heartfelt welcome to Sustainable Development Management Institute.
The Sustainable Development Management Institute (SDMI) is not only a higher education and research establishment.
I believe, as THIRULLUVAR does, in the Virtue and Morality of Life, The Wealth of Man, in Love and Passion, and in the sentimental and psychological values of life. He presents, through his verses, Unity in Diversity and the Art of living.
I believe, like SOCRATES, in the practice of dialogue. It appears that we now have to start from scratch: we should become like contemporaries of Socrates who in the streets of Athens and in the public square, chatted with those around him. He discussed what constitutes the value of a human life, what motivates a particular individual or a civic action, and the goals that are pursued by the individual and the community at large. His thought, based on a dialogue which admits plurality and tolerance, encourages us to rediscover the universal principles that would lead humanity towards greater fraternity and cooperation in order to better live together. Dialectize or Philosophize is to understand that “reality” is at the same time unique and multiple, one and many, and that after having been fragmented, the gathering together will allow one to go within and return to oneself.
I believe, as RABELAIS and MONTAIGNE, in a general and humanistic education. No one understood like Montaigne that, before teaching a specialist trade, it is imperative to develop in each individual the faculties that make people human. Montaigne promoted his doctrine of education which is neither austere in its goals nor rigorous in its processes but rather is consistent with the nature and the natural development of the student. It is applied primarily to refine a critical thinking process tending towards happiness through the serenity of soul and the lucidity of mind.
I accept the considerations of CONDORCET as he ponders about: How can one reconcile in a school setting, the unity and social diversity of children? How to uniformly transmit, in a socially diverse national environment, a minimum of knowledge, moral sentiments, and identical basic skills, to all members of a republic. How is it possible to prevent the knowledge and information of some elites turning into absolute power over others?
I believe, like EINSTEIN, in an education for free and holistic thinking. It is not enough to teach man a speciality because he would then only become like a usable machine devoid of personality. It is important to acquire an emotional intelligence and a sense of what type of professional practice is worthwhile to be undertaken, what is good, decent, and respectable, AND what is morally right. Otherwise, as it can be with professional knowledge, he is more like a trained dog than a harmoniously developed human being. The holistic man must learn to understand the motivations of men, their dreams and their anxieties in order to determine his exact role vis-à-vis his family and the community.
To quote his citation : The excesses of the competitive system and premature specialization under the false pretext of efficiency, kills the spirit, prohibits the development of cultural life and even suppresses progress in forward-looking sciences. It is also important in order to achieve a perfect education, to develop critical thinking in the mind of the young man. Or, overloading the brain with a system or note taking, hinders and necessarily transforms research into a superficial activity lacking Culture. Education should be as follows: the person who receives it treasures it as a priceless gift but never as a painful constraint.
I ask, as Ken ROBINSON does, why modern education doesn't try to get the best out of people? This is because we have been educated to become good workers rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies – far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity – are ignored or even stigmatized with terrible consequences. "We are educating people outside of, and not respecting, their creativity potential."
I agree with SAINT-EXUPERY who said, "To know is not to show or explain. It is to gain access to the Vision.”
I believe that very many people end their lives with no idea of what their talents are or could have been. On one hand, I have to recognize that the development of human potential is not a mechanical process but rather an organic one. On the other hand, I believe that our only hope for the future is to adopt a new concept of human ecology, one where we would begin to rethink our ideas about the wealth of human potential. Our education system has strip-mined our minds in the same way that we have exhausted the earth: for a specific resource.
I think SDMI can answer the intrinsic issues pertinent to the reality of tomorrow : Creativity Potential, Humanity, Thinking, Vision.
Mr B. GANESSANE – CEO of Sustainable Development Management Institute