THREE STREAMS OF ACTIVITY: RESEARCH, EDUCATION, and CULTURE
Research projects and dissemination of knowledge: In keeping with the multiple perspectives of information that will be brought into the research projects, the findings of this research will be accessible to people both within and outside academic circles. Since the academic world is increasingly specialised and restricted by structural constraints, the International Bateson Institute will support experimental research modes whereby scholars and professional experts are brought together in order to combine and contrast our understanding.
Education: Every year, The International Bateson Institute will offer 40-50 lectures and seminars to private and corporate institutions. Curricula for high schools and university programs are in current development. Publications and textbooks to be used for educational materials are also in development. The BI organizes seminars, workshops and curricula.
Culture: The IBI will facilitate public engagement through film, exhibitions, publications, and web broadcasts of hot topic conversations.
Here are a few examples of research projects in store for the IBI:
AN ECOLOGY OF FOOD
What is food? Food is: agriculture, economy, culture, and conversation, ancestral recipes, weavers of tables cloths, traditions of seasons, the perfect onion, a child's berry stained chin... Food is poetry, medicine, friendship, time, poison, economy. Ask the question “What is food?”-- and the answer is not: The stuff on my plate. The answer is that food is about relationships. These relationships are formed between generations that plant together, between man and nature, between the family members who eat together, it is in the conversation, in the heritage of the basket weaver who makes the baskets that are used to take food to neighbouring villages for market. It is in the relationship between towns economically. Seeds used in ceremony, represent long-term linkages between people, nature, cycles, and attitudes toward the future.
In conjunction with therapist Mauro Mariotti, expert on childhood and adolescent eating disorders this exciting project widens the scope of information and therapeutic possibilities. We will address the many aspects of food to see larger patterns of interaction.
Deliverable: Publications, exhibition, workshops, therapies, agricultural research, economic pathways.
HOW SYSTEMS GET UNSTUCK
One of the International Bateson Institute’s inaugural research projects is slated to experiment with the question of how to interact with stuck systems. Crises in energy, economics, medicine, education etc can all be seen as “stuck” in patterns. Co-dependent systems require co-evolution. How can we shift these patterns?
This research starts with a unique center for rehabilitation of paralysis. Specialising in the recovery of stroke victims among others, this successful rehabilitation practice is based on a different epistemology than other medical models. Inspired by the work of Carlo Perfetti and incorporating cybernetic and theoretical insights including those of Bateson and Varela, this practice eschews the use of technologies based on a mechanical model of muscle function. Instead, rehabilitation is seen as a mental process (and interactivity) involving meaning, emotion, and context.
Deliverable: The research we inaugurate here is to be a model for new methods in transdisciplinary qualitative research. We also believe that researchers may find the rehabilitation that occurs at the Villa Miari to be both a “model of, and model for” processes of change that resonate in a variety of contexts, allowing them to refine ideas with surprisingly wide and unexpected
implications. publication, exhibitor, education.