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Islands Institute

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More About the Islands Institute


The Global Vision


Imagine a world of harmony and abundance, in which humans and nature are not opposites - a world in which everything humans build is as complex, beautiful and life-sustaining as natural forms.


The Local Challenge


The Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island (the Islands) are in a period of social upheaval, community conflict and environmental crisis. Local governments struggle with competing pressures from developers and residents opposing development. Conservationists battle for recognition of endangered species and threatened ecosystems. Planners contend with emergencies that leave no time for creative envisioning. Rising land values displace long-term residents and eliminate the rural landscape. First Nations land claims add uncertainty and litigation. Debate is often vitriolic and soul-depleting; "solutions" are always partial and compromising.


The Mission


The Islands Institute aims to transform this context by fostering informed dialogue and creative, interdisciplinary approaches to land use planning and social issues.


The Goals


1) To create a small-scale, web-based educational institute as a social alternative for living the questions: "How can creativity be employed to alter harmful land use trajectories?" "How can we generate creative, empowering solutions to environmental and social problems on the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island, along with other places experiencing related challenges?"


2) To influence attitudes and approaches in the larger community through projects, activism, education and research


3) To communicate and share experiences with related local and global efforts.


4) to create an online gallery, library, cafe, offering of courses, and publishing program -- together with well-functioning administrative structures -- to support a community of practice that shares and expands the Islands Institute mission and goals.


5) To keep the process of working towards these goals joyful, lighthearted and expansive instead of all-consuming and difficult.


See the society's website at www.islandsinstitute.com to explore our course offerings, cafe, gallery and schedule of coming events. The following information is from the website. See also More about the Islands Institute Library


The Microscope and the Mandolin


The Islands Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies draws on the unique culture of Canada’s Gulf Islands, where we bring art and science together to create community knowledge, or, in the words of Briony Penn, join the microscope with the mandolin. This non-profit society aims to link art and survival through interdisciplinary approaches and to foster creative solutions to environmental and social problems.


Education and Dialogue


The Islands Institute is developing an online educational program that will expose students to a wide variety of resources, approaches and key concepts linking art with environmental and social concerns. This certificate program is intended to stimulate new research, plans and projects, as students work on design problems in their home communities.


An Online Community


Through a user-editable library, course forums, online events, a web gallery and an open “café,” the Islands Institute hopes to develop an online community that can connect, mentor and empower its participants.


Your Participation Matters


You are invited to be part of the design and construction of this democratic Institute. Please browse the site and contribute your ideas, tell us about your work, and record important events and issues.

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