AUSN Prof. Marlon Lofredo, local host of LBD4; AUSN Prof. Michiko Banba, local host of LBD3; and myself, the local host of LBD2, protected from volcanic ash during our visit to Mount Merapi.
Prof. Yati Soenarto and S. Soenarto, with Dr. Nurazid of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, UGM, Prof. Byron Good, Harvard Medical School and Prof. Michiko Banba, Japan, with myself, as we discussed bioethics in Indonesia.The picture of Prof. Yati Soenarto and S. Soenarto, with Dr. Nurazid of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, UGM, Prof. Byron Good, Harvard Medical School and Prof. Michiko Banba, Japan, with myself, as we discussed bioethics in Indonesia.
UNSOED – AUSN Intensive Bioethics Course
The picture below shows some of the University of Kumamoto HIGO program faculty and doctoral students, with AUSN graduate students, outside the Council chambers of the Salt River – Pima Maricopa Indian Community, the land on which AUSN is located.
Indonesia, LBD5 and Intercultural Research
Fifth Youth Looking Beyond Disaster (LBD5) Forum
In September 2014 I convened the Fifth Youth Looking Beyond Disaster (LBD5) forum in University Gadja Madah (UGM), Indonesia. The Youth Looking Beyond Disaster forum provides an opportunity for people who have experienced a disaster in different countries, and have started to rebuild their communities together, to meet, share stories, share tears, and share the positive things that they have a lot to prove such attitudes and the human spirit. Disasters happen to us in many forums in many ways. When I started this program three years ago in December 2011 in my hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand, the city had been struggling with the impact of the earthquake which destroyed about one third of the residential homes in that city, and much of its physical heritage from the previous times. This heritage include destruction of Shag Rock, the “anchor stone” facing to the ocean which was considered the pivotal stone for the Maori tribe that came to Christchurch some hundreds of years ago. It also led to the destruction of the English cathedral Christchurch cathedral, which had been a major tourist attraction and symbol of the city for many decades; in the city which had been said to be more English than England. There was destruction all around in the city where Eubios Ethics Institute started.
At the time I received applications from a hundred young people from all around the world who wanted to come and share about their own stories of disaster and recovery. I could select a few to work together to come and hold the meeting. At that time the LBD1 meeting was organised together with the National Commission of New Zealand to UNESCO. The former Chair of that Commission, Professor Margaret Austin is on the Board of Governors of AUSN. LBD1 was organized by both Eubios Ethics Institute and UNESCO, as I was the Regional Adviser for Human and Social Sciences in Asia and the Pacific at UNESCO Bangkok. We also had support from UNESCO Apia, JCI and Rotary, and many young people in Christchurch as well. At that time I asked the leader of the student volunteer army to chair the steering committee for the conference and this proved to be very useful and successful.
All the LBD forums have seen many people develop action plans and share experiences. At LBD1 and LBD2 communiqué were drafted and adopted The second and third forums I organized in Sendai and Kobe, Japan, respectively. The fourth forum was organized in Manila, the Philippines, in April 2014 as described in a previous Provost News. The fifth forum was significant in occurring in Indonesia, a place where many disasters afflict us. In fact in Jogyakarta people have suffered from earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and landslides, yet the spirit of the community survived.
Through these forums the lessons can be learned to assist in the development of infrastructure and policies to try to reduce the impact of future disasters. Some common issues such as whether we should let people rebuild their houses and their lives in “Red zones” – Areas which are prone and likely to be subject to future disasters, are also affecting many indigenous peoples. In LBD5 we took the participants to Mount Merapi, an active volcano which actually erupts every few years and had destroyed many peoples lives (The picture shows AUSN Prof. Marlon Lofredo, local host of LBD4; AUSN Prof. Michiko Banba, local host of LBD3; and myself, the local host of LBD2, protected from volcanic ash during our visit to Mount Merapi). At the same time each eruption brings different possibilities for tourism and different resources, such as selling of the sand and gravel and other materials that come out of a volcano. (See http://www.eubios.info/youth_looking_beyond_disaster_lbd/lbd5_in_yogyakarta_sept_2014).
We will hold the Sixth Youth Looking Beyond Disaster forum in Arizona in the summer of 2015. This will be a chance for people from around the world to come to share experiences of disaster and lessons that they have learned, and learn what they would like to know. At the time of the conference we will also expect some of our students in the AUSN Postgraduate Certificate in Community and Peace to graduate after they have implemented their action plans. Like other LBDs, we also discuss progress towards achievement of the action plans (i.e. lessons from implementation) that had developed in previous conferences. These skills in self-evaluation are very significant. One of the goals all these meetings is to develop a sense of critical thinking, especially for those who would like to consider a future helping the world. We have to evaluate what’s successful and what is known. At LBD5 it was also wonderful to see some of the youth who I’ve known for three years and witness the development of their professional lives and their personal identities as empowered citizens who will help shaped the world. Educational programs such as these require long-term commitments of years of mentoring and years of sharing experiences, and this is something, which was achieved.
It was also an opportunity to offer some of the lectures during LBD5 from AUSN Visiting Professors to AUSN students who joined the meeting, which counts also as an Intensive Teaching Course. The AUSN Postgraduate Certificate in Community and Peace (CCP) provides an opportunity for young people who have implemented their action plan and attended the training to gain professional credit for this and to help develop their degree. Through the hard work of the local organizers and those who came, the meeting could be held successfully and we could learn many lessons. It was also a chance to do something for the concrete implementation of university- university cooperation and the MOU agreement between AUSN and UGM.
UNSOED – AUSN Providing the MBGPH in Indonesia
The second week of September, was the launch of the beginning of AUSN Masters in Bioethics and Global Public Health (MBGPH), program in UNSOED, Indonesia. We are blessed with many visiting faculty from UNSOED who have joint the AUSN endeavor, and we started the Intensive Bioethics Training conference with AUSN Visiting Professor Endang Sukara, member of the Indonesian National Bioethics Commission. The forty participants joint in the very intensive 3 day program, which counts for credit for the MBGPH and MPH degrees. Some are taking the MBGPH degree of AUSN and a few are taking the double degree program which offers two Masters’ degree – the AUSN MBGPH and the UNSOED Masters in Biology degree with a focus in Bioethics. At the intensive training courses, organized by Prof. Amalia Muhaimin, Chair of the UNSOED Department of Bioethics, we have opportunities to also to see how bioethics materials can be used to teach people and evaluate the bioethics teaching programs, that AUSN and UNSOED have collaborated on for some years.
In training of people around Indonesia we hope to complement the work of many important players in that nation including the Indonesian National Bioethics Commission, and the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at UGM.The workshop also provided an opportunity for the first time that we have been conducting AUSN lectures in two different countries at the same time from different professors. Indonesia has been facing a number of ethical questions in its transition to a national health system. This has a number of implications for other countries in southeast Asia and around the world. In training of people around Indonesia we hope to complement the work of many important players in that nation including the Indonesian National Bioethics Commission, and the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at UGM which I have collaborated with for a decade, and like UNSOED, join AUSN as partners to develop bioethics in South East Asia.
In October 2014 I went together with a group of AUSN research fellows to the Second North American indigenous Research Association conference in Salesh-Kootenai College in Montana. As we drove thousands of miles through America to the conference, we had a chance to see some of the natural environment of the United States, and national parks such as Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, and Zion National Park, and of course the Grand Canyon. This is also a chance to reestablish connections with indigenous researchers around the United States who I have met in October 2013 at the first meeting of indigenous research association. As we presented AUSN people there were appreciative that we were still living the dream that has been stated the year before. It is significant that we actually had students involved in research that are developing projects and proposals to address issues which often have been neglected.
Upon my return from Asia I arrived together with a delegation visiting from University of Kumamoto in Japan, which included some professors and a group of graduate students who wanted to learn more about Native American ideas, We had very interesting discussions, also looking at Japanese ancestral religions and comparing that to different religions and ideologies, and mythologies of people have.