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Evidence shows that the paradigms of growth, power, wealth, work and freedom embedded into the dominant political, technological, economic, social, cultural and educational systems are responsible for degradation of quality of life, increased urban violence, chaotic system of production and consumption, energy squander, deforestation, mining expansion, hazardous wastes, pesticides, pollutants, global climate change, diminishing biological diversity. An ecosystemic approach, encompassing all dimensions of being in the world (intimate, interactive, social and biophysical), is proposed to deal with environmental problems, quality of life and the state of the world, encompassing environment, health, politics, economics, culture, education, ethics and overall quality of life. The dynamic equilibrium, complementarity and mutual support of all dimensions of being-in-the-world are considered: deficits and assets are assessed, connections strengthened and ruptures sealed, as they evolve as donors and recipients and combine to induce the events (deficits/assets), cope with the consequences (desired/undesired) and organize for change (potential outputs). The socio-cultural learning niches, as “path breaking” ways to awareness, interpretation and understanding beyond taken from granted views, provide new structures of thought and action, in view of the transition to an ecosystemic model of culture, “shielding, nurturing and empowering”. The proposal extends to environmental problems, quality of life and the state of the world a larger conceptual framework encompassing ontological and epistemological issues, in view concepts, laws and models; it highlights how taken-for-granted worldviews, values and perceptions affect the definition and treatment of the problems by communication, advocacy, public policies, research and teaching programmes in the contemporary world, in a context of poor governance policies, lack of pluralism in decision-making, internal incoherence, historical injustices, asymmetries of knowledge and power, a long-standing reproduction of subalternity, unequal sharing of benefits, vested interests of corporations that destroy cultural relationships, land and territories, in the benefit of commercial demands for exported commodities.

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André Francisco Pilon 4796
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