33th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
'Cultivating Good Living Amazon: Nurturing solidarity with Mother Earth'

in Marabá, state of Pará, in the Brazilian Amazonian region

5th - 10th September 2019

This very special Dignity Conference will begin on World Amazon Day (September 5th), and end in the Marabá City Council with a substantial televised action (in Portuguese-English) on the 10th of September. In between, we have our workshop and days of access to schools and universities to carry out a caravan of dialogues.
Please contribute already before the conference!
You are invited to contribute with small videos to the Virtual Network of Creativity (submit here).

Good Living Amazon is an alternative paradigm project. It is seeded in the small Afro-Indigenous community of Cabelo Seco, the first settlement of Marabá City, between the threatened Itacaiúnas and Tocantins Rivers, in Pará State. It is coordinated by the Transformance Institute, who will host our 2019 conference in the Community University of the Rivers. Please visit this interview for a background on their Rivers of Meeting project and the community.

This region of the Brazilian Amazon has the greatest biodiversity and concentration of iron ore and drinking water in the world. But it also has the world’s highest statistic for murdered activists and contains the most violent cities (genocide of black youth and extreme abuse of women), with the worst high school education in Brazil (10th January 2018).

This conference is envisioned to mark a turning point in a global movement of defense for survival of tribal populations, in synchrony with the annual Urban Research Plaza Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, in March 2019, and with the 45th International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) World Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, 11th – 17th July 2019, that Kjell Skyllstad is co-organising in resonance with the UN International Year of Indigenous languages, followed by a special action symposium on the rights of indigenous peoples, in cooperation with Chiangmai University and the Earthrights Foundation.

If you wish to participate, please email us! Please know that you are invited to spend the entire conference with us, so that true dignity-family-building can emerge! All our events are part of an ongoing effort to nurture a global dignity community.
You are invited to fill out our Appreciative Introduction form, print it out, and bring it with you.
There is no registration fee, we share minimal cost according to ability at the end.

You are invited, if you wish, into a partnership/collaboration with Networks of Creativity.

Backyard Drums sing 'Amazon, Our Land' (2012), Cabelo Seco, Marabá, Pará

The conference has two parts, a workshop part and a public part
(please be aware that this site will always change and evolve, until after the conference)

1. Workshop with Dignilogues
5th - 8th September (four days)
House of Rivers, Cabelo Seco
Together, we examine the link between dignity and innovation and how strategies for a sustainable future can be found, strategies for the unfolding of dignity for all in Brazil and throughout the world

2. Public Meetings
9th - 10th September
House of Rivers, Cabelo Seco

Post-Conference Activities for those Interested 11-16 September
• You are invited, if you wish, into a partnership/collaboration with Networks of Creativity, please contact Dan Baron.
Primary and Secondary (High) School Workshops (with teachers or pupils), and University Workshops and/or Public Conversations
• Visit of the Castanheiras of Eldorado dos Carajas (1999)
• A visit to Belém, the capital and largest city of the state of Pará in the north of Brazil.
• For the adventurous: You can make a boat excursion from Belém on the Amazonas River!

Local Hosts, Conveners, and Coordinators

Manoela Souza and Dan Baron
Directors of the Transformance Institute: Culture & Education
and the AfroRaiz Youth Collective
of the Community University of the Rivers
Marabá, Pará, Amazon

The conference is hosted by the Community University of the Rivers 
in cooperation with
the Federal University of the South and Southeast of Pará
Marabá Military Police
Brazilian Network of Arteducators (ABRA)
Latin American Good Living Forum
Pan-Amazonian Social Forum
in cooperation with the World Dignity University initiative

Dan Baron invites you, if you wish, into a partnership/collaboration with Networks of Creativity,
and sends us these poems as his welcome:
Good Living, Let Our River Pass, Letter from Mariana

•  If you wish to participate in our conferences, please send us an email

There is no registration fee for our conferences. To cover our expenses, we always summarise the costs during the conference and invite participants to contribute according to their ability. This collaborative approach to financing allows us to keep the conference affordable for all.

•  Please obtain your own private touris visa to Brazil.

•  See here a template for participants to fill in, print out, and bring to our conference: Word / Pdf

•  As soon as it is ready, you will see here your first invitation. Please be aware that the schedule further down is continuously being updated.

•  As soon as it is ready, you will see here your programme of the entire conference for you to print out, as well as the Public Event poster.

•  Have a look at all our previous conferences and see also our Newsletters, written after our past conferences.


•  How to get to the conference venue
Please obtain your own private tourist visa. Please travel to Marabá, Pará, in Brazil, either by plane (from São Paulo, Brasília, Belém, São Luis, Recife, or Manaus), or by bus from Belém. From Belém to Marabá, it is 45 minutes by plane and 10 hours by bus. Collective boats (20 people a time) from the hotel are very cheap, provide security and guarantee all participants arrive together. Simple coaches (traveling outside or across the city, 40 people a time), are easy, very practical, and cheap.

• Where to stay
We gratefully count on all participants to make their own transportation and accommodation arrangements. Please arrange to stay in the Imperial Hotel, Old Marabá, overlooking the River Tocantins. It is clean, modest, and 12 minutes walk from the conference venue in Cabelo Seco community, and located among restaurants and open-air bars. The reception speaks Portuguese, but little or no English: Av. Mal. Deodoro, 1923 Marabá Pioneira Marabá - PA, 68500-020 Telefone: +55 (94) 3321-0323. Internet at the hotel is at best variable, but good in the Kitutes restaurant and for dinner, reasonable in the Por do Sol (sunset) restaurant.

We thank all participants in our conferences for being fully responsible for bearing the cost of their own travel, transportation, and accommodation arrangements. We always kindly ask local participants who reside in close proximity of the conference venue to lend a helping hand to those traveling from afar, which also helps us keep our events collaborative and affordable for all.
Please enjoy some articles that introduce you to Cabelo Seco: Festival Beleza Amazônica 9th December 2017, 16th December 2017, and 21st December 2017. See more further down, where Dan Baron shares more background material with us.
Enjoy also some postcards (cartão postal Rios de encontro):

• Please click on the photos above to see them larger!

• Where to eat
Dan Baron kindly shared with us on 30th December 2017: "During the conference, Kitutes restaurant is our partner (in the Old City), and guarantees quality, health, diversity and good access for a buffet collective lunch. Internet at the hotel is at best variable, but good in the Kitutes restaurant and for dinner, reasonable in the Por do Sol (sunset) restaurant.

• Pre- and Post-conference experiences
• Primary and Secondary (High) School Workshops (with teachers or pupils), and University Workshops and/or Public Conversations
• Visit of the Castanheiras of Eldorado dos Carajas (1999)
• A visit to Belém, the capital and largest city of the state of Pará in the north of Brazil.
• For the adventurous: You can make a boat excursion from Belém on the Amazonas River!

•  Please kindly note that...
• There is no registration fee for our conferences. To cover our expenses, we always summarise the costs during the conference and invite participants to contribute according to their ability. This collaborative approach to financing allows us to keep the conference affordable for all.
• We like to get to know participants prior to our conferences and workshops, and prior to issuing an invitation.
• All our gatherings are by invitation only, please approach us so that we can include you and register you. Only our Public Events are open to everybody without registration.
• The Non-Public Parts of our gatherings have limited enrollment.
• Participants are encouraged to find their own sources of funding or economic support to participate in our conferences. We offer our nurturing work as our gift of love and care to you, ad we would like to lovingly invite everybody to contribute to this gift economy. If you need funding for your travels and housing, please use the invitation letter we send you and inquire in your country and your university about possibilities. See, among others, for the U.S., www.supportcenter.org and www.foundationscenter.org. The Weinstein International Fellowship program, inaugurated in 2008, provides opportunities for individuals from outside the United States to visit the U.S. to learn more about dispute resolution processes and practices and to pursue a project of their own design that serves to advance the resolution of disputes in their home countries.
• Participants in our conferences are kindly asked to handle all of their travel arrangements and required documentation, including requests for visas, on their side. HumanDHS is a volunteer initiative and does not have the staff or resources to assist with visa requests.

•  Permissions
During our conferences, we always ask all participants for their permission to have their pictures or videos posted on our website, however, if you change your mind later, either in total or for specific pictures/videos, please let us know! Thank you! Since we wish to walk the talk of dignity, it is very important for us to do our utmost in respecting everybody's privacy. We refrain from gathering written permissions from participants during our conferences since we value the creation of mutual trust in relationships and would like to refrain from contributing to an ever more bureaucratic and legalistic society.

•  Green conference and reinventing organization
We strive to organise our conferences as "Green Conferences". Lynn King kindly advises us. We also thank Vegard Jordanger for making us aware of Frederic Laloux's work on Reinventing Organizations (2014).

•  What happened in our previous conferences?
Please have a look at all our previous conferences and the newsletters written after these conferences.



•  Frame
•  List of Conveners
•  Programme
•  List of Participants
•  Papers
•  Background Material
•  Previous Reflections on the Format of the Conference
•  What happened in our previous meetings? Please see Newsletters!



by Linda Hartling, 2004

In our meetings we aim at creating a humiliation-free, collaborative learning environment characterised by mutual respect, mutual empathy, and openness to difference. The perspective of 'appreciative enquiry' is a useful frame of our work. Our HumanDHS efforts are not just about the work we do together, but also about HOW WE WORK TOGETHER. At appropriate points during our meetings, for example at the end of each day, we take a moment to reflect on the practices observed that contributed to an appreciative/humiliation-free learning experience.

It is important to emphasise that an appreciative approach is not about expecting people to agree. In fact, differences of opinion enrich the conversation and deepen people's understanding of ideas. Perhaps, this could be conceptualised as 'waging good conflict' (Jean Baker Miller), which means practicing radical respect for differences and being open to a variety of perspectives and engaging others without contempt or rankism. As we have seen in many fields, contempt and rankism drain energy away from the important work that needs to be done. Most people only know 'conflict' as a form of war within a win/lose frame. 'Waging good conflict', on the other side, is about being empathic and respectful, making room for authenticity, creating clarity, and growth.
Please see:
An Appreciative Frame: Beginning a Dialogue on Human Dignity and Humiliation, written by Linda in 2005
Appreciative Facilitation: Hints for Round Table Moderators, kindly written in February 2006 by Judith Thompson to support the moderators of our workshops.
Buddhist Teachings on Right Speech, which relate to our quest for appreciative enquiry, caring and being.
•  Please see also these videos on our Appreciative Frame, created by Linda Hartling:
- Appreciative Enquiry 1, a video that was recorded on October 30, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Evelin Lindner, for the World Dignity University initiative.
- Appreciative Enquiry 2, a video that was uploaded onto YouTube on August 11, 2012, in preparation of the 19th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, 27th-30th August 2012, in Oslo, Norway.
- Our Appreciative Frame 3, a video created in December 2014 (see also Pdf), for the 2014 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, in New York City, December 4–5, 2014.
- Appreciative Enquiry 4, a video that was recorded on May 27, 2015, in Portland, Oregon, USA, by Linda Hartling, for the 25th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, in Kigali, Rwanda, 2nd - 5th June 2015.
- Appreciative Frame, by Linda Hartling on December 8, 2016, at the 2016 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, in New York City, December 8 – 9, 2016.
•  Dignilogue Tips and Dynamic Dignilogue List, created by Linda Hartling on October 10, 2015, for the 2015 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, in New York City, December 3 – 4, 2015.


List of Conveners


Evelin Gerda Lindner, Medical Doctor, Clinical and Social Psychologist, Ph.D. (Dr. med.), Ph.D. (Dr. psychol.), Organiser of the HumanDHS Conferences, Supporting the Local Conveners

See the videos made in Brazil when Evelin spent time there in June 2012. See also Evelin's Digniventure reflections.

Evelin Gerda Lindner is the Founding President of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) network and initiator of the World Dignity University initiative. She is a transdisciplinary social scientist and humanist who holds two Ph.D.s, one in medicine and one in psychology. In 1996, she designed a research project on the concept of humiliation and its role in genocide and war. German history served as starting point. She is the recipient of the 2006 SBAP Award, the 2009 "Prisoner’s Testament" Peace Award, the 2014 HumanDHS Lifetime Award, and she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015, 2016, and 2017. She is affiliated with the University of Oslo, Norway, with its Centre for Gender Research, and with its Department of Psychology (folk.uio.no/evelinl/), furthermore, with the Columbia University Conflict Resolution Network (CU-CRN), which was superseded, in 2009, by the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4) at Columbia University, New York. She is also affiliated with the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris. Lindner is teaching globally, including in South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Africa, and other places globally. [read more]
Please see:
Interview with Evelin Lindner - Challenges of our Time; Learning to Connect, December 8, 2016
Mini-Documentary of the Annual Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict "The Globalization of Dignity," December 8 - 9, 2016

Linda Hartling, Ph.D., Social Psychologist, Organiser of the HumanDHS Conferences, Supporting the Local Conveners

Dr. Linda M. Hartling is the Director of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS). She is also a Member of the HumanDHS Global Advisory Board, HumanDHS Global Core Team, HumanDHS Global Coordinating Team, HumanDHS Research Team, and HumanDHS Education Team. She is the Editor of the Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (JHDHS).
Hartling is affiliated with the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at the Stone Center, which is part of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Until November 2008, she was its Associate Director. Hartling is a member of the JBMTI theory-building group advancing the practice of the Relational-Cultural Theory, which is a new model of psychological development. In addition, Hartling coordinates and contributes to training programs, publications, and special projects for the JBMTI. She holds a doctoral degree in clinical/community psychology and has published papers on resilience, substance abuse prevention, shame and humiliation, relational practice in the workplace, and Relational-Cultural Theory. [read more]
Please see:
• Humiliation: Real Pain, A Pathway to Violence, the draft of Linda's paper for Round Table 2 of our 2005 Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Columbia University, New York.
Humiliation: Assessing the Impact of Derision, Degradation, and Debasement, first published in The Journal of Primary Prevention, 19(4): 259-278, co-authored with T. Luchetta, 1999.
• Shame and Humiliation: From Isolation to Relational Transformation, the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMIT), Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College No. 88, Wellesley, MA 02481, co-authored with Wendy Rosen, Maureen Walker, Judith V. Jordan, 2000.
• Humiliation and Assistance: Telling the Truth About Power, Telling a New Story, paper prepared for the 5th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies 'Beyond Humiliation: Encouraging Human Dignity in the Lives and Work of All People', in Berlin, 15th -17th September, 2005.
Mini-Documentary of the Annual Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict "The Globalization of Dignity," December 8 - 9, 2016

Daniel Baron, Host, Organiser, and Convener

Daniel Baron is a community-based arts-educator and cultural activist, presently living and working in Marabá, in the Amazonian state of Pará, northern Brazil. He studied English Literature at Oxford University where he did doctoral research into theatre as popular education. After a decade of community theatre and mural collaborations dedicated to conflict transformation and social justice with excluded communities in Manchester (Northern England) and Derry (North of Ireland), in 1994 Dan accepted a permanent post in theatre and popular education at the University of Glamorgan, in Wales. He left Wales in 1998 to collaborate as a Visiting Professor at the State University of Santa Catarina and has been collaborating with communities within the Landless, Indigenous, Trade Union and University movements of Brazil ever since. His Pedagogy of Transformance emerged through these collaborations and dialogues with other cultural movements in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Two national awards in 2008 and 2010 from the Ministry of Culture and a national UNICEF award in 2011 allowed Dan to accept an invitation to live and collaborate with the Afro-Indigenous community of Cabelo Seco ('dry hair'), founding community of the city of Marabá, in the quest to develop sustainable communities through living popular culture.
Between 2004-10 Dan was the President of IDEA (International Drama/Theatre and Education Association), and Coordinator of the World Alliance for Arts Education between 2006-2010. He is a member of the World Council of the World Social Forum.

Dan has shared with us the story of Alexandre and how he was executed in his wheelchair. See Alexandre in the picture on the left. Click on the pictures or here to see more photos.

Dan Baron Cohen
Dan Baron, please click on the picture to see it larger.

Military police is moved to sing in the school of the assassinated art educator Maria Silva, 24th August, NovaIpixuna, Para, Amazonia. Please click on the picture to see it larger. See also Colheita em Tempos de Seca or Harvest In Times of Draught, a CD that provides a celebration of the Amazon as a source of human values and rich popular culture, by those who live both everyday. But it also reminds of its vulnerability. It is an inspiring resource for all educators and communities who seek a sustainable future

Dan wrote from Cabelo Seco ('dry hair'), in Marabá, southeast of Pará, in the Amazonian north of Brazil, on 22nd August 2011:
Good morning from the Amazon! On this world day of action against the building of the hydro-electric plant, Belo Monte, on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon (to be the third largest plant in the world), with unpredictable, irreversible sociocultural and environmental damage in the region which will impact on all of our lives, we present two songs...
- Alerta Amazonia (Zequinha de Cabelo Seco)
- Clamor popular (Zequinha de Cabelo Seco)
- See the booklet of songs from the Brazilian Amazon which includes the translation of Alerta Amazonia (from the Transformance Archive)
Both songs have emerged in Cabelo Seco, an afro-indigenous community on the periphery of Marabá, Pará, where we live and work. The riverside community is already suffering serious consequences of the large dams completed in the past two years. The songs have been developed by our friend, project collaborator and art-educator Zequinha de Cabelo Seco, inside our project Backyards of Cultural Solidarity. We hope they contribute to the broadening of the international quest for a living, sustainable Pan-Amazônia.
Even if you don't understand the poetic lyrics, we believe you'll understand their emotions. Please write to us if you would like a translation, and feel free to use the songs in your own projects and community. Here are some links if you'd like more information:

Many thanks. An amazonian hug!
Dan Baron e Mano Souza
Cabelo Seco, Marabá
Institute Transformance/ABRA

Dan wrote on 23rd August 2011:
'The conference takes place during my final 5-day period of intensive writing (and type-setting of my new book 'Harvest in Times of Drought: a pedagogy of life for sustainable community', written with 50 rural, riverside and forest arts-educators), but I would like to make myself available for 90 minutes, if that works for you. Is there a definite open or closed space where I could share reflections on what we have learned from arts-based pedagogical work in response to the destruction of the Amazonian forests? I could speak very concretely on how a group of 50 teachers transformed a culture of collusion into an community-based ethics of co-responsibility, based on reflexive solidarity and cooperation. This could also connect to our response to the assassination of our student/grandmother/eco-pedagogue Maria Silva (on May 24). Alternatively, or within the same contribution, I could speak about our work with young people as cultural organizers and artists, transforming themselves, to transform their own afro-indigenous community, one of the poorest and allegedly most violent in Maraba, cradle of the 'industrialization of the Amazon'.

Call for solidarity sent by Dan Baron on 17th May 2017:
The Afro-Indigenous eco-cultural organization, Rivers of Meeting in Cabelo Seco community, based in the Amazonian city of Marabá, the Brazilian Network of Arteducators (ABRA) and Federal University of South-East Pará, call on the world to offer immediate solidarity with the River Tocantins. Our mighty river will be destroyed in 2018 by a new hydroelectric dam, further devastating the Amazon.
This past year, our region has suffered extreme drought, repression, increasing poverty and illness, all of which pressure popular support for accelerated industrial exploitation of the region. There has been no independent scientific consultation or debate about alternatives. Deforestation and drought in the Amazonian biome affect the equilibrium between all ecosystems in the world.
The situation is graver today that when the Paris Treaty on capping global warming was signed in late 2015. Brazil is on the brink of civil war. The law passed this week in Congress, voted by a corrupt Senate protected by a corrupt Judiciary and Brazilian army that fired on a huge crowd, removed all regulatory laws which protect the Amazon. Ten more rural leaders were shot dead here this week.
We invite you to post a clip, photo, poem, song, music or letter on Facebook #RiosDeCriatividade, from your own project or personal life, in solidarity with the Tocantins River, the night before World Environment Day (June 5). In your own words, based on your home or project life, just describe the kind of future you desire. If you can relate this to a river or sea near you, even better!
We need as many people to act as possible, to create a worldwide-wave of creative solidarity, which goes viral! You'll find more information in this newspaper article below. Be your own community organizer, and make sure it's voice is heard or seen this week!

Message from Dan Baron on 3rd June 2017:
Evelin, Linda, Michael, Uli, Annette, Gabriela, Zuzana and Alan! I write to invite you to help create a 'pororoca', a worldwide wave of solidarity with the devastated Amazon, the biome which regulates all the ecosystems of the world. The pororoca will be launched on June 5, World Environment Day, by youth and children who live by the Tocantins River, where another hydroelectric dam is planned. Post your contribution on facebook, and let's generate waves of hope and proposals for the future. Send videos, video-clips, photos, songs, poemas, lyrics or letters about projects and actions which show that a sustainable world is already being created. Together, let's try to avoid the construction of another hydroelectric dam on the River Tocantins and on any river in the world. All the best! Dan

• The Calendario Rios de Encontro 2017
Call-invitation from the Brazilian Amazon 2017

Message from Dan Baron on 18th June 2017:
Evelin and all! ... our new House of Rivers is now open and thriving, and we are imagining you here in 2019! I attach a photo of our June 5 World Environment Day bikeride for life 'I am the Amazon' (by 48 children and youth), and a photo of our last children's film in our cinema (100+ people!), from last Friday. All our best! Dan

• Please click on the photos above to see them larger.

On 7th September 2017, Dan kindly wrote: We are just coming out of our Good Life Forum (Fórum Bem Viver). It was a daring, creative living experience of the Brazilian Amazon. Our 50 invited participants arrived by boat on the River Tocantins, were received in our House of Rivers by our young drummers, witnessed a powerful afro-contemporary dance solo as our opening 'scientific keynote', and were then provoked by seven diverse people, who spoke for two minutes each. Over four days, the forum divided again and again, visiting twelve communities, networks, schools and universities, to listen, exchange project knowledges, and develop collaborative potentials, in solidarity with the Amazon. It was nothing like any forum, seminar, congress or festival I have ever participated in, but drew on them all to innovate and transform the impossible into new sustainable projects.
Thanks for your support in the evolution of this arts-rich pedagogy! I attach three photos of our intervention on the 43k of rocks threatened to be destroyed to make way for huge cargo ships, from the final day of the forum, and three clips (from many) in solidarity with the Amazon. Feel free to use them as you wish.
Solidarity with the Amazon 1
Solidarity with the Amazon 2
Solidarity with the Amazon 3

On 29th December 2017, Dan kindly shared three poems: Good Living, Let Our River Pass, Letter from Mariana. And please enjoy some articles that introduce Cabelo Seco: Festival Beleza Amazônica 9th December 2017, 16th December 2017, and 21st December 2017.

10th January 2018: Good Living Amazon is an alternative paradigm project. It is seeded in the small Afro- Indigenous community of Cabelo Seco, first settlement of Marabá City, between the threatened Itacaiúnas and Tocantins Rivers, Pará State. This region of the Brazilian Amazon has the greatest biodiversity and concentration of iron ore and drinking water in the world. But it also has the world’s highest statistic for murdered activists and contains the most violent cities (genocide of black youth and extreme abuse of women), with the worst high school education in Brazil.

Daniel Baron Cohen (2018)
Letter from Marabá 1: Toxic promises
Letter from Marabá 2: Storms and fury
Letter from Marabá 3: Democracy in prison
Letter from Marabá 4: Our time will return
Letter from Marabá 5: University of good living
Letter from Marabá 6: Touched by the future

Open Diary 'Everything that no-one wants (in the shadows of dictatorship)', 7th September 2018
Atlas of the Future: Brazil’s rivers of creativity: Future League Rios de Encontro, 2019

Francisco Cardoso Gomes de Matos, Peace Linguist, Inspirer

Professor Francisco Gomes de Matos has taught linguistics and languages at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) in Recife, northeastern Brazil till his retirement in 2003. He holds degrees in languages and law from UFPE and in linguistics from the University of Michigan and the Catholic University of São Paulo. [read more]

On Amazonian Dignity: An Ecolinguistic View
For the Marabá DIGNEVENT
By Francisco Gomes de Matos, Co-founder, ABA GLOBAL EDUCATION, Recife, Brazil
Author of DIGNITY: A Multidimensional View, Dignity Press, 2013
6th February 2019

Amazonian Dignity above us lies
Look at all the birds in its vast skies!

Amazonian Dignity below us is found
Listen! The fish make their own sound!

Amazonian Dignity its forests and all around
In its splendor, fauna and flora abound

Amazonian Dignity its legends and traditions thrive
Through indigenous languages its history is alive

Amazonian Dignity is the core of local Nature's Rights
Illuminating Amazonians' villages and cities with dignifying environmental lights


Workshop Programme (still evolving!)



Day One (still evolving!)


•  Registration


•  Welcome by Dan Baron and Evelin Lindner to the workshop part of our conference


•  Participants present themselves


•  Musical presentation

• Latest News


•  Introductory presentation: Who We Are: Our Global Dignity Family

Evelin G. Lindner, Founding President of HumanDHS

•  Introductory presentation: Appreciative Frame of the conference

Linda M. Hartling, Ph.D., Director of HumanDHS. Linda is also affiliated with the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at the Stone Center, which is part of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Until 2008, she was its Associate Director.

Also created by Linda M. Hartling:
•  Appreciative Enquiry 4, recorded on 27th May 2015, for our 2015 Kigali Conference
•  Our Appreciative Frame, created in December 2014 for our 2014 New York Workshop (Pdf)
•  Our Appreciative Frame, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference

•  Lunch


•  Launch of Dignilogue (Dignity + Dialogue) Sessions

Created by Linda M. Hartling:
•  Dignilogue: An Introduction to Dignity + Dialogue
created on 31th May 2015
•  Introducing the Open Space Format to the HumanDHS Network, longer version created on 13th August 2012
•  Dignilogue Tips and Dynamic Dignilogue List, created on 10th October 2015 for our 2015 New York Workshop
•  Our Open Space Dignilogue Format, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference
•  See also A Summary of Our Dignilogue Format created in 2010 for you to download
•  See also Appreciative Facilitation: Hints for Dignilogue Moderators, written in February 2006 by Judith Thompson to support the Moderators of our workshops

For the past decade, we have continuously worked to dignify the traditional institution "conference." The Open Space movement originally started from the observation that after mainstream academic conferences, the participants, when asked, often say: 'Oh, I slept through the presentations, but the coffee breaks were wonderful!' 'Conference programs are replete with monologues that silence all but the speaker. The vitalizing communication is typically found in the hallways, the bars, and the dinner table – the venues of informal conversation', wrote scholar Kenneth Gergen in 2009 (in his book on relational being). In other words, the motivating impetus behind the Open Space approach is that academic conference can be rather boring; invited speakers might not be in tune with the audience; and reading papers aloud may be particularly uncommunicative. The creators of the Open Space approach thought: 'Ok, why don't we create conferences that are structured like coffee breaks!' Please read more about the originator of the Open Space Technology, Harrison Owen. See also Open Space Tools by Peggy Holman.

In slight variation of traditional conferences, we therefore aim at co-creating our conferences. We have adapted the Open Space approach, added the term dialogue, and connected it with dignity to form the expression Dignilogue (see also our Video page for how peace linguist Francisco Gomes de Matos has inspired this linguistic creation). You can see an Introduction into the Dignilogue Sessions Format created by Linda M. Hartling on 12th August 2012, for our 2012 Norway Conference, or read more about the Dignilogue format and what it entails. See also Linda's Dignilogue Tips and Dynamic Dignilogue List, created on 10th October 2015 for the 2015 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict at Columbia University in New York City.

This format is very open, it means that a conference is self-organizing. We take a highly collaborative approach to determining how to use our time. We invite participants to be with us without the ambition to "present" something, so that we all could get a feel for the dignity-family-building work that we wish to nurture first and foremost. So, the workshop requires its participants to bring themselves as they are, be prepared for everything, and use the flow to contribute in the most nurturing way they can. As background reading you might enjoy "Are College Lectures Unfair?" by Anne Murphy Paul, The New York Times, September 12, 2015, or When Nothing Is Cool by Lisa Ruddick, Criticism, 2015.

The Dignilogue approach allows for identifying priorities for dialogue sessions on key topics. In practice, on Day One of our conference, we, the participants, make the programme for Day Two and Day Three together, in a collaborative effort. All participants are both presenters and audience, there is no separation, there is no pre-planned programme, except for the introductory part (and the Public Event). We are aware that this approach is new to most people, yet, it opens new dimensions. We invite every participant to join in and try. It has an profoundly dignifying impact and, as our participants always tell us afterwards.

The grand finale of each Dignilogue session is to invite representatives from each Dignilogue to create a Dignivideo, where they document the highlights of their conversation and insights, and more than that, formulate a "message to the world" as it has cristallized in the dignilogue. These videos are treasured contributions to our World Dignity University Library of Ideas that will be shared with the world and will inspire future generations of our community. Please read about the way we work in our newsletter10.

There are two main ways to conduct our WDU videos:
1. Each group can choose two representatives (usually the initiator chooses one participant in the group) and they engage in a short dialogue (example). Advantage: the message may be clearer.
2. The entire group can stand in front of the camera (example). Advantage: everybody is being included.

Evelin Lindner explained the procedure of the 'Messages to the World' for the World Dignity University Initiative for the Dignity Conference in Cairo, Egypt, on 21st September 2018 (see video).

We always encourage all participants of our events to nurture mutually dignifying connections with the other participants and gather together afterwards to experiment with new forms of "conferencing" wherever you live in the world. New solutions are necessary and they need to be nurtured in dignified ways, ways which protect them from being destroyed by being framed in old paradigms (such as those of protest that simply ends in new dominators taking over). See our reflections on appreciative nurturing, or Charles Eisenstein's Reflections on the New Story Summit, or Evelin's text Is it Possible to "Change the World"? Some Guidelines to How We Can Build a More Decent and Dignified World Effectively: The Case of Dignifying Abusers.

As mentioned above, the Dignilogue approach means developing the programme of the conference on the first day.

The following dignilogue topics are being proposed during the two-years preparation period for the conference:

End of Day One


Day Two (still evolving!)




Continuation of Dignilogue Sessions


End of Day Two



Day Three (still evolving!)




Continuation of Dignilogue Sessions


End of Day Three



Public Event (still evolving!)


•  Registration


•  Musical presentation


•  Welcoming everybody to the public event of our conference

•  Representative of Cabelo Seco, host, convener, and organiser of this conference

•  Evelin Lindner, Founding President of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network and Co-founder of the World Dignity University initiative

•  Regaining Dignity

• Representative of Cabelo Seco, host, convener, and organiser of this conference

•  Appreciative Enquiry and Humiliation

by Linda Hartling, Ph.D., Associate Director, Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, Wellesley College, Boston, USA

In our conferences we aim at creating a humiliation-free, collaborative learning environment characterised by mutual respect, mutual empathy, and openness to difference. The perspective of 'appreciative enquiry' is a useful frame of our work. Our HumanDHS efforts are not just about the work we do together, but also about HOW WE WORK TOGETHER. At appropriate points during our conferences, for example at the end of each day, we take a moment to reflect on the practices observed that contributed to an appreciative/humiliation-free learning experience.
Please read An Appreciative Frame: Beginning a Dialogue on Human Dignity and Humiliation, that Linda has written for us in 2005.

•  From Shock to Awe: From Humiliation to Dignity

Evelin Lindner, Founding Director and President of HumanDHS

•  Musical presentation


Closing of the event

O que falta ao Brasil? What's Missing in Brazil?
by Francisco Gomes de Matos, a peace linguist, professor emeritus of Linguistics, Federal University of Pernambuco, and president of the Board, ABA Global Education, Recife, Brazil, 13th December 2017
In ENEM, the Brazilian National Examination for College Entrance, taken by high school seniors, a written essay in Portuguese is required of examinees. If the topic of year 2017 had been 'What's missing in Brazil?' a resulting huge sample would be provided of how Brazilian pre-university students would perceive and describe gaps in the country's systems of education, pulic health, security, economy, agriculture, industry, media, technology, arts, sciences, inter-government power relations. The universe of essays would enable us to organize many lists, such as a list on what should be done to overcome hunger/poverty/absolute misery and to provide low-cost housing for the poor. Another list would be focused on core values which Brazilians would be short of, such as respect, honesty, integrity, spirituality. In the data bank of essays, we would find examples of Imaginative Citizenship (political parties which would prioritize public health, environmental co-rersponsibility. Imagine, for instance, a political party devoted to environmental dignity). The insights and reflections found in the essays would help adults exercise their critical thinking in a humbling manner, by welcoming young people's suggestions, especially those recommendations aimed at implementing a veritable Brazilianhood.
Dear reader, what do you think is missing in Brazil ? Make a list of such gaps as challenging problems and suggest solutions which would help TRANSform Brazilian positively. What's missing in Brazil so it can go beyond the national motto ORDER AND PROGRES? PluriDIGNITY, DIGNEducation, DIGNIpolitics, DIGNIcommunity living.
Dear reader, please probe the multidimensionality of DIGNITY in the current Brazilian context.



Tentative List of Participants (in progress)
If you wish to participate, email us!

Dan Baron and Manoela Souza

Evelin Lindner



Previous Reflections on the Format of Our Conference


Dignilogue - Open Space and What It Entails

Introduction into the Open Space Format by Linda M. Hartling (created on 13th August 2012)
(see also Open Space Tools by Peggy Holman)

Donald Klein explained the Open Space design as follows (2006): It involves creating a kind of 'marketplace' of possibilities based on topics nominated by participants. The only requirement is that whoever nominates the topic, acts as the convener of the discussion of the topic and takes responsibility for having notes taken. A report is subsequently made about the essence of what was discussed, including any conclusions or recommendations, at a plenary session following the topic groups.
The Open Space design has the advantage of focussing on whatever is of greatest interest to participants at the moment. It allows for parallel discussion of multiple topics, followed by a period of sharing and general discussion.

Alan Klein kindly wrote (31/10/2005): One of the key elements in making an OS event successful is the focusing of the question that the participants respond to. Another is being clear about what will be done with the information presented and/or decisions made in the OS event itself.

I would like you all (and any others who should be involved in this as well) to begin thinking and dialoguing about what would be the most question that you would most like to see grappled with by the participants. This may or may not include a sense of the decision(s), or type of decision(s) that you want the participants to come to or you may decide that the OS event is just for gathering and focusing energy and not to some to any decisions.

On 14th December, 2005, we had a Board Meeting in NY:
We discussed our Open Space Section. Don explained that we could have different levels, a more open and general level and a more focused level. At the more open level we would discuss what is on our minds, at the more focused level, we would form 'buzzgroups' on particular topics, such as business, research, education, fundraising, non-profit.

Don Klein kindly wrote (30/12/2005):
[...] The main point I recall dwelling on at some length had to do with deciding first on the content of a session and its purpose; then deciding what meeting technology to use. Open Space is often used when the purpose is to make it possible for individuals to focus on aspects of a general topic that are of special interest to them. The participants themselves choose what they want to discuss.  No one knows in advance how many groups there will be and what they'll be  discussing.
Buzz groups are used as a way to break a large meeting down into smaller sections (usually from six to twelve or so people). All the buzz groups can be assigned the same topic; or different buzz groups can be assigned different aspects of the same topic; or buzz groups may be divided among two or more different - usually related - topics.
The main point is to decide what is to be the topical focus and what outcomes are desired from a session.  Then pick the technique that promises to help us achieve the purpose.
Love, Don

Sophie Schaarschmidt kindly wrote (02/01/2006):
What I would suggest for a following workshop (and this is my very personal view) is to create discussion forums as open choices. The open space technology as I know it, and as it is used mainly in the field of training involves participants in a unique way. The first step is like an open brainstorm session involving all participants. In this session, participants can come up with a topic that they want to (present and) discuss. All topics are written down and similar topics might be combined into one topic. This process can happen either beforehand via email or a web-forum or at the workshop on a blackboard. Once the discussion topics are defined the person that proposed a certain topic would announce a time and a space when and where the topic will be discussed. In a full day of open-space, up to 50 topics could be discussed. People are free to join and leave a discussion. As a metaphor, people are like bees flying from one topic to another, participating in a discussion as long as it feeds their interest and taking the honey from it as well as contributing to it, and leaving the discussion when it takes a turn into a direction that they are less interested in or when they wish to participate in other discussions on other topics as well. Normally people take part in 3 to 10 discussions a day. Therefore, people are free to select the topics they are interested in and move to other discussions, as listener or both, listener and contributor. Each discussion group is also free in putting their time frame, and scheduling breaks. Of course, there should be a time frame for the open-space session, let's say it would take place from 1pm to 5pm in the afternoon. Yet, discussion groups can schedule their space (location), time frame (a discussion could last half an hour or three hours: as much as it takes to explore the issue) and breaks themselves. The only condition is that the discussion topic, its location and starting time will be announced (or written down on a public board) so that all participants know when which subject will be discussed where.
I participated twice in such an open-space session and I was very much impressed by its power and evolving possibilities. Not only were people more active, excited and engaged, taking little breaks, but also people felt they could gain and contribute most in this process. They felt they were free to choose which discussions to engage in, and it was an easy way to make contacts with those people interested and engaged in topics similar to one's own. By being able to set an own time frame discussions were deeper than usual, and by participants moving from one topic to another, joining (and making new contributions) or leaving a discussion the discussions stayed vivid and interesting, and many perspectives could be shared. At the end of a discussion each group filled in an A4 page which contained the title of the discussion group, a list of the names of the people who contributed in the discussion, and a summary of what was discussed (the main stances). All the discussion summaries can be combined to a book at the end of the conference providing people with a tremendous treasure of topics and insights.
Another advantage of the open-space technology (as I experienced it) is that people stay 'fresh' in the workshop. The discussion excites and revives people and forms a good basis for getting to know each other and going on with the discussions at a later time in the workshop (e.g. during lunch).
It might be worthy to try the open-space technology in a HumanDHS workshop meeting substituting the round table sessions, or in addition to them. The only difficulty I'm aware of might be that we would need many spaces (rooms) where the discussion groups could spread for their discussions.
Good luck for your work in 2006!
Yours warmly,
Sophie Schaarschmidt

Linda M. Hartling kindly wrote in response to a message from Carlos Sluzki (21/01/2006):
How do we maximize the quality of work together when we are a group of individuals with dramatically varying levels of experience? This is such an important topic I think we should discuss it at our next meeting in Costa Rica. Perhaps, we could use some of our Board meeting time to discuss this? In addition, perhaps we could use some of our 'open space' time to explore people's view of this dilemma? I suspect that all of us involved with the operations of this network share a desire to optimize our efforts, to move the work forward efficiently and effectively. When we use an all-inclusive format at our meetings, we risk back tracking and dealing with questions that have obvious answers (e.g., convincing some newer attendees of the significance humiliating behavior). (...) In the words of Peter Drucker, I would like to see our group create conditions that 'strengthen our effectiveness and make our weaknesses irrelevant'. But, how do we do this in a way that promotes the dignity of all the people who attend our meetings?  I'm trying to think of some examples of organizations that do this... perhaps, Linda Stout's Piedmont Peace Project? Not too long ago I read a book entitled, 'The Wisdom of Crowds', which I think is relevant to our questions about inclusion/exclusion. It
describes the conditions for 'wise crowds'. (Surowiecki, J. (2004). The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations. New York: Doubleday.)

Don Klein kindly responded (28/01/2006):
I very much support the focus on where we want to go. Suggest working in interest groups part of the time: i.e., education, research, civic action, global community building. And include a way for groups to emerge around other areas of interest.  for that matter, if only one person had an
interest and wanted to develop it further and then share his/her thoughts with us, that might also be possible.
Love, Don

Don Klein kindly wrote (28/01/2006):
I'd like to offer some experiences with the network originally known as National Training Laboratories.  This network, begun around 1950, is sstill in existence today; it has changed, however, in ways that seem relevant to the issues raised.
The network originally was a group of 'originators' of theory and practice in the area of group dynamics.  Most of them had participated in the discovery of 'sensitivity groups' or the t=group method.  After almost a decade, the more experienced people in the network became Fellows, as distinct from ordinary Members of the network.  To admit someone to their membership, all the Fellows had to agree that the applicant's credentials merited inclusion in the Fellows.  During t his initial period, which lasted about ten years, selected members of the network participated as staff members of two and three-week training programs for the general public, using the t-group method.  An enormous amount of theory building took place as faculty spent three or four days preparing each of the training labs.  It should be noted that most of the network were academics engaged in one or another of the social sciences, in areas related to democratic participation in social change.  They were all motivated by their common passion and some of them felt that the two or three weeks they spent with their  colleagues from around the country were the most meaningful and exciting of the entire year.
In the 1960s, questions arose about the suitability of having a 'class' system in the network.  The Fellows were seen as an anti-democratic perversion of the ideals and purposes of NTL.  And so the Fellows class was discontinued.
At about the same time, financial difficulties led to a reorganization of NTL, which included dissolution of the existing netework and inviting a more diverse group (sex, race, and ethnically) to form a new network.  The theory and practice of Organization Development, meanwhile, had emerged and more and more of NTLs network members became engaged in OD practice, while fewer and fewer network members were engaged in academic pursuits.
In my view the social impact and creativity of the current network have been reduced by NTL's growing emphasis on operating profitably as a 'business'.
There is currently an upsurge (how strong we don't know) of those wishing to advocate working on participative ways to democratize our institutions and our society.  Some of the network members are placing an increased emphasis on creating an international network and of promoting global community.
A major point in all of this history for me is that there is no 'ideal' and certainly no 'absolute' way of resolving questions having to do with competency, interest, and inclusion.  Based on the above history, my inclination is to favor the 'class' system; i.s., creating a group of qualified researchers, practitioners, and policy shapers to work together to shape, participate in, and contribute knowledge and skills to the work of HDHS network, including those activities that enable it to raise money by grants, contracts, income from training programs, and contributions.
These comments are lengthy. I hope they're helpful.

Linda M. Hartling kindly wrote (27/04/2006):
In terms of Open Space...I think we should have some of the same groups we had in Berlin, with room for a couple of new groups. For example, we could have an education group, a research group, a business group, etc. It would be helpful to have these key groups continue their discussions, rather than creating all new groups. Didn't we talk about having 'buzz groups', meaning groups addressing topics that people want to continue to move forward? The education, research, and business groups could be buzz groups.

The following Dignilogue topics were proposed in different conferences, yet, the facilitators are unable to come. The topics are listed here, because they might inspire you.

•  Giving Voices to the Environmentally Humiliated and Misrecognized: Nature and Women by Keitaro Morita (adapted from a similar presentation at the 9th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies in Hangzhou, China, 13th-16th April 2007)

•  Peace: A World History, by Antony Adolf (2009)

•  Native Hawaiian and Polynesian Communities, by Dharm P. S. Bhawuk and Neil Ryan Walsh (Neil was unfortunately hindered to join us) (2009)

•  Familiarization and Its Ways: Is Ragging/Bullying an Archaic Method of Interaction, by Harsh Agarwal (2009)

•  Humiliation and Dreams, a talk/session by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan (2009)

•  Asian Religious Worldviews and Alienation, and/or Alienation and Dreams, a talk/session by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan (2009)

•  Video Series of the Causes and Patterns of Humiliating Experiences Through Role Play by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan (2009)
D. Raja Ganesan kindly wrote on January 15, 2009: 'I take this opportunity to suggest that a video series of the causes and patterns of humiliating experiences through role play of well established principles of social psychology--both culture free and culture fair--through role play and simulation be taken under the auspices of our group'.

•  Intercultural Research, faciliated by International Academy of Intercultural Research (IAIR) researchers (2009)

•  The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for How We Relate to Other Animals by Michael W. Fox (2010)

 The Role of Human Dignity in Nepal by Chandra Prasad Siwakoti (2012)
Synergy in understanding between the occurrence of violence in Norway and Nepal will be explored.

 Between Conspiracy Theories and Madness, by Katrine Fangen (2012)
Katrine Fangen, Ph.D., is a Professor in Sociology at the Department of Sociology of the University of Oslo. She has published several books and journal articles within the research-field of racism, national, political and ethnic identity, stigmatisation and youth subcultures. [read more]

 The Concept of Human Dignity in Indigenous Philosophies Project, by Lars Kirkhusmo Pharo and Tashi Nyima (2012)

The Hubris Syndrome and Arabic Spring, by Wael Mohamed (2012)

The Peacefulness of Chinese Teenagers, by Liu Bangchun (2012)

Humiliation, Stanislavsky and Consciousness, by John Aspill (2012)

Ubuntu & the Gift Paradigm in Africa, by Bernedette Muthien (2013)
See an interview with Bernedette Muthien, 'Gender Based Violence in South Africa', 27th September 2012, conducted by Annika Schall.

I Apologise for Apartheid, by Ronèe Robinson (2013)
Ronèe Robinson wrote on 14th April 2013:
'Dear Evelin... I had an awesome day today in Worcester, where I attended a church service where some of the participants in the peace train spoke about their experiences. Afterwards two of the ladies who went on the train and met with Stefaans Coetzee were kind enough to have lunch with me. One of them worked as an intensive care nurse and another worked right across the shopping centre where the bomb went off. I listened spell bound as the nurse described the disbelief as the children were brought in, one little girl with her heart outside her body, and how she had to comfort young Dr Coetzee who wept hysterically because he could not save her. The other lady described the effect of the bomb blast and how she missed being injured because she decided against crossing the street, for some reason. 16 Years later, and through the Peace and Reconciliation process started by Dr Deon Snyman in Worcester, survivors of the bombing were on a train, sponsored by government, to meet with one of the bombers, Stefaans Coetzee. Having come to repentance in the prison (through the intervention of Eugene de Kock of all people) he was entirely honest with the people from Worcester. His honesty and the fact that he sought to make no excuses for himself led the people to accept his bona fides and they came to great healing. One man, who went there with the hope of doing Coetzee harm, left saying that, as far as he was concerned, Coetzee could now be set free. Today was all about hearing about people who walked a very real path of forgiveness, which they recognise as having set them free of a terrible burden of pain.
Healing was brought about by a number of factors, including the fact that, at last, these people experienced the government caring about them - the prison service did much to assist the process, even going so far as to escort the bus back from Pretoria to Johannesburg. They felt that they mattered, that they were somebody. But most importantly, I think it was that they came face to face with their monster, and then found with shock that he was just a human being who had, at one stage, gone very wrong. One lady now said that it was now time for the community to look after Stefaans! What a rich country we live in and what special people we have'.
Ronèe Robinson also sent us a message on the Die VroueMonumen, where her alma mater is gathered. She wrote: It 'is the most moving monument in the world, as far as I am concerned, to the effect of women in war. It is also a warning of what happens when the feminine strength gets repressed and denied. We would gather there once a year to celebrate the birthday of the school, which was founded by President Steyn after the war to create a woman that would stand as strong as a rock. Koningin Wilhelmina van de Nederlande gave the funds for the school, hence its name. The school went on to produce, among others, the first female advocate and first female judge of appeal in this country'.

Merle Lefkoff and Joy Stocke (2013)

Gay Rosenblum-Kumar made us aware of a speech by Brendan McAllister on The Quality of Our Attention (2013)

Michael Britton's suggestion for our 2014 Chiang Mai conference: The Art of Not Being Governed in Upland Southeast Asia
Michael Britton wrote (25 feb 2014): Dearest Evelin, I wish to send to you and Kjell and everyone involved in making this conference my very best wishes, and my deepest desire to be there with you all on what will be such a deeply moving, life-informing experience.
If there are any parts of it that can be videotaped, I am starting a public-access video program here in my home town to share things from other parts of the world that explain the world with deeper understanding and respect, so it would be wonderful to share whatever might be appropriate.
This conference comes at a time when I am reading The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia by James C. Scott. In it he paints a picture of lowland civilizations/states developing in interaction with peoples living in the mountains and fleeing the states into the mountains, organizing their lives in such a way as to be beyond the power of the lowland states to incorporate them. He views this as a worldwide phenomenon, a dialectic of civilizations/states and places in which those who want no part of that enterprise preserve their own lives by living in the mountains, in the marshes, in a variety of "difficult" geographies that in the past made them beyond the reach of the states. Yet now, today, the "modern" states and corporations press everywhere to finish off the job of making everyone and every place part of their controlled domain.
I imagine that you are all right in the middle of just such a contesting of power and the right to live one's own ways unfettered by state or corporate power, though I do not know this for a fact. If so, this means you are all in the midst of a location of powerful spirituality. May this be a blessing to everyone in any way involved. I hear that you are guided by Kjell and that he is a man of great wisdom. Peace go with you all. May goodness flower all along your pathways! Michael

Kjell Skyllstad's suggestions for our 2014 Chiang Mai conference
• Women's Day: Gender equality - ending domestic violence
•  The ever growing problem of water and land grabbing disregarding traditional land and water rights, including the damming of rivers to the detriment of water flow and fisheries, driving people from their traditional settlements
•  The ever diminishing life space for minorities and refugees
•  The increasing threats to indigenous learning, traditions and culture
•  The gender inequality and ingrained traditions of family violence, male dominance, etc.
•  Our inability to effectively deal with humiliating living conditions in our growing urban sprawls
•  Social Photography for human dignity - Jeffrey Wilson
•  Promoting Land and Water Rights - Association for International Water Studies (FIVAS)
•  Artists Promoting Womens rights Deeyah - Filmshowing
•  Documentary Arts for Human Dignity - Deeyah
• Vanishing memories - Tribal Cultures in Danger - Exposition and talks with tribal elders - Victoria Vorreiter
Earthrights Foundation

How Restorative Justice can Dignify Society, by John Braithwaite (2015)

Human Dignity in Sri Lanka, by Amarnath Amarasingam (2015)

Proposing a ‘3Cs’ Roadmap for a Humane Society, by Dr. Atul Mehrotra, co-authored with Anoop Swarup (2015)




All participants are warmly invited to send in papers.
Please notify us, if you wish to submit any of your papers also as a book chapter or as a journal article.

Please see earlier submitted papers here:
• List of All Publications



Background material

• 'Brazil Environment Chief Accused of "War on NGOs" as Partnerships Paused: Civil society groups condemn move by minister, appointed by far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, as illegal attack on environment', by Anna Jean Kaiser in Rio de Janeiro, The Guardian, 17th January 2019.

• 'Brazil: 1 Millon Women Unite Against Alt-Right Bolsonaro', Telesur, 14 September 2018.

• 'How Brazil can beat the odds and restore a huge swathe of the Amazon', by Danilo Ignacio de Urzedo and Robert Fisher, The Conversation, 28th August 2018.

• '207 miljøvernere ble drept i fjor. Nå reagerer Norge', by Torgeir P. Krokfjord, Dagbladet, 27. august 2018.

• 'We Only Protect What We Love: Michael Soule On The Vanishing Wilderness', by Leath Tonino, The Sun Magazine, April 2018, pp. 4 - 16.

• 'Latin American Countries Sign Legally Binding Pact to Protect Land Defenders', by Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 5th March 2018: 'New treaty compels states to investigate and punish killings and attacks on people defending their land or environment'.

• 'UN Moves Towards Recognising Human Right to a Healthy Environment', by Jonathan Watts, Global environment editor, The Guardian, 9th March 2018: 'Formal recognition would help protect those who increasingly risk their lives to defend the land, water, forests and wildlife, says the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment'.

• 'Brazil Announces End to Amazon Mega-Dam Building Policy', Mongabay Series: Amazon Infrastructure, Global Forests, by Sue Branford, Mongabay News & Inspiration from Nature's Frontline, 3rd January 2018.

• 'Dams Hurt Indigenous and Fishing Communities in Brazilian Amazon', by Mario Osava, Inter Press Service, October 22, 2017.

• Invitation to Rivers of Creativity, cultural action for life, which includes ‘Future Now!’ (exchange of projects, February-July 2017); ‘Worldwide Wave‘ (solidarity action with the Amazon, 27-30 May 2017); and ‘Forum of Wellbeing’ (28 July-04 August 2017).

• Community University of the Rivers: Cultivating transformative pedagogies within formal education in the Amazon, by Dan Baron, 2017.

• Community University of the Rivers: Cultivating transformative pedagogies within formal education in the Amazon, by Dan Baron, 2016.

• Waste, poem by Dan Baron, 2005.