The Curricular Focus Teams (CFTs) at Ascension University have three primary focal points along our common hierarchy of needs. These generally correlate to the requirement for food, shelter, and the ability to effectively pursue our goals as individual human beings and as a greater humanity.
Accordingly, we operate three web-logs (blogs) collectively known as the PostScripts. These are arrayed as www.PracticalSustenance.org, www.PracticalShelter.org, and www.PracticalStriving.org. The blogs feature news items of interest to anyone working within these fields of endeavor. They also contain useful how-to items.
Our focus teams each have a unique value proposition for which they advocate. Where one team promotes the organization of information along more coherent lines, another advances the interests of entrepreneurs. There is a team that champions healthy relationships and another that helps us to recognize the spirit within ourselves and others.
There are twelve such focus teams that serve in an advisory capacity to course developers, content curators, instructional designers, and many others who may work within or encounter our sphere of influence.
In a world of competing ideas, such as ours, we have a lot of choices. What’s important? What’s urgent? And, what constitutes a complete decision package within any particular area of interest? These are questions that are constantly evolving and they involve more that just the dry facts of the matter. Meanings and values also have to be factored in.
Consider the food question that is looming large within the global community:
Calling All Innovators!
In 2005 National Geographic reported that “Food production takes up almost half of the planet’s land surface and threatens to consume the fertile land that still remains.” At that time, Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) researchers said: “The maps suggest that an area roughly the size of South America is used for crop production, while even more land is being used to raise livestock.”
The United Nations population projections indicate that the world total could reach 9.15 billion in 2050. In 2010 the population was 6.9 billion. Unless something changes, in order to feed the people due to arrive by 2050, using traditional farming techniques, we would need to add an area the size of Brazil to that already used for food production. It simply begs the question: “After clear-cutting Africa what would we do then for breathable oxygen?”
The Essential Curriculum Meet-up Group is not composed of panic stricken people. It is instead a group of experienced, innovative folks working the problem, focused on finding solutions for feeding the world in a sustainable way through innovation. The full scope of the problem will be considered through a series of topical discussions that includes everything from methods of cultivation to nutritional health, from LED lighting to robotically controlled mirrors for the greenhouse, from the compost bin to the digestive tract, and from micro-irrigation in the field to hydroponics within vertical farms.
Join us as we watch informative videos, discuss recent innovations, and post to the PracticalSustenance web-log for a world wide readership that may be starved for just the kind of information we are sharing.
“Hurry, oh hurry, come soon, ’cause even the desert will bloom.” – Seals & Crofts