Tag Archives: environment

Borzoo Pourabdollahian – Towards a sustainable society through serious gaming

CISEPS – Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology and Social Sciences

Towards a sustainable society through serious gaming

Dr. Borzoo Pourabdollahian
Politecnico di Milano

Thursday, November 27, 12:00pm
Room U6-3143, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo 1, Milano

Borzoo Pourabdollahian - Towards a sustainable society through serious gamingAbstract: The main challenge for societies is to find mechanisms to arouse among their citizens better insights about the importance of sustainability, and, more importantly, to encourage people to change their habits and behaviours towards being “sustainable citizens”. Serious games simulate real environments. They can be used as pedagogical tools in creating sustainable societies: players become motivated to behave in a sustainable manner in order to achieve the ultimate goal of the game, which represents a prosperity phenomenon. The seminar will present the audience with a set of games specifically designed to increase the player’s awareness about those activities and practices which are necessary for every specific sector of a society (e.g. Health, Science, Manufacturing, Education, Business, etc.) to turn sustainable. In particular, we will discuss the mechanisms laid in the design and implementation of each game to get better understanding of the ways in which learning contents are transferred into players’ mind and behaviour, in a scale from abstract knowledge to behavioural changes.

Borzoo Pourabdollahian obtained his PhD from Politecnico di Milano in 2014. His contribution is a guideline towards designing serious games in the areas related to manufacturing education. He has been involved in some projects funded by European Union under 7th framework program. Particularly, GaLA (Game and Learning Alliance) and TARGET (Transformative, Adaptive, Responsive and enGaging EnvironmenT). He has presented several papers in prominent conferences and is currently a reviewer of Journal of Transactions on Education.

Anthropocene Campus: Experiment in Higher Education

I participate in ANTHROPOCENE CAMPUSanthropocene, Berlin, November 14-22, 2014. I have been selected among “100 outstanding post graduates as well as actors from culture, society, and the arts”, nominated by prof. Elena Bougleux (University of Bergamo).

Encouraging new forms of transdisciplinary discourse and research THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT 2013/14 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (HKW) aims to investigate the manifold implications of the Anthropocene hypothesis for cultures of knowledge. If indeed humankind has become the dominant biogeophysical force, effecting changes on a planetary scale, how can the arts, sciences and humanities contribute to a critical awareness, understanding and responsible co-shaping of these transformations? How can creative and problem-oriented modes of knowledge production and educational practices be developed?

Copyright: Globaia, Planet Under Pressure, SEI, SRC, CSIRO. This film was commissioned by the Planet Under Pressure conference, London 26-29 March, a major international conference focusing on solutions. planetunderpressure2012.net

The ANTHROPOCENE CURRICULUM addresses these questions by way of a cross-disciplinary experiment in higher education. Instigated by HKW and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (MPIWG) the project has brought together a group of 27 renowned university teachers from science, humanities, and art & design to collaboratively develop a set of topics relevant to the Anthropocene in an attempt to encourage cross-disciplinary thinking, mutual learning, and civic commitment as integral part into the curricula of universities and research institutions.

This exemplary curriculum will be put into teaching practice at the ANTHROPOCENE CAMPUS taking place November 14-22, 2014 at HKW in Berlin. One hundred international participants will be given the opportunity to engage in this curricular experiment, contributing their own perspectives and expertise. The Campus provides a transdisciplinary co-learning space for scholars from a wide range of disciplinary, academic, and professional backgrounds and opens up a forum for exploring the scopes, scales, and designs of Anthropocene relevant knowledge. The ANTHROPOCENE CAMPUS will be a central component of a series of public events at HKW – including lectures, workshops, exhibitions, screenings, and artistic events –, by which the two-year ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT will come to its close. An essential part of the output of the ANTHROPOCENE CURRICULUM will be the collaborative production of an ANTHROPOCENE COURSEBOOK.

Emanuele at the Anthropocene Campus:

More pictures at Haus der Kulturen der Welt website.

Species on the Threshold

Species on the Threshold: How Cultural Evolution Changes the Landscapes of Our Life

Emanuele Serrelli spoke on the relationship between cultural and biological evolution at the conference:

La specie sulla soglia: come l’evoluzione culturale cambia i paesaggi della nostra vita

Venerdì, 31 Ottobre 2014
16:30 – 19:30
Mostra d’Oltremare, Arena Flegrea, Napoli (Forum Internazionale delle Culture)

L’importanza di prendere atto che l’evoluzione sia divenuta soprattutto culturale è una delle principali responsabilità della nostra specie che ci vede “sulla soglia” di un cambiamento e di un apprendimento epocali. La cultura ha oggi il compito di attivare la responsabilità individuale e collettiva per essere all’altezza di questo processo di profonda trasformazione.

A cura di Amici della terra club dell’Irpinia associazione ONLUS e Hirpus associazione di promozione sociale. Part of the Series: Passavamo sulla terra leggeri: Culture, Educazione, Sostenibilità.

KeynoteVincenzo Moretti, Sociologo, responsabile della sezione Società Culture e Innovazione alla Fondazione Giuseppe Di Vittorio

RoundtableGiancarlo Blasi, ingegnere, socio di HIRPUS APS (moderator); Giovanni Mastino, fisico, Associazione Amici della Terra Italia; Luca Mori, filosofo, Università di Pisa; Emanuele Serrelli, filosofo della scienza, Università di Milano Bicocca; Giuseppe Bruno, ingegnere, Università di Napoli.

All videos here!!!

Emanuele Serrelli on the relationship between cultural and biological evolution:

2014, Oct 31 (h.16:30-19:30) – Org. Hirpus, Naples, Forum Universale delle Culture: La specie sulla soglia: come l’evoluzione culturale cambia i paesaggi della nostra vita. With V. Moretti, G. Blasi, L. Famiglietti, L. Mori, G. Bruno, R. Filippini. Public conference.


Ambiente e società. Appendice XXI Secolo

2014: scientific coordinator, together with Andrea Romano, of the volume Ambiente e società. Appendice XXI Secolo, Torino: UTET Grandi Opere (scientific director Telmo Pievani), out in September 2014.

We solicited, supervised, and revised to publication 28 chapters by major Italian and International authors on many topics concerning environmental challenges and sustainability.

Mauro Van Aken – Travelling models of water. Battlefields of knowledge and ideas of change in the Middle East

CISEPS – Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology and Social Sciences

Travelling models of water. Battlefields of knowledge and ideas of change in the Middle East

Mauro Van Aken
Cultural Anthropologist, University of Milano Bicocca

April 12, 2012, 12:00pm
U6, 4th floor, room 4160 (polivalente), Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo 1, Milano

river flow free  senturkAbstract: Development and modernization policies, as they have been posed and imposed in many contexts of the Southern World, represent strong evolutionary ideologies of how other cultures should change. Modernization of water in arid places all over the Middle East did not only transfer a culturally and historically construed notion of water as H2O: it carried a project of society and a model of political and environmental relationships, which encountered other historical ideas of water/society relationship. Departing from an ethnography of the local conflicts around water in Jordan Valley, historic cradle of irrigation and agriculture, we shall propose the analysis of such intense changes in terms of interpretation, grafting, selection and opposition among “traits” and cultural practices.

The seminar is part of the CISEPS project The diffusion of cultural traits, whose goal is to trigger interdiciplinary debates, emphasizing common problems and peculiarities among economics, philosophy, anthropology, geography, history, biology and many more fields. Thinking in terms of cultural traits – i.e., characters depending in some way on social learning – doesn’t imply exhaustion of cultural processes; rather, it means thinking critically to scientific models and metaphors for studying culture.

Perspectives on the evolution of evolutionary theory: towards an Extended Synthesis?

CISEPS – Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology and Social Sciences

PRIN 2007 “The Adaptive Behaviour of Biological Systems and the Scientific Method”

“Riccardo Massa” Department of  Human Sciences Sciences

University of Milano Bicocca

Perspectives on the evolution of evolutionary theory: towards an Extended Synthesis?

Workshop with:

  • Keynote speaker: Gerd B. Müller Professor for Zoology, Department of Theoretical Biology, University of Vienna; Chairman of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Altenberg
  • Discussant: Giuseppe Fusco Professor of Zoology, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Padova
  • Discussant: Maurizio Casiraghi Researcher of Zoology, Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca
  • Discussant: Luigino Bruni Professor of Political Economics, Dipartimento di Economia, Università di Milano Bicocca; CISEPS
  • Chair: Telmo Pievani Professor of Philosophy of Science, Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la Formazione “Riccardo Massa”, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca; national coordinator of the Research Program “The Adaptive Behaviour of Biological Systems”
  • Chair: Emanuele Serrelli Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la Formazione “Riccardo Massa”, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca; Researcher in the Research Program “The Adaptive Behaviour of Biological Systems”

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 h 9.30-12.30
Auditorium – Building U12 – Via Vizzola 5, Milano

The roundtable will put into discussion a particular perspective on todayʼs evolutionary biology, that is the persuasion that a growing body of discoveries and fields of studies is demanding an extension of the Modern Synthesis (MS), which was realized in the 1930s and 1940s around the development of population genetics. Massimo Pigliucci, one of the main advocates of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), lamented in 2007 that for many evolutionsists «the MS provides the framework for current and future evolutionary biology, with no need to revisit the fundamentals», despite many novelties such as evolvability, phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic inheritance, complexity theory and more, which were unknown at the time of MS. On the other hand, there is a more “continuist” perspective that sees evolutionary theory as already grown, although perhaps in ways different from the establishment of a new synthesis. Furthermore, some researchers are not yet persuaded that the the newly described phenomena have sufficient relevance and empirical support to justify a broad theoretical revision. There are also, although lying completely outside the scientific field of evolutionary biology, perspectives that see the same biological mechanisms as symptoms of the need for an entirely new theory to supplant the neo-Darwinian synthesis (e.g. Fodor & Piattelli Palmarini, 2010). We invited Gerd B. Müller, editor with Massimo Pigliucci of the book Evolution: The Extended Synthesis (MIT Press, 2010) and author of an essay on “Epigenetic Innovation” therein, to present the open project of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. Different perspectives will surely emerge and interact thanks to the discussion with two affirmed Italian biologists with an interest in the theoretical reflection on the development of evolutionary theory: Giuseppe Fusco and Maurizio Casiraghi. Economist and CISEPS member Luigino Bruni will bring the debate on suggestions and possible implications for evolution-inspired modeling of social and cultural processes: a field which is more and more known as “cultural evolution”, although still in need of much conceptual development. Moderators of the roundtable will be Telmo Pievani and Emanuele Serrelli who will present and put into productive discussion the results of the biennial research program “The Adaptive Behaviour of Biological Systems”, co-funded by the Italian Ministero dellʼIstruzione, dellʼUniversità e della Ricerca Scientifica (framework PRIN 2007).

Gerd Müller’s keynote address

Giuseppe Fusco’s commentary

Maurizio Casiraghi’s commentary

Luigino Bruni’s commentary

Cultural Diversity

07---ecosphera-volumi-copertine-insieme1The reflection on human cultures delivers more and more a critical and complex vision that makes it difficult to imagine ourselves counting, describe or analytically decompose cultures. Bypassing questions like “what is a culture”, “which and how many cultures are there”, and “how important is each culture”, anthropology and ethnography give scientific form to the comparative impetus that puts diversities – the many colors of a caleidoscope – in relation and dialogue. This is an open enterprise that drops any aim of completeness and systematicity, in favor of critical reflection on what does it mean to be human and to inhabit the Earth together. By the way, diversity can be studied and understood from different points of view, e.g. borrowing methods and concepts from evolutionary biology in order to reconstruct the world tree of common descent of cultures, with migrations and diasporas, where similarities (inherited or convergent) and differences among peoples got channeled. Meanwhile, however, in face of the insufficiency of analysis, the disappearance of cultural varieties is more and more evident. What’s worst, this happens in parallel to growing awareness of their importance for the survival of our species. Locating, measuring, and contrasting the loss of cultural diversity is a challenge which, for example, the UN have tried to address through the definition of “intangible cultural heritage”. Biocultural diversity, a young and promising field, promotes an integrated approach to the conservation of diversity, comprising cultural and biological aspects.

Serrelli E (2010). L’evoluzione delle culture: come fermare l’estinzione. In Eldredge N, Pievani T, eds., Ecosphera. Il Futuro della Terra vol. 1. Torino: UTET-DeAgostini, pp. 320-333. ISBN 978-88-02-08379-7 [http://hdl.handle.net/10281/9928]

Biocultural Diversity

07---ecosphera-volumi-copertine-insieme1Biodiversity shapes cultural diversity. Culture shapes the environment. But according to the biocultural paradigm of the “inextricable link”, such bidirectional co-determination in fact prevents the analytical distinction of the two. We must, indeed, talk about a unified type of diversity: biocultural diversity. The field aims to conserve, defend rights of indigenous people, and obtain political decisions that respect them. A field explicitly “militant”, giving up the conventional academic neutrality to embrace strong ethical commitments concerning human rights, seen in intimate connection with the responsibilities about the natural and cultural heritage of humanity.

Serrelli E (2010). Diversità bioculturale. In Eldredge N, Pievani T, eds., Ecosphera. Il Futuro della Terra Atlante vol. 1 (A-L), Torino: UTET-DeAgostini, pp. 143-148. Reprinted in Aggiornamento enciclopedico 2011, Torino: UTET-DeAgostini. ISBN 978-88-02-08383-4 [http://hdl.handle.net/10281/16655]