Institute of Future and Innovation Studies Launches "Cortona Pearls" Lecture Series

The JCU Institute of Future and Innovation Studies is pleased to announce the launch of the “Cortona Pearls” Monthly Lecture Series, in partnership with Cortona Week. This is a series of monthly online lectures tackling systemic questions relating to the current scientific and human challenges of our time. It is hosted in collaboration with Think Tank Vision, which will provide technical support for the events.


Cortona Pearls

The Cortona Pearls Lecture Series

Cortona Week is a prestigious, global, and transformative transdisciplinary conference and platform created in the late ’80s at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, ETH Zürich). It aims to foster transdisciplinary and intercultural competence in natural scientists and engineers by exposing and extending their scientific expertise to a much broader scope of other domains such as literature, philosophy, ethics, psychology, music, fine arts, bodywork, and intercultural knowledge. A first of its kind, Cortona Week (taking its name from the city in Italy where the one-week conference was first held) has for decades mixed students from scientific studies with students in the humanities and arts in order to immerse them in basic principles of natural sciences to actively break down traditional barriers, prejudices, and misunderstandings between these different fields of expertise.

Over the years Cortona Week has become an international platform open to all that has hosted Nobel laureates and influential practitioners and intellectuals from all walks of life, such as the Dalai Lama and authors and board members Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi, to foster a complex systemic understanding of life, nature, humanity, and science. Since its inception, Cortona Week has developed into an independent organization with prominent board members and over two thousand members worldwide. For decades, it has engaged with the strongest voices in science, philosophy, medicine on questions regarding the environment and the relationship between nature, science, and technology. Systemic questions about the relation of life and the environment with technological and scientific advancements will remain one of the core topics of these conversations.

During the pandemic and in any case, until the end of 2021, Cortona Week will host the “Cortona Pearls” online lectures series. Each “Cortona Pearl” will take place at 5 pm CET and will last one hour and fifteen minutes. It will include one or more presenters, a moderator, and a number of discussants. Attendees will be allowed to ask questions at the end of each presentation.

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS  (list will be updated as necessary):

Br. David Steindl-Rast (Catholic Benedictine monk), Ithaca, New York

Fritjof Capra (scientist, educator, activist, author of bestselling books), Berkeley, CA, USA

Joan Halifax, Zen Roshi, (American Zen), Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Stuart Kauffman (theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher), Seattle, USA)

Francesco Lapenta (Founding Director of the John Cabot University Institute of Future and Innovation Studies)

Maneka Gandhi (member of Indian parliament, animal rights activist), New Delhi, India

Stefania Giannini (UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education)

Federico Faggin (Engineer, President at the Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation)

Cliff Saron (Prof. at the Center for Mind and Brain and Mind Institute at the Davis University of California)

Francesco Grillo (Director Think Thank Vision)

Jorg Rasche (Psychotherapist), Berlin, Germany

Shantena Sabbatini (philosopher, Pari Center, Italy and lecturer at the Schumacher College, Devon)

Nora Bateson (Bateson Institute)

Ernesto Burgio (Medical Doctor and epigenetist, ECERI European Cancer and Environment Research Institute)

Marinella de Simone (President and Scientific Director at Complexity Institute, Italy and Project Coordinator at “Francisco Varela Project”)

Susan Eirich (Director Earthfire Institute, Idaho, USA)

Kamran Mofid (Founder of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative, United Kingdom),

Umberta Telfener, (Clinical Psychologist, “La Sapienza” University, Roma, Italy)

Renuka Singh (Professor of Sociology, New Delhi, India)

Christer Sodenberg (Circle Carbon Labs, Sweden, and Spain)

Tomas Björkman (Professor Uppsala University, Sweden)

Alex Stenflo, (President Int. Soc. System Sciences, Argentina)

Marko Pogacnik (UNESCO artist for peace, Slovenia)

Franco Giovannelli (Emeritus Senior Scientist at INAF. Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Rome)

Gioia Lussana (Lawyer and professor, teacher and trainer)

Mauro Bergonzi (Professor at University of Naples, Italy)

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (Each event will take place at 5 pm Central European Time)

A detailed description of each lecture will be sent before each event.

Pearl 1 (Feb 27): Political economist Francesco Grillo with initial greetings by Brother David Steindl-Rast; on The innovation paradox. A theory to make sense of the Post Pandemic World.
Introduction by Francesco Lapenta (John Cabot University) and Pier Luigi Luisi, Prof. Emeritus, ETH Zurich. Panel moderated by Francesco Lapenta.

Pearl 2 (Mar 27)Ernesto Burgio, of the ECERI (European Cancer and Environment Research Institute, Brusells and Gruppo COVID SIPPS (Società Italiana di Pediatria Preventiva e Sociale); on The Coronavirus now. Introduction by Maria Stella de Sabata, Board Member of the International Diabetes Federation European Region.

Pearl 3 (Apr 24): Susan Eirich, EarthFire Institute, Idaho, USA; on Reawakening our bond with Earth.
Introduction by Federica Fratini, Researcher at the Italian National Health Institute.

Pearl 4 (May 29)Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Center, Santa Fe; On Spirituality and Political Activism. Introduction by Adelina Soldi.

Pearl 5 (Jun 26): Fritjof Capra, Author, Berkeley Cal., USA, on The Systems View in our world’s difficult time. Introduction by Dr. Matteo Allegretti, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics. Panel moderated by Francesco Lapenta.

For information please contact [email protected].