Residents and visitors breathe dark, smoggy air in the cities, and partly because the problems are so serious, China is committed to work for “ecological civilization.”

For me and my fellow Whiteheadians, the need to keep this kind of thinking alive was intensified by the global environmental crisis. The victory of value-free research disciplines has rendered universities more part of the problem than part of the solution.

My argument is that thinking that leaves subjects out of the picture not only ignores the fundamental reality, but also does practical damage.

The Earth is typically thought of as nothing but stuff — an idea so commonplace that it’s hard to imagine it having any kind of history at all. It’s “just the way the world is.”

Today many agree that we need a “paradigm change.” The “Seizing an Alternative” conference is about encouraging and implementing such a change.

The data of our conscious experience are all what Whitehead calls societies, and the vast majority of our thoughts are about societies.