Updated: Mar 1, 2021
This week, Yunhe Centre launched the Bagel Youth online series. The idea of Bagel Youth came from the Doughnut Economic model by economist Kate Raworth. The model provided a framework for change making within a safe and just space for our future development.
China is experiencing a great transformation, both economically and ecologically, neck-breaking paced development had made great impacts to the natural environment, our underground aquifer is draining fast, mass industrial agriculture is depleting the soil fertility, excessive use of chemical in the agricultural industry is harming not only the biodiversity as well as the wellbeing of human kind. The devastating reality caused by massive urbanization and industrialization had been calling for a transformation in what we see as progress. The Ecological Civilization brought forth by the central government signified a starting point for this transformation. Humanity is at a brink of civilizational collapse and it takes no less than a collective effort that we could still ensure a future for the next generations.
A total transformation means a perception change in the developmental model from MORE to BETTER, an upgrade in worldview that all life on earth, including the earth itself is connected and inter-depended, we need a systematic view of the web of life to replace the old worldview of life-as-machine and the belief of separation, it also means that all life is in collaboration rather than zero-sum competition, in order to maintain a livable environment for all of us on earth. With this belief, we are called to create new jobs, economic systems, educations, communities, and cities that are in service to the wellbeing of all beings and the health of the planet. As Marshall McLuhan told us" There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew."
There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew. ---Marshall McLuhan
The Corona-crises(now turning our new reality) is a messenger and a simulator for this transformation to happen collectively, and it is our role to make it happen for real.
In the GenBagel series, we hope to start generating conversations about new economic structure and other paradigm shift discussions among Chinese youth. We speak to friends who are actively working in between the "Doughnut", putting environment and community at heart while making their local actions. It can be as simple as starting a community garden, to starting a bioplastic design house, to act stewardship upon watershed and soil regeneration, or creating nature education program inspired by Tibetan indigenous wisdoms. We also speak to philosophers, scientists, ecologists, designers and artists who had been on this journey before us and gain insights on the timing and context of previous endeavors. After traveling and living between east and west worlds, we truly feel the cultural root where we come from has a lot to offer in terms of assisting the process transforming human society into a more mutual-enhancing relationship with the vibrant earth community. And to facilitate this change, to build narratives, or as Thomas Berry would say "creating the story"is the key first step. Kate Raworth suggested in her book, we are the first generation to see the challenges facing humanity collectively and probably the last to have a real chance turning this story around.
As Einstein had put it, "one can not solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it". There's a constant evolution of perception within oneself and the collective. The GenBagel series is called to serve the acceleration of transformation in perception, knowledge and tools for a future that supports all forms of lives, in return, a future for ourselves.
Read more about the Bagel Youth story, follow us on wechat, or talk to us!
Read past series (watch with wechat access)
Shuqin Shen, Director of Yunhe Forest School, Danba, Sichuan.
Lintao, Auther of 《三十岁回乡去》, Florida, US.
Nini Zhang, Philosopher, co-translator for Thomas Berry's The Great Work (《伟大的事业》）