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Feb. 12: Interactive Public Presentation on Ethics and the Common Good

Hampshire will formally launch the Ethics and the Common Good Project with a public presentation entitled Ethics and the Common Good: What Kind of World Do You Want to Live In?

Ethics for the Common Good poster

Hampshire will formally launch the Ethics and the Common Good Project with a public presentation entitled Ethics and the Common Good: What Kind of World Do You Want to Live In?

The interactive public presentation featuring author and Commons activist David Bollier and choreographer, performer, and educator Liz Lerman, will be held on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 4:30 p.m. in Franklin Patterson Hall. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

Feb. 12 presenters:

David Bollier is an activist, writer, policy strategist, and a leading thinker on alternative economic and social models based on the concept of the Commons. His writing, research, and teaching focus on the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics, and culture. He is a research collaborator on the Commons Law Project. His books include Think Like a Commoner; This Land is Our Land: The Fight to Reclaim the Commons; A World Beyond Market and State; and From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond: The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in a Digital Society.

Liz Lerman, founder of the multi-generation company Dance Exchange, is a choreographer and educator who focuses on opening the artistic process to all publics and engaging audiences. Her recent works include “The Healing Wars,” which investigates the impact of war on medicine, and “Blood Muscle Bone: the anatomy of wealth and poverty.” She is an author of The Critical Response Process and Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer. She is the recipient of many honors, including a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2011 U.S. Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance, and the 2014 Dance/USA Honor Award.

Community Workshops / Master Classes*

Thursday, February 12, 2 p.m.-3:45 p.m., Music and Dance Building Recital Hall

Partnership and Collaboration - Co-led by Liz Lerman and Keith Thompson

Ask a big enough question and you will need more than one discipline to answer it: collaboration is a necessary set of tools for working in hybridized world. Learn tools that generate and promote the excitement and joy of collaboration as well as tools that address the difficulties: who gets credit for success? Who takes responsibility for failures and mistakes? What if your collaborators don't agree about what the collaboration is? What if your collaboration isn't recognized because of reward systems slanted towards individual achievement? What do we even DO when we're collaborating…and what can we do better? Using practical experiments in partnering to discover and generate micro-tools, Liz and the participants will decide how to transform them into macro-tools and investigate the real challenges of collaborative processes and outcomes.

Open to Hampshire faculty, staff, and students. Limited capacity.

Registration required. Email commongood@hampshire.edu to register.


Friday, February 13, 9-10:30 a.m., EDH Main Stage

Intro to Critical Response Process - Led by Liz Lerman

Based on the principle that the best result of feedback is for the maker to want to go back to work. Whether returning to the studio or the desk or the kitchen or the laboratory, the Critical Response Process (CRP) gives tools both to people who are making work and people who are responding to that work. In use for over 20 years, the Process has been embraced by artmakers, educators, scientists, and administrators at theater companies, dance departments, orchestras, science centers, museums, and more. The Process has deepened dialogue between makers and audiences; it has enhanced learning between teachers and students. It has proven valuable for all kinds of creative endeavors, work situations, and collaborative relationships within and beyond the arts, from kindergartens to corporations.

Open to Five College faculty, staff, and students, limited capacity

Registration required. Email commongood@hampshire.edu to register.


Friday, February 13, 10:45 a.m.-Noon, ASH 111

Moving from Intention to Action - Led by David Bollier

In this workshop and discussion David will introduce and elaborate on the commons paradigm both within academia and activism and talk about the range of international action going on with respect to the commons, and the growing desire of different movements to find ways to collaborate and converge (without becoming one unified movement).

 Open to everyone.  No registration required.

Friday, February 13, Noon-1 p.m. Cole Science 333

Panel Discussion on Science & Ethics: Do Martian Microbes have Rights? The Ethical Implications of Finding Extra-terrestrial Life
With: Ernest Alleva, associate dean of advising and lecturer (CS); Salman Hameed, Associate Professor of Integrated Science & Humanities (CS); Laura Sizer, Associate Professor of Philosophy (CS); Jason Tor, Associate Professor of Microbiology (NS).

Scientists are searching for signs of life on other planets. If they find it, whether it is in the form of 'intelligent' communication discovered through SETI, or living microbes discovered deep within Martian soil, such a discovery would raise a host of ethical dilemmas. What moral status do these entities have, and how does this influence our scientific inquiries? What sort of "Prime Directive" should guide our actions? An informal presentation and discussion.

Open to everyone.  No registration required.


The Ethics and the Common Good Project will provide a model for integrating a deliberate focus on ethics within the academics and culture of an educational institution, with a distinctive focus on contributing to the common good.

The Ethics and the Common Good Project is being established by a $2,085,000 grant over five years from SHIFT, a private family foundation dedicated to advancing the culture of common good. The project will include new interdisciplinary academic offerings in applied ethics and practice-based leadership initiatives.

Hampshire College Dean of Curriculum and Assessment Laura Wenk speaks about the Ethics and the Common Good Project on WAMC »

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