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Wellbeing, Mindfulness and the Global Commons

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As the world becomes hotter and natural disasters increase, the challenge for survival will become greater. We need to become increasingly resilient. This has implications for how we see ourselves, others and the environment. What is consciousness? If it is more than the firing of an assemblage of neurons in our brain (Chalmers, 2006), how does it relate to mindfulness? What is the link between mindfulness, wellbeing and the global commons? Where do we -- indeed should we -- draw the lines of inclusion and exclusion when we consider needs and responsibilities for sustainable futures? Do we have a choice between isolation in zero sum competitive nation states or finding ways to achieve multilateralism? Can mindfulness be enhanced through participation? How could intersubjectivity and expanding our relationships across self-other and the environment change our attitude towards representation, accountability and sustainable futures? The paper reflects on the extent to which participation is an end in itself, in other words that participation enables people to have a greater understanding of one another and a better match of services to needs. It addresses past research aimed at enhancing public policy conducted over the past twenty years and draws on current research into ways to enhance communication and mindfulness to promote wellbeing and resilience. This is addressed through combining cycles of open and structured dialogue guided by e- democracy and e-governance software to inform decision making by both users and providers. It creates updated data which are used only as a guide to inform decisions and as an aid to address complex problems. New approaches to social policy and governance challenges will need to be timely, inclusive and responsive to global citizens

Keywords: Capability; Global Commons; Mindfulness; Regionalist Governance; Wicked Problems

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia, Email: janet.mcintyre@flinders.edu.au

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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