The Institute for Theological Partnerships of the University of Winchester University in association with GreenSpirit presents:
The Universe Story: Understanding and Experiencing the Unfolding Story
A Conference at the University of Winchester
Friday 29th June – Sunday, 1st July 2018
Dr Jane Riddiford and Rod Sugden
Exploring the Universe Story with Children and Young People
It is sometimes said that the current scientific account of the origins of the universe is a contemporary creation story. No doubt it is a story with all the richness and colour of the great myths and legends. However, the language of science doesn’t always help us inhabit this story as our own story. Over the last twelve years we have worked with the universe story in schools and in urban regeneration projects in the centre of London. We have actively encouraged personal and imaginative ways to understand and find meaning in the twists and turns of the universe; an epic adventure filled with leaps and new beginnings borne through times of uncertainty and challenge. In our conference presentation, we will share examples of how engendering awe and wonder, myth and even magic inspired by science, has brought meaning, purpose and direction to children and young people. We work in a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural team, of teachers, artists, youth-workers, community gardeners and chefs, who are all part of environmental education charity Global Generation. The work is reflective and practical and is supported by an underpinning philosophy which we call ‘I, We and The Planet’. Our body of practice includes storytelling, creative writing, dialogue, visual arts, growing, cooking, silence and stillness. We will describe how these inner, outer and collective ways of engaging with nature and the wider universe have fostered community and creativity; both in our educational workshops and in how we run Global Generation as an organisation. We will also explain why we think working in this way, opens up a sense of being indigenous to the Cosmos. A sense of hope and possibility borne through knowing and experiencing that we are all part of an ancient and emerging story that is still in the making.
About Jane Riddiford
Jane co-founded Global Generation in 2004 www.globalgeneration.org.uk. She has more than 30 years of experience in delivering community-based environmental, arts and vocational training projects in New Zealand and the UK. Her interest in running creative projects with young people that bring different parts of the community together through the evolving story of nature and the wider universe has been a consistent thread throughout her working life. Following an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice at Bath University, she completed a DProf in Organisational Change from Middlesex University and Ashridge Business School. Drawing on experiences within Global Generation, she explored how ecology and cosmology can offer helpful metaphors and guidelines for organisational and community leadership. She is Learning Practice Director for a new Masters (Mprof) in Community Based Regeneration, that Global Generation is running in collaboration with Middlesex University.
Global Generation Website