3: The participatory worldview

The human being is essentially a holistic being who lives in integrated totalities. When the human being is forced to lead a fragmented life, he/she shrinks, is frustrated, diminished. (Skolimowski, 1994: 91)

In Chapter 2 we began to explore some of the neoliberal thinking that underpins the structures and institutions that dominate current ways of relating economically, socially and politically, and how current trends seem to be reinforcing that dominance and resisting change towards an alternative way of being. Certainly, our democratic institutions, organisational structures and educational practices have continued to remain resilient to the changes that new forms of thinking imply. Indeed, many people appear to have become further entrenched in old thought processes and institutions have become even more alienating. There are, however, also signs of change suggesting that as the old order resists, there are green shoots of possibility. Central to that change is a shift in perspective and consciousness towards a radically different set of worldviews based on a participatory mindset. In this chapter, we take a deep dive into this alternative way of viewing the world and invite you to think about what this means in terms of the way we act in the world. In other words, what does seeing the world from an integrative or participatory perspective imply for our practice?

In doing so we will be inviting you to look at the deep-seated roots of the dominant way of viewing the world, at least here in the West.

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