• The Interdependence Institute


    BooksBoth popular literature and scholarly research have documented significant developments that are occurring in an increasingly interdependent global community. Citizens of the 21st Century will need to understand the forces behind these developments. Often, those forces cut across or fall outside the bounds of the traditional disciplines.

    Kwane Anthony Appiah redefines what it means to be a human being in the 21st century, exploring the web of responsibilities people owe each other based on their common humanity. Appiah presents a pragmatic set of ideas in a deeply moral context.

    Harm De Blij argues that human beings are born into natural and cultural environments that shape their development, both individually and collectively. He argues that geography continues to hold billions of people in an unrelenting grip.

    Thomas Friedman argues that our world is hot, flat, and crowded and that the U.S. must continue to innovate to maintain its position in the world. The innovations he emphasizes have to do with developing new sources of energy independent of oil.

    David J. Keeling proposes that the world is changing and that geography is the glue that connects geopolitical forces. Relationships among population, territory, and resources impact political patterns which in turn influence current international relationships.

    Jean Francois Rischard in High Noon describes critical global issues that must be resolved in the next 20 years. The underlying forces creating these issues are population increase and an emerging world economy with its technological revolution. These forces will force human institutions to adapt and think differently to preserve our planet.

    Fareed Zacharia describes the rise of the west (science and technology); the rise of the U.S. as a global power (commerce capitalism); and the rise of the rest, especially India and China. He argues that the U.S. needs to develop a new global strategy to compete, cooperate, and collaborate in a changing global environment.
    In addition to knowing about important global issues, our graduates will have to think critically and creatively about them. These skills are acquired through the study of significant subjects, through writing and other forms of expression. They may also be developed through direct instruction.

    Howard Gardner argues for a diversified spectrum of intelligence (multiple intelligences) and the need to tailor educational practices to individual student's strengths. He also argues for attending to his Five Minds for the Future: the Disciplinary Mind, the Synthesizing Mind, the Creating Mind, the Respectful Mind, and the Ethical Mind.

    Daniel Pink argues that right brain directed thinking (creative and imaginative thinking) needs emphasis to complement left brain directed thinking (logical and analytical thinking). In his bestselling book,A Whole New Mind,Pink emphasizes the need for the following essential characteristics: story, design, play, empathy, symphony meaning/purpose.

    Sir Ken Robinson argues that creativity and innovation are essential skills for all students for the 21st century; he argues also for radical changes in how we should think about creativity and how we should educate students to develop their creative capacities.