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My Reflecting Mirror World: making Joburg worthwhile

Making my World Summit on Sustainable Developmentworthwhile (Johannesburg,


My Reflecting Mirror World
Challenges to governance of my world
Problems of my world
Reframing my "overpopulation" problem
Organizing my world
My management failure
Context
Interface management
Rainmaking in Joburg: making my Rio+10 worthwhile
Mirrors of my world
Configuring the mirrors of my world
Governance through metaphor
'Sustainable development': configuring divergent understandings
Self-possession and governance
References

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This paper is a contribution to reflection on viable strategies for sustainable development on the occasion of the
UN World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002)


Introduction
Challenges to governance of my world
Problems of my world
Reframing my "overpopulation" problem
Organizing my world
My management failure
Context
Interface management
Rainmaking in Joburg: making my Rio+10 worthwhile
Mirrors of my world
Configuring the mirrors of my world
Governance through metaphor
'Sustainable development': configuring divergent understandings
Self-possession and governance
References


Introduction

To what extent is the world around me merely a mirror of my very own successes and failures in world governance -- in governing 'my world'? It may indeed suit me to hold the world at arm's length -- as an object with its own dynamics quite beyond any responsibility of mine. And there may be many ways that this can be understood to be a useful, healthy, minimally presumptuous, perspective.

But there is some value in reflecting on the ways in which every thing I encounter in 'the world' is engendered by me. This may be especially useful with respect to the values I attach to phenomena of the world -- whether rain is 'good' or 'bad', for example. But there are ways in which it is also the case with respect to how I organize and group features of the world -- whether those I perceive as part of 'my people' (tribe, ethnic group, peer group, etc) or those most definitely not ('aliens', etc). There are ways in which people with whom I regularly interact carry significance which derives primarily from what I project onto them -- as the psychotherapeutic professions spend much time in demonstrating. And of course, physicists delight in pointing out how objects like a 'table' (which are particular configurations of atoms) acquire the shape on which we agree through a very complex process. Hence the interest in the social construction of reality.

The approach taken here assumes that the challenge of the times may be associated more with how they are understood rather than what they are understood to be -- more with how they condition, and are determined by, thinking and less with the effects they appear individually to produce. This is my challenge in making my experience of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002) worthwhile.


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