Sunday, October 11, 2009

Werner Erhard and Buckminster Fuller

The Werner Erhard Foundation, was established in a time of transformation and transition. Old values, ideals, and beliefs were being challenged; new ideas and insights, new ways of seeing old problems, and new solutions were coming into view.

Historians will likely view this period as an era of profound change, a time when human beings discarded old limits, explored new visions, and embraced ne realities. We are witnessing the emergence of a new and unexpected paradigm, a new model for humanity, characterized by a demand from individuals and communities for effective action, for translating the new insights into concrete results. For all of us there is the opportunity to redefine what it means to be a human being.

Werner Erhard and the Physics Conference

For ten years the Werner Erhard Foundation produced an annual theoretical physics conference attended by the leading thinkers in the field. Some of the discussions later evolved into now-leading edge theories in physics, including Stephen Hawking and Leonard Susskind .

Video on YouTube

Bruce Gregory, the Senior Science Educator at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said, “I was surprised and delighted to read of the impact of one of Werner's get togethers of physicists, on Leonard Susskind (founder of String Theory) in his new book, The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics. Susskind's take on Werner Erhard: "I liked Werner. He was smart, interesting, and fun." (Still is!).

Werner Erhard and Buckminster Fuller

Werner Erhard and Buckminster Fuller

Presentation of His Holiness the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa

As head of the Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism, which is the medium of transmission of the meditative teachings known as the mahamudra, His Holiness performed the ancient ceremony of the Vajra Crown during five presentations in four U.S. cities to more than 10,000 people in 1977. The sixteenth in an unbroken succession of Karmapas dating back to the 12th century, His Holiness heeded the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and embodied, represented and guideed its accumulated spiritual energy.

Werner Erhard made a special trip to Sikkim, a small Himalayan province, to visit with the Karmapa. He was greeted with unreserved enthusiasm, inspired by His Holiness' boundless joy and
enlightenment and the wayswhich these qualities manifested in the people he serves. Werner invited him to be with est graduates and their friends during his upcoming visit to America. The Karmapa accepted with delight.

Werner Erhard introduced the Karmapa on four evenings sponsored by the Werner Erhard Foundation. As a special acknowledgement for est graduates, the Karmapa performed the 14th century Black Crown ceremony, in which few westerners have participated and that only he is empowered to perform. Tibetan tradition holds that a glimpse of the Black Crown ensures getting off "the wheel of life and death" in this lifetime.

The Werner Erhard Foundation in support of the world's rich spiritual and cultural heritage of transformation, presented His Holiness the XVI Gyalwa Karmapa in San Francisco on Feb 22, 1977, Los Angeles on February 26, 1977, New York on April 27, 1977, and in Boston on May 1, 1977.

International Transformation

The support of the Werner Erhard Foundation made possible groundbreaking conversations between leaders, scholars and officials from virtually all parts of the world. in the field of human achievement and transformation As a result of this support, exchange programs were launched that provided new ground for international cooperation.

One such program was the US/USSR Project, launched in 1979 and designed as an educational exchange to explore the principles of communication, management, and creative thinking with the people of what was then the Soviet Union. After several delegate exchanges, Werner Erhard was invited to conduct the first of many courses and lectures in Moscow, under the auspices of the Znaniye (All Union Knowledge) Society—the prime vehicle for education in the (former) Soviet Union.

In 1988, the Znaniye Society took steps to extend the availability of these programs in the U.S.S.R. A brochure describing the project work stated:

“Radically new, non-traditional solutions will need to play a big role in the perestroika of our economic, social and political systems. Only solutions of this class will allow us to reach our goals. But solutions at this level demand that we break through the habitual contours of our thinking so that we can see new possibilities and new methods of addressing theses issues…

“In this regard, the technology offered by (The Werner Erhard Foundation) is of immediate and practical interest to a broad audience of Soviet people and it would be valuable to study and master its methodology and practice.”

To this end, independent of the Foundation, avenues for continuing this exchange between the people and organizations of the U.S. and the new Commonwealth of Soviet Republics. were expanded These included a series of videotapes designed to make this work widely available to the Soviet public, over a sustained period of time.

Werner Erhard and Buckminster Fuller

Werner Erhard and Busckminster Fuller

Monday, June 29, 2009

Gordon Starr, Starr Consulting Group - From a letter dated October 14, 2006 -

“Having not looked at a newspaper for two or three days, I was floored when I saw in the NY Times that Muhammad Yunus, who created the idea of microcredit when he started the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, has been chosen for the Nobel Peace Prize. I have been bubbling with excitement ever since.You undoubtedly know he was chosen. You may not know your role in that coming about. Here is the story. Sam Harris, a quiet, retiring and almost shy music teacher in Florida, attended a Hunger Project event in 1977, having earlier taken the est training. Like me and tens of thousands of others, he was deeply moved by the idea that “the little individual” could make a difference. He checked the little box that said “I will create my own form of participation”, and in doing so created what would become a lifetime commitment to ending global hunger. He started Results which rapidly became the largest and most effective grass roots lobbying organization in the United States for the end of global hunger. Sam (who is now Sam Daley-Harris after marrying Shannon Daley) told me this afternoon that he met you personally in 1987 and talked with you about Results. It was that same year he first met Muhammad Yunus. They have been close friends and partners ever since.The Grameen Bank took off like wildfire in Bangladesh, shattering traditional myths regarding banking, credit and the very poor. With Muhammad, Sam created the idea of the Microcredit Summit Campaign to take this success global, using many of the principles of The Hunger Project. In Washington D.C. in 1997, the Microcredit Summit Campaign was launched in a two-day event with (if I remember correctly) over 2,000 people from over 100 countries, including 14 heads of state, and of course Muhammad Yunus as the source of the initiative. Hillary Clinton made an hour-long speech. Queen Sophia was there. In one breakout room, I looked in the row behind me and there was Robert McNamara. The commitment was to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest families with microcredit by 2005. It was launched with a global support structure that was brilliantly designed and robust. That launching event was profound – and Sam, then around 50, put it all together with a team of only 12 twenty-somethings, mostly volunteers, armed with only passion – no group of 12 high-powered CEO’s could have done nearly as well. Sam has been the director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign ever since. It has been outrageously successful. It put microcredit on the global stage. Sam, who is the distinction Enrollment, has campaigned for five years to get Muhammad nominated, specifically through his personal relationships with Hillary Clinton and President Vicente Fox of Mexico. While microcredit is Muhammad’s invention, and flourished under his courageous, sourceful and visionary leadership, I am clear the wide global impact it is having today would not be possible without Sam’s own visionary leadership and work in support of Muhammad and his idea. Sam asked that I let you know how profoundly you, the est training, and The Hunger Project have inspired his life and his work. Sam says that without your influence he probably would have lived his life at 4 feet tall but instead has been able to live it at 9 feet tall. He sends to you his deep appreciation and gratitude for your contribution to his life. Thank you for being the possibility of being for human beings.