Our origins go back 15 years. Neville Bruce and the late Dr. Len Freedman perceived an enormous gap in most university curricula, namely, the promulgation of wisdom; the wisdom humanity will need to meet the incredible challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
They and others established Integrated Human Studies, IHS, at the University of Western Australia to focus on what it means to be human and the promotion of human wellbeing in a sustainable world. Courses were offered at postgraduate and undergraduate levels and these proved highly popular. But, as has happened with similar future-focused curricula, they did not fit comfortably with traditional discipline-based university directives and so were gradually phased out. This proved a blessing in disguise. It was the stimulus we needed to create EWF.
Work to establish EWF as an independent, not for profit, organization began three years ago. We have built on from our successes with IHS and expanded our horizons and activities in significant ways.
- Our over-arching concern, The Nature and Future of Humankind, and purpose, the Promotion of Human wellbeing in a Harmonious World are now the guiding principles for all that we do.
- We are forging EWF to be a truly global community that goes beyond national and institutional boundaries to ultimately serve all of humankind.
- We are directly linking education with action: we explain to our students that it is not just what they know but what they do that counts. We have created an Action Network where students, EWF members and all interested can put their ideas into practice.
- We are making our courses as accessible and global in their impact as possible: They will be fully available on line, require no formal educational prerequisites and fees have been kept to a minimum.
- To ensure EWF is as inclusive as possible, we are establishing a Management team which is directly answerable to the whole community including staff, students, EWF members and an Advisory Board.
We are progressing with all of these activities and expect to have our courses ready for enrolments later this year.