Friday, 7 December 2012

Global Discussion - Week 13: Global Challenges and How to Solve Them

Please let's do the following for this week's discussion circle:

List all current global challenges and rank them in importance

Try t get to the root of each challenge

Design a plan - including concrete steps - to solve these challenges one by one (imagine you have all the means you need to do this) and to prevent these challenges from happening again in the future

Good luck!


Topic 13: Theories about the Universe

Please watch and discuss some of the following videos:

* Michio Kaku: the Universe in a Nutshell:

* Brian Green: the Elegant Universe (3 parts):

* Michael Talbot: the Holographic Universe:

* Fred Alan Wolf: Time, Space, Matter, and Quantum Field Theory

* Peter Russell: the Primacy of Consciousness:

Monday, 19 November 2012

GS Discussion - Additional Session: Presentations

Dear All,

Special Additional Session with Presentations:

Thursday, December 13th, 6:00 pm - Room: TBA

Here some topics for potential presentations. I think they will help us shed more light on some of our previous discussions.


  1. Life in a Global World, Life in a Local World (analyze both but choose a specific focus each time)
  2. Democracy and Election - Example: US and/or Canada (in comparison with another country if you wish)
  3. Money, Power, and Democracy (example: contemporary Canada and/or the US)
  4. Marxism and Liberalism: a Comparison of the Two Theories (focus on the theories first - you can then choose examples/applications as well if you wish)
  5. Creating a World without Discrimination (you may first want to find out more about the psychology of discrimination - i.e. why do people discriminate against others - and then try to find ways to re-educate people; feel free to tackle the topic in either a more general way or focus on specific forms of discrimination, e.g. race, species, age, gender, education, etc)
  6. Creating a World without Exploitation  (analyze the situation first and then see what can be one to improve/change it; focus on one or more examples, such as: 3rd world countries, women, animals, children, resources, etc)
  7. Media and Politics and/or Media and Economy (how do media influence politics and the economy and whose interests do they represent; why do the masses let themselves be manipulated by the media? - add examples)
  8. Consumerism and Waste (the connection is obvious - but analyze it in detail and show on a few examples how "the system" works)
  9. Quantum Theory - and How It Affects Our Concept of Reality (you can focus on the "paradigm shift" as well)
  10. Traditions of Spirituality and/or Meditation (either more general or with a focus on one particular tradition)

Please let us know which topic you are planning to talk about - and then add a short summary of your presentation here to this blog.

Thank you - and thousand thanks to everybody who has attended our GS Discussion Circle regularly this term!  I really appreciate all your excellent and thoughtful contributions!


Topic 12 - Our Global Responsibility

Dear All,

Please reflect on the various topics we have discussed during the past weeks - and think about the responsibilities that we, as citizens of this global world, have for our interconnected future!

Thousand thanks for your commitment and for all your excellent contributions this term!


GS Discussion - Week 12: Our Interconnected Economy

Dear All,

Dr. Ajay Garg will tell us more about the world of international business at 4:00 pm on Friday, November 30th.
Topic: TBA

Please attend his talk and post your comments and reflections on the topic here.

Thank you,


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Topic 11 - Towards Freedom, Equality, and Happiness for All

Dear All,

We will continue to reflect on how to create a more harmonious and peaceful world - this time with a focus on anti-discrimination and attempts to build mutual trust and respect.

Please consider, in this context, not only the various Civil Rights Movements and Women's Lib Movements that have happened everywhere in the world, but also the very recent global Occupy Movements, attempts to redefine Human and Animal Rights worldwide, and Anti-Racism Education in different parts of the world.

Feel also free to add more personal experiences, observations, and suggestions, if you wish!

Thank you,


GS Discussion - Week 11: FDU Peace Day

... and you are co-creating it!

The 3rd FDU Peace Symposium & Fair

Friday, November 23rd, 2:00 to 8:00 pm, Room 130 & Students Lounge

Please post your projects and contributions to our separate Peace Day blog:

Thank you!


Topic 10 - The Role of Culture(s) in a Global World

Dear All,

This week is international week at FDU Vancouver. Please attend the events and take this opportunity to think about the importance of culture both in a local and in a global sense.

Differentiation of culture - and keeping all the existing cultures alive and independent - is important for a varied and rich world.

Sharing one's culture with the rest of the world - and thus giving each culture a global dimension - can bring mutual understanding and respect, and thus help create world peace.

Please add your reflections about culture(s) and its (their) role in a global world here!

Thank you!


Saturday, 17 November 2012

GS Discussion - Week 10: Cultural Event #2

Dear All,

This week's cultural event will be a concert. This time you have two options:

1) A classical concert, such as one of the following two:

a) The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Bach Choir - with four vocal soloists present works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, among them the Mass in C minor and the short but very popular Ave Verum.

The event takes place on Sat, Nov 10th, at 800 pm at the Orpheum. Alternative date: Mon, Nov 12, 8:00 pm.

b) The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players play works by Handel, Leclair, Prokoviev, and Schumann.
The event takes place on Thu, Nov 15th, at 7:30 pm at the Pyatt Hall. Alternative date: Sun, Nov 18th, 2:00 pm.


Here a link to the 1st movement of the pieces - this time played by the Friends of Mathew John: Schumann's Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47:
... and here a link to the 3rd movement - played by I don't know who:

And a link to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra home page:
Please check out other upcoming concerts and events!

2) Any other live concert of any kind you would like to go to.

Please tell us about the concert and your experience of it!



Friday, 9 November 2012

Topic 9 - Working Together to Create Global Peace

Since FDU Peace Day is coming up soon, I would like us to focus a bit more on PEACE during the next couple of weeks, in particular on what we can do to create more peace in the following three areas:

1) international peace
2) peace with the environment
3) inner peace

Please come up with concrete ideas and project. We CAN create a new reality. All we need to do is to focus on it and act.


GS Discussion - Week 9: Approaches to Self Discovery

Dear All,

We are lucky to have Dr. Wisanu Aik Krutngoen as a guide for this week's session about self discovery.

The two goals for our discussion will be:

1. to identify ways that help us find out who we are as individuals
2. to learn to understand others and the world through gaining more knowledge about ourselves

Please remember to read the texts that Aik gave you before class tomorrow!

Thank you,


Friday, 2 November 2012

GS Discussion - Week 8: "Thinking Globally"

Dear All,

Dr. Cecil Abrahams will be giving a talk about "Thinking Globally" on Friday, November 2nd, at 4:00 pm.

Please attend his talk and comment on some of his ideas - as well as on the topic in general - here!

Thank you,


Topics 7 & 8: Your Presentations

Please post a brief summary of your presentation - and whatever else you would like to share about your topic with the rest of us - to our blog!

Thank you!


GS Discussion - Week 7: "The Story of Stuff" with Annie Leonard

The extremely interesting discussion topic for week 7 was suggested by Jennifer. Thank you, Jennifer!

Here the relevant links:

"The Story of Stuff":    or:

"The Story of Change":

"The Story of Bottled Water":

"The Story of Electronics":

The Story of Stuff Project:

Please post your comments below!

Thank you,


Topic 6: Environment

It has become obvious to most people by now that our ecosystem is close to a collapse. The dramatic rise in temperature that we have observed during the past years, the melting of large parts of the ice of our poles and its devastating consequences, the extinction of more and more species, and the increasing number of natural catastrophes we have been faced with are proof that nobody can anymore deny.

Please find out more details about our current situation and then start thinking about possible solution. It is necessary that we all work together on this: there is not much time left....

If you would like to get inspired, please listen to the talk that Severn Suzuki gave when she was 13:

Please also check out the following links:

1) NBC News: Was Sandy a Warning:
2) Bill McKibben: Global Warming's Terrifying New Math:

3) Al Gore Warns on Latest Climate Trends (Talk - 2009):

And if you really want to change the climate crisis, here a new organization with new ideas:
Check it out!

Thank you,


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

GS Discussion - Week 6: A Quantum View of Reality

This week's discussion is dedicated to the new quantum view of reality: a view that is initiating nothing less than a shift in paradigm. I find this new reality (which quantum mechanics has discovered) extremely fascinating - and it's implications for us and for our way of defining ourselves - just mind-boggling....

Please check out the following links and let the rest of us know what you think about this amazing topic!

Thank you very much! 

Here the links: 

Historical Introduction to Quantum Mechanics  (6 min)

Quantum Mechanics Explained  - with Brian Greene (50 min) 

The Rabbit Hole: Beyond the Matrix (with Deepak Chopra):

Deepak Chopra: a Definition of Consciousness (based on Insights from Quantum Mechanics and Spiritual Traditions) 

Some very short clips (approx. 3 to 6 minutes each):

a) Deepak Chopra: Quantum Physics and Consciousness

b) Amit Goswami: Quantum Creativity

c) Nick Herbert: Consciousnessa and Quantum Reality

Michio Kaku: the Quantum Revolution (6 parts - about 10 min each):

Movie: What the Bleep Do We Know?: Down the Rabbit Hole

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Topic 5: Dialogue in a Multicultural World

Those of you who got a chance to go to the UN Pathway Video Conference on Tuesday, Oct 9th, and to listen to Jean-Christophe Bas's "Promoting Dialogue and Understanding Among Cultures" probably found the talk as well as the following discussion as exciting and stimulating as I did.

Those of you who couldn't make it don't need to despair: the talk has now been uploaded and can be watched on line. Here the link:

I would like to invite you all to listen to the talk (again) and to reflect on this important topic  a bit more. As always, please feel free to add not just your personal ideas but also experiences you may have had and suggestions for improving the current situation.

Thank you!


GS Discussion - Week 5: Cultural Event #1

Since the majority of you wanted to go to Science World or the Vancouver Art Gallery, as well as to the International Film Festival, I thought I find a way to give you all these options - as well as two more!

Option (a)

Visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday, Oct 12th, afternoon. 

Option (b)

Visit to Science World on either Saturday, Oct 13th, or Sunday, Oct 14th.
More information:

Option (c)

Attendance of the Vancouver International Film Festival, Sept 26th to Oct 18th

Option (d)

Visit to the International Writers Festival, Oct 16th to 22nd

Option (e)

Attendance of the Vancouver Seed Event on Sat, Oct. 13th. 

For more information about cultural events in Vancouver, just click on the following link:

Please tell us about your experience of the event of your choice!

Thank you,


Topic 4: Discrimination and Exploitation - and Ways to Counteract It

Humans have exploited and discriminated against those they considered "other" throughout history and caused a lot of suffering  in the process.

I would like to invite you to look at the artificial dichotomy between in-group and out-group - or "us" vs. "them" - that is at the heart of discrimination a bit more critically and to think of strategies that can help counteract all forms of discrimination (against race gender, religion, economic status, education, sexual orientation, species, physical attributes, etc) in the future.

Thank you!


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Topic 3: Our Responsibility as World Citizens: Creating World Peace!

Sadly, the world is still full of conflicts on basically every level of life. Please identify areas of conflict from your personal experience - including historical and political knowledge you have acquired as well as experience you may have gained from watching documentaries and movies as well as from reading articles and books. Then try to analyze these conflicts and try to find out what may have caused them. Finally, and most importantly, come up with a way (or ways) to solve these conflicts in the future. Ideally you will find solution(s) that can help bring about yourself through your engagement and action!

Thank you in advance for making this world a more peaceful place!


Topic 2: The Interconnectedness of Our World

No matter whether you look at the natural world (e.g. the weather, climate change, the loss of species, the effects of pollution) or the  human-made world (economics, politics, sports, arts, fashion, etc), nobody can deny the fact anymore that everything is interconnected.

Please think about this global interconnected first in a more general sense. Then choose one area that you find particularly interesting and discuss the interconnectedness that you can find.

Feel free to add texts, images, audio recordings, video clips, and/or relevant links that illustrate this topic.

Thank you!


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

GS Discussion - Week 4: Freedom of Expression vs Respect for the Other - and How to Solve this Dilemma

Questions for Discussion from Aik Wisanu Krutngoen for Week 4 

Dear all fellow FDU Global Scholars,

    Good morning! I hope everyone has a wonderful rest over the weekend. It is my utmost pleasure to be part of the Global Scholars discussion group, and I truly enjoyed the open discussion we had in the previous meetings. As I am honoured to pick the topic for discussion in this upcoming Friday, I would like to ask everyone to please prepare for the discussion topic of the immediate current global affairs-the reaction(s) over the American short film relative to Islamic beliefs and the consequences on a global level.  

   While it is easy for us to discuss over how this current wildspread reaction has taken the world as it is, I would rather ask all of us to prepare for analysis of the situation as if you are one of the UN special envoy taskforce specialists from your COUNTRY to combat this very specific global issue. This taskforce is aim to (1) actively battle current waves of anger/misunderstanding/retaliation, (2) create the mutual understanding of the current global movements of fundamentalism and the development in place. Please kindly be suggested that you are in this special taskforce to ensure the right direction is to establish, and the suggested solutions are to follow on a global stage as well as in your country.

   Please also be mindful that this analysis involves the intangible issue of religions as well as the human rights for freedom of expressions, therefore, as future global leaders, you will have to balance your own personal beliefs-first witin yourself, then with your fellow countrymen, and further with the other nations with measurable and meaningful solutions.  I would suggest everyone to mention/discuss this topic to your classmates (any class) over the week for initial probing of their reactions, prior to a focus on your decision on what to do next-this way you will know how people react with different feelings/thoughts and you will be able to come up with affirmative solutions, based on your understanding of others (and other’s understanding of you).     

  There will neither be a ‘Right” nor “Wrong” solution at the end of this global affairs discussion. So, thank you very much, and please make sure you enjoy being the “expert” to analyse and explore this very real current global affair, and I look forward to enjoy the discussion in this coming Friday!


Wisanu (Aik) Krutngoen, PhD.
Associate Director, Admissions-Vancouver

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Vancouver
842 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC, V6B2P6

Sunday, 16 September 2012

International Peace Day

Dear All,

Friday, September 21st, 2012, is International Peace Day.

Here some info about that special day and it's background:

And for those of you who are new to FDU Vancouver: we had two special FDU Peace Days in 2010 and 2011. For details, please see:

Our 3rd FDU Peace Festival and Fair will take place on Friday, 23 November 2012, from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. I hope you will all do your share in making that particular day a huge success! Please post your projects and ideas for this event here:
We will have a first planning session on Friday, November 2nd, from 2:00 to 3:00 (FDU, Room 135). Please come!

Of course, I'd also like to invite all of you to start creating more peace in this world individually even before November 23rd - and to continue creating peace after - ideally every single day!

Thank you!


GS - Discussion - Weeks 2 & 3: Election in the US - 2012

Week 2:

This week's topic for discussion - chosen by Tendayi:  US Election Campaign 2012

Let's hope that the stir created by the disrespectful movie made by a person who, unfortunately, misused the freedom of speech he had will calm down soon and lead to new harmony, peace, and mutual trust and understanding everywhere in the world.

Here a link to the speech Barack Obama gave at the Democratic National convention on Sept 7th, 2012:

... and here a short article about the election campaign by Doublas La Bier (published today, Sat, Sept 15th, 2012):

You may also want to remember Barack Obama's famous speech "Yes, We Can," which he gave in January 2008 - i.e. before he became President:

A funny speech given by the President in Virginia: Obama is diagnosing an important new disease: Romnesia:

And last but not least: check out the website of the president:

Week 3:

We will continue our discussion of last week's topic this week as well: US Election Campaign 2012!

For info about the election system in the US please click on the following links:

Thousand thanks to Rodrigo for finding - and showing us - these two clips about the Electoral College!


Saturday, 15 September 2012

Topic 1: Life in a Global World - Life in a Local World

We are living without any doubt in a global world today - and yet, it is also a world characterized by a multitude of indigenous local cultures. I find this coexistence of the local and the global extremely exciting as well as stimulating since it allows us to experience a cultural variety that has never been possible before.

Please share your thoughts and experiences on the global and the local with the rest of us. Here a few links that may serve as a starting point:


Indigenous Cultures of the World:

Welcome & GS Discussion - Week 1

Dear Citizens of the World,

Welcome to this Blog about Global Awareness and Connections! This site is meant as a discussion board and should therefore reflect YOUR interests and not just mine.

Discussion - Week 1:

What we focus on in this Discussion Group, depends on all of you!

Please let the rest of us know what you are interested by explaining it  here in this first section!  Feel free to add interesting links you would like us to read, listen to, watch and/or talk about during the next weeks and months!

Thank you - and please enjoy our discussions!