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Yaacov Hecht unfolds the meaning of Democratic Education

"Democratic Education: A Beginning of a Story", that author of the book Yaacov Hecht talks about the meaning of Democratic School of Hadera, and the theories and practical application of democratic education. Equipped with an unwavering commitment to, and unconditional respect for students, Hecht shares how he and others have faced the unseen challenges of starting a school outside of the standardized norm.

Watch the interview by clicking here:


Upgrading Collectively Democracy Now! (by Thomas Flanagan)

Not in all communities, but in many communities, there is a growing sense of confusion, frustration, and even anger in America, and it takes its form at the street level upon which most Americans live their lives. The confusion is larger than what any one mind can grasp. It races like a dark shadow ahead of us into our futures, and most of us sense that we can do little more than try to ignore it. Situations which seem too complex to understand remain obscure. We don’t want even to talk about them because we don’t want to feel responsible for thinking about them. We impulsively sense that some will win, and others will lose, and that our tightest circle of like-minded spirits is our greatest hope for weathering the storm. Fundamentalism, of both the civic and the spiritual form, holds us in its grasp this way.  Along with the confusion comes the fracturing. Each church that strengthens its identity unavoidably secures its boundaries. Each labor union that speaks for the special advantages of its own members unavoidably speaks against those of different unions, or those who are not within a union. Each special interest that raises its voice in an appeal for relief masks appeals from other special interests. And each culture, pressed upon by the unspoken mandates for convergence toward a greater cultural norm, senses the loss of its traditions and sets its heels to resist the pull for change. The ideal of “We-The-People” collides with the felt reality of the “Them-and-Us.” We cannot be one people if we cannot think, and then also feel, as one people. But where does this thinking happen? No one can do it for us if we do not participate ourselves. How can we think through the gathering complexities together?


Nein, Herr Schäuble!

Σε μερικούς ανθρώπους έρχεται μια μέρα
που πρέπει το μεγάλο Ναι ή το μεγάλο το Οχι να πούνε. 
Φανερώνεται αμέσως όποιος τό χει έτοιμο μέσα του το Ναι,
και λέγοντάς το πέρα πηγαίνει στην τιμή και στην πεποίθησί του.
Ο αρνηθείς δεν μετανοιώνει. Αν ρωτιούνταν πάλι, όχι θα ξαναέλεγε.
Κι όμως τον καταβάλλει εκείνο το όχι -- το σωστό -- εις όλην την ζωή του.

(Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης (1901)

[Σκέψεις μιας Ελληνίδας, με αφορμή την συνέντευξη του πρώην υπουργού οικονομικών της Γερμανίας στον Αλέξη Παπαχελά]. 

Έρχεται, με τον ένα ή τον άλλο τρόπο στη ζωή όλων μας η στιγμή που πρέπει να πούμε το μεγάλο ΝΑΙ ή το μεγάλο ΌΧΙ, όπως λέει και ο ποιητής. Κάποτε με τα όπλα, κάποτε με το παράδειγμα ζωής μας και κάποτε με τις λέξεις. Στις δύσκολες στιγμές που περνά η πατρίδα μας, επειδή εδώ και 8 χρόνια ασφυκτιά η ελπίδα μας για το αύριο, ξενιτεύονται, όχι μόνο οι νέοι, μας και τα ίδια τα νιάτα μας, φοβούνται οι ηλικιωμένοι μας, δεινοπαθούν οι εργαζόμενοι στο βωμό μιας κρίσης που έχει καταργήσει κάθε εργασιακό κεκτημένο και έχει μετατρέψει όσους διατηρούν την εργασία τους σε γρανάζια μιας μηχανής που πρέπει να συνεχίσει να δουλεύει παρά το γεγονός ότι τρώει τις σάρκες της.

Collision of Good Intentions.... a little campus friction warms the soul -- a lot of campus friction chills the heart! by Thomas Flanagan

..... a little campus friction warms the soul -- a lot of campus friction chills the heart!

Universities, as microcosms of our ideal communities, are environments for productively bringing together contrasting ideas. Not all academics see it this way. Some see the university's first mission as a boot camp for advanced training. Disagreements even at this elevated academic level provide fuel for creative tensions - between pure and applied sciences; between mechanical reductionism and organic synthesis; between creative expression and rigorous recital. The administrative challenge is to control the temperature of the learning culture . to foster the warmth of engaged interaction while avoiding the heat of entrenched conflict. This has become an increasingly formidable administrative challenge. But why is this happening? One possible view is that we are institutionalizing our inquiry processes as a manifestation of a bureaucratic organizational structure. But this statement must be unpacked to be understood.

Από τη γνώμη των ολίγων στη γνώση για όλους..... μεσω του Δομημένου Δημοκρατικού Διαλόγου!


Balancing Individualism & Collectivism through.....Demoscopio [Chapter pp.429-461]

(So proud to share with the rest of the world a dream that comes true.... not only the chapter in this book about Demoscopio, but also the actual implementation of a passionate vision for civic engagement and democratic participation that is co-designed to empower local communities and empower individualism and collectivism for FUTU[R]EVOLUTION & CHANGE!!! Special thanks to Professors J.McIntyre-Mills and Norma Romm!) 

For the emergence of a Demosensual [R]evolutionary Eutopia in the twenty-first century, we ought to transcend the totalitarian, elitist approaches of political, financial, and societal policies and the obsolete social design methods, with innovative democratic practices, that will enable citizens from all walks of life, in participating in meaningful, authentic, demosensual dialogue. This chapter is inspired by the foundation for a locally based, but globally connected capability that transcends the conventional approach of Systems Science and marks the emergence of a new epoch for engaging stakeholders in social design practices. Demoscopio Center of the Science of Dialogic Design, Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been officially approved and adopted by the City Council of the Municipality of Heraklion, which is the capital of the Greek island of Crete, and a historical and culturally sensitive center, since the Minoan era. It is the culmination of 50 years of work of visionary systems thinkers, such as Harold Lasswell, Hasan Ozbekhan, John N. Warfield, and Alexander N. Christakis. Demoscopio is the contemporary reenactment of the Ancient Athenian Agora of the fifth-century B.C, with advanced technological and methodological means. It represents an innovative way to talk the walk, and walk the talk! It is the [r]evolutionary scientific implementation of the complementarity among the “Three Phases of Science” for fostering cooperation, enhancing communication, and activating social networking among citizens, innovators, and entrepreneurs. It offers the opportunity for co-designing resolutions for complex issues, through evolutionary learning and applications of the Science of Dialogic Design. It is the innovation for innovations, entrepreneurial development, democratic eutopia, for thinking globally, [inter]acting locally and making an impact glocally.

You can read a big part of this important work by clicking the link: 


Walking the "tight rope" connecting Cultural Sensitivity with Freedom of Expression

Walking the "tight rope" connecting Cultural Sensitivity with Freedom of Expression

"It is the mark of an educated mind
to be able to entertain a thought,
without accepting it as fact."

By writing this commentary, regarding the recent Silliman College dissonance at Yale, about “safe space” vs. free expression, I want to make it clear from the beginning, for the reader, that as a journalist I do not believe in the “either or” dilemmas. On the contrary, I prefer to take a stand with professional skepticism and humanistic empathy to what is perceived as a journalistic “fact”, by reconceptualizing alternative understandings of the issue, inter-subjectivity of the individuals, inquiry and doubt. I also believe that what seems on the surface to be a “dissonance”, it is often not related to the actual “facts”, but to the [mis]interpretations, we as human beings make; in most cases these are connected to our personal feelings, values, knowledge, experiences, cultural sensitivities and intentions. What is happening, these days, at Yale is not just a simple incident regarding Halloween costumes and personal choices. This is the “straw that broke the camel’s back”, or rather a hidden-old-open wound that requires attention, thoughtful resolution, and constructive dialogue. Yale students are rising up, as they feel that their voices, cultural sensitivities and minority rights, haven’t been considered adequately, in creating the “safe space” they need.


Εθνικό Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο: Διαχείριση Κρίσεων Δομημένος Δημοκρατικός Διάλογος και Δημοσκόπιο

 Το Παιδαγωγικό Τμήμα Δημοτικής Εκπαίδευσης (Π.Τ.Δ.Ε.) του Εθνικού και Καποδιστριακού Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών (Ε.Κ.Π.Α.), ο Τομέας Επιστημών Αγωγής και οι Μεταπτυχιακές Κατευθύνσεις του Τομέα οργανώνουν επιστημονική ημερίδα – συζήτηση, με αντικείμενο: "Διαχείριση Κρίσεων στα Κοινωνικά Συστήματα: Από τον Δομημένο Δημοκρατικό Διάλογο στο Δημοσκὀπιο" [Crisis Management in Social Systems:From Structured Democratic Dialogue to Demoscopio]. Ομιλητές θα είναι ο διεθνώς καταξιωμένος Ελληνοαμερικανός Καθηγητής Σχεδιασμού Κοινωνικών Συστημάτων Δρ. Αλέξανδρος Ν. Χρηστάκης και η Επικοινωνιολόγος Κοινωνικού Σχεδιασμού κ. Μαρία Κακουλάκη. Η ημερίδα θα πραγματοποιηθεί την Τετάρτη, 10 Μαΐου 2017, στις 18.00, στο Αμφιθέατρο «Άλκης Αργυριάδης» του Εθνικού και Καποδιστριακού Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών (κεντρικό κτήριο, Πανεπιστημίου 30) και θα είναι ανοικτή για το κοινό.