Heiner Benking, Berlin heiner@benking.dewww.in-betweener.org/flatworlds/maps/ please visit also: www.deepworlds.org/

Background Material for



as part of: "Time for Renewal" -

Time to fight Map-"Analphabetism"
High Time to re-visit our World-Views, World-Maps, World-Models & Earth Literacy
- and how we map, model, and communicate -

pls. see this section as part of recommendations (2)

Ecoliteracy and Earth Literacy are definitely important issues. Interesting meetings have been held at Rio+10 in Johannesburg, or already 1990 in France, see Talloires Declaration, and a UNESCO report from 2002 or the IAU reports on this, or - highly recommended Educating Earth-Literaste Leaders _PDF (Jucker/Martin 2003), but shoudn't we make such terms more real and concrete to we can negotiate and see from different angles? It is okey to seperate deep-ecology meaning to look for the inner side, but arent there so many other sides and views as well, and can the old seperationn of "inner versus outer outer" help us? even when we seperate micro from macro we still need to say if this applies to a certain individual, or a group or culture. pls also visit the Furture of Higher Education with some references to what is meant here, or the Grand Environmental Challenges collected by the US National Academies, NRC; NAS in Washington to make a differenced.

or other links to show how "en vogue" the topic earth literacy is:


I am collecting here some text on about the tackling og global or Earth issues in the past and howe and why I feel connected and concerned and "rooted" in the the issue.:

For this we feel we need a broader reference schema, wider "common frames of references" ***LINK* which also can hold and include other sign systems, other cultural and sensorial and aesthetical input, at least from a high stand - by stepping back and trying to outline the whole from a distance (missing the details but caring for the bigger picture and the larger scheme of things). Educating towards becomming ALSO generalistic - not just specializing more and more on less and less (Ropohl).

This now needs to applied not just to Words but also any kinds of representation - as EARTH LITERACY is much more than just knowing your "Alphabet" - but knowing about all the Alphabets and the whole Literature and Practice of all the subjects and phennomena connected to Earth. This definitely not lost in details but having an idea of what and how we can know and apply and communciate about the issues not just in a dualistic "flat" cosmogy, but including other dimensions, ****See: in-betweener.org/deepworlds and 9-d.org and Deepworlds ****

Outlining EARTH LITERACY and how it was tackeled in "history"...

For the author the work of the UIA in Brussels and the ICA in *** is one of the foundations of addressing global and cultural issues at the needed overarching international and integral scale. The Yearbooks of Interantional Organizations, the Encyclopedia of WORLD PROBLEM and HUMAN POTENTIAL, the *** all needs to be mentioned - but there is not space here, and we want to address the mandate and call to order and action by KOFI ANNAN above, urging us to find something shared and tangible to communicate and act according to the need of sustainability and survival of the Planet, or at least the mayor present life-forms.

The author encountered first before Rio Chart: (ANTHONY JUDGE UIA and UNU) and after Rio (see keynote for Noel Brown by this author) how difficult it is do go beyond the "turf" ones own home quarters, like thinking for an EARTH SUMMIT not just for one or two UN being in charge in the operatring procedure or codes of procedure like for Rio `92 Environmentment and Development, but any other UN Organisation and Programme involved, like Health, Food, Security, Maritume, Metereological (Climate), Finance, .... any one who is a stakehodler in the issue at hand, and not just a few selected countries, but all in their fair represention and according to the contributions they make for the better or worse of the Planet. You see we think here Earth Literacy as needing a very BIG PICTURE a picture of the Common Frames of References, the Common Prospectus.

Later this lead to the a "Masterplan with Bridges" 1992, a CONCEPTUAL SUPERSTRUCTURE proposal NAS/NRC, GLAOBL CHALLENGES NAS/NRC, "Pragmatic Spin" against Cybercultures "turns", and around the search for Ecological Integrity, Health and Ethics, and with the EARTH CHARTA crowd a the proposal of a GLOBAL COVENANT 2003 **LINK****

So we taked about EARTH LITERATE LEADERS and GLOBAL POLICY COLLEGES for GLOBAL GOVERNANCE of EARTH LITERATE LEADERS first in 1995, when the CLUB OF ROME REPORT "Capacity to Govern" was introduced in berlin at the UN Climate Summit '95. With Yehezkel Dror, University of Jerusalem with presented "7 points to remember" where we not only show that our present "rules" and "politcians" have learnt very little about our planet and how to run it. The last 2 "bullets" of how to address the the vicious problem circles, and how to "structure meaningfully what we know in a conceptual supestructure" were all too often overlooked, but this can not make us wonder, when we recall the discussions and acceptance of the book, which took was so controvesial that it tooks nearly 5 years to have it availbale in English! in a very reduced version! - after it was published as a trasnlation ! in German and shortly later in Spanish ! ( The author of the Club of Rome Report wrote in English - and not just Hebrew as you can imagine as one of the most experienced government advisor over decades).

Heiner was excited to learn about the EARTH LITERATE LEADERS papers for Rio+10 in Johannesburg 2002 and sadened that like the discussions around the CAPACITY TO GOVERN report, leaders in cahrge felt discriminated, as our leaders feel they know (when in reality they do not). He organised with youth Programmes to make Youth model complex issues and play with the elements, or ask decision makers THINK GLOBAL - ACT LOCAL sounds great: please tell us how you actually do that: Give us examples how you think "Global". This is in line with his workshop with youth in 1993 where the kids headline was "OUR VIEW OF LIFE IS TOO FLAT" ****link**** So his work is only "empty" verbiage, words without meaning and referent ("Plastic Words": Pörksen) and how instead making words solid and sitautions to be made real in order to share, grip, grasp, grock and grope...


Dilemma, Trilemma, Tetralemma Polylemma....and Viscious Problem Circles

Rio RT**



quo vadis: geosciences, cybernetics, humanities....


The Author Heiner Benking, born 1951

is engineer and geo-scientist and did his diploma specialising in geo-ecology and simualtion planning in the early 70ies, taking all he learned around the Club of Rome Scope and the Global Problematique, he worked in the mid 70ies as a Regional Planner overseas and learned how proposing ecological development like otehr dams, other infrastructure, other energy and housing was not winning in times when he had first learn how "Economic Hitmen" operate in real life and in various countries.....

How to structure our knowledge maeningfully is one of his central concerns in his professional life. It has lead from International and National Environmental Research and Mangement, from Computing and Visualisation already in the 70ies, to marketing, management, later communication and eduaction, working with youth around issues like culture and ethics. Central Milestones on his way were the CAMP World Computer Graphics Asscociation 1985 keynote and key technical theme on matters of Visualisation and Management including GIS, DTP and any kind of Computer Graphics, Scientific Visualisation for Environmental Applications 1987, in the early 90ies were the Global Change and Local and Global Change exhibition, the work for the Alfred Wegener Foundation, Exhibition, Policy,..., and the International Corner for the UN Climate Summit in 1995.

He engaged aroud Peace and Ecumenic / Ethic activities in co-oepration with Robert Jungk int eh early 90ies, after the Berlin wall had come down he helped with Peace Projects, like and International Peace University in Berlin, volunteering to organisd mayor events. This is where he met Ervin Laszlo with whom (and ohters) he summarized the International Peace University Summer School 1995 (one month). (LINK). In that time he had been invited by Ervin Laszlo as a CREATIVE MEMBER of the Club of Budapest, for which he served as Editor and International Coordinator for some years but was tired of all the turfs, ego-elbowing, cahrity galas, and financial struggling of all this "DO GOOD" people who primarily fight for turfs instead of adressing the global issues, or get lost in the inner, but forgeting the outer and in-between realms of existence.

Heiner was co-editor of the ISSS Wholeness Seminar an ongoing electronic Seminar on HOLISM-WHOLENESS where different sciences and cultures discuss "Lumping not Splittering", engages since the late 80ies in dialog and participation projects Magic- Round Table - Open-Forum, and since 1996 into an "Art of Governance" called Panetics, was invited to work with the founders of the Earth Day and the Earth Stuarts, was an Associate of the FAW, Ulm, working with Prof. Radermacher, FAW Ulm (now GLOBAL MARSCHALL PLAN) for some years in the early and mid 90ies opening doors between clubs, societies, industries,...and is a normal (founding) Member of Infoterm (Teminology Research Vienna), and member of the Academic Advisory Board for the Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (LINK) where most of his "constructions" found entry, and sees himself as an in-betweener, someone who bridges and constructs positive futures and tries to tackle the problems of miscommunication, misrepresentation, overclaims, oversimplifications and ignorance. He is in the board of various Youth, Education, Goverance and Policy organisations.

recommendations.... link: http://www.in-betweener.org/flatworlds/maps/recommendations.html

Literacy? - und Empfehlungen

Literacy und Map Empfehlungen !!


A needed "Literacy" maybe Earth-Literacy for Leaders and Policymakers was a central issue around the Club of Rome Report "Capacity to Govern" in 1995. Please see our seven recommendations we drafted for the press conference when introducing the report ** "Link". The key concern was that Leaders were lost and not aware of key and frames, tools and means, proportions and consequences, and how to communicate and participate in order to find alternatives and solutions.

After looking into the Rio pre-process and drafting the "outcome" versus original intentions of the Earth Summit having to do with establishing or awareness about "common frames of references" ** LINK*+ on behalf of Noel Brown for B. B. Ghali, ***

When learning about the campaign for Earth Literate Leaders around Rio+10 *** LINK *** I was pleased and eager to learn about the change of mind and policy created and the needed impact, But many of this terminology or verbiage is part of the problem - not the solution. "leaders" without having ever followed a direction or been aware of the map, the scale, legend and thematic scope and orientation where discussing gyro - govenance -leading without ever to consider the frame of mind or reference, fideltity and thruth(ing).

see CYBERNETICS...Quo Vadis ? 2004 Humanities Quo Vadis 2004 geosciences Quo Vadis 1991

It let me remember some interviews of Youth with "Leaders" around Rio+10. After acknowledging the "THINK GLOBAL and ACT LOCAL" being quoted everywhere, the Youth were asking the elders: great, we agree with "think global" - makes sense - BUT.... please tell us and explain how you actually do it, this "THINK GLOBAL" - please give us 3 concrete example how you think global -- Plastik words....

Our World is too flat ! too abstract - Pörksen !! works without flesh - content -meaning context...

Turku ??

So what do we mean by Earth Literacy ?

able to read worlds, images, signs ? and combine for a bigger picture ...

Literacy for Leaders, for Pupils, Scientists and everyone?



For textbooks only..?

for Science only ? DILEMMA - youtt or Policy Henn or Egg?

Thanks to David R.Wright's DRAFT "Towards better world maps in textbooks" which have received thaks to Professor Klaus Hüfner Dec 19th, 2005. Wright aptly and terse makes 10 Recommendations with in depth explanation as PROPSOAL or a DRAFT on how to come to "better world-maps in textbooks". This will be a major breakthrough for classrooms, but many questions remain open when considered for broader application:

1-10: ***************

please find explanation and more here: ***** BOOKS RESEARCH ***

The request for "equal area" representations needs to be supported by all means because we need no navigation charts or compromises between various criteria when people look at a World MAP as a whole and compare areas and find regions on the - please do not forget - WORLD MAP level of detail. Distance and Directions not to be truthful at any point might not be a prime criterium but a general representation of shape of the continents is.

So Wright's dismissal of the "Equal Area" Peters Projection is understandable and accepted, except for educational purposes. We might need to remember that Peters created for Atlases with a "Golden ration" format a portrait of the Earth which fits into our "standard" paper format. A questionbable "Standard" or Format, but if you translate area locations onto a given "grid" you can select any grid, as was shown "here"

The question is if we learn about truth and fidelity, or if we learn that cartographers need to trick and cheat to make a map. LINK ... and lay-people believe that they just look at pictures of the world, and make them believe that it makes sense to believe the compromise is the truth, whatever the extremes.

but leaving out that the

Litercy is:

Knowing which criteria who used when where and at which scale for what !!


Heiner Benking