Fritjof meets with Capra Course Alumni in Florence, May 2018

Fritjof and the Alumni Group meeting in Florence

We at the Capra Course are thrilled every time we hear about Capra Course Alumni mobilising around the world, and meeting up in person after sharing the experience of the course together.

It’s always so exciting to hear about how the online world of networks enables these meetings in the physical world, and how the power of technology has the potential to connect us in ways that simply weren’t possible in the past.

Last month, after travelling to the UK and teaching a course at Schumacher College at the end of April, Fritjof continued his travels to Italy, where he met up with a group of Alumni in Florence.

Below is an account of the gathering from Fritjof, and more information about the exciting projects that Italian Alumni are involved in. It is exciting that so many of them have a clear link with the Systems View of Life, and our hope is that together Alumni can support each other in doing even more.

If you are a Capra Course Alumni in Italy, and would like to connect with the group, join the conversation on the Alumni Network, where you can get in touch with those named directly.

Fritjof’s reflections:

“We had a great meeting in Florence on May 5 in a café in the center of town (Piazza della Repubblica). Unfortunately, the square was a big construction site, so the view in the picture is not too great.

Participants were Gino Martelli (who organized the meeting and also brought his daughter), Marie Louise Marty (Swiss by origin), Andrea Gardini, Andrea’s daughter Arianne (who is enrolled in the current Capra Course), and Leonardo Vietri. I was impressed by the fact that none of the participants were from Tuscany. They all came from other parts of Italy just for the meeting and for my subsequent lecture.

We had a very lively exchange of ideas during which several alumni presented interesting projects. Gino is working on a national park in Umbria, where he lives, which will include several towns, and will develop its own local economy and focus on biodiversity and sustainability.

The group sitting down for a drink together in a square in Florence

Andrea is promoting the concept of “Slow Medicine,” patterned after the popular “Slow Food” movement. Whereas the slogan of Slow Food is “buono — pulito — giusto” (“good — clean — just”), that of Slow Medicine will be “sober” (balanced with minimal interventions) — “respectful” (of the patient) — “just” (appropriate and affordable for all). Andrea is working on this project with Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food.

Leonardo is studying network dynamics and wants to develop a tool (platform) that corresponds to the systems view of life and lends itself to community enhancement better than existing platforms.

We also talked about producing a version of Capra Course with Italian subtitles. Andrea has already created an Italian translation of the lectures, and Leonardo told us that there is now software available that makes it very easy to create subtitles. They want to produce a pilot version of Lecture 1 which we could then use for raising funds to produce the whole course. Aboca, the Italian publisher of the textbook, are interested in funding the project.

The participants all agreed that this Italian alumni group should continue, and they generously offered to help promote the course in whatever way they can.

After the meeting we all walked to a beautiful small theater (Teatro Niccolini) for an evening with Stefano Mancuso, biologist at the University of Florence and pioneer in the new field of “plant neurobiology.” I had a very stimulating dialogue with Mancuso, about which I will report to the alumni network later on.

On the way to the theater, we stopped at the Duomo (the famous cathedral of Florence) for a last souvenir picture. The people in the attached photograph are (from left to right)

Arianne, Andrea, Gino’s daughter, Gino, Fritjof, Marie Louise, and Leonardo.”

Chris Burbridge