The International Council
for Philosophy and Human Sciences

Towards the World Conference of the Humanities: A Brief Overview

THE WORLD CONFERENCE OF THE HUMANITIES
A Brief Overview

Objective
The Conference results from the awareness of the need to re-think the scope and role of human sciences in contemporary society, resuming the understanding of the relevance of the Humanities for everyday life.
The need for such an agenda is twofold. On one hand, there has been no global re-thinking on the role and scope of humanities following the major global changes that were accelerated in the past few decades. On the other hand, there is a growing need to re-introduce in the daily agenda of society a mid and long term perspective, that is required in face on the future uncertainty and which finds no answer within the limits of a purely immediate problem- solving approach.
The humanities provide unique skills and resources for individuals and societies to meet the growing need for sustainable living, participatory, and peaceful coexistence. Empowered by historical knowledge, critical thinking, and nuanced analysis of human ideas, values, and imagination, the human sciences provide understanding of the new salience of cultural capital in our contemporary world. Humanistic thinking offers a broader, deeper and more creative perspective than conventional problem-solving approaches to societal challenges. It contends that human flourishing can only be realized through renewed awareness of the human condition—past, present, and future--in relation to other sentient beings, our natural environment, and scientific and technological developments. Moreover, the humanities emphasize the potential of artistic expression to provide meaning in increasingly diverse societies.
The Conference will allow establishing a new agenda for the Humanities, with implications at the educational, research and policy making dimensions.

Participants
The Conference will be attended by c.1.800 delegates from all continents, representing all Humanities, but also natural and art sciences, the arts and social actors (e.g. policy makers).

Organization
The Conference will be jointly organized by CIPSH, UNESCO and LIEGETOGETHER. The organization structure includes a leading core group, a scientific board and an honorary and advisory board, besides a local organization committee.

Preliminary programme
Conference structure
a. The work will be grouped around 10 (ten) main themes, seen as crucial for present-day societies.
b. Each theme will be approached from different disciplinary perspectives and (as far as possible) will reflect a certain cultural diversity.
c. Each theme will become a chapter of the publication issuing from the Conference.
d. A list of themes has been prepared in consultation with the advisory committee of the Conference, the Board and the member organisations of CIPSH:

SOCIETAL ATTITUDES.
1. A dysfunctional world: world order and disorder, world governance, war and peace, wealth and poverty, and the search for humanness (maaya, ubuntu) and democracy.
2. The cultural repository.
a. Discovery of the past: archeology, history, anthropology, ethnology, linguistics.
b. Reinvention of the past: the destruction of tangible and intangible heritage, historical revisionisms, memorial actions, usurpations, and creationism.
3. The anthropological standpoint: human attitudes facing challenges.
4. Preparing the future: education, gender, health, and intergenerational transfer.

STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES.
5. Cultural identities and their construction: identity drifts and cultural integration, migrations and xenophobia.
6. Cultural and cross-cultural diversity: languages, arts and literatures, new and old communication technologies, tangible and intangible heritage, traditions and universality, genetic and cultural comingling.
7. The coexistence of beliefs: religions, social norms and values, individual rights.
8. Mankindinitsenvironment:anagendaforacommittedpartnershipwiththesocialand natural sciences for citizenship, sustainable social development, management of natural resources, technological innovation, bioethics, and ethics.

HUMANITIES: AN IMPERATIVE FOR A HUMAN WORLD.
9. Educationandteaching(includingtheimpactandchallengesofICTsandnewmediaon education).
10. Hegemony and scholarship in the humanities, social and natural sciences.

Major milestones

October 2009 Adama Samassékou, then President of CIPSH, presents the idea at the General Assembly of UNESCO, in Paris
Summer 2010 A first framework agreement is signed between CIPSH and UNESCO for 2010-2011, including the preparation of the World Conference
December 2010 The XXXth General Assembly of CIPSH in Nagoya (Japan) adopt the idea of the Conference and discuss the elements of a Draft Project
July 2011 Adoption of the Draft Project at the first Bureau meeting in Goa (India), with a possibility for Goa to host the Conference
May 2013 First meeting of Adama Samassékou and Robert Halleux with the Authorities of the City and the University of Liège to explore the possibility for this City to host the Conference
February 24th,2014 The City and the University of Liège present their official application to host the Conference
August 8th,2014 The First Provincial Deputy André Gilles announces the application to 60 Heads of State and their representatives, assembled in Liège for the commemorations of the centenary of the 1st World War
September 18th,2014 Contract between UNESCO and CIPSH to prepare the following stages of the World Conference
October 14th,2014 CIPSH General Assembly approves unanimously the application from Liège, in the presence of UNESCO
October 15th,2014 UNESCO Executive Committee takes note of the deliberations concerning the dates and place of the Conference
October 23rd, 2014 Report from CIPSH on the activities incurred and the steps to follow for the World Conference, at Liège
January 2015 On the occasion of its 66th anniversary, CIPSH issues a letter of invitation to the Conference, announcing its partnership with UNESCO and LIÈGETOGETHER
February 28th,2015 First meeting of the core group, at Liège
April 13th-15th,2015 Meeting of the core group with the legal representatives of LIÈGETOGETHER
April 2015 The draft resolutions 38 C/5 for UNESCO programme 2016-2017 (vol.1), explicitly include the World Conference of the Humanities
June 22nd-23rd, 2015 Official meeting of CIPSH, UNESCO and LIÈGETOGETHER to prepare a pre-programme and website and organize a press-conference
July 2015 Core group meeting to prepare the first circular
June 2015 Open invitation to be signed by the President of CIPSH, the DG of UNESCO and the President of LIÈGETOGETHER
September 2015 Presentation of the Conference at the World Social sciences Forum, in Durban
October 24th,2015 Core group meeting to prepare final programme structure
December 8th-9th,2015 General Assembly of CIPSH in Beijing, with the presences of UNESCO and the Conference SG, for approval of the Conference programme


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  Article Source : WCH
September 17, 2015


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