SKGR: Past… present… future…
Self Knowledge Global Responsibility (“SKGR”) was founded in 2009. It exists to educate people and in particular to raise greater awareness about the connection between individual self-knowledge, sustainable development and civic responsibility, and to encourage people to be better citizens.
SKGR organises symposia and seminars at which experts in fields such as sustainable agriculture, ethical investment, social enquiry, education, conflict resolution, social business, low-impact buildings, and sustainability (amongst others) give educational talks and lead discussions. SKGR also publishes the Self Knowledge Global Responsibility journal, which contains articles on a range of educational topics connected in particular to individual self-knowledge and sustainable development, exploring the connection between how we understand ourselves and the way we act in the world.
Self knowledge global responsibility first appeared, like many ideas do, as a phrase jotted down on a piece of note paper. It was an attempt to describe the scope of the first Symposium to be held at the Beshara School in 2009, an event we hoped would be welcoming and useful to both the most contemplative and the most active of participants.
It seemed to encapsulate what the symposium was really about; we as human beings coming to know who we are and what we are for, not just as isolated individuals on our personal journeys but rather as a collected body of humanity with undeniably shared inner and outer concerns.
After that first genuinely inspiring Symposium it was clear that self knowledge and global responsibility was something that the majority of people one spoke to, readily understood as relevant and meaningful to them in their own lives and in their own milieux. In the SKGR context one could hear about insights in economics or neuroscience or indigenous peoples’ lives or education and correlate them directly to the meaning of being human. This correlation was clearly the purpose of the SKGR project.
In this way even though the SKGR idea emerged in the hothouse of the Beshara School and would be meaningless without the metaphysics of unity as studied in the School, it was obvious from the start that it had a different remit. While the Beshara School provides courses with an indepth experiential focus on self knowledge and the unity of being, the self knowledge global responsibility project focuses on the those same principles as manifest in public discourse and culture at large, educating people about sustainable development and the advancement of citizenship on a global scale.
In short the SKGR project explicitly recognises and celebrates the fact that there are many people throughout the world all articulating in their own way the same impulse for a step change in consciousness. Global awareness is a virtual given and taking responsibility for ourselves an unavoidable necessity. Likewise global responsibility is something we are all increasingly aware of while knowing ourselves seems an ever more urgent task if we are to have any kind of sustainable future. It doesn’t matter which way round one looks at this relationship; it seems that all we have to do is connect the two or understand that they are one, and see what things look like from that ever changing and always contemporary point of view.
In January 2011 self knowledge global responsibility dropped the “and”, since these two aspects of the vision are not separate, and, more mundanely, SKGR became a Community Interest Company. The first issue of the Journal was launched at the same time.
We genuinely don’t know what is in store for the SKGR project. Facing the Unknown, the title of the second symposium and the first journal may as well be our watch words. Yet far from feeling like a difficulty, facing the unknown is only a matter of being present in the moment and ready for what is to come. That stand point, for all its inherent uncertainty, is very exciting and what gives the self knowledge global responsibility project its meaning and purpose.