We, as a global community, are perhaps at a pivotal point in our history. The economic market related decisions that humans have been making for generations are rendering like never before notably tangible effects on our natural environment and overall societal functioning.
If we are going to find creative solutions to global challenges, is it prudent that we consider the roots of prominent global issues?
The ‘De’ of Development is my thesis research purposed toward cultural and environmental preservation as well as cultivating global awareness of development related impact issues.
This mixed methods thesis, conjoining civil documentary journalism with the academic lenses of environmental and social science, explores this inquiry by focusing primarily on the ‘de’ of development. By overlaying and hence connecting the societal with the ecological, I probe, unearth, and concretely bond notions of humans’ intimate connection with each other, with our environment, and how changes in one aspect resultantly impacts the others. This is about our global village.
As a context for investigating how perhaps all of humanity is being continually impacted by development and modernity related phenomena, we journey into the high mountains of northern Thailand. There, the traditional lifestyles of ethnic peoples are rapidly vanishing. Aspects of a homogenizing global culture are perforating their socio-fabric and shifting centuries of learning and indigenous knowledge aside. Villagers from an age range inform us about this.
The root and ultimate goal of this research project is to illustrate our communion on Planet Earth, and how we are together being affected by our collective actions. This has great potential for cultivating intercultural understanding, nourishing human healing, and building social capital.
Humankind, as it always has, can determine its destiny. … May we choose wisely.