A university with the ambition to change the world was launched in Budapest this autumn
The Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University is claiming to be the first online educational institution to make high-quality, fully accredited university education accessible to young people everywhere.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu endorsed the launch. In a video message he said: “I am particularly thrilled by the goal you have set yourselves to throw open the doors of quality higher education to young people from low-income families. You hold in your hands the dreams of millions.”
Professor Ervin Laszlo, chancellor of the new university said its goal is to transform obsolete paradigms and empower students to help create an equitable, responsible and sustainable world.
“We live on a shared planet and everything that happens here affects every one of us,” said Professor Laszlo. “The trouble is that the knowledge of mainstream society is fragmented. It is not only fundamentally incomplete, it’s fundamentally misleading.”
The new university promises to challenge doctrines, structures and institutions that create artificial barriers between peoples, nations and cultures. It believes these subordinate the great majority of people to the interests of a political, economic or cultural minority.
Degree courses will begin in March 2012, but in early January a three-month ‘certificate’ course will start for which there are no formal requirements for students. It is open to everyone and costs $120.
Entitled 2012: Know Yourself and Know Your World, the course will include topics such as: ‘Evolution: how we got here and what is wrong’ and ‘What kind of future can we build: collaboration and creativity in the world shift.’
The university is a collaboration between a number of educational groups and the Club of Budapest – an organisation promoting a new ethics to help resolve social, political, economic and ecological challenges. It will offer bachelors and masters degrees in disciplines such as political science, business, education and sustainable development.
Honorary members include the renowned primatologist Dame Jane Goodall, co-founder of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and two nobel laureates: cosmologist and astrophysicist George Smoot and economist Robert Mundell.
Accepting an honorary doctorate, bestselling author Deepak Chopra said: “What we need right now is a new seed to have a new crop; a young generation at the grassroots level, who are asking themselves the most important questions that we can possibly ask in this time of global shift: What kind of world do we want to live in? Do I have a role in helping to create that world? What is my purpose in this life? What is the contribution I want to make?
“We have to move from the age of knowledge to the age of wisdom. If we radically shift our education to the unfolding of our potential, we will see a new world.”
Francisco Leon, chairman of the university’s council said: “The university is dedicated to sustaining and facilitating the urgently needed ‘world shift,’ motivated by the new thinking that Einstein declared is needed to solve the problems we face.”