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Beyond the Culture of Contest

Dr. Michael Karlberg is a professor of Communications at Western Washington University whose work centers around the advancement of collaboration and mutualism in human relations.  In his TEDx Talk, Dr. Karlberg challenges the assumption that human nature is inherently competitive and self-interested. The consequence of this largely unchallenged assumption, that humans only have the capacity for competition and self-interest, is the establishment and entrenchment of a “culture of contest.”  Viewed from within this culture, governance is a contest for power, justice is a contest for legal advocacy, and education is a contest for grades and recognition.  Dr. Karlberg’s analysis exposes this very pervasive culture of contest and suggests alternative ways of thinking and acting that stem from a very deep commitment to humanity viewed as a singular and interconnected social body, about whose latent potentials we have only begun to learn.

What are the attributes of a culture which views human beings as cooperative and mutualistic?

What motivations sit deeper in the human heart than selfishness and competition?  How have you seen these motivations tapped in a way that advances individual and collective development?

The TEDx Talk can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0ZCAbYrQ7Q

Dr. Karlberg’s blog is agencyandchange.com

1 reply on “Beyond the Culture of Contest”

These attributes are the culture that the Bahai community follows such as unity, self sacrifice, dedication and harmony. At an institutional level i would name “consultation” (collective decision making that involves all segments of the society).

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