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Towards a Sustainable Mindset: Experiential Determinants of Change Learning
Published: 02 November 2011 by MDPI in The 1st World Sustainability Forum session General and Related Topics
Abstract: The author is a natural scientist and philosopher who has been successfully involved in the global experience industry for more than 25 years. During this period of time he has developed a coherent, interdisciplinary body of knowledge that appears to be of essential interest as related to the transition towards a sustainable society: the Experience Science,. Important scientific inputs come from underlying disciplines like cybernetics, system theory, psychology, and cognitive science. One of the key findings of the Experience Science is the innate structure of human experiencing. Any human experience includes 5 different experiential domains that influence and regulate each other. These five domains are: the emotional domain (feeling); the mental imagery domain (mental narrating); the sensorimotor domain (acting & perceiving); the rational domain (rational reasoning); the communicational domain (conversing). In the light of the Experience Science the dilemma of the current transition process towards a sustainable society becomes clearly visible. Any relevant (academic and / or technological) attempt reduces the existing problems to more or less exclusively the rational domain. Although ever evolving rational knowledge indeed is an indispensable prerequisite for a sustainable future this is utterly reductionist. Societal change towards a sustainable life-style can only happen if the whole experiential system gets a chance to reorganize itself. This among others leads to the following logical consequence. Any rational knowledge is embedded in a both emotional and narrative knowledge system that underlies and frames human reasoning. As long as human learning restricts itself to an exclusively rational attempt the underlying emotional and narrative program remains untouched. The learner hence continues orienting his / her attention into the direction determined by the underlying emotional and narrative paradigm. The paper outlines the experiential determinants of change and analyzes their specific, constitutive interrelations. From this a holistic choreography of change learning is derived that pays tribute to the intrinsic transition principles represented by the human learner.  Frank, Gerhard. Erlebniswissenschaft. Über die Kunst Menschen zu begeistern. LIT, 2011.  Frank, Gerhard. The Experience Science. A new discipline on the rise. LIT, in print.
Keywords: the experience science, experiential domains, change learning, societal transition