Thursday, November 09, 2006

Understandascope - a second order perspective

On Monday I had a very enjoyable and long lunch with Frank Fisher whose work I have admired over many years. At one stage I tried hard to set it up so that Frank could take a sabbatical at the OU or that we could collaborate on systems-informed environmental education (particularly our Masters in Environmental Decision Making), but in the end it did not eventuate. The good news is that despite the demise of his very influential MSc (due to structural and cost changes in the local MSc 'market') he still has a project based at Monash and a new book which brings together most of his work.

The project is aptly called 'Understandascope' and uses one of Michael Leunig's insightful cartoons to symbolise the project. Frank and I are both interested in taking a double look - understanding understandings! (At the OU we use the same cartoon as an organising metaphor in our course 'Managing Complexity. A systems approach').

The book, 'Response Ability' is doubly welcome - it brings together an important set of ideas developed over a lifetime of contributing to making the difference that makes a difference. It also, perhaps for the first time, makes Frank's ideas accessible as it has sometimes been difficult to keep track of the range and scope of Frank's work.

Frank Fisher also lecturers at the National Centre for Sustainability.

His new publication is entitled RESPONSE ABILITY - Environment, Health and Everyday Transcendence the collected works of Frank Fisher.

Interested readers can purchase a copy of his book for $34.95 (plus GST) from the National Centre for Sustainability, Swinburne University of Technology Hawthorn Campus. Please call +61 3 9214 5997 to place your order.

Or contact the publishers: Vista Publications PO Box 76 St. Kilda Victoria, Australia 3182 Telephone: +61 3 9534 8881

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