THE ELEPHANT DIALOGUES

One reality, multiple visions

In this first edition of THE ELEPHANT DIALOGUES we will discuss together the theme of Care: Is it an instinctual or a deliberate relationship? Is it partial, or disinterested? Can it be taught and developed? What is its true essence? To answer these and many other questions is both urgent and useful for the individual and society.

“A father consoles his sobbing daughter, a nurse helps a suffering patient, a teacher gives new tools to a pupil in difficulty, a passer-by aids a stranger who is lost, a group of volunteers cleans up and renews an environment. These and countless other interactions show care: a relationship in which one human being helps another human being, furthering his or her wellbeing, learning, and personal growth. The relationship of care can at times be awkward, distracted, or even oppressive. But at its best, it is helpful, capable of awakening the most beautiful qualities, such as kindness, warmth, and intelligence. What’s more, it can find its way into fields, with which, in the current mentality, it is normally not associated, like finance and robotics. 

The relationship of care has been part of human history since its beginnings; upon it is founded our possibility for justice and civilization: without it we might fall into the abyss of barbarism. For this reason it is essential to study care in depth: Is it an instinctual or a deliberate relationship? Is it partial, or disinterested? Can it be taught and developed? What is its true essence? To answer these and many other questions is both urgent and useful for the individual and society.”
(Piero Ferrucci).

THE ELEPHANT DIALOGUES allow various points of view to converge on a single phenomenon so as to broaden our understanding of it. The arts, sciences, humanistic disciplines, and individual experiences, are placed on the same plane, like knots in a net.

Some dialogues widen our vision, where a singular thought cannot by itself explain the complex reality in which we live. A variety of perspectives and disciplines can give us a more complete understanding of ourselves, of others and of the world.

WITH US AT THE CONFERENCE WILL BE:

Francesca Barbagli: psychologist with training in Psychosynthesis, trainer, theater teacher, coordinator of the scientific committee of the Verso foundation.

Andrea Bocconi: psychologist, psychotherapist, Psychosynthesis teacher, writer. Among is books are: Viaggiare e non partire (Guanda), Duelli (Mondadori), Psicosintesi per educatori (ZonaFranca) – English version: Psychosynthesis for Educators (ZonaFranca).

Piero Ferrucci: graduated from the University of Turin with a degree in Philosophy. He trained with Roberto Assagioli at the Institute of Psychosynthesis in Florence. He is a psychologist and psychotherapist, enrolled in Tuscany’s Order of Psychologists, an educator at the Institute of Psychosynthesis, and teacher in the S.I.P.T. (Italian Society of Therapeutic Psychosynthesis). He has written a number of books, including: What We May Be (TarcherPerigree), Your Inner Will (TarcherPerigree), The Power of Kindness (TarcherPerigree) with a preface by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Beauty and the Soul (TarcherPerigree). He lives and works in Florence.

Luciano Balbo: A businessman with 20 years’ experience in the Venture Capital and Private Equity sectors, he founded Oltre Venture after a period in the social sphere, which he began in 2002 with the constitution of the Oltre Foundation, the first Italian foundation of Venture Philanthropy. Luciano was the co-founder of B&S Private Equity, one of the main Italian agents in the Private Equity sector. Previously he held the position of Director General of Finnova (SO.PA.F spa), the first Venture Capital firm in Italy. Luciano has more than nine years’ managerial experience in leading companies within the chemical and steel sector. He graduated in Physics from the University of Milan and gained an MBA at the Bocconi University.

Corrado Pensa: is the founding member and head teacher of A.me.co, Association for Vipassana Insight Meditation). A senior Dharma teacher at IMS, Insight Meditation Society, Barre (USA), for many years he was a lecturer in the Religions and Philosophies of India at La Sapienza University, Rome. He was also a Jungian psychotherapist. He writes regularly for SATI, A.me.co’s journal. He has published numerous writings on Buddhism and the practice of mindfulness meditation, including: Il silenzio tra due onde (Mondadori) and La tranquilla passione (Astrolabio Ubaldini); L’intelligenza Spirituale and, in May 2018, together with Neva Papachristou, Affrettati Piano: Il cammino interiore e la meditazione di consapevolezza: una strada per la felicità.

Luigina Mortari: is a lecturer in the Epistemology of Pedagogical Research at the University of Verona. Besides many articles in journals, both Italian and foreign, she has published: Abitare con saggezza la terra (Angeli 1994); Natura e… (editor) (Angeli 1999); Per una pedagogia ecologica (La Nuova Italia 2001); Aver cura della vita della mente (La Nuova Italia 2002); Filosofia della cura (Raffaello Cortina).

Wolgang Fasser: S wiss music therapist and physiotherapist, is a highly unusual individual. Blind from the age of 22 due to a genetic illness, he treats handicapped children in a small town of the Tuscan Apennines, his adopted home. In winter he moves to Lesotho in southern Africa. A collaborator of the Romena fraternity, he has been, since 2009, custodian of reception and silence at the Casa di Romena (Poppi, Arezzo).

Beyond Ghor lay a town, whose inhabitants were all blind. One day a king, accompanied by his court, arrived there. The king had a powerful elephant that he used both to fight battles and to arouse the people’s awe. The town’s dwellers were anxious to know what the elephant was like, and a few members of that blind community, the wisest of them, went to find out. They began to gather information by touching some of its parts, and each of them believed he knew the nature of the elephant. The one who touched the ear said: “it is something big, rough, wide and long, like a carpet”. The one who touched the trunk said: “it resembles a straight, empty tube”. The one who touched the foot said: “it is as mighty and stable as a pillar”. Each of them had touched only one of the elephant’s many parts; his perception was not wrong: it was partial. None had got to know the elephant in its totality. As long as everyone believes he is the only one who is right, no one will know the whole truth.