The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Deemed to be University has flagged off the upcoming World Anthropology Congress, to be organized in 2023, by organizing Pre-WAC 2023 Lecture Series and Webinar Series on related areas of the theme.

In this context, KISS-DU organized an international webinar series – on ‘Global Peace, Development and the Challenges of Contemporary Transformations and Alternative Planetary Futures: Towards a New Anthropology and Philosophy of World Spheres’, in collaboration with United Indian Anthropology Forum (UIAF) and Swadhaya Sahachakra, Vishwaneedam Centre for Asian Blossoming and Raffles University, Neemrana on 8th Aug 2021.

The virtual platform was enriched and enlightened by the erudite talks of Dr. John Robert Clammer, Professor of Social Anthropology, O.P Jindal Global University/Kyoto University and Professor Mamphela Ramphele, Co-founder of Reimagine South Africa and the Co-president of the Club of Rome, as esteemed panelists, and Dr. Rajni Lamba, CEO of the Rural Environmental Enterprises Development Society (The Reeds, India) as Chairperson of the webinar. The session was moderated by Professor Ananta Kumar Giri, Madhurai Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India.  

Introducing the topic, Professor Ananta Kumar Giri highlighted Peace, Reconciliation, and Dialogues Among Civilizations and said: “Dialogue among civilization is a part of a movement towards a new civilizational transition and building a new civilization, going beyond anthropocentric dominance and a new civilization in which Nature, Human and Divine play creative roles.” Peace and development are perennial human and societal challenges. The contemporary world calls for new visions and practices of peace and development as well as structural and cultural peace. Peace involves self, society, and the world in interconnected ways, added Professor Giri.

Professor Mamphela Ramphele in her address said: “Both peace and development start with each of us. Global peace and development are the outcomes of the peace and development of each of us as a global citizens. The linkages between the inner person, the person as a change agent, and the person at local, national, regional, and global levels are inextricable. The planetary emergencies gathering peace demand attention to these interconnected and interdependent linkages. Here, I would like to touch upon some pertinent questions: What are our understanding of peace and our role in it? What is our understanding of development and how to challenge the conventional wisdom of development? How drawing on rich indigenous philosophy could illuminate the darkness of our understanding of who we are? How explorations of a new Anthropology and Philosophy World Spheres possible may bring us Home to the beginning?” Thereafter, Professor Ramphele herself answered these questions, saying that the new lexical of development is learning from Nature’s intelligence, which the indigenous people are doing in the form of indigenous knowledge systems and sciences.

In turn, Professor John Robert Clammer said: “The cascading problems that simultaneously confront our planet are not only severe individually but together form a kind of evil energy, feeding off and in many cases amplifying one another. Something has gone very wrong with conventional politics, economics, and ways of managing the world.” 

Then, Professor Clammer addressed this by examining the nature of “sustainable peace”. He suggested that issues of peace cannot be separated from a holistic picture of the evolution of society in the past decades and of the new processes that characterize the contemporary world and which is now very different from the one analyzed by many social theorists even a decade ago. 

The webinar witnessed overwhelming responses from the participants in the Question-Answer and Reflection Session followed by the discussions of the revered panelists.  

Speaking earlier, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU while delivering the opening remarks introduced the theme of the upcoming World Anthropology Congress to be hosted in the year 2023 and briefed about the essence of the international webinar. Professor Behera also did the honors of introducing the esteemed keynote speakers, panelists chair of the session, and the moderator. Among others Dr. Rajni Lamba congratulated all the panelists for their riveting deliberation, Mr. Randhir Kumar Gautam presented a brief profile of Swadhyaya Sahachakra Viswaneedam Centre for Asian Blossoming, Ms. Sushri Sangita Mishra and Ms. Minati Pradhan recited their poems on peace, development, and humanity. The international webinar was graced by Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU, faculty members from various universities including KISS-DU, research scholars from across the globe, and national and international stalwarts in the field of Anthropology.

Professor S. Gregory, Member Secretary, United Indian Anthropology Forum (UIAF) introduced the theme of the World Anthropology Congress to be held in 2023 and sought active involvement and support in making the upcoming Congress a roaring success. He delivered the formal vote of thanks to the panelists, organizing, and technical team for their untiring support and the participants.