PROPOSALS TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD
A PLANETARY MYTHOLOGY TO CHANGE THE WORLD
The Earth Stories Collection
What is The Earth Stories Collection (TESC)
The Earth Stories Collection is the major global project that Grian launched in 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the Scottish International Storytelling Festival.
This project, which grew out of his research in Social Sciences at the University of Granada (2016), with the methodological supervision of Dr Jane Brown from the University of Edinburgh, is a repository of myths, legends, fables and folktales from all over the world. But these traditional stories have been specifically selected for their potential to convey a systemic, ecocentric and organicist worldview, as well as for their ability to illustrate the principles and values of sustainability, social and economic justice, democracy and nonviolence espoused by the Earth Charter (2000), the most inclusive and comprehensive international ethics document to date.
Drawing on the work of such important scientists and philosophers as Gregory Bateson, Donella Meadows, Edgar Morin, Fritjof Capra, Stephen Sterling, Alastair Taylor y Graeme Taylor, Grian academically justified the hypothesis that the fastest way to civilisational change lies in changing the collective worldview of our societies.. And for this, nothing better than the ancestral ‘devices’ through which worldviews have been transmitted in human societies: traditional stories. The next step was to select the stories well so that they conveyed the worldview we need to develop as humanity to overcome the serious social and ecological crisis we have begun to face. This makes The Earth Stories Collection a major educational tool for social transformation and the building of a just and sustainable civilisation.
Composition of TESC and Partners
The Earth Stories Collection now (April 2023) totals 111 traditional stories from 69 nations, 52 cultures and 19 spiritual or philosophical traditions from around the world. The vast majority of these stories (around 60%) have been adapted by Grian, and all of them are licensed under open access, non-commercial licenses, so they can be freely disseminated and distributed for educational and social change purposes.
TESC is managed by The Avalon Project, an educational and activist NGO founded by Grian in 2004 (see below), and it counts on the support of two great entities:
- The Secretariat of Earth Charter International, which is the umbrella organisation for the global Earth Charter movement, based at the United Nations University for Peace
- The Scottish International Storytelling Festival, one of the world’s leading storytelling festivals, part of the Edinburgh Festival.
A PLANETARY MYTHOLOGY
A planetary mythology.
These three words, pronounced by Campbell in that almost informal conversation with Moyers, were the heart and mental seed of the research that has led to this book. ‘A planetary mythology!’ I repeated to myself, surprised, the first time I heard these words. It seemed to me a very compelling idea. It is significant that, shortly after, in the same interview, Campbell linked his ‘planetary mythology’ with the myth of Gaia, which at that time was beginning to take hold thanks to James Lovelock’s hypothesis.
Grian, in The Earth Stories Collection – Volume 0, p. 146
TELLING STORIES OF THE EARTH
Earth Story Tellers
This is a project closely linked to TESC which was proposed by playwright, poet and storyteller Donald Smith, founder and first director of the National Theatre of Scotland and director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival.
This project seeks to create a global network of storytelling activists who are dedicated, in their professional activities or in their private lives, to the dissemination of TESC stories and the Earth Charter in their social, community or family environment.
Earht Story Tellers is currently (April 2023) in the process of being set up, and has two groups that meet regularly, one in Spanish and the other in English. Its members include people from a wide range of professions and backgrounds, from university professors, high school and primary teachers, to professional and amateur storytellers, social workers, parents or grandparents who tell stories to their children and grandchildren, or custodians of the oral tradition of their own ancestral cultures. If you want to join Earth Story Tellers, visit our website and follow the instructions (click on the button below).
INITIATIVE FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE
The Avalon Project
Avalon is an educational and activist NGO founded by Grian in 2004 in Cordoba, Spain, which aims to build a global culture based on nonviolence, social justice and a deep respect for the planetary Community of Life and the Earth. Avalon is an affiliate entity of Earth Charter International.
In addition to being the managing body for The Earth Stories Collection and to provide the administrative basis for Earth Story Tellers (see above), Avalon has also worked in the field of activism, organising large-scale peace mobilisations, such as the Paz Ahora-Peace Now events, between 2010 and 2012, and being the founding group of Extinction Rebellion in Granada, Spain.
However, its main work has been, since its beginnings in 2004, in the educational field, in Education for Peace and Education for Sustainability, where it has organised and developed countless lectures, talks, workshops, seminars, courses, conferences and retreats. In fact, Avalon is currently organising, together with its sister organisation Ókumenische Initiative Eine Welt, from Germany, and within the STORY Project, financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, a week-long course in nature that will be led by Grian and his wife Marta Ventura: The Days of the Halcyon.
PARTNERS AND PUBLISHING HOUSES