Living Better in a Better World: A Multidimensional Approach to Quality of Life
Quality of life, natural and man-made environments, physical, social and mental well-being are presently undermined by the contemporary cultural, political, social and economical disarray; hazards, injuries, violence and atrocious behaviours spread throughout the world, in a context of dehumanisation, depersonalisation and reification. Definition of problems is reduced to the "bubbles in the surface of a boiling pot", reality is fragmented by academic formats, mass-media headlines, market-place's interests and common sense prejudices. Instead of taking current prospects for granted, a multi-dimensional ecosystemic approach is posited to analyse and work with the problems of development, culture, education, communication, ethics, environment, health and quality of life, considering the dynamic and complex configurations intertwining four dimensions of being-in-the-world: intimate, interactive, social and biophysical (subject’s cognitive and affective processes; groups' mutual support and values; political, economical and cultural systems; natural and man-made environments and contexts). Diagnosis and prognosis take into account the configurations formed by the four dimensions as donors and recipients, unveiling the connections and ruptures between them, as they induce the events (deficits and assets); cope with effects (desired or undesired); and contribute for change. Instead of an exploratory forecasting (projection into the future of the trends of today); a normative forecasting is posited (previous definition of desirable goals and exploration of new paths to reach them). Heuristic-hermeneutic communication processes in the socio-cultural learning niches unveil cultural and epistemic paradigms which orient subject-object relationships, "enhancing" and "up-grading", instead of "repairing" situations to make them "straight". The proposal is a participatory, experiential and reflexive approach, giving people the opportunity to reflect on their own realities, engage in new experiences and find new ways to live better in a better world. Accountability, equity, sustainability and empowerment are associated with an ecosystemic model of culture and new concepts of knowledge, wealth, power, growth, work and freedom.
Keywords: Education, Culture, Quality of Life, Ecosystems, Planning Models
Prof. Andre Francisco Pilon
Associate Professor, Faculty of Public Health, University of São Paulo
1)Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters, University of S. Paulo (Graduation in Education).
2)School of Tropical Medicine, University of Porto Rico, San Juan, P.R. (Master in Health Education)
3)Faculty of Public Health, University of S. Paulo (Doctor in Public Health)
4)Faculty of Public Health, University of S. Paulo, 1998 (Post-Doctorate)
1) Associate Professor, Faculty of Public Health, University of São Paulo
2) Psychologist, Court of Minors, São Paulo, S.P.
3) Director, Health Education Department, Ministry of Health, Brazil.
4) Editor, journal “Academus” (BLISSN 0001-4230).
1)World Council for Curriculum and Instruction (WCCI), Alliant University, San Diego, U.S.A
2) International Union for Health Promotion and Education, Paris, Fr. http://www.iuhpe.nyu.edu/
3)Inter-American Consortium of Universities and Training Centers in Health Promotion and Health Education, Pan American Health Organisation, Washington, D.C., U.S.A . http://www.paho.org
4)CEPEDOC Healthy Cities – Centre for Research, Documentation and Development on Healthy Cities, Communities and Settings, S. Paulo, Brazil. www.cidadessaudaveis.org.br
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Communication, Journalism, Editorship, Social Sciences, Anthropology, Psychology, Education, Public Health, Health Education, Health Promotion, Environmental Education, Quality of Life.