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Sustainable Civilisation: This is the journey — the world as it could and shoud be ...


Sustainable Civilisation

Listening to people talking about sustainability is like walking across a desert looking for an oasis. These are beautiful places when one finds them, but one must first know where to look and what to look for, or run the risk of dying of thirst:

book cover


“You tell her about the desert. You tell that here, here in this world, among all this aridness, there are places called oases, where there is water and lush vegetation, and great beauty. Yet words can never truly communicate what such places are like. Only by visiting an oasis can one really understand it and that which it represents in the desert. Yet to reach such an understanding one has to make the journey, which often involves many hardships, and it is by making such a journey that one gains insights concerning the beauty of the destination, which is not a point of termination, but just one more staging post on the journey.”

(Extract from a A Tale of Two Deserts)


This web site is not about accepting what exists, but giving people the hope, the inspiration and the information to help them to peacefully make the world as it could and should be. Achieving this goal is a long and never ending journey for sure, but one that is worth making. And perhaps, as never before, a journey that ordinary people can and must undertake, to build, so to speak, a different type of civilisation; one where the madness that is emerging from religious, scientific and free-market economic dogma and extremism cannot thrive, and where such thinking finds no place. "But how?" you ask. This is what we as ordinary people must discover, for it is now self-evident that we cannot look to political leaders for such answers, which are of course, not so obvious, and why should they be! But there are clues, hints, which one might say, have been left for us to find. And one of these is surely to examine in detail what it is about religion, science and free-market economics that drives men to madness. Perhaps also we need to start resolving conflicts of minds, especially the one between religion and science, which just adds to the insanity in the world.

This is your world, so make it a place that your children will thank you for. This your story, so make it one that your children will be proud of. Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot change the world. This is a lie. In the free world, adults have a vote, a wallet and a right to change their lifestyle, so start using these precious gifts to make a difference.


Why Use Literature and Art?

Fiction, it can be said, is what passes today as sustainability, as Paul's books help to demonstrate.

Transitioning to a sustainable civilisation involves changing the collective values and beliefs upon which the present industrialised world is based, and opening peoples’ eyes to the damaging consequences of the ideologies that underlie science, technology, engineering, free market enterprise, religion, etc. If humanity is to ever achieve sustainability, it will need to reinvent these most important aspects of our civilisation.

Paul T Kidd uses art, in particular literary art, visual art, and increasingly ICT based art, to help people understand sustainability, while at the same time exploring the interconnections among these art forms (a kind of scripto-visual art, a rather simple example of which is shown in the above picture titled Genesis in Reverse - Desert Words). This approach is linked to art practice as research, for the aim is not to just use these techniques to inform, but to encourage people to question the given, the taken for granted, and to use the knowledge that comes from art practice to change the world (For more information about the use of art in the way discussed (art practice as research) see ICT & ART CONNECT).

Through acts of creation, especially works of fiction, Paul explores relevant matters, comments upon the nature of contemporary society, the forces at work that keep people locked in a way of living that has long since ceased to be relevant, and highlights the possibility to follow a different path.

Then through the use of exegesis, he identifies the new knowledge and understandings that emerge from the use of art in this way, and then he then builds upon this knowledge in his non-fiction writing, in a more objective way, by showing how new paths can be developed in practice by providing critical analysis of prevailing thinking and assumptions, offering new visions, and identifying the policies and research that need to be pursued to make these visions a reality. Paul also aims to provide people with new methods and tools, especially the integration of art practice as research into science, engineering, technology development and policymaking, so that people can begin to lay the foundations of a different world. And the development of these new approaches to science, engineering, technology, free enterprise, etc., as well as the development of a new spiritual awareness that transcend the old order, is what he spends most of his time working on.

Paul's two Christmas books are examples how fiction can be used to explore profound issues. They are both what Dickens would have called, children’s stories for adults. On the surface they are both stories involving Father Christmas. But there is more to these two books than just a good read that will stir in the reader some Christmas spirit. Buried in the tales are comments upon the nature of contemporary society, and an exploration of choices (particularly between different values). The underlying message is that humanity now needs to take a conscious choice to follow a different path.

Taking this idea further, Paul's has structured his work to take people on a journey of discovery, with Encounter with a Wise Man being the first step. Read this book, and then take the next step and read A Tale of Two Deserts. Next in the sequence is Enigma, and then Moments in Time. You can also read Paul's blog entries and also his twitter tales. All this material is available to read for free, online.

And then ... the next steps are up to you, for it is your world and your choice what to do about using what is told in these books and writings to peacefully bring about a different circumstance. In the books that will follow in the years ahead and in the content of this web site as it develops, you will also find more to help you make this most important of journeys, which ultimately will also be one of self-discovery.

And my message to all those people who talk empty words about sustainability, who still think in reductionist terms, who ... There is no place for you to hide for I will expose your empty words for what they are – a desert where life will most definitely not prosper if people listen to you.

Welcome to the oasis. This is the journey …

Web Site News

Cheshire Henbury’s web site is undergoing a major redesign with a new design and layout replacing the old. An extensive amount of new content will also be added. This is being done using an evolutionary, adaptive design approach which also integrates thinking and doing. This is contrast to the linear stage-wise thinking that is often deployed by engineers and technologists. The reason for using this adaptive method is two fold: (i) the adaptive approach is an exemplar of a post-industrial era approach to design and development (unlike the linear stage-wise method which is firmly rooted in the past industrial age); and (ii), the exercise is a development process which is itself part of an experiment, part of a learning process, and part of a knowledge development and transfer activity, which is driven by both innovation and a requirement to be responsiveness to changing circumstances. And it is really exciting not knowing fully in advance where one is going and where one might end up.

So far we have decided upon a new design layout, and eventually (after much reflection) arrived at a structure for the content that provides the capability to adapt to new opportunities and requirements. The first priority now is to translate existing content into the new layout design. Then, once this is done, we will begin to expand new content in accordance with strategic priorities. Some sub-home pages have yet to find a home in the navigation structure. These are listed here for the moment:


Agile Enterprise

Competitive Manufacturing Enterprise

User Centric ICT

This is the Journey ...

Strategy Tool Box


Agile Manufacturing: Forging New Frontiers

Web site additions: 4 July 2013 - Factory of the Future Impact Report, March 2013; 7 July 2013 - Link to Paul's blog; 12 July 2013: Vision Book Page Design Updated; 14 July 2013: This is the journey ...; 18 July 2013: Encounter with a Wise Man Home Page published; 25 July 2013: European Visions for the Knowledge Age available to read online for free;12 August 2013: A Tale of Two Deserts Home Page published;13 August 2013: Twitter profile launched; 25 September 2013: Paperback and Kindle versions of Encounter with a Wise Man available; 14 October 2013: Encounter with a Wise Man available to read online for free; 15 October 2013: A Tale of Two Deserts available to read online for free;22 November 2013: eBook version of Encounter with a Wise Man now available; 25 November 2013: eBook version of A Tale of Two Deserts now available; 25 November: Moments in Time Home Page published; 14 February: New main navigation menu implemented; 14 February: Enigma Home Page published; 14 February: report by Paul T Kidd on the ICT-ART CONNECT roundtable meeting in the European Parliament; 1 May 2014 ICT-ART CONNECT Home page published; 18 June 2014 ICT-Art Research Organisations and update of ICT-ART CONNECT web links; 19 June 2014: ICT-ART CONNECT Relevant Projects and Art Practice as Research; 24 June 2014: ICT & ART CONNECT 2012 Event; 25 June 2014: New content on sustainable intensification; 26 June 2014: Twitter Tales added to Author Space; 2 July 2014: Details added about Agile Manufacturing: Forging New Frontiers; 3 July 2014: ICT & ART CONNECT at ICT 2013; 4 July 2014: Forthcoming ICT & ART Related Events; 7 July 2014: ICT & ART Background; 8 July 2014: Update of ICT & Art CONNECT Other Reports Page; 9 July 2014: Agility page designs updated; 10 July 2014: ICT & ART CONNECT video clips added; 15 July 2014: Enigma available to read online for free, Moments in Time available to read online for free; 1 Oct 2014: ICT & ART CONNECT video clips more clips added; 3 Oct 2014: COST Arts & Technologies (CAT) workshop; 14 Oct 2014: ICT & ART CONNECT at Ars Electronica 2014; 16 Oct 2014: Enigma Kindle eBook version available; 17 Oct 2014: Moments in Time Kindle eBook version available; 24 Oct 2014: ICT & ART CONNECT video clips FET-ART final event video added; 30 Oct 2014: ICT & ART CONNECT - FET-ART Project Final Brochure; 14 Nov 2014: ICT & ART CONNECT Design Collaboration Intentions and Tensions; 19 Nov 2014: ICT & ART Web Page added ICT & ART CONNECT pages; 26 Nov 2014: Other ICT & ART CONNECT Related Links Page added ICT & ART CONNECT pages; 26 January 2015: ICT & ART CONNECT Study Report Brochure; 28 January 2015: Additional ICT & ART CONNECT Paper; 3 February 2015: Additional ICT & Art Related Web Sites;

Some of Paul T Kidd's Books

Book Covers

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