The 9th Symposium of the World Centre for Humanist Studies “Crisis and Overcoming: crossing the Frontiers of Thinking” has come to an end and the feeling is one of profound gratitude to those who made it possible with their presentations, talks, workshops and participation.[1] In the area of social ecology, 8 presentations were given, one of which took place during the central timetable. All of them highlight the serious climate crisis derived from the relationship that we have established with nature and how this rupture of ecological limits is leading us to disasters that put the poorest majorities of the planet at risk; and what is worse, the inaction in the face of this crisis is taking us to a point that scientists call “of no return”.

The Humanist Social Ecology Network identified the military-industrial complex and how it has historically structured the belief system that is leading us to climate collapse as the culprits. It defined allies, exit mechanisms and strategies of action from the different fields where we act and the need to deepen the humanist attitude.

In the same vein, in complex thinking, Dr. Rodrigo Arce will generate a new type of ethics, i.e., values to relate to the forests that no longer help us because they are based on a rationalist logic of resource extraction and capital accumulation. She calls for the construction of an ethic oriented towards respect and intrinsic recognition of the life and a new type of approach to science and its use.

From individual action, the scientist Citlalli Harris asks us this question: What should I do so that the living beings around us can live without my presence causing them unnecessary harm? She warns of the need for a change in personal and social Style of Life.

Daniele Quattrocchi, humanist activist and Extinction Rebellion calls for disruptive action along the lines of nonviolent civil disobedience. Cautioning that this is an approach contrary to the political logic of consensus, he believes that this type of action can generate profound changes in a short period to confront emergencies such as the climate crisis.

Other presentations proposed ways out of the crisis through local action, using land-use planning and restoration as a tool to slow down the effects of the crisis as soon as possible (Dr. Allan Astorga); or showing concrete methodologies such as the biological characterisation of ecosystems (Fernando Gast); or the analysis of social work with participatory action research tools, such as socio-drama to develop heritage inventories from the social organisations themselves (Irving Vásquez).

Herbert Contreras, from a scientific perspective, proposes innovative alternative energy projects, as well as applying the systemic approach that observes phenomena in terms of interrelationships, interdependencies and integration of processes and functions; and from the analysis of the basic principles of organisation, predicting the results or end products of that towards the evolution of societies in a synergetic way.

The environmental crisis and the pressure of extractive activities, illegal activities and drug trafficking in the territories require simultaneous actions; it is not enough just to generate public consciousness; scientific research, sustainable actions, concrete opportunities for local communities and effective local and global strategies are required.

In synthesis, we can say that with current values and beliefs, the climate crisis, apart from the social catastrophe it is already provoking in the most vulnerable, could lead us to the destruction of the planet and our own self-destruction.

The way out of this crisis will be possible by dismantling the military-industrial complex, which requires multi-actor local action, civil disobedience and global social pressure.

Creative local action that avoids the destruction of forests and ancestral cultures, that is based on the value of scientific information on ecosystems, the implementation of land-use plans, in communal green regulatory plans, among others; and that promotes a global strategy to change the matrix of production, energy and consumption, coordinated between the governments of the countries.

In short, to implement a new model of social organisation that synthesises the best of humanity’s progress and integrates the spiritual into the new way of establishing the indissoluble relationship between human beings and nature.

We close these reflections with two inspiring phrases, one by Greta Thumberg (paraphrased by Daniele Quattrocchi) who says: “It is not by following the rules that we will save the world. Because it is the rules that need to be changed”.

And Silo’s phrase, relieved by the ecological humanists, is at the essence of the humanist attitude: “Here there is joy, love of the body, of nature, of humanity and of the spirit.”

[1] More information about the Symposium can be found on the following Youtube channel