The Thousands Colors of Kaleido

Kaleido is a community and movement for transdisciplinary, intergenerational and cultural exchange initiated by current and former students, researchers and teaching staff of ETH Zurich.

At Kaleido, we are engaged in creating projects and initiatives that facilitate contact, exchange, and collaboration between individuals from across disciplines, generations, and cultures. We encourage a constructive culture of dialogue and knowledge transfer, critical thinking, open-mindedness, and an attitude of responsible conscious living.

Kaleido Retreat is our flagship event. This multi-day residential program is attended by participants from a very mixed and diverse background of academic disciplines, non-academic disciplines, practitioners and experts from the sciences, arts, psychology, philosophy, religion, business, students and youth, and also the general public.

The goal is to provide a catalytic and cross-pollinative space and time, for the emergence of new metaphors, ideas and solutions through a combination of divergent and convergent thinking practices, which might not have otherwise been created in closed and highly-specialized peer groups which are the norm at institutions and workplaces, such as research universities.

At Kaleido Retreat, we critically discuss and engage on topics at the frontiers of scientific research and the pressing issues of modern society, such as the neuroscience of altered states of consciousness, the neurobiology of sleep, dialogues between science and religion, the ethics and legal aspects of artificial intelligence, the environmental impact in the anthropocene, through talks with experts and breakout group discussions to dive further into the intricacies. In addition, through the various workshops, the participants engage not only in exercising their minds, but strengthening their overall psycho-somatic and socio-environental awareness through practical and introspective activites throughout the day.

For a glimpse of the multi-faceted program of our previous two retreats, please have a look at https://kaleido.community/archive/p325/ and at https://kaleido.community/kaleido-retreat-ii/ .

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Kaleido's Guiding Principles

Transdisciplinarity: The problems of contemporary global society are multidimensionally complex. Seeking sustainable and inclusive solutions with a linear frame of mind is futile. A transdisciplinary approach within non-linear social structures encourages exchange and helps tackle problems in a comprehensive way. Transdisciplinary encounters help to release us from the confines of our disciplinary monologue. By creating spaces for conversation and communication between practitioners of various disciplines, we hope new forms of knowledge can be discovered.

Intergenerational Exchange: A lack of exchange among our demographically divided population has brought about a gap in attitudes, knowledge and practices between generations. This gap becomes harder to bridge, the more we stay within the comfort zone of our own age groups. At Kaleido, we want to reinitiate transgenerational dialogue and revive the age-old tradition of knowledge sharing through generations.

Cultural Dialogue: More than seven billion humans live in this world. As we become globalized and hyperconnected, it becomes indispensable to look beyond the fringe of our own local society and to connect to other cultures. This includes discussing the disparities between social classes, gender identification or indeed discrimination of any kind. Seeing beauty and strength in cultural diversity will lead to open-mindedness and stronger cultural bonds, enabling us to use different knowledge traditions to face the global challenges of our time.

We are looking for support for the the 3rd Kaleido Retreat!

’Kaleido Retreat III’ will be held from the 5th to 8th of September 2019 at our beloved location Wartburg, at about 1 hour from Zurich, where the retreat took place the very first time. This third edition will focus on the theme of Creation and Creativity.

The main speakers include Dr. Andrew Fellows (Jungian psychologist and physicist), Athar Jaber (sculptor and performance artist), Dr. Jill Scott (artist and emeritus professor at ZhdK), Dr. Mathew Cook (mathematician and computer scientist at UZH), who will introduce and engage the audience into their creative approach in their respective fields.

We will further discuss the questions: What is the role of creativity in scientific revolutions? Do scientists and artists utilize the same creative processes in their work? What does it mean to be creative? Can creativity be taught or nurtured? Is creativity an individual or a collective expression? Are there correlations between creativity and mental health? How can we create creative incubators? Can our creations, create? Think robots.

The intellectual discussions on this theme will be complemented by workshops and activities that accentuate the senses, tickle and stretch the joints and muscles, delve in modes of self-introspection, try out design sprints, and alter states of perception through virtual reality, and which we are sure are guaranteed to stimulate divergent and convergent modes of processes within us. Our program can be found here at https://kaleido.community/retreat-iii/.

We are seeking funding to enable this retreat to be inclusive and offer a reduced price to students and people from lower income groups. The money will be used to pay a small fee to our amazing speakers and workshop leaders, and to cover their travel and stay.

Our supporters will be thanked with many unique and exciting rewards, ranging from hand-made pottery pieces and cutlery sets to drumming, dancing and yoga classes, auto-graphed CDs, cultural visits and tasty dinners!

We are a multi-disciplinary organizing team with backgrounds in science, engineering, religion, the arts, medicine, dance and movement, and we really do know that magic happens when ideas and thoughts cross-pollinate across fields!

We really really need your support to make this amazing and transformational event come alive this September!

Yours truly, Alexandra, Alok, Anna, Anne, Clemens, Laura, Janne, Jasmin, Karo, Naveen and Thomas (The Kaleido Team).