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Cortona Pearl 8 (November 27th 2021)
with Dr. Franco Giovannelli

To keep the flame alive in this critical time, the Cortona Pearls 2021 online project brings the inspiring gift of a monthly event to your home: Illustrious speakers and guests from across the world share their insights about emerging themes from ecology to biodiversity, from political economy to democracy, from science to spirituality, from artificial intelligence to space science.

The Cortona Pearls are organized in partnership with the Institute of Future and Innovation Studies at John Cabot University, Italy

Each one-hour Pearl will consist of a 20-minute lecture followed by round table discussions. The program will be enriched by excerpts from our classic Cortona workshops and musical events.


Current Pearl

Saturday November 27th, 2021: Franco Giovannelli, INAF-Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Roma:

The Impact of Space Experiments on Our Knowledge of the Physics of the Universe 

Introduction by Pierluigi Luisi, Chairman Cortona Friends association


When the electromagnetic windows were opened at the beginning of 1970’s, a huge amount of experimental data became available for the international scientific community. The amount of data from radio wavelengths to gamma rays has exceeded that acquired in previous centuries by optical telescopes.

Thanks to these data, an important qualitative leap has been obtained in the knowledge of the physics that governs our universe.

In this seminar I will illustrate some examples which, in my opinion, are the pillars that support the bridge between the Big Bang and biology. Particular emphasis will be given to the discovery of more than 4,000 exoplanets which paves the way for the search for planets that could potentially host life forms.

At the same time I will briefly illustrate the behavior of “intelligent” humanity on our planet.


Past Pearls

Pearl 7 (October 30) Stuart Kauffman, theoretical biologist, Complex Systems researcher, The Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, USA Do we need God in the XXI century? Introduction by Pierluigi Luisi, Chairman Cortona Friends association

Pearl 6 (September 25) Renuka Singh, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on Spirituality of Urban Indian Women Introduction by Ieva Jakobsone Bellomi

Pearl 5 (June 26) Fritjof Capra, Author, Berkeley Cal., USA on Life and the Common Good: A Systems View of Ethics Hosted by Dr. Francesco Lapenta, Founding Director of the John Cabot University Institute of Future and Innovation Studies.Introduction by Francesco Lapenta Founding Director of the John Cabot University Institute of Future and Innovation Studies

Pearl 4 (May 29): Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe; on Altars on the Street: Compassion in Action Introduction by Renuka Singh, Lecturer at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Pearl 3 (Apr 24): Susan Eirich, EarthFire Institute, Idaho, USA; on Reawakening our bond with our Wild Earth. Introduction by Mirjam Luthe, Teacher and International Affairs Manager at Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, San Diego, USA

Pearl 2 (Mar 27): Ernesto Burgio, of the ECERI (European Cancer and Environment Research Institute, Brussels and Gruppo COVID SIPPS (Società Italiana di Pediatria Preventiva e Sociale); on The first Pandemic of the Anthropocene. Introduction by Maria Stella de Sabata, Board Member of the International Diabetes Federation European Region.
Slides of the Talk

Pearl 1 (Feb 27) : Political economist Francesco Grillo with initial greetings by Brother David Steindl-Rast; on The innovation paradox. A theory to make sense of the POST Pandemic World.
Introduction by Pier Luigi Luisi , Prof. Emeritus, ETH Zurich.


Confirmed speakers for the Cortona Pearls beyond June are:

Stuart Kauffman (theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher, Seattle, USA)
Francesco Lapenta (Founding Director of the John Cabot University Institute of Future and Innovation Studies)
Maneka Gandhi (member of Indian parlament, animal rights activist), New Delhi
Stefania Giannini (Italian politician, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education)
Federico Faggin (Engineer, President at the Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation)
Cliff Saron (Prof. at the Center for Mind and Brain and MIND Institute at the Davis University of California)
Jorg Rasche (Psycotherapist and organist), Berlin, Germany
Shantena Sabbatini (philosopher, Pari Center, Italy and lecturer at the Schumacher College, Devon)
Nora Bateson (Bateson Institute)
Marinella de Simone (President and Scientific Director at Complexity Institute, Italy and Project Coordinator at “Francisco Varela Project”)
Kamran Mofid (Founder of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative, United Kingdom),
Umberta Telfener, clinician psychologist, university La Sapienza, Roma, Italy,
Renuka Singh (Professor of Sociology, New Delhi, India)
Christer Sodenberg (Circle Carbon Labs, Sweden and Spain)
Tomas Björkman (Professor Uppsala University, Sweden)
Alex Stenflo, President Int.Soc. System Sciences, Argentina
Marko Pogacnik (UNESCO artist for peace, Slovenia)
Franco Giovannelli (Emeritus Senior Scientist at INAF. Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Rome)
Gioia Lussana (Lawyer and professor, teacher and trainer in yoga and meditation)
Mauro Bergonzi (Professor at University of Naples, Italy)

You will then receive the link for the zoom session. At that time, we will ask for a donation in the amount you deem appropriate and supportive to this project. (note: if you are a 2021 paid-up member of the Cortona Friends Association you will be able to access the Pearls for free)

We look forward to this exciting journey with old and new friends from all over the world!