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An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: August 1, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,117

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Rick Raubenheimer is the President and Jani Schoeman is the Former President of the South African Secular Society. They discuss: silver linings; niche needing filling by SASS; freedom from and to religion, and secularism; representation; fun activities of community; and final thoughts.

Keywords: Jani Schoeman, Rick Raubenheimer, secularism, South African Secular Society.

An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community: President and Former President, SASS (Part Two)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: I want to focus on two or three gray threads, there. One, unfortunately, you lost your father at age eight. I’m sorry to hear that. But also, when you were going through the Christian education, the Jewish education, transcendental meditation, these yogis, and an IM, you meet your wife, or who would become your wife, Judith.

Rick Raubenheimer: Yes.

Jacobsen: Within that context, you noted that you were consistently skeptical of these belief structures, or these belief structures around these practices, coming to a head with Dawkins and Dennett in the latter 2000s. What does this state about these practices, whether it’s the spiritual but not religious, or the formal religions, as being not entirely bad in terms of some of their consequences or derivatives?

Raubenheimer: Particularly from the i am training, I certainly grew. I think I became a better person. It was said of the i am training that one-third of the people, it had no effect on, one third got worse, and one third got better [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing] That’s good.

Jani Schoeman: Certainly, the techniques didn’t have a favourable effect on everybody. It was derided as a cult at various times, and so on.

I think there’s only one offshoot of it still going, which is called Quest. If you look for that on various blogs, there are people who refer to it as a cult, as well, and using psychological techniques, which is actually illegal in South Africa because there’s this Act which reserves doing psychology for people who are qualified psychologists, or psychotherapists.

2. Jacobsen: What was the niche needing filling through the foundation or the organization?

Schoeman: I think there wasn’t really an existing atheist community, especially in Johannesburg, that regularly met up in person when I first started the group. That was something that I couldn’t find when I was looking, and when I was going through my hard times and my deconversion. That’s why I started the group.

Ever since, we’ve discovered a few more niches within the secular community, I guess you could call it. There’s another organization that we support quite a bit, which is an organization that took the public schools to court last year in order to… Rick maybe you can say what was happening there. I think you will be able to describe it better.

Raubenheimer: Essentially, South Africa, as you probably know, in 1994, had a transition to democracy from the Apartheid system. Along with that came a largely secular constitution, rather like yours. There’s an invocation to God at the beginning, and then after that, it doesn’t get mentioned, basically.

We have a Bill of Rights which says that the state and people in the country may not discriminate against people on various grounds, including religion, belief, lack thereof, sexual orientation, skin colour, age, et cetera. The Constitution, particularly with the background of Apartheid that was based on racial discrimination, the new constitution very much focused on human rights, liberal model of treating everybody equally.

In fact, the orientation of the Constitution was not that difference is tolerated, but that we are the rainbow nation; and our differences are celebrated. This was built into the school curriculum as well. The idea was that schooling would be inclusive. The schools’ policy is such that schools may not favour, push, indoctrinate, proselytize any religion, or lack thereof.

This didn’t find great favour with the people who had come from the Christian National Education background. It’s been an ongoing battle since then to convince them that yes, actually, it’s not okay to state that a school’s ethos is a Christian ethos, that, “We follow Christian principles at this school,” that, “We will start assembly with prayer,” and things like that.

This active gentleman in the Cape, in Stellenbosch, called Hans Pietersen, who has some children in school and was finding this was happening – and he’s an atheist – found a set of pro bono lawyers, and they took six schools to court because they were favouring religion in school which was, in fact, against the state schools policy.

The Department of Education came in as a friend of the court to support the application. The long and the short was that the– A full bench of three judges found that the school’s policy must be upheld, and religion may not be favoured in schools. There may be religious education. In other words, people may be taught about religions, but they may not be religious – I’m looking for the right word here – indoctrination. Jani, give me the right word.

Schoeman: They can’t be coerced into a religion. They can’t be indoctrinated. That’s the right word, I think.

Raubenheimer: In other words, they can’t be taught religious observances, or to observe their religion. They can be taught about what the various religions do. Equal time must be given to all religions, as the court emphasized that our differences are not tolerated, they are celebrated.

They have an ongoing battle where parents of secular humanist children report their schools when the schools try to force religion on the children, which still happens regularly. The organization, which is called OGOD, which is quite a fun acronym, and has offended many people, much to Hans’s delight, then sends them a letter and points out the court judgement to them, and says that, “We will take you to court as well if you do not toe the line.”

3. Jacobsen: One thing, with secularism and the cases you gave, how does that respect the freedom to, and freedom from, religion? How does the principle of secularism do that, in other words, making a fairer society for everyone?

Schoeman: The thing is, secularism is the principle, but in South Africa. I’m thinking again about public schools. Because we have so many religious people, and especially Christians, they just bulldoze over that principle. I don’t know. It’s going to have to be people like us, and people that care to stand up. That try and personally just bring it under people’s attention and then hope; it’s difficult to do in practice.

Raubenheimer: Yes. There’s a lot of work to do because the schools are one issue. As happens in the United States, I’m not too sure what degree in Canada, but the schools tend to support religious activities, like religious camps, and school premises being used for services, even if it’s after hours, which they can do. There are lots of cases where we really need this.

One of our big projects, which I think you need to be aware of, is the secular marriage officers, for example.

Schoeman: Up until now, there have been no secular marriage officers officially in South Africa, up until our organization started registering them a few months ago. This was another battle that we have with the government because we are only the second organization that’s managed to convince Home Affairs to give us the authority to do that. The first institution that did manage to do that only, I think, had two marriage officers, and they weren’t existing for 10 years, so they weren’t really succeeding in that way.

Raubenheimer: They’re Cape-based. They don’t have a national footprint. If you think of the geography of South Africa, there’s Cape Town way at the south-west corner, and we’re more up in the north-east. We’re the economic hub, and Cape Town is more of the holiday hub.

Schoeman: Touristy.

Raubenheimer: There are very different vibes between the two. Cape Town is very laid back. Johannesburg is very industrialized, go-getters and so on. We do have associates in Cape Town, as well, and we’re trying to establish a branch there, as well, but they’re very laid back, as I say.

Schoeman: So, laid back.

Raubenheimer: Just to get back onto the marriage officer. Since we announced that we were able to get marriage officers certified, we’ve had about 20 applications. We’ve got them in various processes. We have our first certified marriage officer certified last year, and we have a few others who must write their exams still with their Department of Home Affairs. 

Jacobsen: Well done.

Raubenheimer: Before that, essentially, if a secular couple wanted to get married, they would need to either find a compliant pastor of some sort of religion, and they do exist- which in fact, Jani did – or one would go to a magistrate for the official ceremony,  and then have somebody do an unofficial ceremony.

Schoeman: You have a court wedding. That was our choice. You have a court wedding, or you convince some sort of pastor to do a lekker secular ceremony for you, which, at Home Affairs, is unlawful.

Raubenheimer: The other thing with Home Affairs is that we have two acts that govern marriages, essentially. There is a Marriage Act. The Marriage Act declared that marriage was between a man and a woman. This fell afoul of the Constitution because it says that there may not be discrimination based on sexual orientation.

What they should have done then, was simply to amend the Marriage Act, but to mollify the churches, they passed a new act called the Civil Union Act, which allows for same-sex marriages, and heterosexual marriages. Our officers are certified under the Civil Union Act. We require them to do both same-sex and heterosexual marriages, which has brought a lot of the gay community in to either want to become marriage officers or essentially support us. That’s been quite handy.

There was an exemption in the Civil Union Act, that a state official, who is officially obliged to marry people, could because of religious convictions, opt out of marrying same-sex couples. In practice, this meant that in pretty much all the smaller Home Affairs offices, anywhere outside the major centres, a same-sex couple couldn’t find anyone who would marry them.

Thanks to one of our smaller political parties (COPE), that provision has now been removed from the act. However, the department has got a year to implement that, so we’re probably still going to be at the forefront of organizing a gay marriage.

4. Jacobsen: With bringing in homosexuals into the fold, through secularism, what has been a relatively perennial issue in the secular community across the globe, as far as I can tell, there tends to be a lack of women being represented in leadership positions. That shows up in who are the public intellectuals, who are the ones doing the speaking tours, and engagements, and who are the ones writing the most popular books. I think that’s generally true.

Jani, as the founder and [Ed. Former] president, as a woman of a secular organization, and to your point, Rick, about bringing homosexuals into the fold, what can we do within community to better represent women in those leadership positions, as well as finding a context in which women feel more comfortable coming into the fold because often neither of those are the case?

Schoeman: I wouldn’t say we are actively doing anything about that right now, which is something for us to consider. It is a difficult thing to do. I don’t know what can be done. I’ll have to think about how we can do this or focus on this a little bit more.

Raubenheimer: In fact, it is so that SASS is largely male and white. We’ve had a lot of good interest from women as secular marriage officers. Several of them are lesbians and active in the gay community. Because our marriage officers will be part of the leadership structure, that will, I think, bring quite a balance in, both from the gender point of view and from the sexual orientation point of view because we haven’t had much representation of gays in leadership in SASS either.

For us, even the more pressing question is how we bring people of another race in. As I say, SASS is largely white now, and that’s a concern for us because the population is largely black and Christian.

Schoeman: I don’t know how much of the SASS leadership knows this, but I’m bisexual. It’s not something I go around advertising but I’m thinking maybe I should do it a bit more. Obviously, we have a lot of overlap when we’re finding that we have overlap with the gay community and the LGBT community.

We have had interested black and Indian people, and Asian people. We’ve had various people come to the meetings, and stuff, and show interest, but I’d like to up that a bit more.

5. Jacobsen: What are some of the fun activities that you do within the community, as the original organization was, essentially, an atheist Meetup?

Jani: We still have that component. We still do our Meetups. It’s a mix between exploring Joburg. We do especially scientifically orientated sorts of outings. Just this Sunday, we went to a science museum called Sci-Bono. It’s mostly for children. There was a rock art expedition there, and a whole thing on archaeology, which I so, so, so loved. It was amazing.

We’ve been to the Cradle of Humankind. I don’t know if you know about the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa. We’ve got some cool paleontological, and archaeological sites in Africa, and specifically South Africa, so we do a lot of those sorts of outings. We’ve done outings where we go to the breweries and just drink beer and gin, and stuff. We do all of it.

The other sorts of things we do are more discussion-orientated Meetups. These normally take place at somebody’s home. Most of the time it’s at Rick’s home, Rick’s and Judith’s home. We’ve had everything from, “Why are you an atheist?”, to secular parenting, is another one. We had a psychologist come and talk to us about secular parenting once. We do all sorts of things.

Raubenheimer: One of our leaders is looking this year at establishing Camp Quest in South Africa. You’re aware of Camp Quest?

Jacobsen: Yes.

Raubenheimer: They’re looking to broaden internationally and we’re looking to possibly, in about a bit short of a year’s time, have the first Camp Quest camp in South Africa. That will be great fun, as well. That joins in with secular parenting.

Schoeman: I must say, something I also discovered quickly upon establishing SASS was that there’s really a need for people, for parents who have no- there are no activities for non-religious activities for children. The Christians and the churches have all their camps, but there’s nothing really for the atheist kids, if you can call them that. Kids of atheist parents. People have a lot of questions around parenting when it comes to secularism and atheism and bringing up your child as a free thinker.

That’s also a niche, I think, that still needs to come to existence in South Africa, that we haven’t really tapped into yet, but we have touched on it.

6. Jacobsen: Any final feelings or thoughts in conclusion based on the conversation today?

Raubenheimer: I think we should have another one [Ed. Search “Ask SASS…” at www.canadianatheist.com.]

Schoeman: I wanted to mention in my history, quickly, that I was a Young Earth Creationist up until the age of 21. Just something I didn’t say, which I think is significant because I went basically from that to atheism. There was no in-between.

7. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Jani and Rick.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Rick Raubenheimer, President, SASS; Jani Schoeman, Former President, SASS.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 1, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two) [Online].August 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, August 1). An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, August. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (August 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):August. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Rick Raubenheimer and Jani Schoeman on Silver Linings, Secularism and South Africa, and Community (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, August 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sass-two.

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In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: August 1, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,096

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Krystal Volney is the new Journal Editor of United Sigma Korea. Volney is known for her computing interviews for WIN ONE Magazine (World Intelligence Network) as a tech writer, Co-Editor and publications in Award-winning/bestselling educational books that can be found in bookstores and libraries around the world, journals, blogs, forums & magazines such as Thoth Journal of Glia Society and City Connect Magazine since 2012-present. She is the author of Cosmos and Spheres poetry book and the ‘Dr. Zazzy’ children’s series. She discusses: intriguing family facts; biggest changes between 18 and 30; definition of genius; family national background meaning for the ethnic background, and some of the linguistic, educational, and religious or lack thereof, influences from them; Dominica important to family history, and Empress Josephine; Robert-Marguerite Tascher, baron de La Pagerie and Marianne Felicité, Henry Alfred Alford Nicholls, and Henri François Pittier; forms of love missing in early life, and moral courage.

Keywords: editor, Krystal Volney, United Sigma Korea, WIN ONE, World Intelligence Network, writer.

An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History: Author & Editor, WIN ONE (Part One)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: As a Millennial – using the term to satisfy demographers, or a 30-year-old, the parental background and personal background become more or less better known, statistically speaking. However, some knowledge only becomes understood if presented in the tone of the person. What intriguing family facts emerged later in life for you? Those unknown in youth and unlisted to the public, so far.

Krystal Volney: When I was a child I wasn’t aware. but as a teenager, I was given evidence that my Volney relatives and I are descendants of the notable Count, Count Volney. I only told my close friends and some of my maternal cousins. I did not see it as a big deal. I did not want to be treated differently from other people my age. The person that I once was over 12 years ago is a completely different person to who I am now as a result of experiences in my life. I never aspired to be a genius until my later years and never knew what I wanted to do with my life initially. My family controlled me. When I was very young, I was enthralled by Ancient Egyptian culture and thought of becoming an Egyptologist when I grew up, reading many books on that. I loved the culture of Cleopatra, Nefertiti and the Pharoah Tutankhamun.

Other family facts that emerged later in life for me is information about my Dominican (paternal), Barbadian (maternal) and Martiniquais (paternal) heritage. I read an extraordinary book in 2016 about my grandmother’s first cousin Phyllis Shand Allfrey called A Caribbean Life published in 1996 about my family’s relation to Empress Josephine’s Uncle and her cousin Marianne Felicité through my grandmother Rosalind Enid Alford Nicholls-Volney’s father Ralph Nicholls, grandson of Marianne Felicité. Having a turbulent past, that sort of information was intriguing to me; even though, I did not expect to be treated differently from anyone out there. I prefer having my own achievements; although, I do respect those who want to be elevated because of their families and ancestries. I believe I would make a great impact on the globe, helping others by sharing my childhood issues, so that this useful information would stop innocent minors from being sexually abused by trusted employees in their family homes. I want people to know that child sexual abuse can happen to the most intelligent of people’s children as you can see priests and nuns are trustworthy people and even they have been accused of pedophilia. As a child, I did not know what my childhood pedophile did was wrong but as a mature woman now, I could definitely look back at my past and know that she manipulated and groomed me.

2. Jacobsen: What have been the biggest changes between the ages of 18 and 30?

Volney: I have definitely become a more mature individual and although it is said that ‘Age is just a number’ , the once ‘Being popular and being cool’ vibe from my younger years has definitely changed. I value the friends that I have now and are thankful for them. I live a life of gratitude for what I have and try to not focus on any negativity in life. At the same time, as I get older I try to become more mature but still maintain a youthful mentality in certain aspects.

3. Jacobsen: What defines a genius to you? Or, perhaps, what different definitions of genius suffice for you?

Volney: Someone who is exceptional or gifted in his or her respective field/s.

4. Jacobsen: Some biographical information exists on the website, which states, “Her family comes from Martinique, Venezuela, Dominica island, Montserrat, Barbados, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, Scotland, Canada, Aruba, St. Kitts, Jamaica, Norway and USA.” What does this family national background mean for the ethnic background? What were some of the linguistic, educational, and religious or lack thereof, influences from them?

Volney: Oh ethnic background? My family is of Mestizo heritage. My father is Mestizo and my mother has African mainly, Portuguese and British heritage. My maternal grandmother is Biracial and my deceased grandfather was predominantly African. I identify as multiracial race or ‘Black’ physically. However, race and ethnicity should not matter though! Personality is more important than what a person looks like right? Generally, my entire family is well-educated as you asked about educational influences from them. Having a solid education means a lot to my maternal and paternal relatives. However, my personal views are that I stand on my feet independently and have my own achievements than rely on those of my families’. On the other hand, I don’t judge anyone who depends on theirs as it’s not my place to condemn anyone.

5. Jacobsen: Why is Dominica important to family history, i.e., in regards to the Volneys and the Cromptons? Who was Empress Josephine?

Volney: My family history in Dominica is lovely to me as I did not know of it until my mid-twenties. Empress Josephine? Oh, she was a French Queen born on Martinique.

6. Jacobsen: Who were Robert-Marguerite Tascher, baron de La Pagerie and Marianne Felicité? Who was Henry Alfred Alford Nicholls? What was the relationship between Henry Nicholls and Henri François Pittier?

Volney: You will have to ask a historian about that but by reading from distinguished books, Robert-Marguerite Tascher, baron de La Pagerie and Marianne Felicité were relatives of Empress Josephine’s… honestly, I would like to know the intimate relationship myself between Henry Nicholls my great-great-grandfather and Henri François Pittier from Venezuela as they wrote a book on Botany together.

7. Jacobsen: What were the forms of love missing most in early life? As to childhood sexual abuse, we can cover this in one on the next parts more fully. Thank you for sharing this, and with a full name, this takes moral courage and emotional resilience, and the commitment to the truth, to represent oneself this open and vulnerable to the public. 

Volney: Child sexual abuse and child grooming that happened to me as a little girl from 5 to 13 years old secretly gave me a wrong understanding of love from an early age. I enjoy single life as an adult now but don’t need anyone in that regard and if I date the right man, it would be for us to add to each other’s lives not subtract, and grow older together. Otherwise, I can remain single for the rest of my life.

Sure Scott, I enjoyed sharing this and thank you for seeing it as moral courage and being emotionally resilient to represent myself this openly and vulnerably to the public…

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Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Author; Tech Writer & Part-Time Co-Editor, WIN ONE (WIN-ON-line Edition); Journal Editor, United Sigma Korea; Writer, Planet Ivy Magazine [Planet Ivy]; Writer, Desiblitz Magazine; Writer, Relate Magazine; Writer/Journalist, City Connect.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One) [Online].August 2019; 20(A). Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, August 1). An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One)Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, August. 2019. <https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (August 2019). https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):August. 2019. Web. <https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Krystal Volney on Family History (Part One) [Internet]. (2019, August 20(A). Available from: https://in-sightjournal.com/2019/08/01/volney-jacobsen/.

License and Copyright

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In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: August 1, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,749

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

His Lordship of Roscelines, Graham Powell,earned the “best mark ever given for acting during his” B.A. (Hons.) degree in “Drama and Theatre Studies at Middlesex University in 1990” and the “Best Dissertation Prize” for an M.A. in Human Resource Management from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in 1994. Powell is an Honorary Member of STHIQ Society, Former President of sPIqr Society, Vice President of Atlantiq Society, and a member ofBritish MensaIHIQSIngeniumMysteriumHigh Potentials SocietyElateneosMilenijaLogiq, and Epida. He is the Full-Time Co-Editor of WIN ONE (WIN-ON-line Edition) since 2010 or nearly a decade. He represents World Intelligence Network Italia. He is the Public Relations Co-Supervisor, Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and a Member of the European Council for High Ability. He discusses: debut as an editor with the publication on October 10, 2010; content of the fifth issue; most popular points of the publications; and setting a new tone for the leadership of the publication.

Keywords: AtlantIQ Society, editor, fifth issue, Graham Powell, WIN ONE, World Intelligence Network.

An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE: Editor, WIN ONE & Vice President, AtlantIQ Society (Part Five)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Your first editorial production debut was on October 10, 2010, with the fifth issue of WIN ONE, if including Genius 2 Genius Manifest. You characterized this issue as a “bumper issue” at the time, correctly, especially with the massive increase in the size of this particular issue. The largest chunk of the material belongs to the statistical analysis of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis of the first decade of the World Intelligence Network. What was behind the selection of the particular colour of blue and design of the border, and picture of the village of Oios (Oia) on the island of Santorini, Greece? The border of the issue and the colouring appear decidedly Greek. It sets a tone. The famous picture of Oios may be the giveaway hint.

Graham Powell: I approached Beatrice Rescazzi early in the preparation process of this Edition and asked if she would mind illustrating it. In the end, she reformatted all of it, and, I think under the influence of Evangelos being Greek, chose the font which dominates this issue. Evangelos was the last to submit his huge analysis, after which the edition went to Beatrice – this being within a few days of the publication date. She was suddenly taken ill and the magazine was uploaded a few days after the 10th, with an appropriate note going on the WIN website. When Beatrice sent back the finished copy, the size of the file was immense and covered as many pages as all the previous editions put together. I decided to label it a ‘bumper edition’ at that point. It marked a grand return to the arena and the next few magazines had people eagerly contributing, the feedback about the format being positive. I think the blue and white obviously reflected not only the colours in the Greek flag, but the dominant colours within the photo of Santorini. I also like to have a background colour to the magazine pages, plus a watermark, and often the watermark reflects a deep theme within the edition.

2. Jacobsen: The entrance into the fifth issue includes some work on, appropriately, an invitation to a new IQ test, some things to consider for systematizing the construction of a meaningful life, the ways in which religion may play a role in public life and the formation of the individual citizens’ political and personal choices in the public sphere (long think piece), on divisibility and the number 3, a nice puzzle set, a consideration of the application of the Socratic method – as opposed to rhetoric – to political concerns (with a nice separation between “first-order philosophical knowledge,” “second-order philosophical knowledge,” and “third-order philosophical knowledge”), and the representation of the truly bold vision-in-action for WIN Dr. Katsioulis harbors. If you can recall, granted it has been almost another decade since its publication, what articles took the most negotiation with the authors, e.g., Marco Ripa and the translation from Italian into English? 

Powell: As previously inferred, Marco’s was the most complex composition to interpret and of course translate. I had to liaise with him to make sure it was accurate and indeed I made a slight correction to it, if I remember correctly. (And to be fair to Marco, it was just a typo.) Anyway, the other notable challenge was breaking down the long articles via the addition of illustrative photos and subtitles. I conferred with Paul Edgeworth, though he trusted my judgement from the beginning and after the edition came out, he said how pleased he was with the result. It is also quite noticeable how many errors appear in some essays, so I read them very carefully and researched anything I thought awry. This was also appreciated after the publication date. Rich Stock was particularly thankful for my contribution to his essay, which he wrote specifically for the magazine. It certainly forged our friendship which, as you mentioned, goes back over a decade now.

3. Jacobsen: Within the previous question’s framing, what were the most popular points of the publications in the bumper issue, the fifth issue? 

Powell: Evangelos Katsioulis loved the cover design. He also appreciated the font, which was reassuring. Furthermore, with a huge interest, 2010 was, indeed, the pinnacle of interest and participation, that ‘high curve’ of participation being bolstered by the fact that only a few magazines from the member societies existed at that point in time, plus people were not so interested in writing for cash. That has changed now, as far as I can surmise, the plethora of blogs and magazines created with the raison d’être of earning money, resulting in, I think, the demise of magazines like the WIN ONE. Also, the increase in Asian interest in high IQ societies, from new members without the English skills or easy access to western societies’ discussions, means that the participation in magazines which predominantly promote western culture is considered unwise, or, at least, is not openly encouraged. Additionally, the WIN ONE was a sounding board used by people to show off their skills and talents, which the World Genius Directory “Genius of the Year” award also encouraged in the early years of my tenure as editor. What is more, people expressed their appreciation of the simplicity of design coupled with the large variety of content. The bumper edition set a standard for the way the magazine was now going to be presented and it was liked by most. I also enjoyed creating the puzzles that have become a regular feature. I think, through all of what I have just mentioned, people identified with the person predominantly creating each edition, and they appreciated the guidance given too.

4. Jacobsen: As the publication went on a slight hiatus over time between the fourth and the fifth issues, what were the important points about setting a tone for the new editorial leadership here?

Powell: The Plain English books have long been an influence on me, going back to Sir Ernest Gowers at Oxford. The Critical Sense: Practical Criticism of Prose and Poetry by James Reeves, has also been at the core of how I present myself in writing, resulting in, fundamentally, an ability to adapt and present work that is as easy as possible to access, whilst being fun to experience as well. Going by the feedback I have received over the years, I think I have achieved that goal, that balance between the complexity of content and the clarity of presentation.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Editor, WIN ONE; Text Editor, Leonardo (AtlantIQ Society); Joint Public Relations Officer, World Intelligence Network; Vice President, AtlantIQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 1, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five) [Online].August 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, August 1). An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, August. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (August 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):August. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Graham Powell on Editorial Leadership Transition and a New Tone for WIN ONE (Part Five) [Internet]. (2019, August 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-five.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,238

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Gita Sahgal is the Executive Director of the Centre for Secular Space. She discusses: secularism and pluralistic democracy; Sharia courts; most judges as men in religious courts; impacts of the community through ostracism.

Keywords: Centre for Secular Space, Gita Sahgal, pluralistic democracy, secularism, Sharia Courts.

An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts: Executive Director, Centre for Secular Space (Part Three)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview edited for clarity and readability. Some information may be incorrect based on audio quality.*

*This interview was conducted November 13, 2016.*

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: The roots, by which I mean that which it embeds in, seem two-fold. One, the nature of secularism as a must in pluralistic democracies. On the other hand, the nature of religion. On the first, the former, secularism is a must because this permits everyone freedom to or from religion.

In that, if an individual society, partially or fully theocratic, then it will basically support one religion over all other religions and irreligion. In addition, you can even have a pluralistic but only religion.

In some countries, like the United Arab Emirates, you cannot sign yourself as irreligious in your marking, even if you are an expat and not necessarily an Emirati. On the latter, the nature of religion, to me, seems to be that it is not only a comprehensive worldview theory but also a comprehensive practice.

It embeds itself in all aspects of society. We saw it in Christendom. We see it during the Caliphate. We see it in other parts of the world. Therefore, in secular democracies where they give up their power of secular rule of law and socio-cultural contexts, then religion will begin to fill in the hole that it probably considers itself to have a rightful place too.

Gita Sahgal: Yes, there is an aspect of Britain, which is particularly tragic. Unlike the US, the British, as a whole – and I think this is across minorities, were not religious. One, Britain is not a religious state. Two, the Queen is the head of the Church of England. The Church of England is the established church of the state.

But as a Christian state, you are free to believe what you want. Because it is fundamentally a liberal society, not the state. A lot of social life is lived around the religious community. You have America as a secular state where there is a huge marketplace of religions.

As we found with the Trump campaign, there is an evangelical strong vote. There is no power of evangelicalism in Britain politically. In Britain, Christianity has no real political force. People do not go to church.

Even if they call themselves religious, and then put it down, they tend not to attend church. Society is very secularized. Yet, for political reasons, the government is promoting religious groups. One of the reasons and this is t least related to the Rushdie affair.

“There is the Christian stuff. Therefore, in the interest of equity, we will have other faiths.”

Jacobsen: Right.

Sahgal: We have Christians as lawmakers, not simply Christians who are Christians but Christians who sit in the House of Lords. It is so bloated that it is bigger than the House of Commons. It is mad. It is insane that this is the case.

There are 800 people or something. It is bigger than the House of Commons. It is mad. Bishops are taking up the House. So, they have to put more Muslims, Hindus, other religious people into the Upper House. Not because of the societal reasons, but also because they want more of those religions.

These are state-funded Church of England and Catholic schools, so they had to allow Jewish schools – and so they had to allow Muslim schools. So, in the interest of equity, we have more and more religious discrimination in the religious arena.

[Laughing] that is what will happen with the Sharia courts as they have the Jewish marriage courts. So, they have religious marriage and civil marriage. There are a civil marriage and a religious marriage of minorities.

People are voting to promote religious marriage only. Then they are marrying more and more women because those marriages are recognized as not breaking the law.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Sahgal: It has become a social fact. Women are saying, “We are having these religious marriages to be respectable.” My generation: if you wanted to live with a man, you shacked up with him like a white person in this country, or your boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever.

They may get married or not. They may marry in middle age because their pension is coming up. So, they figure, “I might as well marry now” [Laughing]. They want to stay together anyway.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Sahgal: Muslims are making the same kinds of decisions as other people because of the hassle of their parents and some hide for a while. Then some eventually get married. They settled down. Now, you hear these young people influenced by fundamentalist versions of Islam.

They want to go over with some man who their parents approve of to have a religious marriage. Many feel as though they have to do that. Then the man wants to dump the woman with some children.

Then the woman finds the marriage is not recognized in English law. So, she can claim welfare benefits as a single mother, but she cannot dissolve the marriage and then she has no choice but to go to a Sharia court. People with civil marriages do this too. These are being allowed to exist.

Even though, there hasn’t been a huge demand for them. That is the horror of religion; people are not madly religious. They do not think that if you ask people if they believe in creationism and humans and dinosaurs walked the Earth at the same time. That the world was made exactly as this 6,000 years ago.

A lot of the wrong views are erroneous views rather than strongly held erroneous views, probably. For them to have real influence, they would need to take advantage of the education system.

2. Jacobsen: If you take the Sharia courts or the education system, or arguing for human rights and women’s rights, what are some moves people can do to implement and instantiate women’s rights and provide a feeling of not feeling trapped to not have to go to Sharia courts for some women some of the time?

Sahgal: It is not where the groups exist that provide an alternative to women. The women do not go. The two organizations providing frontline services around domestic violence provide long-term therapeutic work with women.

We have been having a lot of attacks calling us secular extremists on the women, on Twitter and stuff like that. There is one woman who is attacking Maryam. Maryam said to look at these ex-Muslims being murdered. The woman said that this is not her problem.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] Wow.

Sahgal: What kind of response is that? [Laughing] that is anti-human rights approach, where it is not your concern. Nobody has a ban on what politics or views you hold for the provision of a service.

People come because they need a service. They need to leave their husband, have been facing their violence, need therapy, to talk to somebody in a safe space. The women may be religious or not or may move from one to another.

We do not evangelize people in that space. Nobody evangelizes in terms of how we deal with individuals who need help. Unlike, the Christian or the Muslim organizations where evangelization is built into their work.

We provide services where we think there is a need for services. We send them to where we think they will be served properly. We talked to the head of the Sharia council. They are encouraged to head there or told to go there. They may end up there.

But the fact is they do not end up there because they have detailed work and their own court work. Some end up there. It is harder, but then you have to do the level of work that you need. You do not have a one-size-fits-all form of service.

A lot of services that do domestic violence are getting worse and worse. We know it works. We are not talking about something we do not know about. Southall Black Sisters has generations of women. Who come in destitute with their children who are suicidal or contemplated suicide before they came in, this was something I was doing with service delivery in the 80s; their children are grown up and lawyers or things like that.

They do art design or something like that. They survive. Their children survive. They help them stand on their two feet and then get out of these religious services. We know it can be done. It can be done. It is not something out there. We are saying, “We have done it. We are doing it,” to understand that it is possible.

If you get someone who is running a Muslim women’s center and their main job is to keep a woman in Islam, a woman comes in and says, “I need help. I am in distress I need this divorce.” They will say, “Come with us to the Sharia court, we will take you there. We know the guys. They are very nice.”

There was a case of one woman giving evidence to the Home Select Committee. She said that she had taken more than 100 women to the Sharia court. How an organization lost funding because its service was so rotten, they lost funding, which was given to another group to provide for the service.

Nobody knew what was happening to women. There were not dealing properly with the cases because they did not think any religious solutions or putting women in the hands of these so-called Sharia judges.

It was allowed to be rotten. We are talking about basic common sense. We have an evidence base for it. Yet, it seems like something arcane. “Women want these services. We are told.” They want those services because they do not have any other services to go to.

They end up going there as their destination. As I said, one woman who works with the United Iranian-Kurdish Rights organization said, the Sharia councils themselves can be considered violence against women.

It is not some discriminate and others do not. It is systematic of the form of violence against women themselves.

3. Jacobsen: Are these judges mostly or all men?

Sahgal: They are not all men. There are some women. The women are as bad as the men and they out there on TV at the Home Select Committee. While all of the men run these operations. [Laughing] it is very interesting the rebranding going on.

They always call themselves councils. They cheated in divorce courts. They call themselves judges, issue rulings, and issue fatwas, and issue divorce certificates, which are not legal in any sense. However, they are treated as legal tender.

Not money, but no actual document; they say that they are mediation and arbitration courts now. It is getting to understand the endless academic accounts of having these Sharia councils and having women there and having them called mediation services.

These academics are wide-eyed to this [Laughing]. They are legal pluralists. You talk about secular democracy. There is a very, very strong argument for legal pluralism. In Canada, you have it around First Nations as secular groups, which denounce Canada in wanting their own laws.

There is a famous case called Lovelace. I am not sure who it came up in a human rights document. The Lovelace case was a woman who married out and lost her status as an Indigenous woman in a group, in her nation.

She was not allowed to hand down property or something like that. It showed even if the intention is supposedly progressive, which I understand with many of the First Nations is about long histories of oppression and marginalization and so on.

They feel they can best get it if they have their own cultural legal system-services and run internal courts according to norms that they want. They have been extremely restrictive on women’s rights. So, women have to be married within the group to pass on.

They are making things pretty difficult. Since then, they have done marvellous things. However, it is interesting that one of the cases against the human rights framework is by a woman who was denied her rights by the Indigenous court of her own group.

Not by the racist white system in that case. What happens, the racist white system allows people to fall through the cracks. What we find, when you have parallel systems, one system will set you back into the parallel system or will be hands-off.

They do not, in the end, protect your rights. The Supreme Court, they do not protect your rights. So, you have minorities having these systems in lots of different countries because there are whole systems of personal family law in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh.

In India, the Hindu person law got changed. It was not ended, but it ended polygamy. There was a reform in the 50s. In Pakistan, in the early 60s, there was another change. Pakistan-Hindu law, Hindu marriages are only just being allowed to be registered in Pakistan. Hindu law did not change.

It was horrific. In India, the law was not the problem. India was probably the most backward Muslims, or anywhere in the world, in secular India. Because where you have legal pluralism, the laws are not viewed as needed for minorities.

It is precisely a way to keep minority women subjugated in their own communities. The state says, “We are hands-off because we are listening to the community.”

Jacobsen: It is PR on the part of the state.

Sahgal: Yes, the state has always said that.

4. Jacobsen: Canada and the UK are a little different. Things would be different if you were a Brahmin compared to a Harijan in law but also in culture. That makes me think of the United Kingdom, where if a woman goes to a court system and gets the divorce.

Then it is accepted. How does that impact her life within the community in many cases that she has grown up in her whole life? Is there shunning and ostracism in general?

Sahgal: There has been some of that. Some women have to then build their lives. They get some professional qualifications. The two women in the case study. They were two older one. One woman rebuilt her life.

She got herself educated. Late in life, but she got educated, she remarried as well. So, she rebuilt her life. Some women, they may end up pretty isolated and devastated. Even if there is a women’s center in the community, like Southall Black Sisters, it becomes another community.

They have something to celebrate and come together. I am not part of Southall Black Sisters any longer, but I feel very emotionally attached to them. It becomes like an alternative community. I find some women stayed in the area and then do go on living their lives.

They do withstand that. Then there are lots of complicated and different stories. These groups where you can at least create a space like the Center for Secular Space. One is called Secular Spaces: Asian Women Organizing.

S, whatever society is doing, we can create our own space. It was an autonomous group. It was originally a black group – meaning Asian and African. It was a very, very out there space. Now there are a lot of African women because there are more Somali women who have settled in the area, into SPS.

It was autonomous. In that, it was a time when we felt that we were feminists and part of a broader feminist movement. We were not anti-feminist or anti-all white feminists. They were not taking on the same issues as us.

A much more problematic space for us. We wanted to deal more politically with those issues, but along with the domestic violence stuff. We began to raise issues of religious fundamentalism. In Britain, our first meeting had fundamentalism and International Women’s Day. We had the Rushdie days.

Then we were like “Why are we talking about religion?” rather than Solidarity with South Africa [Laughing]]. Why does it have to be about religion? Religion was not felt as much of a that at the time.

It is a threat. Religious fundamentalism is a threat. It was very much from that minority women’s perspective that we began to discuss these issues.

5. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Gita.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Executive Director, Centre for Secular Space.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three) [Online].July 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, July 22). An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, July. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (July 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘AAn Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):July. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Gita Sahgal on Secularism, Pluralistic Democracy, and Religious Courts (Part Three) [Internet]. (2019, July 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sahgal-four.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Graham Powell on Dr. Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,452

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

His Lordship of Roscelines, Graham Powell,earned the “best mark ever given for acting during his” B.A. (Hons.) degree in “Drama and Theatre Studies at Middlesex University in 1990” and the “Best Dissertation Prize” for an M.A. in Human Resource Management from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in 1994. Powell is an Honorary Member of STHIQ Society, Former President of sPIqr Society, Vice President of Atlantiq Society, and a member ofBritish MensaIHIQSIngeniumMysteriumHigh Potentials SocietyElateneosMilenijaLogiq, and Epida. He is the Full-Time Co-Editor of WIN ONE (WIN-ON-line Edition) since 2010 or nearly a decade. He represents World Intelligence Network Italia. He is the Public Relations Co-Supervisor, Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and a Member of the European Council for High Ability. He discusses: the first three issues of WIN ONE under the aegis of Florian Schröder and the formats of the issues; the issue under the editorial leadership of Owen Cosby; and the influence of the prior issues on the editorial guardianship of Powell.

Keywords: AtlantIQ Society, editor, Florian Schröder, Graham Powell, intelligence, IQ, Owen Cosby, WIN ONE, World Intelligence Network.

An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past: Editor, WIN ONE & Vice President, AtlantIQ Society (Part Four)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: If we look at the ways in which the publications have changed over time for the World Intelligence Network, or WIN, one of the more noticeable changes has been the transition from the previous title of Genius 2 Genius Manifest to WIN ONE

The first three issues were under the auspices of Florian Schröder. The fourth issue was under the aegis of Owen Cosby. Now, the formats remained relatively similar for Genius 2 Genius Manifest with a word from the editor, art, poetry, essays, riddles, and then one change with the inclusion of a section for photos. Any idea as to the reason for this specific format to the publication in its prior manifestations?

Graham Powell: Dr. Florian Schröder would have to definitively answer that question, Scott, though the format may have been influenced by Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis as well. Evangelos supervised the early editions I produced, as one might expect from the Founder and President of the WIN. The impression I got from the early magazines was that they were akin to research papers, the origin of some of them coming from research, so I hypothesize that this origin influenced the layout and format.

2. Jacobsen: Also, following from the previous question, we can note the content with Pascal’s Wager and Kraïtchik’s Paradox, Martin Gardner, IQ and EQ, intercultural competence, phenomenology and theology, nonverbal communication, haikus, analysis of the early demographics of WIN (findings: mostly male members in several societies), and intelligence and competence (highly in-depth). 

When Cosby took over as the main editor, the content, for his one issue of editorial leadership, contained some photographs with Chris Chsioufis, Julie Tribes, Thomas Baumer, and Evangelos Katsioulis, part two of the content on intelligence and competence, an interesting take on the ontological status of “GOD” through smushing the lines of epistemology into an penultimate and eternal agnostic epistemic state on the question (can’t say one way or the other), on the work of Descartes, Baruch de Spinoza, and some commentary on intelligence tests in a framework of logical art.

Prior to working on the fifth issue as the editor for WIN ONE, as the name changed – as noted, how did this prior work and content inform the fifth issue?

Powell: I wanted the WIN ONE to be more like a magazine, not a collection of research papers. In May 2010 I helped Beatrice Rescazzi produce the first magazine for the AtlantIQ Society, the layout and colourfulness of the design appealing to me. Beatrice was largely responsible for that, plus I was interested in putting more artistic elements into the WIN ONE. After a near four-year gap in production, I eagerly contacted my friends in the WIN and put advertisements on the website. In a short time, many publications were supplied, most notably, a paper on mathematics in Italian, which I decided to translate. I only had 15 or so days to do that translation, but I liaised with Marco Ripà and we got it done. This increased the content significantly. Evangelos also volunteered to supply an overview of the WIN, largely due to the increase in society membership during the first half of 2010. The average IQ of the meta-society was now lower than before, which also influenced my approach to the design. I wanted it to appeal to a broader spectrum of membership.

3. Jacobsen: Continuing from the last question, how did this begin to inform future issues past the fifth? How did you adapt the content and the format into something entirely personal while within the framework of the World Intelligence Network for WIN ONE?

Powell: In 2011 I took a year out from work, my interests in creativity and innovation occupying my days. I read The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker and extrapolated from it thoughts and ideas which I later found to be aligned with concepts in Positive Psychology and philosophy, the essay by Paul Edgeworth on Contemplation strongly influencing my approach to didactic planning, for example. This was reflected in the WIN ONE production as I wanted creativity to be featured within it much more, the overall layout and design also being quite simple, yet visually appealing, as well as duly stimulating cognitively.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Editor, WIN ONE; Text Editor, Leonardo (AtlantIQ Society); Joint Public Relations Officer, World Intelligence Network; Vice President, AtlantIQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four) [Online].July 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, July 22). An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, July. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (July 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):July. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Graham Powell on Florian Schröder, Owen Cosby, Genius 2 Genius Manifest, and WIN ONE Editorial Direction Set in the Past (Part Four) [Internet]. (2019, July 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/powell-four.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 15, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,868

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Dr. Iona Italia is an Author and Translator, and a Sub-Editor for Areo Magazine, and Host of Two for Tea. She discusses: Margaret Atwood, a feminist frame for research, feminisms, and 1694 to 1770; equality playing out in the daily lives of ordinary women; social equality and legal equality; impacts on the further equality of women; the reaction of men when they came back from the war, and the counter-reaction of women; precedents of women entering into new arenas as a trend; sex and gender divide by disciplines; and sympathy.

Keywords: Areo Magazine, Iona Italia, Margaret Atwood, Parsi, Two for Tea, Zoroastrianism.

An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy: Host, Two for Tea & Sub-Editor, Areo Magazine (Part Two)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you were talking earlier about a feminist frame for the research, what was the understanding of a women’s movement, of feminism, at that time?

Because we live in a time when there are, more properly framed, “feminisms.” I know Margaret Atwood commonly states it is probably at least 50 things, depending on who you’re talking to. At the time, from 1694 to 1770, what did they mean?

Dr. Iona Italia: When I was doing my Ph.D., I was interested in women’s position in society and how the way that they talked about themselves and they represented themselves as women reflected those kinds of stereotypes. The way that they played with those stereotypes, e.g., the old maid being one of the obvious ones.

Jacobsen: Right.

Italia: Yes. It wasn’t necessarily that those stereotypes created a victimhood stance. I was interested in that, in women, their position in society, women as writers, et cetera. I wasn’t exclusively interested in that, but that was what I began being interested in for my Ph.D.

Then I noticed that there were five women – well, four and the maybe. They are all anonymous. The one whose identity we haven’t yet discovered was probably a woman. There are various theories, though. I thought five is the perfect number for a Ph.D. It is one per chapter, and then the introduction and conclusion. That is why I decided to focus on the women essayists, rather than looking at women poets or novelists.

They did not think of themselves as feminist. That term wasn’t used. Feminism as we know it, I would say, did not begin until 1788, with the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. What we have in earlier works, pre-Wollstonecraft, with people like Mary Astell, I would say they are classic battle-of-the-sexes style things. It is all about which sex is better, men or women.

There were some people in the early 18th century. A lot of people published. For example, there is one called From Abbasia to Zenobia. It is a biographical mini-encyclopedia or dictionary of famous women. It is a book celebrating famous women throughout history.

There are also some works that are addressed to usually upper-class women, which are educational works, which are encouraging women to study botany or astronomy or mathematics, often framing that as a man teaching his daughter or a brother teaching his sister and it is “The Lady’s Guide to” whatever. There are also those kinds of works.

There are some works, like Mary Astell’s, which advocate a pseudo-nunnery style situation, a pseudo-university for women. (What Mary Astell is advocating is a college.) Then there are also a lot of polemical works that have titles like “The Proof that Woman is Superior to Man,” and things like that. This is the battle of the sexes. None of those things are what I would describe as feminism. Although, you could say that these are women-centric writings and concerns.

But feminism begins where it is not a battle, but it is about equal rights. That begins with Mary Wollstonecraft. The systematic definition of that begins with Mary Wollstonecraft.

2. Jacobsen: How was women’s position in society transitioning towards more equality in the 1694 – 1770 period? How was this played out, not necessarily in thematic things like a battle-of-the-sexes form? How was this playing out in the daily lives of ordinary women?

Italia: I would say that I do not think there were a huge number of legal changes happening, but, of course, the Enlightenment was happening. That had a couple of knock-on effects for women, I think. One was that education became much more highly valued, so the proportion of women who were illiterate went down considerably over this period.

Then also, because of this emphasis on rationality, there was more emphasis on education. I was talking earlier about, mostly for upper-class women, this spread of books teaching women different subjects. That became democratized in the 1760s with the magazines.

The original magazines were huge tomes, monthly tomes. They had lots of this educational material inside them. You would pick up a magazine, open it up. There would be an article on the flora and fauna of Sri Lanka with fold-out illustrations and things like that.

Magazines were affordable. They were often available in public spaces, like cafes and coffee houses and in people’s houses, where domestic servants would have access to reading them. You did not have to buy a copy to be able to see it. I think that also helped women’s education and self-awareness.

The decline in superstition. 1733 was the last time that a witch was burned in Great Britain, in Tring, in Hertfordshire. Clearly, that also improved women’s lots.

In general, during the Enlightenment, there was a strong emphasis on questioning authority, on not accepting authority, of any kind, blindly. That began with not accepting the divine right of kings. That began with The Glorious Revolution.

Then, of course, the questioning of religion and Christianity, which the church was able to fight back against in Europe. But in the UK much less so, the church was so much weakened by what had happened during The Glorious Revolution. Of course, it was a logical next step from there to questioning the authority of husbands over wives.

3. Jacobsen: What came first, social equality or legal equality?

Italia: I think it depends on the specific law. Sometimes, laws are changed to reflect what is already common behaviour. Other times, laws are changed first and then behaviours gradually change.

4. Jacobsen: After 1770, what were some major developments in other parts of the world that were directly or even derivatively impacted by this development of further equality for women?

Italia: That is a good question. If you’re talking globally, then I do not know. If you’re talking about the West, then, eventually, women began to enter the professions. That happened around the 1870s, 1880s, starting with medicine. There were a couple of famous women in the 18th century who dressed and lived as men and entered the medical profession, as everybody knows. Women began officially entering the professions starting with medicine in the 1870s, ’80s.

Then you had the suffrage movement. Women got the vote. I think largely as a result of the First World War; women began entering the workforce in greater numbers. Those are some of the larger developments that happened.

5. Jacobsen: After the world wars, when the men came back, what was the reaction of the men? What was the counter-reaction of the women, in general?

Italia: There was a strong backlash against feminism after the Second World War, after the First World War I think even more so. There was a strong backlash among many men who had been to war who felt that women were complaining about nothing. They had it too easy because they hadn’t had to go to war.

In the meantime, of course, during the war, women had had to take over many jobs that had previously been male jobs. For example, here in Buenos Aires, there is a bridge called Puente de la Mujer, the “Woman’s Bridge,” which was entirely designed by women engineers and built by women construction workers because the men were at war. That was a genie that it was not possible to put back into the bottle.

6. Jacobsen: Does this reflect a common trend for centuries, women seen as not being able to do something, some cultural or historical event requires women to simply do something when the men are not there, or the women making their way in some way and then that basically being continual waves of genies’ bottles being opened up and then the genies not being able to put back into the bottles? I guess the current example is Will Smith now, in the new Aladdin.

Italia: [Laughing] I think so. There is also the question of average preferences. This is the other side to the coin, which is if women are not within a profession, to what extent is that social? To what extent do women prefer certain professions over others?

Also, I do not think there is anything particularly and intrinsically good about every profession having a 50/50 male/female balance. That is only good if otherwise, it is stopping people who would be happier doing that profession from being in that profession. Otherwise, there is no intrinsic reason why every profession must have 50/50.

There may be a reinforcing factor, which, maybe, also, that women prefer to be in professions where there are some other women around. That may also put the brakes on opening of new areas. Then, obviously, there are things that require more upper-body strength, or which call for more risk. Women are less keen to take physical risk than men.

I do not know. I think that it is hard to tell always how much of a thing is socialized and how much is nature. That is an impossible question to answer unless we do “the forbidden experiment.” I do not know if you have heard about this. You would kidnap a bunch of babies and throw them together on a deserted island and leave them with enough food and resources that they wouldn’t die and wait to see what society they would build.

A few people have attempted to do crazy things like this, like Rousseau, on a small scale. Since you cannot do that experiment—it is not ethical—we do not know how that experiment would turn out, so we’re always working with what we have and developing from where we are. I think that there is a tendency in some strings of feminism—I’ve noticed it a lot in the men’s rights movement, as well—to completely disregard biology.

For example, the wage gap may not at all be at all due to discrimination, but it may be due to women’s voluntary choices of certain professions and those professions being less well paid. “Why they are less well paid?” is another question, but it may not be a sexual discrimination factor.

And then men’s rights activists always complaining about men are committing suicide more often, living less time, I think it is a nine-year average shorter lifespan and performing less well in academics during puberty and early adulthood. All of those could be due to biology, for obvious reasons. Testosterone is not conducive to concentrating or focusing. One would expect men to have more trouble focusing during the period when your testosterone is highest, which is school, early university.

Also, men dying sooner than women is what we would expect from biology. There is a cuts-both-ways thing, here, going on. When we see disadvantages, we do not know if disadvantages are the result of discrimination, or the result of biological factors which we could mitigate, as we did, for example, with birth control, or biological factors that we cannot easily mitigate. Hard to say, but it is a complicated issue.

7. Jacobsen: It is a complicated issue. It requires extensive conversation. It also requires a courage, in the current moment somewhat limited, to look at the facts, admit them, of which there are fair points on all sides, not two, and then having a distanced, relatively objective analysis of things insofar as one can attain it.

However, if we look at English literature, or English, psychology, and medicine, we can see a stark split by sex and gender, in general, compared to physics, cosmology, mathematics, engineering. We see these. We note them. In some reportage, there does seem to be an indication of quiet – within admissions offices – selection for more men in certain areas, simply to balance things out in terms of the ledger of gender or sex in the universities.

Italia: There seem to be some preference things at stake, as I understand it, at school, if they are taking sciences. In some educational systems, you can stop taking it at a certain age, like 16. Girls’ and boys’ performances are equal, or girls generally outperform boys in all subjects except maths.

They outperform them in sciences at school, but they do not choose to take science at university in the same numbers. Certain sciences, they do. Biology, I think, is now equal. Medicine has more women than men, but physics, engineering, et cetera. That suggests that something is going on, some factor is going on there that is not aptitude related. It could be socialization. It could be choice. We do not know.

I do slightly have some sympathy with positive discrimination in favour of men in arts and humanities. Because, I feel, in science, it is not important what the sex is of the person doing the work; although, I would love to see more women in science. I do not think science suffers from having fewer women in it.

I do not think there is a feminine approach that would benefit science. However, in arts and humanities, I think that your subjective approach can be much more coloured by your personal experience, so I think it is actually more important to have more gender balance in those subjects. That is my personal feeling. But I do not think it should be forced, either. I do not generally like positive discrimination much because it is unfair, but I have a little more sympathy with it in that case.

8. Jacobsen: In my own perspective, everyone has my sympathy because, in a way, we’re at a historically unprecedented moment. I think everyone is trying to figure it out at the same time, and not on this question or this set of questions alone, and so everyone has my sympathy.

Italia: [Laughing].

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Host, Two for Tea; Sub-Editor, Areo Magazine.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 15, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two) [Online].July 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, July 15). An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, July. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (July 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):July. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on 1694-1770, Sex and Gender Dynamics in History, and Universal Sympathy (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, July 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 15, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,454

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Dr. Sarah Lubik is the Director of Entrepreneurship, SFU Co-Champion, Technology Entrepreneurships Lecturer, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Concentration Coordinator, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She discusses: innovation, science, and economics; and the innovation and entrepreneurship agenda of Canada.

Keywords: Canada, entrepreneurship, innovation, Sarah Lubik, science, SFU, technology.

An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development: Director of Entrepreneurship, SFU Co-Champion, Technology Entrepreneurships Lecturer, Entrepreneurship & InnovationConcentration Coordinator, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Part Four)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, there’s an article in 2016, where the first sentence described you as “one of Canada’s 10 Innovation Leaders who will help form the nation’s Innovation Agenda.” (SFU News, 2016). I’m referencing with respect to that time stamp.

This is being spearheaded by Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. What is your particular role? What is the overall vision? How will this Innovation Agenda be implemented?

Dr. Sarah Lubik: Lot of good questions. Navdeep Bains and his ministry are spearheading the formation and implementation of Canada’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda. This was started in collaboration with the Ministers of Science, and Small Business

Ten leaders were picked from across the country as people who could help, gather, activate, and excite Canadians across the country about innovation and to gather grassroots and bottom-up ideas for what the Innovation Agenda should look like.

One of the things that is important to understand, that I’m glad our government understands, is that you cannot top-down command innovation, at least that I’ve seen. Passion drives innovation and entrepreneurship, if you try to create an innovation strategy nationally without getting buy-in from people in the country, you will end up with a great deal of shelf ware. Recommendations and reports that will be difficult to do anything about in practice.

What you need is to find out what do people actually want to do and what do they see as the challenges and how might you get around those challenges, and when you set that big vision, how will people across the country see themselves in it?

So, our job was to bring together these members of the community across the country and host roundtables and events with experts, one of the other reasons they asked the innovation leaders rather than run it through the government was because they also wanted to get the perspective of people who were not the usual suspects,

That they wouldn’t necessarily have thought of or had access to.

The outside perspectives also led to more outside perspectives. One of the other innovation leaders from back East went down to the States and to learn what we could learn from them. Back to my trend of being opportunistic, I was going over to Cambridge, England to be at an R&D management conference with some European leaders around innovation.

So, I enlisted a roundtable there to talk about what we learned from places around the world and what would be their advice for Canada, given what they’d seen work, and not work, elsewhere.

One of the other things that we did was bring together a number of different communities.

That’s why it can be so helpful to have a university’s backing when you’re doing innovation. SFU actually hosted a sold-out event of 170 people at the Center for Dialogue, partnering with the Center for Dialogue and Public Square at SFU, but also the early stage incubator Venture Connection, RADIUS Futurepreneur, the Beach Association a more. The whole point of this was to get as many different communities as possible. We set the scene, and asked “How do we create a more entrepreneurial and socially innovative society?”

It was a friendly conversation with the public as well as leaders from the First Nations Community and from Social Innovation Community and a Tech Community -To get the public and the experts talking across communities.

What we found from having that event was actually a lot of the challenges these communities of people were facing where the same, and that we could learn a lot for each other.

With regard to wanting people to be more entrepreneurial, no matter what community you came from, people were concerned about things like if you want too entrepreneurial, will there be security for you, what will the rewards be?  Can our national systems be better set up to take care of innovators and entrepreneurs?

If you have come up with a great idea or a great initiative, whether you’re social or tech, do we know how to scale them effectively in Canada? How can we support that? Then how can we create and maintain talents?

We have many fantastic international students with entrepreneurial hopes but then if they come up with a venture they want to take forward, how can they do that if they can only stay if they work for someone else’s company?

How do we bring in leaders? Because again, we’re a small country. The people who have grown 100 million dollar companies in Canada are few and far between us.

The thought process was that if we can bring in more of them, more people can learn at the feet of giants.

A big take away from that event was that these communities have a lot in common and a lot to learn from each other. We need to make sure that in the Canadian Innovation Agenda, we were speaking to a diverse range of people and that the Canadian entrepreneurial community has a lot of communities within it.

These findings were delivered to the ministries to help inform Canada’s next steps around innovation.

There was also a website where Canadians were asked to tweet or submit their ideas for a more innovative is Canada. What can we do to use innovation to make the lives of Canadians better?

There are so many excellent pieces of feedback including “focus on problems that matter to the world”. The innovation leaders have also been invited Ottawa and other ventures to talk to different leaders and communities.

What did we learn? What did we hear? What would our advice be? We came back with more interesting perspectives like from a woman who said, “How do we make innovation as Canadian as hockey? Everyone gets that here. Most Canadians get their first pair of skates or have their first hockey lesson, what’s the innovation equivalent?”

Can we answer that question? I thought that was brilliant. With my own experience of bringing those different communities together, one of the pieces of feedback that I thought was important to give way that is an opportunity for Canada to build its own brand of innovation.

Are we in place that solves problems that matter to Canada and the world? That comes back to your question on why would people stay. That’s also important to say, “What does Canada mean when it says that it’s going to be an innovative nation?”

That we are collaborators and peacekeepers, whether you like that or not; it’s the reputation we have internationally.  There’s a reason why we usually travel pretty happily with a Canadian flag on our back.

So, building on what’s already established as this friendly, collaborative, intelligent country, can we be the place you come to solve problems that matter to Canada and the world? So, those are the pieces of feedback I gave.

Regardless of what innovation leader talked to who and where, coming back to where you and I started, entrepreneurial talent came to the forefront. The culture and the mindset of it.

The culture and the mindset that comes with being entrepreneurial, whether it’s your need to start your own company or being an agent of innovation – being that person that finds a way to make sustainable economic and social value from innovation.

With that definition, you can be an entrepreneur whether you’re in a big company or government or a small company or non-profit.  So, right across the board, no matter what sector you’re in.

When I met different officials, they asked great questions around, “How can we either help or boost with the systems we already have, the resources we already have?”  One of the things that makes me happy is to look at the government and seeing them actively try to strengthen our system of innovation and spurring innovation through investment in talent.

But also, are there systems that need to change?’ Yes, there are.

2. Jacobsen: Where is an area where Canada is a complete whole in its innovation and entrepreneurship agenda? And what are we not succeeding in where you need to get on because it’s one of the major future industries that Canada with its current talent pool could capitalize on?

Lubik: So, I have to unpack that question because with the current talent pool that might be one of the challenges of making sure that those translational skills we talked about at the beginning, that ability to speak across disciplines to deeply understand probable outcomes, etc., haven’t been part of traditional curriculum In particular, it’s important to not to confuse technology talent with entrepreneurial talent. It’s easy to talk about innovation and think we need to learn tech, and we do, but we need entrepreneurs from every sector and background.

We have good schools; we graduate smart people. But are their skills and mindset necessarily the skills and mindset you need for innovation when you look at Canada’s performance on international indexes? We don’t do nearly as well as you’d think. In particular, we don’t rank highly on the commercialization of the world-class research we have, because we do rank pretty highly on global research rankings.

However, on getting that research out into the world, we do poorly. So, we have to get better translating it into a useful application, then into companies or ventures. Hence the commercialization program I mentioned earlier.

This is a place where that talent creation is going to be so critical. It’s also where systems are going to be important because one of the things that is not been happening is what I’ve seen in my own research, and looking in other countries, has been people taking bets on innovation in the earlier, less risky stages.

So, waiting until you get to the point where venture capitalists or at least angel investors can invest and say, “We’re going to put all our money there.” The problem with that, going back to what we originally talked about, is that innovation happens on a continuum and in a social system.

So, if you haven’t built that talent that understands translation and understands how to work in teams and how to actually take those great ideas forward, then none of that moves any farther forward. A lot of that great work and research is going to go nowhere because you don’t have the talent to create those big visions and take them forward. That means pouring investments onto a few good ideas that got through, which is not what we should be doing.

If you look at how innovation usually works, you want a lot of tries. Few people are successful on the first go. So, you want people who have been serial entrepreneurs before they’ve been out of school or people who have tried and learned.

Then by the time you get to that later stage, there should be more to choose from. So, one of the keys of how we could do right with this – one of the things Canada could do – if we looked at innovation as a system, as a continuum, and make sure that investment is going in all the different stages.

You need quality and quantity is the beginning, those people who can be serial entrepreneurs or serial innovators, who have taken shots and created teams.

They’ve dealt with ambiguity, who have connections into the ecosystem, who have connections into all the resources that they need and then you’re going to get a bigger quantity of saleable businesses and of high growth and high impact businesses etc.

That will help take the Innovation Agenda forward and help, I hope.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Director of Entrepreneurship, SFU Co-Champion, Technology Entrepreneurships Lecturer, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Concentration Coordinator, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 15, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four) [Online].July 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, July 15). An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, July. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (July 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):July. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Sarah Lubik on Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Part Four) [Internet]. (2019, July 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/lubik-four.

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