Come prepared to think about and discuss the enormous issues society currently faces on the economic, social, political and personal levels in this four-week discussion group.

Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues worked long and hard on the society they wanted to live in before writing the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. They also knew that what they envisioned could be improved. Our collective failure to do the kind of homework Jefferson and his colleagues performed – engaging the creative, critical mind and learning from our mistakes – now demands that we develop a renewed social and economic order that matches people’s needs and aspirations. Our current economic system relies on growth without limits and exudes waste at every step of its extract-produce-market-consume-dispose routine. In contrast earth’s millions of living species prosper within each organism’s budget of available energy. There is no hierarchical management structure, no money, no externalities and no waste.

Students in this class will be challenged to engage in some collective, Jeffersonian thinking based on the premise that we are not masters but part of nature. We will draw on history, the social sciences, physics, chemistry, and biology to help solve our common economic and ecological problems as we build a healthier and happier 21st century “learning society” capable of governing itself.

This class begins on Monday, Nov. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. and meets for four weeks. Instructor Paul Kando is known in the Midcoast area and beyond as the “go to” person on energy issues and policy. He is also well-known at Coastal Senior College, where he teaches, as the resident philosopher. The class will be held at Camden Hills Regional High School, 25 Keelson Dr., Rockport. For more information or to sign up contact adult ed at or 236-7800, ext 5.