Many venues exist for the discussion and debate of issues related to the human experience, politics and relationships. Many times these discussions involve areas of inquiry shared by different groups and approached from different perspectives. For example, matters of ethics are considered in virtually every area of our lives from our religious teachings to our academic processes and to the business community. In contrast spiritual matters tend to be pursued in our religious institutions and communities. Leadership and entrepreneurship are subjects most extensively discussed within the political and business communities. While each of these content areas may have greater prominence in one area or another they all inform and influence one another regardless of the locus of the discussion.
Health and health care conversation tends to be centered in the health professions. Health is also subject to being viewed as primarily a matter of science. Recognizing that many areas of study influence one another health and health care is an area that touches every human being in a multitude of ways.
The Octagon seeks to be a forum for global conversation that connects health, health care, the philosophies of health care and integrated social, cultural and biological change. More precisely, The Octagon seeks to use a lens of 21st century vitalistic thinking through which to examine these issues. Dialogue of this nature crosses many subject boundaries does not easily fit into the traditional framework.
LIFE University’s goals include constructing the Octagon to be a home for change within a village. As envisioned by its developer, LIFE University president, Dr. Guy Riekeman, The Octagon will be the home of eight endowed chairs located in the heart of the LIFE University campus. The eight units of The Octagon will be organized to address:
The vision for The Octagon includes a world-class academic, research and instructional complex complete with a state-of-the-art conference center designed to advance the dialogue that The Octagon was conceived to generate. In addition The Octagon will serve as the center of an expanded village that will include a performing arts center, a business incubator and a communications center each seeking to translate the efforts of The Octagon into policies, ideas, services and products that will transfer the dialogue of The Octagon into real-world, real-time solutions for the betterment of our lives.
Carl Sandburg wrote “nothing happens unless first a dream” The Octagon “dream” is to stage world-changing discussions and to be as impactful in changing the mindset about health, and the health care system as the Heritage Foundation is on the topics of free enterprise and American political thought. Einstein cautioned us that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” Within this perspective lies the dream of The Octagon. As an example, discussions on the current obesity epidemic are centered on today’s health system, resulting in solutions consistent with the system itself employing a drug and surgery oriented response. A similar discussion within The Octagon would consider options outside the current health system, focusing more on healthy behaviors, personal goals and responsibilities and vitalistic principles than on more failed traditional therapeutic practices.
With a mission to create world-changing dialogue on health care and the human endeavor, The Octagon will host new conversations among thinkers, writers, politicians, entrepreneurs, innovators, educators and speakers to seek “new thinking” with which to address our needs. The dialogue will first and foremost consider the perspective that consciousness, societies and all living beings are self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healing.
Most directly we seek to have The Octagon inform and advance personal integrity, social contribution and cultural change as elements that distinguish a LIFE University education and defines the Life Movement.