Gilda Henriquez Darlas

This description of Gilda Henriquez Darlas's work was prepared when Gilda Henriquez Darlas was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008 .

Introduction

After working in Artificial Intelligence and travelling the world, Gilda became concern with the effect of unwise decision-making in human interaction and preoccupied with the potential link it might have with the decline of human discernment and/or the lack of it. She then designed a non-conventional methodological approach to develop intersubjective discernment in children, teenagers and teachers, with the intention of allowing ethical consciousness and wisdom to flourish. Gilda is convinced that all people have the potential to develop ethical consciousness and wisdom if only given the opportunity to do so, which is the most fundamental purpose of her Universal Education model named EUDE.

The New Idea

After years of research Gilda finally proved that the lack of human discernment and even more specific Intersubjective Discernment manifested in human blindest, that is, a self-centred view of the world, which triggers dogmatic and judgemental thoughts and hostile attitudes. In such context human virtues such as compassion, empathy and more importantly wisdom cannot flourish. Thus, Gilda developed phenomenological methodology and the disciplinary process required for the development of human discernment based on a proper understanding of human experience. The new idea also contributes to a long-standing question regarding decision making and to a concern that focused on how character education programs may be a more effective approach to increasing learning, fostering pro-social behaviours, and preventing a variety of social problems than the implementation of multiple, more specific school-based programs aimed at influencing particular behavioural outcomes.

The Problem

A concerned about the increase of self-centred, monadic, individualistic and egocentric thoughts and reflections in the human mind, and their effects in human interaction such as the lack of empathy, compassion, ethical consciousness and wisdom, which manifested at a global level in wrong decision-making for the well being of humanity and at individual level, moral/social judgments and dogmatic thinking that cause hostility in human interaction.

The Strategy

Gilda's concern is always to find ways and forms from where to put her initiative at its methodology at the service of human activity. Currently, the strategy is dual, on the one hand, we work towards an ideological breakthrough regarding peoples' understanding of human development, and on the other, we work hard to reach more schools around the globe so we can implement our prototypes in education.

1.- The ideological breakthrough, is through our centre for advanced studies and research in Ethics and Human Discernment. The aim of our centre is to shade light into a new paradigm of ethical development by promoting our approach and methodology through new prototypes, books, seminars and by playing a role in key academic and none academic forums. We offer postgraduate programmes towards ethical enactment where students innovate, design and research new ways in which our principles and approach to ethical development and discernment can be put at the service to the wellbeing of humanity. www.uethics.org

2.- The social impact is through our foundation, in there our prototypes for education get implemented in schools around the globe. Today our prototypes in education have
been implemented in more than 500 schools around the world and have been translated in 3 languages (English, Spanish and French). www.eudeglobal.org

The Person

Dr Gilda Darlas, holds British and Mexican nationality. She got her first degree in computer science and a master in artificial intelligence in Spain. During a research regarding a long-standing question of decision-making in artificial intelligence with IBM she went to India to pursue further knowledge about human experience. In Varanasi University she learned about Indian Philosophy and Buddhism and became fascinated by its formal system of human consciousness and human experience. Such findings made her to change career in order to design her first prototype in ethical education. She became a social entrepreneur and began implementing her methodology named EUDE in schools around the globe. She has published 3 books in Spanish and 1 in English, and 28 guides about EUDE's methodology in Spanish and English. Much later After earning a degree in comparative religious studies and philosophy at Lancaster University and a master in human experience at Hong Kong University, she earned her doctorate degree of Philosophy in Religious Studies through which she located the conceptual and philosophical framework of her initiative within the fields of humanities and character education.

Apart from her academic career, Gilda has been an adventure soul, she has climbed the Himalayas, survive two solo trips around the world and has lived in eleven countries. She has founded two primary and secondary schools based on her initiative; one in India and the other in Guatemala. She has also founded the first Centre for Research (CIDEL) and a University for Advanced Studies in Ethical Development (UEthics) in LATAM. She now leaves beside her own centre and university in a cottage in Amealco de Bonfil in Michoacán Mexico, where she shares her initiative and co- create with others new ways to put her methodological approach at the service of humanity. More information and her blog can be found at www.gildadarlas.com