SAO PAULO and PALMAS, Brazil, June 17 /PRNewswire/ --

- In the context of Brazil's Year of France, the seminar will include philosopher Edgar Morin, one of today's most important thinkers, and paleontologist Michel Brunet, who discovered the oldest human fossil

Thinkers, researchers and political representatives from several countries will set out to contribute to understanding and dealing with the causes of the current global crisis in all its complexity and to suggest new sustainability models as they participate in the International Civilization Crisis Seminar: Different Perspectives - Transition from the Development Paradigm in Southern Hemisphere Countries, that takes place between June 22 and 24, 2009, at the Universidade Federal do Tocantins in Palmas, Brazil.

Promoted by the France-based International Institute of Civilization Political Research, the seminar is held twice a year, once in the Southern Hemisphere and once in the Northern Hemisphere, to debate the various changes occurring throughout the world.

Choosing Brazil coincides with the Year of France in that country, setting the stage for illustrious academics to participate in debates, such as the French philosopher and historian Edgar Morin, 88 years old, considered one of the greatest thinkers of our time. President of the International Institute of Civilization Political Research and the creator of the seminar, Morin will share the podium with his compatriot Michel Brunet, the paleontologist who discovered the oldest human fossil at the beginning of this century.

Among the personalities from the Brazilian political scene, the seminar will welcome the participation of Senator Marina Silva, Senator Cristovam Buarque and Marcelo Miranda, the governor of Tocantins. Academics from the Universities of New York and Brasilia, as well as Parisian universities, will also constitute the debate tables, in addition to representatives from Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and El Salvador.

The seminar itself is made possible by partnerships with CDS/UnB -- Center for Sustainable Development, the Universidade de Brasilia, the Universidade Federal do Tocantins, the Tocantins University Foundation and with the support of the Tocantins government. Event planning began last year during its last edition in France. Initially scheduled in Brasilia, the venue was changed to Tocantins after dialogue concerning the relevancy of that state to Brazil's environmental and scientific scene. We will bring intellectuals and authorities from all over the world to Tocantins, a state hardly 20 years old, with great potential for the development and implementation of new sustainable management models, states the Dean of Universidade Federal do Tocantins Alan Barbiero. Additionally, its location in the center of Brazil and within the Amazon takes on a special relevance for sustainable development, both for the savanna and for the Amazonian jungle, he points out.

The coordinator for the Universidade de Brasilia's Center for Sustainable Development masters program, Donald Sawyer, emphasizes the importance of bringing the seminar to Brazil: It means extending knowledge that had been very focused on France towards the developing countries in general. We are opening up the possibility of a two-way dialogue about what to do in light of these new crises we are facing.

How to participate: In previous editions, the event was closed to a small audience. This year, it will be transmitted to auditoriums in universities across France and Brazil, and in screen rooms throughout the rest of Brazil, reaching up to 90,000 university students.

To further distribute this knowledge, the discussions will be transmitted over the Internet with simultaneous translation. Internet viewers will also be able to directly ask the speakers questions.

See the schedule at

Studio O+SCH, +55-11-2679-2185, or Irina Schneider, +55-11-8474-2424,, or Claudia Megre, +55-11-9118-5869,, or Monica Raynel, +55-11-8416-4613,, all of Studio O+SCH