Casting our Net: Rediscovering Community in the 21st Century

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During the Spring break of 2007, fourteen undergraduate, multi-ethnic students, from the University of Guam abandoned their comfort zones to bravely take their learning endeavor abroad. The field workshop component of this Community Development class contemplated the impacts of the western economic model as they ventured to Bali, Indonesia. Their pilgrimage to Bali was an effort to engage in dialogue with people of another culture and country on the issues related to community development. Along their journey they discover that the people of Bali and of Guam are experiencing similar social, psychological, and environmental problems and challenges that have come with economic development- more specifically a dependence on tourism. They also come to realize an ancient spiritual connection between the people of Bali and that of the indigenous Chamorro people of Guam and the Marianas Islands- a legacy of a common Austronesian root. These similar spiritual beliefs: a respect and reverence for ancestral spirits, the spirits of the land and a continuous effort towards balance between nature, humanity and the universe would surprisingly become a starting point for rediscovering what it takes to achieve a more sustainable and healthy form of community development. The film, "Casting Our Net: Rediscovering Community in the 21st Century", is a student created, student funded, “very” personal reflection on their learning experiences. It includes the challenges and emotions encountered along the way and their travel experiences in Bali. Candidly and collectively, the students reflect on their journey to rediscovering community in the 21st century.


Keywords: Community, Connectivity, Bali Indonesia, Guam, Chamorro, Culture, Economy, Environment, Social Sustainability
Stream: Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Kirk Johnson

Associate Professor, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, University of Guam

Mangilao, Guam, United States Virgin Islands

Kirk Johnson is a professor of sociology and 14 of his students produced "Casting Our Net: Rediscovering Community in the 21st Century" in May 2007. These students come from a wide variety of backgrounds mostly Asian Pacific Islander.

Ms. Ana Cornwell

Student, University of Guam
Mangilao, GUAM, Guam


Mr. Julius Cena

Student, University of Guam
Mangilao, GUAM, Guam


Ms Charissa Aguon

Student, University of Guam
Mangilao, GUAM, Guam


Ref: S08P0126