THE KILCHOAN INITIATIVE

Kilchoan Estate is the home of a cultural and educational initiative that seeks to contribute to the challenge of reconciling conservation and sustainability in nature with the consequences of mankind’s race for improved conditions for billions of people.

The estate is not just a geographic place, occupied and farmed for centuries, with an interesting history and an atmosphere that is spiritual in the widest sense; we aspire to create here a centre of learning, study and enlightenment that will be an enduring legacy for future generations.

                       

Humanity is benefiting from remarkable changes that have enormously improved our quality of life and prospects. Parts of the world that were historically poor and treated as backward are quickly catching up. Much of this progress can be attributed to the development of ideas having their origins in the Scottish Enlightenment, thinking that ushered in a new era of improved conditions for ordinary people all over the world.

The Kilchoan Initiative will provide an opportunity to reflect on these issues in an atmosphere conducive to enthusing people about the current challenges that humanity must confront. We are optimistic that by embracing the ideas that were developed in Scotland in the 18th century, by thinkers like Francis Hutcheson, David Hume and Adam Smith, younger generations will find it in themselves to confront the fundamental issues that mankind has always faced, to apply thought and imagination to the existential issues that define our times.  It is our hope that by reconnecting with our condition as creatures created by God and endowed with freedom, intelligence, willpower and the capacity to love, and by developing a closer relationship with our natural world, we may make a modest contribution to the advancement of the human condition.

The era we live in now has brought its own challenges. Sustainability and old age seem to be among the most pressing. How can we make development compatible with a cleaner, healthier environment? Can we repair the damage we have brought upon our habitat?

Urbanisation has been central to raising living standards: how can we avoid losing our vital connections with the beauty and marvels of nature? What meaning has life when it extends beyond the span of a healthy mind? How can we confront the intergenerational debt burdening the young in some societies?