29 February, 2016

Guest Lecture Dr Peter North (U Liverpool) - Dignity and prosperity for the Anthropocene: Towards social and solidarity economies

On Wednesday 9th March
at 12h30-14h,
in the Black Box (MSH),
please join us as the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning welcomes Dr. Peter North from the University of Liverpool, to present "Dignity and prosperity for the Anthropocene: Towards social and solidarity economies"

AbstractFor some, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was ‘the end of history’ in that humanity had decisively rejected the 20th century challenges of market economies and democracy in the form of Fascism and Soviet Communism. For a time, lightly regulated markets supported by the institutions to make them work well was the sine qua non for successful economies. We might as well dispute that the world was round than challenge that common sense: until 2008 that is.

Yet it is still the case that we do not know how to build democratically-controlled market economies that meet the needs of the many to live the life they wish to with dignity, in ways that are within the limits of the ecosystem to provide resources and absorb its wastes. The Diverse Economies perspective has recently suggested the need for a ‘economic ethics for the Anthropocene’ which focusses on how we want to live, in common, in ways that respect the ecosystem, other species, and other people both now and in the future.

I want to argue that developing an ethics of How we should live is valuable, but perhaps the issue is less to imagine other ethical perspectives than to examine practices for living in a convivial economy. The paper looks at two areas in which a convivial, democratically-controlled economy is being enacted, through community currencies and worker managed firms, to examine the extent that practices are enabling a different ethics to be enacted.

01 February, 2016

Reflections on science, research and practice

Last year Markus Hesse was invited to contribute to the Kolumne (‘column’) in disP – The Planning Review, published 4 times a year by Taylor & Francis in association with the ETH Zurich. The journal is devoted to professionals in research and in practice who are interested in European planning issues. For more see http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rdsp20.

The contribution comprised a series of small commentaries (2 pages) that were addressing popular claims on the purchase of contemporary research, such as innovation, science-policy interaction or transdisciplinarity. These comments can also be read as somehow summarizing a particular style of thought that is cautious on such expectations and insists on a reflective, independent and critical positioning of science in general and the researcher in particular. The fourth and final piece of this series on 'Language' came out recently; a couple of free copies may be still available here: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/UJpe8hq2hmW8QwhwCDPR/full.