Discussing Planetary Utopias at the World Ecology Research Network Conference

Our team member Julia Tschersich took part in the 5th annual conference of the World-Ecology Research Network in San Francisco from May 30 to June 1, 2019, which focused on “Planetary Utopias, Capitalist Dystopias: Justice, Nature & the Liberation of Life”. The conference brought together a number of interdisciplinary scholars at the Californian Institute of Integral Studies to discuss the current capitalist dystopia and new ways of moving forward towards more desirable, just and ecologically friendly futures. During the introductory keynote in the aptly named ‘Namaste Hall’, Jason W. Moore emphasized that humans are indeed part of nature and binary systems separating humans from nature need to be overcome. In various modes of presentation, including poems, tales, artistic creations and animations, scientists and practitioners challenged established modes of power, thought, accumulation, and domination and offered powerful narratives for change. Highlighting the important role of peasants along the history of societal transformation processes, food sovereignty was often highlighted as an important agri-utopian vision and potential catalyst for deep changes. In her presentation, Julia Tschersich discussed how Seed Commons can serve as Real Utopias by challenging the incumbent paradigms that keep the current system locked in destructive trajectories.

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