Opening up possibilities for not-yet-imagined viable worlds

Thursday, April 6, 2017 12:00 pm - 12:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

The Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) is honoured to host Vanessa Andreotti, Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change, University of British Columbia.

Systemic change that moves us beyond present multi-faceted inequalities requires a deep understanding of the cultural, economic and historical forces and flows that connect peoples, places, and world views, and of the difficulties of intervening in complex, dynamic systems. When this understanding is missing, learning and action tend to unintentionally reproduce unequal relationships between dominant and marginalized populations, simplistic rationalizations of inequality, and instrumental and ethnocentric imaginaries of justice, responsibility and change.

These concerns resonate with analyses of postcolonial and Indigenous scholars of education who have found that mainstream institutions tend to reproduce a monoculture of thought premised on a singular, Eurocentric narrative of human progress, development and evolution and that alternative initiatives still reproduce the same paradigm, despite claiming the opposite.

As a response to these challenges, this presentation outlines a framework for learning and action that combines ecological, cognitive, affective, relational, economic and intergenerational approaches to justice in social and global change. It offers insights into how we can start to "walk" together differently in a “foggy road” towards new forms of relationships and possibilities for collective (human and non-human) wellbeing in a planet facing multiple unprecedented challenges.