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Esdeveniments
Seminar: "Alternatives to Development - Towards the Pluriverse and a Global Confluence of Alternatives" by Ashish Kothari

Date: 2018-04-25

Seminar: "Alternatives to Development - Towards the Pluriverse and a Global Confluence of Alternatives"

By Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh (India)

Date: Wednesday, 25th Novemeber 2018
Time: 10 - 11 a.m.
Place: Sala Montseny Z/033 ICTA-UAB


The seminar will revolve around two books recently released or about to be published – "Alternative Futures: India Unshackled" and "Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary". Both these books focus on the conceptualisation and practice of radical alternatives to ‘development’, the first centred around India, the second global in scope. They also challenge mainstream or superficial solutions to global crises, including ‘green economy’ and ‘sustainable development’. Ashish Kothari is the co-editor of both books.

Kothari will lay out both a critique of the oxymoron ‘sustainable development’, and the potential and nuances of a Post-Development agenda. He will focus on ecological swaraj from India as an example of alternatives to development. The two books are meant to deepen and widen a research, dialogue and action agenda for activists, policymakers and scholars on a variety of worldviews and practices relating to our collective search for an ecologically wise and socially just world. These volumes could be one base in the search for alternatives to United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in an attempt to truly transform the world. In fact, it is an agenda towards the pluriverse: ‘a world where many worlds fit’, as the Zapatista say.

Organized by EnvJustice and ACKnowl-EJ, moderated by Federico Demaria       

Ashish Kothari 
Founder-member of Indian environmental group Kalpavriksh (www.kalpavriksh.org), taught at Indian Institute of Public Administration, and guest faculty in several universities including as Mellon Fellow at Bowdoin College, USA. Coordinated India’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan process, served on boards of Greenpeace International and India, Indian Society of Ecological Economics, World Commission on Protected Areas, IUCN Commission on Social, Economic and Environmental Policy, and Bombay Natural History Society. Helped establish the IUCN Strategic Direction on Governance, Equity, Communities, and Livelihoods (TILCEPA) and the ICCA Consortium (www.iccaconsortium.org). Founding member of Global Sustainability University (http://our-global-u.org/oguorg/en/?page_id=597).

Active in several peoples’ movements, and member of Indian government committees on National Wildlife Action Plan, Biological Diversity Act, Environmental Appraisal of River Valley Projects, and Implementation of Forest Rights Act. Initiated the Vikalp Sangam (Alternatives Confluence, http://www.kalpavriksh.org/index.php/alternatives.html) process and website (www.vikalpsangam.org) to network development alternatives in India, and global dialogue process on Radical Ecological Democracy (http://radicalecologicaldemocracy.wordpress.com). Co-coordinator of ACKNOWL-EJ project on transformative knowledge (http://www.worldsocialscience.org/activities/transformations/acknowl-ej/). Has (co)authored or (co)edited over 30 books, including Sharing Power, and Churning the Earth (http://churningtheearth.in) and two childrens’ books, and over 300 articles (http://ashishkothari51.blogspot.in). 
Contact: chikikothari@gmail.com 
 

About the books 

"PLURIVERSE: A POST-DEVELOPMENT DICTIONARY"

Edited by Ashish Kothari, Ariel Salleh, Arturo Escobar, Federico Demaria and Alberto Acosta.

“Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary” is a stimulating collection of over 100 essays on transformative alternatives to the currently dominant processes of globalized development, including its structural roots in modernity, capitalism, state domination, and masculinist values. In the post-development imagination, ‘development’ would no longer be the organizing principle of social life. The book presents worldviews and practices from around the world in a collective search for an ecologically wise and socially just world. It also offers critical essays on a number of false solutions that those in power are proposing in an attempt to ‘greenwash’ development. The 120+ contributors to the volume include activists, academics, and practitioners, with a wealth of experience in their respective fields of engagement.

What has been missing is a broad transcultural compilation of concrete concepts, worldviews and practices from around the world, challenging the modernist ontology of universalism in favour of a multiplicity of possible worlds. This is what it means to call for a pluriverse. 

The book follows the structure of an encyclopedia, with short 1000-word entries for each of the key terms. The entries are written by invited authors. In the list of authors you might recognize Vandana Shiva, Serge Latouche, Wolfgang Sachs, Silvia Federici, Nnimmo Bassey, Gustavo Esteva, Katherine Gibson, Maristella Svampa and many more. 
Forthcoming, 2018

Publisher: Authors Up Front (self-publishing platform for the creative community; Delhi, India).
See: http://authorsupfront.com/
License: Creative Commons
Download here the Cover and Table of contents. 


"ALTERNATIVE FUTURES: INDIA UNSHACKLED"

Edited by Ashish Kothari and K. J. Joy

A remarkable, first-ever collection of 35 essays on India’s future, by a diverse set of authors – activists, researchers, media practitioners, those who have influenced policies and those working at the grassroots. This book brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, ecologically sustainable and economically equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious.

The book covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections. It explores ecological futures including environmental governance, biodiversity conservation, water and energy. Next, it envisions political futures including those of democracy and power, law, ideology, and India’s role in the globe. A number of essays then look at economic futures, including agriculture, pastoralism, industry, crafts, villages and cities, localization, markets, transportation and technology. Finally, it explores socio-cultural futures, encompassing languages, learning and education, knowledge, health, sexuality and gender, and marginalized sections like dalits, adivasis, and religious minorities. 

Introductory and concluding essays tie these diverse visions together. Most essays include both futuristic scenarios and present initiatives that demonstrate the possibility of such futures.

At a time when India faces increasing polarization along parochial, physical and mental boundaries, these essays provide a breath of fresh air and hope in the grounded possibilities for an alternative, decentralized, eco-culturally centred future. The essays range from the dreamy-eyed to the hard-headed, from the provocative to the gently persuasive.

This book would hold appeal for a wide range of readers – youth, academics, development professionals, policy makers, government officials, activists, people’s movements, media persons, business persons  – concerned about the current state of India and the world, and willing to engage critically in the collective search for a better future.

http://www.authorsupfront.com/futures.htm

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