Sustainability: Design for the Pluriverse

Sustainability: Design for the Pluriverse

By Arturo Escobar

In ‘Sustainability: Design for the pluriverse’ Escobar brings together contemporary discussions of Transition Discourses - that is, discourses that argue for radical cultural and institutional transformations in ‘a transition to an altogether different world’. As discussed by Enrique Leff in our previous post, Escobar signals how these discourses have been emerging with particular strength in environmental and sustainability discussions in recent years. To Escobar, however, they highlight the necessity to overcome the modern ontology that ‘presumes the existence of One World – a universe’ and expand on the multiplicity of worlds possible. Rather than restricting the possibilities of re-thinking our debate on sustainability, Escobar emphasizes ‘the profound relationality of all life, these newer tendencies show that there are indeed relational worldviews or ontologies for which the world is always multiple – a pluriverse.’ His calls to open and re-imagine our discussions in this pluriversal understanding of sustainability are an inspirational contribution for Alternautas that we are happy to share with you as the opening post of 2015.

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The Opportunity of Latin American Development Thinking

The Opportunity of Latin American Development Thinking

By Ana Estefanía Carballo

The calls for Buen Vivir that have emerged from the Andean region have prompted a revival of interest in Latin American contributions to development thinking. Policy and academic initiatives have multiplied in the last few years (See post on Buen Vivir), in a reinvigorated interest in alternative notions of development, as well as in the struggles of social movements from across the region and their impacts on national and regional politics. The policy initiatives from different governments in the region that appear to have tilted the political paths to the left, have attracted international headlines and a shifted attention to discussions of development that to inexperienced eyes may appear as a novelty. This renewed interest in Latin American development thinking is most welcome in a discussion that has largely prioritised a Western/Eurocentric lens in its focus. However, this new opportunity to engage with Latin American thinking should not be dissociated from the wealth of experiences, academic and otherwise, that this region has seen in the field of critical development.

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