A transdisciplinary dialogue to deal effectively with economic and social suffering, to design wise innovations, to elaborate and implement social actions, liberating human potential and enhancing well being.
We intend to cultivate an open dialogue between the wisdom traditions of humanity in order to develop local and global actions in favor of all forms of life.
This is radical. In etymology, the term “radical” comes from “roots”.
Contemplative knowledge, feminist theory, post-growth environmentalism, the Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) movement in digital technologies, as well as social justice theories, are radical in the sense that they are grounded in the roots of all forms of life on this planet.
We want to build bridges between different contemporary radical knowledge/practices of our time.
In recent years a growing number of reasons have been offered to support the view that the end of capitalism, as we have lived it, is around the corner. Underneath the economic crisis of 2007-8 and 2012 we believe there is a cultural crisis and a search for a new form of social order is increasingly evident in public life.
Arguments in favor of the Great Transition come from all the above perspectives. The current situation is a perfect opportunity to explore what can be called a post-capitalist society. It refers more to the context in which we are already living rather than a hypothetical society of tomorrow.
The context is our urban landscape, consisting of 54% of the world population (73% in Europe and 81% in the US). It is expected to be 76.6% in Europe and 87% in the US in 2025. At the same time, Western cities are adapting to challenges caused by de-industrialization and globalization with in some cases, experiencing a shrinking process.
In general, cities are still at the heart of the world economy. They were the cradle of the new economy and in many cases they are experimenting with innovative forms of governance, trying new sustainable solutions with a massive use of new technologies and inventing new forms of civic participation.
No knowledge or discipline can alone successfully address the vital issues on the table such as the consequences of climate change, the growing social inequalities, the extraordinary opportunity to modify and create life artificially and, last but not least, the social and economic impact of digital information and communication technologies that have recently allowed the emergence of so-called “platform companies” such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon (in short the GAFA model).
The expectations of greater freedom of action and less inequality raised by the dawn of the Internet, seem betrayed by the emergence of quasi-monopolies that base their wealth on the ability to extract value from the properly human quality of social interaction.
Recent ongoing proposals and actions offer promising avenues for scalable experimentation of commons-based economic forms, supported by appropriate database distributed technologies.
These and other ongoing phenomena call in our view a transdisciplinary approach in a broad sense, through the academy and beyond it.
All of us can easily recognize, even experientially, the great pressure exerted on any individual from these changes, to which many respond with proposals for new alternatives that are often based, in good faith, on patterns resting on a dichotomous/oppositional thinking.
We feel that a clear contemporary requirement urges us to develop tools and methods able to reduce and cease that tendency to a divided thinking.
Contemplative social sciences place these efforts at the core of their inquiry: a wise and pragmatic methodology to develop and nurture a fresh approach to social interactions.