Guest Lectures
Online event

2021 INSIDE/OUT Lecture: ‘Alive! When Social Innovation Meets Living Systems’

  • 13.30 - 15.00
  • 26 May 2021
  • Online
2021 INSIDE/OUT Lecture: ‘Alive! When Social Innovation Meets Living Systems’
Speaker: John Thackara

Introduced by Professor Simon Morris and Dr Justin Burns

“There is no Them—there is only Us” (Luis Alberto Urrea)

Over the ages we’ve invested huge resources to keep cities and nature separate; what would it mean if that were about to change? There is now a shift from high-entropy concepts of infrastructure to a focus on living systems - from eco-boulevards, to pollinator pathways. At the same time, a multitude of local communities are innovating new tools and platforms that enable people to share the provision of food, mobility, care, and learning. Taken together, these new ways to meet daily life needs are the seedlings of living local economies. John uses his personal encounters with energy angels, wind wizards, watershed stewards, urban farmers and more to start a conversation: What are the opportunities for your organisation? What approaches work best in amplifying change?

John Thackara is a philosopher, writer and curator, working in the realms of social, ecological and relational design.

He curated the celebrated Doors of Perception conference for 20 years, first in Amsterdam, later across India; he was commissioner of the UK social innovation biennial Dott 07, and the French design biennial City Eco Lab; and in 2019 curated the Urban-Rural expo in Shanghai. Since 2011, Thackara has curated workshops in 20 countries on the theme: Pathways to Sustainability. Being interested in what a sustainable future can be like, he has travelled the world looking for real-life examples of sustainable living, employing this knowledge in his lectures and writing. He is a senior fellow at the Royal College of Art, visiting professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, and curator of the Social Food Forum. His last book - How To Thrive In the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow's World Today -has just been published in China.

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