BEYOND CRISIS conference

Beyond Crisis Conference

How to use the virus-induced situation to build up momentum for social-ecological transformation?

Online conference, 17-18 April 2020, MA Eco-Social Design, Free University of Bozen–Bolzano

Is the corona crisis an opportunity or threat to social-ecological transformation? There is no reason to be glad about the corona crisis, but it presents an opportunity for creating positive change, and momentum for a transition to solidary, sustainable and resilient modes of production and living. On the other hand, it could also set off a shift towards more surveillance, centralized control, walls and wars, and an ever-more ruthless economic growth, fired by rhetorics such as  “now we cannot afford to protect the environment and the social anymore because the economy has to recover quickly!”.  How can we establish another leading narrative that encourages positive actions? What can we do now to nourish positive transformations and prevent the dystopian developments? What are the strategies, alliances and actions that can be activated for this purpose? Which framings, narrations, images and aesthetics are promising?

We are still working on the format of the conference. Currently, we think to have 3 sessions of 1,5-2h. The first session could be short inputs of 5-10 min., each highlighting specific aspects of the topic. The second session consists of workshops in small groups of 5-10 people, each elaborating concrete strategies and actions. In the third session, we will share and summarize our insights and possible next steps. In the end, we can decide if we want to turn this into a series with monthly or bi-monthly sessions, and/or if we want to create working groups, which continue to engage on diverse threats, that could be woven together in the next session of the bigger group. Let’s experiment! If you have experience in setting up and facilitating collaborative online formats and you want to help, please let us know.

Preliminary schedule:

Friday, 17 April
17:00 – 19:00: Introduction, short Inputs & forming of groups

Saturday, 18 April
10:00 to 12:00: Parallel workshops in groups of 5-10 persons
17:00 to 18:30: Sharing & conclusions

The short inputs will be partly by speakers of the actual By Design or by Disaster conference, which we postponed to 1 – 4 October: Tom Kopp of the I.L.A. Kollektiv, Armin Bernhard (Obervinschgau/Mals) & Carolin Holtkamp (Uni Innsbruck), Saskia Hebert and Andreas Unteidig (MA Transformationdesign), Sina Kamala Kaufmann (Extinction Rebellion), SolidariTree and Friday for Future South Tyrol and Anna Meroni (Politecnico di Milano)

Additionally, we ask other people, who have something to say on #CoronaTransformations!, such as the authors of inspiring publications on the topic (see below) and others (suggestions welcome). Julia Scher, Harald Welzer, Bianca Elzembaumer (Brave New Alps) and Raz Godelnik, who wrote the first article on the list below, already confirmed to provide an input.

The conference is for free, but please register until 5 April hence it is the only way we can manage the process. What are your ideas on the topic? What would you like to work on during the conference? Which kind of outcomes do you want the conference to generate? Please answer these questions briefly via the registration form (as a few lines of text, a graphic or image, or combinations of these elements).

You can answer with a few lines of text and/or add an image/graphic by pasting its URL (on a web page, file sharing service or social media platform)
You can answer with a few lines of text and/or add an image/graphic by pasting its URL (on a web page, file sharing service or social media platform)
You can answer with a few lines of text and/or add an image/graphic by pasting its URL (on a web page, file sharing service or social media platform)
we are looking forwards to proposals via email, too >

Don’t miss our expanding collection of articles and videos on #Corona Transformations! Contributions welcome. Here is a small excerpt:

Offsetting The Coronavirus And Other Lessons For the Climate Crisis
The coronavirus outbreak demonstrates what happens when governments, companies, and people actually feel that our house is on fire. Here are five lessons we can learn from the coronavirus outbreak to help us in the fight against climate change.
Raz Godelnik, 28 Feb 2020

Corona: By dystopic foretaste to utopian momentum?
(How) can the Corona-induced situation, be used to build up momentum for social-ecological transformation?
Kris Krois, 8 March 2020

Coronavirus situation is way too serious to be in panic
Slavoj Zizek, RT news /, 15 Mar 2020

Coronavirus capitalism – and how to beat it
Naomi Klein, The intercept, 16 March  2020

48 – Die Welt nach Corona
Die Corona-Rückwärts-Prognose: Wie wir uns wundern werden, wenn die Krise „vorbei” ist
Matthias Horx,, mid/end of March 2020

Surviving the Virus: An Anarchist Guide
Capitalism in Crisis—Rising Totalitarianism—Strategies of Resistance, 18 March 2020

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Image: The diagram in the background is a mash-up. To see and understand it better you can download this PDF.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Michael Hohl says:

    Also check out: Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus
    Harari argues convincingly that now was the time for governments to roll out massive surveillance technologies – but also that this was the chance to begin successful, global cooperation. Thanks, Thies
    “In recent weeks, some of the most successful efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic were orchestrated by South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. While these countries have made some use of tracking applications, they have relied far more on extensive testing, on honest reporting, and on the willing co-operation of a well-informed public.”

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