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  • Writer's picturekarri winn

Convivial Development

How do we share a single planet in such a way that every person lucky enough to be here has the opportunity to live a life of purpose and meaning?

Imagine a new purpose for humanity that includes the aspirations of all people from all cultures and not merely that of the educated Western elite.

Imagine convivial development and convivial businesses making meaning the realized trajectory of modernity.

Development as industry and praxis is largely hinged to the Western picture of society and expressed purpose: civilisation. The consequences of that purpose now weigh heavily on traditional peoples, all ecosystems and lower economic classes worldwide. How might we devise a new purpose for a globally diversified humanity that allows all peoples and ecologies to self-actualize? In Tools for Conviviality (1973), author Ivan Illich defines conviviality as the ability to live within and among one another in relationship to natural limits and scale of place.

Whereas sustainability is an attempt to rectify problems generated by civilisation, it is still bound by the purpose of civilization, which per force cannot generate the kind of diversified broad scale innovation that will realize a future of diffused human potential making life worth living for everybody.

Simply saving [sic] biospheric resources is not enough if we lose cultural vitality via erosion of our intangible heritage in the process. Culture makes us human beings, shapes our identities and gives meaning to our lives and societies.

Therefore, in the spirit of conviviality, I imagine a new applied social inquiry - conviviology - to explore how we live among one another in relationship to natural limits equally embracing oral and written epistemologies alongside traditional and academic philosophies with the purpose of optimizing the conditions for all life to self-actualize.


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