How to make conferences more climate-friendly

by Ingrid Robeyns on December 14, 2021

In the Board of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA), where I’m currently serving as past-president, there has been an intensifying of the debate on the climate consequences of the annual conference. The HDCA is an international association of mainly academics, though it also attracts policy makers, activists, and others, who are interested in the human development approach (best-known from the UNDP’s Human Development Reports) and one of the main theoretical frameworks underpinning it, the capability approach.

The essence of the tension is clear: there is a significant cost in terms of greenhousegas-emissions of flying to another corner of the world to attend a three-day conference; greenhousegas-emissions need to be reduced as drastically and fast as possible in order to protect the climate, and a stable climate is an important precondition for human flourishing/human development. So what should an organisation such as the HDCA, or its individual members, do with this tension? Clearly, all academics still flying to conferences should ask themselves this question. Hence, let’s open up the discussion here, and see what insights (or good ideas) you might have. [click to continue…]

The Dawn of Everything – Part 1

by Miriam Ronzoni on December 14, 2021

I recently finished reading* The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow; I enjoyed it very much indeed. I thought I’d write a two parts review for CT, and here’s the first – I will publish the second in a few days. It is a very long, sprawling (in a good way) book, and there are (at least) two main themes in it, so addressing each separately feels right. This post is mainly about the book’s attempt to dismantle the myth of “agriculture as the source of social inequality.” The next post will be about Graeber’s and Wengrow’s startling claim that European Enlightenment can be seen, to a large extent, as the result of a conversation with indigenous, non-western intellectuals and societies – indeed, as inspired by them. [click to continue…]