Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Excluding young people's imaginations of alternative futures: Techno-utopianism, infinite growth and education for "sustainable development"  
Peter Sutoris (University of Leeds)

Paper short abstract:

A great paradox of our era is that we build supercomputers to help us navigate the future, while suppressing the imaginative potential of millions of human brains through education systems promoting docility and fulfilling blueprints of the future designed by others.

Paper long abstract:

Reflecting on ethnographic fieldwork in schools in South Asia, Southern Africa and Europe, this paper argues that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), one of the current mainstream paradigms of formal education, is often implemented in ways that create new forms of inequality. Because education under the banner of "sustainable development" is designed to aid society in addressing the environmental crisis through continued infinite economic growth and techno-utopian solutions, it undermines rather than bolsters young people's ability to imagine alternative futures and bring them into being. As a result, our education systems end up perpetuating ageism, where older generations design blueprints for the future and young generations are expected to merely execute them. The current blueprints of global neoliberal techno-capitalism are heavily skewed in the direction of technological solutions, from large-scale carbon capture to the colonisation of outer space, which leads to the exclusion of the imaginative potential of millions of young people. This is reflected also in the disproportionate focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in many education systems. The paper will also demonstrate how this type of inequality is not uniform across the education system, with the world's "elite" schools catering to the global rich seeking to turn young people into the "leaders" who will play an active role in shaping the technological future, while the vast majority of often marginalised and underfunded schools (inadvertently) help turn young people into cogs of global techno-capitalism.

Panel P10b
Exclusion by design: technology and the shaping of inequalities
  Session 1 Wednesday 8 June, 2022, -