Who are we in the future?

The big systems transformations required to avoid the worst climate change scenarios, as laid out in the IPCC (2018) report, mean many aspects of our lives and relationships will change. Many activists, scholars, and advocates of change suggest this requires us as individuals, and communities big and small, to understand and relate to the world around us in ways that are not currently reinforced by our institutions and social norms. Different ways of knowing the world, of understanding humans as part of ecological relationships, and of identifying value beyond money or individual preference constitutes a change in worldview for many people, because it means we must understand the world beyond a mere collection of observable individual things, to see the relationship between these things as fundamentally as meaning-creating as their individual qualities. In this session, we will explore why knowing the world differently is crucial to transformative change, and which parts of embodying other ways of knowing might be challenging, which parts will be joyful and fulfilling, and why we might be closer than we think to knowing who we might become.

Speakers

Ivan Vargas Roncancio
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Iván is a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University, a lawyer with Master’s degrees in Bioscience and Law (National University of Colombia, 2012), and Latin American Studies (Duke University, 2016).  Iván's research ethnographically follows indigenous practitioners, scientists, legal scholars, and ritual plants across territories, labs, and courts of justice in an effort to contribute to a larger paradigm shift: from reductionist environmental law and governance models to ecological, systems-based and other-than-human jurisprudence in post-conflict Colombia. At the intersection between post-humanist anthropology, legal theory, and plant studies, he explores the limits and possibilities of an ontological and decolonial turn in legal theory and practice in the Andean-Amazonian region. His dissertation asks how forests become legal agents through indigenous, scientific, and legal practices; how human and other-than-human beings such as Amazonian plants co-produce protocols for forest governance, and finally how a law that comes from the territory challenges concepts of justice, agency, and value in times of socio-ecological transitions.

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