home is where we are

Right now, we are sharing an evenly distributed sense of uncertainty about the future. It is not often we are thrust into a place where we can assess our shared fate. The lived effects of this pandemic have pushed us into our homes, both physically and conceptually, and forced us to think about home in new ways. It is not a coincidence that ‘oikos’, the greek root of the words economy and ecology, means ‘home’. Home should be a refuge in these times, but this sense of refuge is not distributed equally, as not everyone has a safe, well-stocked, comforting home. How we think of ‘home’ in times of ecological and public health crises will determine how we care for our broader home as individuals, kin, and part of the global community of life.  

In our last sessions, we looked at sustainability from a critical lens, and talked about how important it is to decide what exactly it is we want to sustain, and where we should put our efforts. We also learned about what it means to think of the human economy in an ecological perspective, and how this shifts our understanding of what the ‘economy’ even is. News reports tell us the economy has been destroyed by the actions required to protect people from the worst of the pandemic scenarios. Yet it is clear that many aspects of our economy are still functioning to sustain our communities, and that the economy is more than just financial markets. This helps us look at what is possible when all of our survival is at stake.

In this session, we will explore our current crisis, regularly discussed as an economic crisis, as part of international actions towards managing a threat to all of human life. There have been many commentaries, opinion pieces, and hot takes on what we should be learning from this uncertain time period, and how we should be planning to rebuild a radical normal, or a just transition, even as we do not know how the effects of the pandemic will play out in our own community and around the world. Many parts of social structures, economic activity, and environmental impacts have become suddenly visible to us in unprecedented ways. The virus itself has shown how interconnected our world and our communities are. And many commentators have positioned the theoretical ‘recovery’ from the economic and social effects of the pandemic as a tension between status quo capitalism and state control of the economy, as if there are only two versions of the world that we can choose between. But this isn’t the only story we should be holding ourselves to as we imagine what the next years and months will become. We will talk about all of this, and perhaps more… even the next few weeks may bring new thoughts and developments to this topic. Please join us!

This session will be on zoom (please find information on how to download and use zoom below), and will allow us to participate in discussion over the internet. The format will be similar to the in-person sessions: a short presentation by the speaker, with discussion and question and answer period afterwards.


 

talking about the global pandemic, the economy, and uncertainty

april 24, 12pm-2pm

watch the session

speaker

Shaun Sellers is a PhD student in the Leadership for the Ecozoic program (L4E) at McGill University, She has a MSc in Ecological Economics from the University of Leeds, and a BA (Hons) in Business Management from Antioch University. She has worked in sustainability consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations in Ontario, and has started her own businesses: a fair trade & organic chocolate company in Maple Leaf, Ontario, and before that, a second-hand bookstore cafe in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Her master’s thesis explored power structures, institutions, and philosophy relevant to envisioning trade policy through an ecological lens, and her current research is in social ecological trade theory. She likes books, her dog, and being in the woods.

resources

read

a great article on pandemic economics: here

a long read on capital and CV-19: here

an article by next month's speaker, James Magnus-Jonhston: here

CV-19 as a crisis of capitalism: here

watch

Mexie on coronavirus, disability, and capitalism: here

listen

the Hybla Minute podcast: here

Grace Blakely on coronavirus economics: here

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