Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Jon Erickson

Status

Graduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Ecological Economics

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Presentation Title

Imagining the unknown, navigating to transformation

Time

3:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

Colonialism and capitalism have cornered the human-Earth relationship into an unwinnable stalemate. Degrowth and decolonization are two concepts to re-embed humans with Nature and each other. Moral clarity and experimentation are initial steps towards implementation. Metaphorical decolonization, in education and holidays as examples, is necessary but not sufficient. Without a change in land relations: sovereignty, territorial claims, and self-determination, Indigenous people continue to experience oppression and erasure. Settlers who have benefited from land seizures remain in the comfort of our privileged position. The road from colonialism’s destruction to social transformation and degrowing economies, is paved with grappling with settler guilt and complicity, and risking the unknown for settler futurity. These are unparalleled psychological challenges. This research poster presentation is an iteration of the interactive dialogue needed to dialogue, experiment, evaluate, redesign, and implement concrete solutions. What decolonization will look like and mean for settlers, will emerge from the approach that decolonization is the non-negotiable, legitimate starting point of conversation. The goal is to dismantle the current system of privileging some differences over others and the resulting hierarchy that maintains coercive, violent power. In this system, we do not have a visceral, neurological experience of equitable social and relationship dynamics. And yet, imagining the structures, processes, and practices for relational mutual accountability and transformative/regenerative justice, from within traumatizing, violent histories, and extant systemic inequities and harmful mental models, is an indispensable step for transitioning to a degrowth and just future.

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Imagining the unknown, navigating to transformation

Colonialism and capitalism have cornered the human-Earth relationship into an unwinnable stalemate. Degrowth and decolonization are two concepts to re-embed humans with Nature and each other. Moral clarity and experimentation are initial steps towards implementation. Metaphorical decolonization, in education and holidays as examples, is necessary but not sufficient. Without a change in land relations: sovereignty, territorial claims, and self-determination, Indigenous people continue to experience oppression and erasure. Settlers who have benefited from land seizures remain in the comfort of our privileged position. The road from colonialism’s destruction to social transformation and degrowing economies, is paved with grappling with settler guilt and complicity, and risking the unknown for settler futurity. These are unparalleled psychological challenges. This research poster presentation is an iteration of the interactive dialogue needed to dialogue, experiment, evaluate, redesign, and implement concrete solutions. What decolonization will look like and mean for settlers, will emerge from the approach that decolonization is the non-negotiable, legitimate starting point of conversation. The goal is to dismantle the current system of privileging some differences over others and the resulting hierarchy that maintains coercive, violent power. In this system, we do not have a visceral, neurological experience of equitable social and relationship dynamics. And yet, imagining the structures, processes, and practices for relational mutual accountability and transformative/regenerative justice, from within traumatizing, violent histories, and extant systemic inequities and harmful mental models, is an indispensable step for transitioning to a degrowth and just future.