New Papers from Plurality University

One of the things I do is serve on the board of Plurality University, an international futurist org. They’ve recently started publishing some papers that might interest some of you:

What Do Narratives Want?

The “collective creative practices” we have been observing since the beginning of 2022 are, in their own way, part of the more general search for “new narratives” that could facilitate the ecological and social transformations our societies need. Our intuition was that the process for creating and welcoming these narratives – by and with whom, in what contexts, in what ways – was just as important as their content. Though the first few months of observation of the practices confirmed this intuition to a certain extent, they also brought new conclusions that will need to be either confirmed or invalidated at a later stage.

Whence the “need for new narratives”?

The Narratopias project was initially designed to answer the call for ‘new narratives’ that emanates from a great variety of sources. That call arises from the tension between a shared observation of climate change (basically: “our house is burning”) and the lack of action matching its seriousness. Something is missing or preventing change, but what is it? Science is not at issue here: knowledge exists, it is available and increasingly accurate. Political debate and decision-making mechanisms have clearly shown their limitations, but these limitations may result from a deeper challenge: within our respective societies, we have a hard time imagining a sustainable world in which we could consider living – or at least project a sufficiently clear, engaging and shared image of this world to spur concrete actions. The obstacle to meaningful change would therefore reside in our social imaginaries – i.e., the system through which we create meaning, either to make sense of our experienced reality, or to change it. [Wikipedia: “The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of values, institutions, laws, and symbols through which people imagine their social whole.”]

Such is therefore our initial hypothesis: That we are somehow stuck in a reality that we know to be unsustainable, and trapped in particular by the power (and plasticity) of a narrative so dominant that it obliterates or trivializes all alternatives: the narrative of progress, understood as growth, performance and the material well-being of humans alone.

Read more:…/what-do…

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