We invite anyone interested in bringing concrete utopias to their communities, whether it is your workplace, housing cooperative, city council, home town, or football team. Session participants will get to experiment with new forms of transformative learning developed in the research project Pedagogy of Concrete Utopias. The research project develops pedagogy that supports learners to design new and even radical solutions and ideas for ecologically sustainable ways of organizing life and activity.
Agenda track: 1 Nature – human, 3 Civic imagination
Session type: New experimental models
Interaction level: Most of the time
Movement level: Some
Screen need: Needed all the time
Day: Thursday 23 September
First, we will briefly introduce the ideas of concrete utopia and life-centric view. A concrete utopia exists between the present moment and a utopian vision. It serves as a stepping stone or bridge towards a more sustainable future, or as a laboratory of the future we want to build. Life-centric views orient us to widen our circle of care and thought beyond humans.
The introduction is followed by hands-on work in break-out rooms, where participants will experiment with the tools developed in the research project to envision and build their own concrete utopias.
We will be closing with a collective discussion of the ideas generated in the breakout rooms, as well as critical reflections on the suitability of the ideas and tools introduced in the sessions for use in different settings.
Our research project focuses on the public sector, and specifically on educational institutions as platforms for sustainability transformation. However, the session is for anyone interested in bringing concrete utopias to their own communities.
We believe that education can no longer emphasise enculturation into existing cultures that have shown to be unsustainable. There is a need for new ways of living, thinking and consuming. Concrete utopia is an exciting concept that opens up new avenues for radical imagination and experimenting with new ideas in practice.
We’d hope that the participants will gain insights from the session about how to envision and build possible and impossible futures in different contexts in their work and personal lives. We also hope to get feedback about the applicability of our ideas and tools in different types of settings.
The session is hosted by the research group Pedagogy of Concrete Utopias. The facilitators are:
Antti Rajala, Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher, University of Oulu
Pihla Soinnunmaa, Doctoral researcher, University of Helsinki
Aki Saariaho, Teacher, Otaniemi Upper Secondary School