30 ONLINE 24 A, Paper Session
MeetingID: 844 3420 4776 Code: 78EuZb
Scholars suggest that human communities should increase their self-governance ability while at the crossroads of different models of human development (Folke et al., 2002; Folke et al., 2005; Jørgensen et al., 2019; Steffen et al., 2015). The industrial model adopted in the last two centuries, in fact, represents today a great risk for the equilibrium of Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) and shows structural limits in supporting human surviving and thriving. It is also believed to cause existential risks to homo sapiens on Earth (Steffen et al., 2015). In order to tackle this emergency and support the collective turn, a number of institutional and non-institutuional macro agents are battling to conquer relevant space in the public debate and orient human communities towards the sustainable development model. Two relevant examples of such macro agents are the well-known Agenda 2030 (UN, 2015), an institutional top-down policy framework (see the Sustainable Development Goals-SDGs), and FridaysForFuture, a bottom-up informal social network (Francesconi, 2021; Francesconi et al, 2021).
In my presentation, I will introduce the FridaysForFuture movement as a collective network endowed with pedagogical agency. I will first present FFF’s history and internal structure, then FFF's languge and narrative through their main linguistic patterns and categories, and finally I will critically discuss the role of FFF in promoting the techno-scientific knowledge and the general faith in science as ultimate remedy to the critical issues of sustainability. More specifically, I will show that FFF is largely in line with what some scholars have called the “téchne as destiny” discourse (Heidegger, 2017; Severino, 2009), which defines a fundamental tendency of humans in the Anthropocene, a tendency to increase cognitive power for the manipulation of the World (tèchne).
FridaysForFuture seems to have well understood that the role of education in the Anthropocene must go well beyond the instrumental didactical and literacy roles that education often plays, for instance within the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approaches. More or less consciously, FFF seems to believe that education must finally play the role assigned by the weberian "Disenchantment", becoming a techno-scientific apparatus for the increment of rationality and therefore helping increasing human self-governance. FFF seems to enact a normative power – a pedagogical power – aimed at influencing the debate and steering the Socio-Ecological systems in the direction of sustainability by establishing/reinforcing the techno-scientific authority.
I will conclude by stressing that, due to the acceleration of the complexification of the Infosphere (Floridi, 2013), education becomes more and more relevant in the Anthropocene not just for information retrieval or transmission but for the steering of human communities. In this sense, FFF incarnates a form of collective pedagogy in the etymological sense of the word “pedagogy”: leading, conducting, steering.
By adopting a systemic and enactive approach to the theme of sustainability and to the social movement FridaysForFuture (Francesconi et al., 2021), I will present results from qualitative and quantitative content analysis of a data set composed by Greta Thunberg’s discourses, FFF’s documentation and social media entries. I will present the main categories emerged from data analysis, in particular: FFF’s techno-scientific language, FFF’s reliance on science, and FFF’s ethical approach. Then, I will theoretically discuss FFF as a pedagogical movement whose target consists of shaping global identity and steering socio-ecological systems by reaffirming the techno-scientific authority. After a short introduction to the concept of téchne, I will compare the FFF’s aims and existence with a specific conceptualization of téchne as "destiny of humanity" (Severino, 2009).
While humanity faces existential threats and tries to elaborate and implement new directions for a more sustainable development, a variety of macro agents are fighting to conquer dominant positions in the public debate to steer human development. FridaysForFuture is a social movement intended to promote more than literacy on sustainable development. FridaysForFuture pedagogically aims at promoting global sustainability and suggests directions for the steering of socio-ecological systems and self-governance of human communities. However, FridaysForFuture seems not able to escape the risks and limits of the techno-scientific approach to human development and strongly relies on the general tendency, typical for the Anthropocene, towards the dominance of techno-scientific rationality, where téchne appears to be an inevitable destiny for humanity.
Floridi, L. (2013). The philosophy of information. OUP Oxford. Folke, C., Carpenter, S., Elmqvist, T., Gunderson, L., Holling, C. S., & Walker, B. (2002). Resilience and sustainable development: building adaptive capacity in a world of transformations. AMBIO: A journal of the human environment, 31(5), 437-440. Folke, C., Hahn, T., Olsson, P., & Norberg, J. (2005). Adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour., 30, 441-473. Francesconi, D. (2021). Reti enattive, sviluppo sostenibile e impegno civico. Il caso di FridaysForFuture. PEDAGOGIA OGGI, 19(2), 116-123. Francesconi, Denis, Symeonidis, Vasileios, & Agostini, Evi. (2021). Enactive Networks and Collective Agency for the Transition Toward Sustainable Development. Frontiers in Education. 4(636067):1–10. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2021.636067. Heidegger, M. (2017). La questione della tecnica (Die Frage nach der Technik). goWare. Jørgensen, P. S., Folke, C., & Carroll, S. P. (2019). Evolution in the Anthropocene: informing governance and policy. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 50, 527-546. Severino, E. (2009). Il destino della tecnica. Rizzoli. Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S. E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E. M., ... & Folke, C. (2015). Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347(6223). UN General Assembly, Transforming our world : the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 21 October 2015, A/RES/70/1
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