The Plurality University Network is a global, open organization that connects the artists, designers, utopians and activists who use the power of imagination to enable alternative futures.
Although past centuries have demonstrated the ability of human societies to transform, today we seem unable to confront the nature and magnitude of the challenges ahead. Climate change urges us to reconsider our role as « masters and possessors » of nature; technological advances challenge our ability to command our own creations. We have neither the tools nor the collective mechanisms to deal with the anthropological aspects of such transitions – let alone resolve the contradictions which oppose them.
Our hypothesis is that humanity will only find its ability to take control its own future by explicitly building on the power of imaginaries. Not in order to write a single grand narrative for the future, but rather to enable the creation and sharing of multiple stories and other imaginary productions, from every cardinal point in our multipolar world. We believe that this shared capacity to regenerate imaginaries is the condition for the emergence of new alternatives for action, new common paths for future transitions.
This intuition is shared by a number of researchers, innovators, artists, sci-fi writers, utopians, futures thinkers, speculative designers. Throughout the world, their practices and hold immense potential… provided they are known and exploited.
The Plurality University Network (U +) is a networked, open and global organization, whose mission is to connect and bring together those individuals and organizations who mobilize the resources of imagination to explore other futures. With two main objectives:
The Plurality University Network has already started to work. 2018 was Year Zero. 2019 is the founding year, when the action really starts. We want to work with you during this decisive stage.
The international Founders’ Meeting of 30/11 and 1/12 defined a set of overall objectives and specific actions we hope to conduct in 2019, while continuing some of the projects initiated in 2018:
The objective is to make the Plurality University Network’s international network real, that it becomes a natural place for information and practice sharing, discussions around projects and outcomes and a space that will facilitate collaboration among members. We need to build an online platform [done], create our governance mechanisms [done], plan for a second global meeting in connection with an existing international event (end 2019-early 2020)…
The Plurality University Network is a « network of networks », it brings together individuals and organizations that are, in themselves, important nodes of local networks, thematic, etc. It must be a place for meaningful interactions and coproduction, both locally and globally.
To this end, we will:
The purpose is to mobilize a significant number of the network’s participants around common and inspiring topics.
These projects will be developed in a collaborative way, making sure that creators, actors (corporations, public institutions, associations, etc.), citizens and researchers work together from the very beginning.
The Plurality University Network should aim at making many, many more people “futures-literate”, but also bring more to the current content of “futures literacy”. In 2019, it will initiate these activities by experimenting with new methods and content for futures literacy (U+ Lab), and initiating the creation of a Research Network.
All actions and projects described above will produce open-source deliverables that are free of access and reusable (CC-Attribution license). We will systematically seek to promote them by publishing the material or through media partnerships. At the end of the year, all of the projects will lead to the production of a “Yearbook” intended for a wide audience, accessible online and in paper format.
The PluralityUniversity Network was incorporated on April 4, 2019, as a nonprofit organization under French law (“association”). Membership is open to individuals, and free. Here is a regularly updated list of members.
The chairwoman is Ketty Steward.
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