The word‘development’ is associated with the spread of industrialism, an ideology ever increasing material wealth and consumption (‘growth’). Through the relentless exploration of nature, using large scale science and technology, guided by powerful nation states and corporations, development is meant to augment world scale trade and individualism.
In the last thirty years, information technology has made everyone climb the endless ladder of consumption. This has brought the world to the brink of ecological collapse. We are in the depths of socio-economic inequality, despair, increasingly dysfunctional political institutions, and hugely stressed socio-cultural systems.
Industrialism spreads unchecked, and the crisis continues to worsen. Those who think of alternatives are in a minority. If the crisis grows faster than what solutions we find, human civilisations may collapse as they have done many times all over the word in the last 3000 years, only at a global scale.
As the crisis knocks at our doorstep, and we are crossing crucial planetary boundaries, there is an urgent need for alternatives.
Pallavi Varma Patil
Pallavi Varma Patil is a faculty with the School of Development. At the University, she teaches courses that are about radical futuristic alternatives aligned with Gandhi-Tagore visions. She is also the co-author of a Gandhi Reader for young adults.Pallavi’s activism around food includes a workshop-based course called Food and Identity, coordinating a national network of…
Sujit Sinha is a visiting faculty with the School of Development. Sujit is the founder of Swanirwar, an NGO working in the area of rural development in West Bengal since 1986. Swanirwar is involved in school education, sustainable agriculture, basic preventive healthcare, water, micro-finance and governance. Sujit began his career as a high school teacher…