Opportunities, Barriers, Policy and Practice
Edited by Shane Fudge, Michael Peters, Steven M. Hoffman and Walter Wehrmeyer
Chapter 7: Collaborative (and sustainable) behaviours: grassroots innovation, social change and enabling strategies
In 1973 Ivan Illich organized a seminar in the Centre for Intercultural Documentation (CIDOC), which he had founded in Cuernavaca in Mexico. In his book Tools for Conviviality, which grew out of this event, he proposes an original vision of technology and the tools it offers, or rather, that technology could offer if it were more intelligent than it is currently: ‘Give people tools that guarantee their right to work with independent efficiency’ and that ‘allow the user to express his meaning in action’ (Illich, 1973, p. 35). This idea, which focuses on technology as a tool to give people independence in both making things and creating meanings, is the basis of Illich’s proposal for a convivial society. That is, a society that would be ‘the result of social arrangements that guarantee for each member the most ample and free access to the tools of the community and limit this freedom only in favor of another member’s freedom’ (Illich, 1973, p. 25). There are several reasons why, today, Illich’s reflections should be rediscovered and discussed in light of the way in which society has changed and is presently changing. To this end this chapter considers emerging collaborative (sustainable) behaviours, and the enabling strategies capable of supporting them towards the achievement of mainstream status, as opposed to their current status as predominantly active minorities.
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