Sunday, March 18, 2007

New publication from Michel Pimbert: Transforming Knowledge and Ways of Knowing for Food Sovereignty

'In the face of the organised power of science, business and mainstream politics, the more diffuse but networked power of the growing food sovereignty movement is confronted with many challenges. In this book, the author focuses on only one of these: the need to transform knowledge and ways of knowing to regenerate locally controlled food systems. The production of ecologically literate and socially just knowledge implies a radical shift from the existing top down and increasingly corporate-controlled research system to an approach which devolves more decision-making power to farmers, indigenous peoples, food workers, consumers and citizens for the production of social and ecological knowledge. The whole process should lead to the democratisation of research, diverse forms of co-inquiry based on specialist and non-specialist knowledge, an expansion of horizontal networks for autonomous learning and action, and more transparent oversight. This implies: 1) nurturing political values that emphasise more direct citizen participation in determining research agendas, regulations and policies; 2) the adoption of a learning process approach and extended peer review in the production and validation of knowledge; and 3) enabling policies that offer citizens adequate material security and time for democratic deliberation in the context of more localised food systems and economies. '

See a copy of this report.
A symptom of a mixed up society?

After eight months away from England I have been struck by how there are absolutely no protocols for walking on a footpath or, in Milton Keynes, riding on a 'redway' on which there are many young people heading off to school!

Does this tell us something about the status of English society?
Hearing good sense being spoken

I sometimes sleep with the radio on but had not realised until the other night how much subliminal listening was happening. At about 2am on Tuesday 6th March, rather jetlagged from my flight to the UK the previous day, I was suddenly wide awake wondering who was speaking such good sense. It didn't take long to realise it was Russ Ackoff being interviewed by Peter Day of the Business Programme on the BBC World Service. See more of what Russ has to say including his article 'Why few organizations adopt systems thinking'.