Beyond Development

The challenges faced by overcoming of capitalism today are considerably greater and far more complex than conceivable in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today, we are experiencing not only a crisis of capitalism, but a crisis of the entire model of civilization that modernity has gradually imposed on the planet over the last five centuries. This model of civilization based on infinite economic growth on a limited planet ultimately threatens the survival of humanity as such. To develop alternatives to this, thinking in complex contexts is necessary. We live in an exploiting class society that is at the same time (neo)colonial, anthropocentric, racist, patriarchal and homophobic. It is a world society which, despite its multicultural manifestations, considers only one way of life valid and modern, while all others are regarded as backward, primitive or underdeveloped, and on top of that enforces the hegemony of Eurocentric knowledge forms. A society in which the unequal distribution of wealth grows ever farther and war becomes a permanent state.

The theoretical and political instruments, which seemed appropriate until the end of the twentieth century to overcome capitalism, appear today inadequate and reductive. The confrontational axes, which have been given priority in anticapitalist struggles in past centuries, are pushing other confrontational axes into the background, which are just as important.

The Global Working Group "Beyond Development" seeks to take account of this complexity in its method and composition. It combines practical experience from political struggles with traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and various currents of subaltern western thought such as feminism, ecology, unorthodox Marxism and decolonial thought. The group is building on the experiences of the Latin American "Grupo Permanente sobre Alternativas al Desarrollo", which exists since 2011 (publication "Beyond Development"). The aim of the Global Working Group is to promote a process of collective knowledge production around possible answers to the civilization crisis. Emblematic processes, which have produced multi-dimensional alternatives in different parts of the world, are the basis for the learning processes.

About the meeting:
The "Global Working Group Beyond Development" is a process of critical knowledge production regarding possible alternatives in the context of a civilizational, multidimensional crisis. Around 30 people from 5 continents, academics and political activists, will gather during 10 days in Ecuador, to exchange experiences of concrete processes of building multidimensional alternatives and discuss strategies, concepts and lessons learned.

The meeting will consist of two public events, a two-day field trip to a local alternative-building process, and three days of internal debate, the latter with a focus on five social processes of alternative-building in Nigeria, India, Venezuela, Spain and Greece, including some transversal issues like North-South-Alliances.

The meeting builds up on a previous meeting in Brussels in 2016, in which a working strategy has been developed.

Contact: Marlis Gensler, marlis.gensler(at)rosalux(dot)org