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Environmental care and social progress - impossible connection?

Tampereen yliopisto
PaikkakuntaKalevantie 5, 33100 Tampere
Linna K 114
8.2.2023 16.00–18.00
Ilmoittautumisaika päättyy 6.2.2023,0.00
PääsymaksuMaksuton tapahtuma
hut in rural east-africa in evening sunlight.
Workshop n:o 3 on Environmental care and social progress - impossible connection.

Two workshops on the topic were held in Tampere University on 27.1.2020 and 27.11.2020, but the covid-19 pandemic hampered further activities. Recently the organising group from Austria, Bangladesh, Estonia, Finland, Germany and Kurdistan, have returned to the themes to create a joint publication. The purpose of the third workshop is to discuss and provide feedback on this process.

The first workshop was triggered by notions about fragmentation and competition between researchers who are addressing environmental degradation, economic injustice, forced migration, and gender inequalities, with special attention to adult, vocational and higher education. One starting point was the work of the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP), taking place parallel to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and to the announcement of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). The workshop questioned, whether the policies and goals of IPSP, IPCC and the UN are inherently and mutually consistent, how have they mobilized scholars in social sciences and humanities into planetary collaboration, and are researchers of adult, vocational and higher education able to voluntary cross-disciplinary collaboration, beyond competition about external funding and advancement of their careers. In the second workshop , environmental care and social progress were reflected from the perspectives of tensions between the Global North and Global South, questioning how they relate to beliefs, values and gender, governance and citizenship. It also discussed the hegemony of technological progress and promotion of Eurocentric values in the salvation agendas for environmental and social crises.

In the coming publication, the authors problematize the human-, social- and Global North-centric concept of development, which largely overlaps with progress and with growth in economy, industry, and wellbeing. They question, how the beliefs and values of educational institutions and activities relate to social progress, to technologization, to economic, political, ideological and religious governance, and to citizenship and democracy.

It is common to put the burden to save conditions for human life on the shoulders of children and youth, though adults in their economic, political and social institutions hold the power to change the future. Yet, in the mainstream educational and policy discourses, children and youth are perceived as holistic beings in their context, while adults are treated as operating in their abstract, segmented individual, social, economic and political spheres of life. There are diverse academic and civic movements, networks, associations, suggesting alternative agendas for the future, extending from mainstream eco-modernism and global governance to ecofeminism and -socialism, to environmental justice, degrowth and anarchism. One of the key controversies is, whether there could be a path and enough time to transform current economic and political systems, coordinated by the nation-states, or whether a radical shift in the ways of life is necessary, bottom-up, “here and now”.

The workshop inroduces excerpts from the publication, each presentation is followed by a short discussion.


16.00 Introduction to themes and authors. Anja Heikkinen, Nasrin Jinia


16.15 Social progress and environmental care – lessons learnt from the IPSP. Lorenz Lassnigg


16.35 Integration and employability in the Global North and in Global South. Nasrin Jinia, Golaleh Makrooni


16.55 Technologization as the solution for environmental care and social progress? Anja Heikkinen, Shafiqul Alam


17.15 On belief, virtue, and education regarding climate change. Hannes Peltonen


17.35 Comments and feedback


17.50 Concluding remarks. Anja Heikkinen, Nasrin Jinia

The workshop is open for all, but due to limited number of seats, we welcome registration in advance by 6.2.2023.

Those who wish to participate online, should register by 6.2.2023, in order receive the zoom-link.

Registrations and inquiries to Anja Heikkinen, anja.heikkinen(at)tuni.fi and/or Nasrin Jinia, nasrin.jinia(at)tuni.fi. 



Anja Heikkinen with the project team


Anja Heikkinen, anja.heikkinen(at)tuni.fi Nasrin Jinia, nasrin.jinia(at)tuni.fi