Ideas and narratives matter quite a lot. Some say even more than institutions. Desublimation (or resublimation) is an exothermic, i.e. an energy-releasing process. Let’s use that energy to debate and conjure the futures we want. And most importantly to devise how we might think, act and talk for giving those futures a chance. Now. The list of ideas and concepts we need to de-sublimate might include constructs and concepts such as Nature as a free resource, competition, and unlimited (economic) growth. On the other hand, notions of interdependence between humans and connectedness with Nature need to be re-sublimate.
In the solid(ary) post-covid area, important residues of pre-covid times will persist. Sure. Just like a post-democracy still has some democratic elements such as the ritual performing of elections, or like modern industrialization and colonial-based thought patterns are still to be observed in a post-modern area. The needed resublimation and desublimation will make emerge the defining ideas of a post-covid area.
Re-subliminating ideas around interdependence and connectedness is essential for achieving a post-covid solid(ary) world. Last December, I was privileged to curate a session during the UNESCO Global Futures Literacy Forum. I chose to engage the collective intelligence of the forum participants to explore the life in the world’s next megacities at the end of our century. A major aspect of the discussion was the need to reconsider the ideas underlying current debates on learning and innovation for the masses. Fast-paced urbanization at the peripheries is a challenge we need to address now. We cannot afford to start looking for sustainable ways of living together once cities such as Kabul, Niamey, Dakha, Mumbai or Lagos will each have more than 50 millions inhabitants. This is all the more challenging since these cities are right now already too busy with themselves to take ‘care’. Our common task as collective humanity of a post-covid world is to imagine, inspire and realize humane and milieu friendly new kinds of cities and communities. However, “what is the city but the people?”, as put forward by the Shakespearian Sicinius. The city is its people. And what are the people if not their habits of mind and heart, their technological knowledge, in a broad sense their prevailing ideas? The current narratives on learning and education hence reflect on how we design our cities and communities.