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Mitwirkende: Barthel, Bettina (Technical University Berlin)

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Scientific paper contribution: Convivial and Emancipatory Technologies – suitable conceptions for Technology in a Degrowth Society?
The paper is authored by Andrea Vetter and co-authored by Bettina Barthel

Abstract: A degrowth society, like all human societies that ever existed, will need technology. But which conceptual frameworks could be suitable to denote such a “degrowth technology”? We look at two different proposals: first the idea of “Convivial Technologies”, coined in the 1970ies by the dissident thinker Ivan Illich and recently newly adapted in the “manifest for conviviality” written by a number of French intellectuals. Second at the notion “emancipatory technology” used mainly by some german anarchist thinkers like FabLab-organizer and activist Niels Boeing and the AG SPAK. What do these propositions have in common and what keeps them apart? We will examine both concepts regarding two crucial aspects: First, how they speak about the relations between technology and dominance. And secondly we will delineate connections to the current degrowth debate. Coming from different decades are both concepts suitable to apply to a wide range of thinkable degrowth technologies from FabLabs to compost toilets?

Contribution to the to sessions of Degrowth Technologies I & II:

Andrea Vetter (Humboldt University zu Berlin), Bettina Barthel (Technical University Berlin): What about conviviality today? Historical debates about technology and society (1960 to 1990) revisited.