Sub-theme 30: Sustainably Creating, Transforming and Transpositioning Inner and Outer Spaces: Beyond the Human Perspective


David Bubna-Litic, University of Sydney Technology, Australia
Isabelle Mahy, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Call for Papers

The effects of human “progress” on the planet are so significant that the current period of history has been named the “anthropocene” era. If the exponential increase in the effects of human habitation does not abate, we will reach critical limits in the next decade or so, followed by a period of serious consequences, potentially including systemic collapse (Meadows, Randers and Meadows, 2002).

Driving the current growth has been the continued domination of neo-liberalism capitalism which hallows the individual is the locus of action and choice. This has resulted in the increasing privatisation of both inner and outer spaces which comes at the cost of the deterioration of our sense of being part of the common good or a collective ecology. The mechanisms of the market, particularly advertising, heighten our sense of individuality and actively transpose new identities – based on illusionary associations designed to increase consumption (Jhally, 2006). Organisational relations, including reward systems, enhance particular dimensions of experience that position us against one another and work takes up so much space in our lives that, as Putnam (2000) observed, we find ourselves bowling alone. The resulting subjects operate within individualised compartments, from an individualised calculus (i.e what’s in it for me) which truncates their ability to engage with collective issues, particularly those requiring self-sacrifice (Heathwood, 2011). This stream seeks contributions that reconceptualise subjectivity, ethics, design and practices based on a non-unitary view of the human subject. In the context of the current failure meet the challenges presented by the continuing deterioration of the common space of the biosphere, we take up with a renewed call to question the basic relationships between humans, and between humans and nature, so as to transform the social ecology of our shared space in a radical – less anthropocentric (greedy) way.

This stream invites contributors to address questions which transform and transpose human perspectives on spaces in ways that challenge Neo-liberal assumptions regarding the individual.  We hope to create a generative dialogue through papers that address issues related to (but not limited too) the following elements of an alternative, potentially sustainable future.

The development and maintaining of new spaces of subjectivity.   These may include: relationality (Hosking, 2011; Cooper 2005; Hosking, Dachler, & Gergen, 1995); actor-network theory; virtual spaces; inter-being (Abram, 1996); or the nomadic multiple subject (Braidotti, 2006).

New design and/or practices of organising in the workplace, communities, and social movements, etc. Implications of these ideas regarding organising, design, practices and new subjectivities.

Ethical and Responsible Ways of Being When alternative conceptualizations of the non-unitary/post-human subject are embraced, traditional notions of ethics need to be rethought, which potentially generate new and more complex forms of compassion or deeply shared affinity in others (Braidotti, 2006), this may lead to new inner and outer spaces.

New creative approaches, tensions, perspectives on social innovation and transformation of spaces. Contributions are invited which engage with the challenge of working with creativity, art-based mediation, learning, innovation, design processes and new practices that work towards the common good.


Abram, D. (1996). The spell of the sensuous. New York: Vintage.

Braidotti, R. (2006). Transpositions: On nomadic ethics. Polity.

Cooper, R, (2005): ‘Relationality.’ Organization Studies, 26 (11), 1689–1710.

Hosking, D.M. (2011). ‘Telling tales of relations: Appreciating relational constructionism.’ Organization Studies, 32(1), 47-65.

Hosking, D.M.E., Dachler, H., & Gergen, K.J. (1995). Management and organization: Relational alternatives to individualism. Avebury/Ashgate Publishing Co.

Heathwood, C. (2011). ‘Preferentism and self‐sacrifice.’ Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 92(1), 18-38.

Meadows, D., Randers, J., & Meadows, D. (2004). A Synopsis, Limits to Growth: the 30 year update. Sustainability Institute. Chelsea Green Publishing Company

Putnam, R. D., (2000) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community New York: Simon and Schuster,

Jhally, S. (2006) Spectacle of Accumulation: Essays in Culture, Media and Politics. New York: Peter Lang.

David Bubna-Litic is a Senior Lecturer Management Disciplinary Group at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. His research programme and vision involves three elements: the development of understanding of emptiness in human subjectivity, the embracing of an ethics of inter-being, and the development of an appreciative political economy – all three required for the construction of sustainable futures. His notable recent publications include: The Dialogical Space between Buddhism and Economics in Exploring Sufficiency Economy King Prajadhipok Institute Press: Bangkok, 2013 and Spirituality and Corporate Social Responsibility: Interpenetrating Worlds. Ashgate, 2009.

Isabelle Mahy is a professor at the Department of Social and Public Communication at the Université de Quebec à Montréal in Canada. The main themes of her research include: social innovation, emergent change, engaging various actors, art-based mediation, knowledge creation and the development of sustainable, participative leadership. Her recent publication Théorie U, changement et innovation, modèles, applications et critique, Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2012, addresses collective transformation and emerging models of social innovation.

Posted On: June 8, 2014
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