Future Uni. as an institution of foresight

Extract from Wildman, P., From the Monophonic University to Polyphonic Multiversities. Futures, 1998. 30(7): p. 625-633.


Wildman, P., At the Edge of Knowledge: Toward Polyphonic Multiversities, in The University in Transformation: Global Perspectives on the Futures of the University, S. Inayatullah and J. Gidley, Editors. 2000, Bergin & Garvey: Westport US. p. 105 -111.

· Subversity -one such Institution of Foresight

A group in rural Australia, of which I am a member, seeking to develop an ‘off-grid’ futureversity. Realising that many people today see the ‘off-grid’ nature of much of our future. In short if there is to be one it certainly wont be the ‘official one’. We see our market as backpackers and youth moving off communities. In fact there are around 200 such intentional communities in the region (Northern New South Wales) with an estimated 20,000 people and 6,500 youth, several hundred of which leave the communities each year. Today most youth leave the communities in their late teens.

The concept is called a ‘subversity’ and recognises that most cutting edge research is now done outside universities, which have tended to degenerate to ‘credentialling the status quo’. Accreditation is deliberately not being sought and workshops will use theatre and bush settings sprinkled with Socratic dialogue and theatre (yes a ‘page on stage’ alternative to ‘sage on stage’ lecturing) and web based non personal ‘hyperlearning’ yes there are alternatives that embrace the original Enlightenment vision of rationality which included theatre, imagination, and introspection as well as empiricism.

This is not new-agie gabfest rather it is aimed at tapping into the increasing flow of people who recognise that learning is not only about ‘things’ or ‘how to fit in’. Today learning is also about four additional issues; activism to change the system, artificer knowledge linking inner and outer knowledges, cultural empowerment. All of these then can all be bound together with a ‘Global Citizens Charter’ which in turn is embedded in ‘planetary consciousness’.


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