Petra Schaper-Rinkel
Transformative Utopien und digitale Zukünfte

(Transformative Utopias and Digital Futures)

Growing inequalities in income and assets, surveillance capitalism, global warming, post-democracy—the upheavals of our time point to global crises. At the same time, we see the prevalence of a rhetoric of promise, according to which digital innovations will make it possible to square the circle: through a perfectly orchestrated circular economy, intelligent systems of production, and smart cities, it will be possible to overcome the climate crisis while continuously increasing (now green) industrial growth.    

Amid these dynamics of planetary crises and global technological promises, a wide variety of real utopias is emerging at the same time, concrete utopias and radical, emancipatory alternatives whose temporal and spatial scope is often undefined. What distinguishes transformative utopias that can be effective not only locally but also on a large scale in time and space? What digital infrastructures and urban concepts can make it possible to break out of the growth spiral and increasing inequalities? As thought experiments, transformative utopias can explore the tensions presented by the old slogan: “Let’s be realistic and attempt the impossible.”

Petra Schaper Rinkel is a political scientist and innovation researcher. Since 2019, she has been vice rector for digitization at the University of Graz. In her latest book, Fünf Prinzipien für die Utopie von Morgen (Five Principles for the Utopia of Tomorrow), published in 2020, she presents the utopia as a thought experiment, with the approach of a practice for building the future.

9.10., 13:00

Talk and discussion

In German

Forum Stadtpark
Stadtpark 1
8010 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs

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Free admission