The New University Cooperative: Reclaiming Higher Education, Prioritizing Social Justice and Ecological Sustainability

Recognizing the state of massive and concomitant crises facing humanity and the planet, from climate change to disparities of wealth to war, and that the current system of higher education contributes to the perpetuation of these crises, there is great impetus for a new approach to how we engage in higher education. From this basis, academics, students, activists, and community members from across the country met to create a New University in Canada, with a vision holistically founded on principles of ecological sustainability and social justice, inclusive and accessible to all. This article will provide a brief critique of higher education and its role in society arguing it does not provide the leadership and knowledge needed to meet these challenges and instead contributes to the perpetuation of these crises. The discussion will then articulate what a higher education institution profoundly grounded in ecology and social justice using a cooperative organizational structure would look like in practice.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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