UA Academic Articles

Why Saving the Biosphere is Impossible Now and the Unbounded Approach to Making It Possible

Indeed, something is wrong, basically wrong. Here I will illustrate what is basically wrong with an incident in the history of bees (or, more broadly, pollinators). Although important progress has been made in spite of adverse dominant cultural and social structures, the bee story illustrates why survival requires avoiding now inevitable collisions between economics and physical reality.

The humans and the viruses

The Humans and the Viruses: The World Economic Forum and the Coronaviruses ​The humans and the viruses are two forms of life with parallel but different adaptive strategies. According to the abbreviated story I am offering you, our pre-hominid ancestors crossed the line separating non-human from human and became homo sapiens when they became the cultural animals.  It culminated […]


We are trying. We keep bees. We use reusable shopping bags, not plastic. We plant trees. We create new fertile soil with compost, manure, potting soil and worms fed with table scraps. We heat water with solar energy. We recycle glass and metal. We walk, bicycle, or take public transportation and keep our houses well insulated in the winter.
Millions of others are trying too. To cite one of innumerable examples: People living on welfare benefits, organized by eco-activists, cultivate organic gardens on the rooftops of apartment buildings in large cities

Emancipatory learning_Odora Hoppers and van der Westhuizen

(Afrikaans) Emancipatory learning and educational research
Educational research plays a critical role in bringing about social change in South Africa. The knowledge contributions made by researchers not only shape what is accepted as the science of teaching, but also forms the basis of the education systems, policies and practices.
The recent calls for decolonisation can be accepted as symptomatic of the crisis of relevance and applicability of among others, knowledge in curricula and school education. This is not a technical crisis of low pass rates and the improvement of academic performance by educational authorities, but a crisis of collapse and reproduction of social inequalities still prevalent in society, reminding educators and researchers that schools are sites of struggle, as they have been considered in the past by community activists such as Neville Alexander.

What Teachers Can Do to Improve the Economies That Will Emerge After the Pandemic

What economies and living conditions will be like after the coronavirus pandemic is a matter of uncertainty and foreboding. The pandemic may never go away. It may continue to propagate itself indefinitely. It may mutate several more times. If so, human cultures will not only have to evolve, but will have to evolve several times, in order to cope with changing physical realities. Surely, in any case, we human beings will be wiser to organize ourselves collectively to defend ourselves than we would be simply to wait while fate determines our destiny. In the process of species-self-defence, teachers are key.
This short note will be a sketch, or rather an illustration, of a proposal. As Peter Drucker and many others have said, intriguingly and I think to some extent truly, you cannot predict the future, but you can invent it.

The Imperative of Cognitive Justice in Teacher Education

The cognitive crisis in Africa is a knowledge crisis, and a crisis of the academy (Odora Hoppers 2014) and of the modern university (Fataar and Subreenduth 2014) [and] requires rethinking on levels of worldview and practice – in terms of the ways in which disciplinary knowledge is organized and developed, and ontologies, epistemologies opened up and rethought to become truly representative of Africa.

Carta da Escola Irma Theodora (English version)

Hello! Is everything ok?
We are students of school Sister Irmã Theodora in the municipality of Marabá, located in the northern region of Brazil:
Our lands are always warm, but we are literally on fire and it is not even the time of the St. John’s feast (in June, when everyone gathers around a fire).
Our forest burns in flames, our animals are dying, losing their habitats and their lives. and all because of ‘progress’. We cannot understand what kind of progress this is and whom it serves. Our greatest wealth, which is biodiversity, is in mourning. Mother nature cries.

Carta da Escola Irma Theodora (Portuguese version)

Oi! Tudo bem?
Somos alunos da escola Irmã Theodora, do município de Marabá,
localizado na região norte do território brasileiro, SOMOS
Nossas terras são sempre quentes, porém, estamos literalmente pegando fogo e nem é época de são João.
Nossa floresta arde em chamas, nossos animais estão morrendo, perdendo seus lares, sua vida e tudo isso por causa do “progresso”. Não conseguimos compreender que progresso é esse e para quem serve. Nossa maior riqueza, que é a biodiversidade, vive dias de luto. A mãe natureza chora.

Moral Economy and Emancipation

Perhaps the most important of these suggestions is that to achieve emancipation, rather than over-emphasising relations of production, we should instead identify – in order to, if necessary, transform – the deep moral and legal structures that frame markets.

Morally Responsible Leadership Through the development of phronesis

While it appears to be easily grasped, phronesis is complex, nuanced and paradoxical, seen as an unorganised set of characteristics in the management scholarship domain. We argue that the neglect of phronesis in modernity flows from the challenging nature of developing it, itself the consequence of its indistinctness. It calls for Einstein’s words “I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity”.

From Humiliation to Dignity Summary 2020

Where do we stand, as humankind? The author of this book offers this analysis: We have dug ourselves into a multitude of perilous crises, both despite and because of what we call progress. We engage in systemic humiliation – sociocide and ecocide – or the shredding of the social fabric and plundering of the planet. At the same time, there are also immense windows of opportunity waiting to be used. Unfortunately, so far, instead of recognising the depth of the crises at hand and grasping the historic opportunities to exit, it seems that most of us choose to stay myopic. Therefore, this book focusses on all of human history – on big history – because only a wide view makes the primary problems visible that spawn secondary, tertiary, and quaternary ones.

Moral Education for Structural Change

Taking as an example the ‘structural trap’ by which the good intention of complying with social human rights, such as health, ends up discouraging economic investment, it is suggested that effective large scale moral education can help to overcome structural obstacles to solutions to social and ecological problems.

Organisation Workshop. Beyond the Workplace: Large Groups, Activity and the Shared Object

Organisation Workshop stands for a body of practice derived from the pioneering work that Clodomir de Morais did with the Brasilian Peasant Leagues starting in the early 1960s and shown to be relevant today in situations of high unemployment. Two essential ingredients are a large group and a common resource pool. The Organisation Workshop method is illuminated by Leontiev’s “objectivised activity” concept, as well as impor- tant insights from 3 generations of activity theory (CHAT). Moraisean thought and practice are shown to open up new avenues to community development and to break new ground in the social psychology of the large group.

Three Roots of Transdisciplinary Analysis in Peace Education1 Tres Raíces del Análisis Transdisciplinario en Educación para la Paz

It will be documented in the following that social, economic and political dimensions are highlighted in the Neapolitan context, a philosophical understanding of the relationship between humanity and nature is at the centre in the Japanese analysis, and the historical imprint of colonization upon the human mind is foregrounded in the South African case. These different ways of approaching an understanding of contextual conditions are not mutually exclusive, however, and together they are seen as valuable contributions to an analysis that sees no disciplinary borders in finding ways of understanding human agency in relation to contextual conditions. I shall, therefore, discuss how these different ways of understanding human agency have one thing in common: They all meet criteria of transdisciplinarity.

Postcolonial Perspectives

The focus of this article is on the role and contribution of policy research in contexts of social transformation. With reference to education transformation policies in post- apartheid South Africa, the argument is developed that research varies in their contri- bution to change, as a function of the paradigmatic assumptions and methodological choices of the researcher.

Identity as Motivation

The purpose of this memo is to propose a methodology featuring role-play for improving motivation in organizations and in communities. It advocates an ideal of unbounded organization where individuals identify with the missions and values of their organizations, while the missions and values of their organizations, in turn, serve the common good of humanity and the planet.

Un Concepto de Economía Solidaria: Organización Ilimitada

Presentación: el abordaje hacia una economía solidaria En un sistema de laissez-faire el nivel de empleo depende en gran medida de lo que se llama el estado de la confianza. Si se deteriora la confianza, cae la inversión privada. Sigue una caída de la producción y del empleo (este resultado se genera directamente y también […]

Principios Fundamentales de la Economía Solidaria

Resumen: Se proponen cuatro principios fundamentales: el derecho de vivir y percibir entradas para poder vivir por pertenecer a la familia humana; una coupure epistemologique en la filosofía de la ciencia; organización ilimitada, y una ética solidaria que llama a compartir el excedente. Algunos de sus aplicaciones se muestran relatando experiencias en un territorio determinado ubicado en […]

The Climate Crisis (and Other Crises) Require the Transformation of the Basic Cultural Structure of the Modern World

It is in the news that millions of people around the world –inspired by a Swedish teenager so honest that looking at a picture of her will cure a headache—have taken to the streets demanding that something must be done. I will use this paper to offer an answer to the question what must be done: The basic cultural structures of the modern world must be transformed.

Unbounded Organization (UO)

Bounded organizations theories negate aeons of evolution; the result is that homo sapiens can’t manage its affairs. It can’t create a humane society. It cannot sustain the conditions for life. The Unbounded Academy is about rewriting the script, recasting the characters, resignifying the activity systems.