Cultural Prerequisites for Sustainable Development: Latin American Experiences

“Development“ as both a scientific and political term, has been as influential as it has been contested over the years. The project “Cultural prerequisites for Sustainable Development – Latin American Experiences” sought to explore current international discourse around development notions and to shed light on the role played by ecology and sustainability.

By choosing a methodology based on expert interviews and consisting of dialogue models – including a major workshop, public lectures and internal colloquia – the project aimed at collecting a broad range of views and perspectives on the topic. Latin American contributors came from a broad transdisciplinary range of academia (e. g. sociology, geography, economics,) politics (including former ministers and heads-of-state,) the arts, and civil society. During the colloquia and the workshop, their theses were challenged by several high-ranking experts from the German-speaking field. The lectures addressed a broader and general public, amplified by considerable media coverage.

Key contributions will presented in the anthology “Diversity of Development(s)? Latin American perspectives,” to be published in 2013. The book will also contain an introduction by project fellows Constantin von Barloewen and Manuel Rivera, summarizing both the most striking common denominators and the points of contention found in the Latin American discourse on sustainable development. Among the common denominators, a growing planetary awareness and an emphasis on equity issues stand out. Regarding controversies, the debate on economic growth and a biocentrism/anthropocentrism dispute seemed to be the ‘hottest’ topics.


Download: Conference documentation “Diversity of development(s)?”, Potsdam, 26-27 January 2012