Value from the Bottom-up
A conference at RPI, June 27-28 2014
Social problems are often addressed through the top-down forms of “distributive justice”: intervention from government agencies and regulations for example. But science and technology innovations have opened new possibilities for “generative justice”: bottom-up networks that strive for a more equitable and sustainable world through communitarian value generation. Some examples of generative justice involve lay innovation: maker spaces, DIY movements, and “appropriated” technologies. Other examples are more focused on nature as a generator of value, such as urban agriculture, food justice, and indigenous harvesting. Some focus on the framework of Open Source, putting code, blueprints and manufacturing processes into the public domain. Generative justice can apply to social entrepreneurship, restorative justice, community media, social solidarity economies, and many other structures that allow those who generate value to directly participate in its benefits, create their own conditions of production, and nurture sustainable paths for its circulation.
We invite presentation and panel proposals on the theory and practice of generative justice. What theories of ethics, law, epistemology and politics can help to define this concept and improve its utility? What research methods are best used to explore it, and in what analytic frameworks can it be deployed? Are the relations between distributive and generative justice best viewed as opposite ends of a continuum? As mutually supportive symbiosis? How might generative justice experiences and outcomes differ across identities such as race, gender, class, and sexual orientation; across geographic and national differences; across ideological and institutional spectrums? How can we distinguish generative justice from bottom-up forms of exploitation, oppression, or unsustainable ecologies? What kinds of technologies and scientific programs might foster more generative justice, and conversely, how might generative justice contribute to better STEM education, research, and infrastructure? (For more see the Generative Justice wiki)