Information on past events organized by the Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT) and recordings from those events.
Past events and event recordings
The EXALT Symposium 2020 was a series of convivial online discussions stretching across three days on 21.-23. of October, 2020. The event drew together diverse critical analyses of the phenomena of global extractivisms and the myriad alternatives pursued both in theory and practice. The main aim of the Symposium was to contribute to, expand and deepen the concept of extractivism and the role of alternatives beyond the conventional usage connected to natural resources. The Symposium consisted of a main Roundtable-discussion (see recording below) with some of the world’s leading scholars working on extractivisms, followed by seven sessions (see recordings below) covering different aspects of global extractivisms and alternatives.
Opening Plenary: Roundtable Discussion
Performance: KO:MI - EXALT Symposium
Urbanity and Extractivisms (with Ali Almoghazy and Joe Collins)
Colonized By Data: The Costs of Connection (with Nick Couldry and Ulises Mejías)
Transitions to Alternatives
Arcanes of Terran Reproduction (a perfomance by Mirko Nikolic)
People's Sov Network
Global Extractivisms (with Julie Ann De Los Reyes, Anja Nygren and Natacha Bruna)
Indigneous Sovereignty, Modernity Projects and Alternatives (with Deborah McGregor)
(DE)NATURALISING EXTRACTIVISM: INVESTIGATING ITS SOCIAL ORDERS AND RESISTANCES
This event (held in 20-21. of October) was a collaboration between EXALT and two doctoral programs from the Faculty Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki to coproduce an online annual conference as a pre-conference to the EXALT Symposium 2020. EXALT's partners in the event were the doctoral programme in Social Sciences and the doctoral programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change.
Desrciption: The 7th Annual Conference for the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences & the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change explored the (de)naturalisations of extractivist practices. Extractivism refers both to material extraction of natural resources prevalent in industries such as mining and agribusiness, as well as old and new extractivist practices forming around e.g. data, cultures, knowledge, and bodies. We understand extractivism as inherently linked with the operations of capital, but also with the shaping of social processes. Our conference asked how extractive practices — and the industries and capital enacting them — are made out to be part of a naturalised and thus often invisible social order. The event also brought forth perspectives on how such naturalisations are resisted and deconstructed in diverse discourses and practices, in and beyond decolonial research and activism.
Cori Hayden Keynote
Degrowth and Post-Extractivism - a Good Life for All?
When? Friday June 5th at 14.00-15.30 EEST
Where? Online on Zoom.
Speaker: Dr. Marta Conde
The earth and all of its inhabitants are on a trajectory of cascading socio-ecological crisis driven by extractivist development and growth-centered economism. Like a snake eating its own tail, our progress-orientated and human-centered civilisation is built on the premise that there are no limits to growth. But rethinking growth and the current societal realities cannot be avoided anymore. Concurrent crisis such as the Climate Emergency are showing that the we are approaching the final frontiers of capitalist development. This realisation has given rise to calls such as “degrowth” and post-extractivism.
In this online seminar EXALT and HELSUS collaborated in bringing together Degrowth and steady-state economics with post-extractivism to seek alternatives for the current crisis-prone world-system. Through inclusive discussion the aim was to explore the possibilities of building ecological and economic systems which function within the regenerative capacity of the planet, while at the same time enabling a "good life for all".
This seminar was part of a wider Global Degrowth Day organized each year to unite diverse organizations and communities, which support the idea of degrowth and want to show that “A good life for all” is possible beyond economies built on growth and consumption. The seminar was a joint venture between the EXALT initiative and the HELSUS Global South Encounters seminar series.
About the speaker:
Bio: Marta Conde is a researcher at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona at the Department of Political and Social Sciences. She holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering (UPC), masters in Environmental Science (Birkbeck College, London) and a doctorate in Ecological Economics (UAB). Dr. Conde has previously worked as a researcher at Durham University and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Conde's research focuses on the social reactions to the expansion of extractive industries at the commodity frontiers, where succesful contestations of the imperative of endless economic growth can have direct and positive impacts in the lives of these communities. Using political ecology, ecological economics and political economy Conde studies the the drivers, strategies and discourses of resistance movements to mining. Conde's other research interests include the interactions between science, activism and knowledge-creation by grassroots organisation, the use and expansion of the concept of environmental justice in the South and the link between resource extraction and economic growth.
Listen to the seminar-recording:
EXALT-presentation: "Global Extractivisms: Unpacking and broadening the concept"
The HELSUS Global South Encounters is a series of seminars and small talks intended to sharpen critical research in sustainability science. Recognizing the complexities and peculiarities of the Global South, these seminars engage mainstream sustainability science in order to transcend it, among others by decolonizing nature, economy, society and methodologies. The seminars aim to open up space to get prior feedback on a forthcoming talk, an ongoing dissertation, a draft article, and a variety of research from students at all levels, academics, and members of the general public. Encounters also welcome discussions on giving conference papers and celebrate/publicize published papers.
April 15th, at 13.00-14.30
Join the online-seminar via this link.
- Professor Barry Gills - professor of Development Studies at the University of Helsinki and a founding member of the EXALT Initiative
- Saana Hokkanen - Research Assistant at EXALT
- Chair: Markus Kröger - Associate professor of Development Studies, University of Helsinki
The Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT) is a new international network of scholars, activists, and policymakers dedicated to collaboration and knowledge creation around the pressing crises stemming from extractivist policies and practices. This Initiative draws together diverse critical analyses of the phenomena of global extractivisms and the myriad alternatives being actively pursued in both theory and practice. This presentation aims to continue the discussion around extractivism and its alternatives, by offering a discussion-opener of critical and holistic understandings of extractivism as an organizing concept, beyond the conventional usage connected to natural resources. The presentation aims to explore the concept of “extractivism” via a range of social, cultural, and ecological perspectives.
Climate Emergency and Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic
March 12, 2020
13 – 15 at the Think Corner Stage
Climate emergency is accelerating in the Arctic region at an alarming rate. It is impacting the fragile ecosystems and diverse linguistic and cultural communities. Rampant extractivism and its consequent ecological destruction are eroding nature as well as the cultural fabric of local Indigenous communities. Intensive extraction of natural resources is fueling the scramble for the Arctic and tying the area tightly to the capitalist world-system.
This panel discussion will tackle the situations of Indigenous peoples in the changing Arctic, how livelihoods have started to alter and what roles does extractivism play with its myriad of direct and indirect consequences for the well-being of the Arctic. The panel offers a forum for Indigenous representatives and researchers to offer insights on the complex entanglement of climate emergency, Indigenous peoples' sovereignty and Arctic extractivism. It also addresses the questions of future generations and the Anthropocene from the perspective of Arctic Indigenous peoples.
In the context of changing ecosystems and neocolonial practices taking place in the North, there is an urgent need for radical new governance models for the whole of Arctic. As Indigenous peoples hold environmental knowledge crucial for producing sustainable practices in the region, their knowledge is vital in creating new governance models and offering already existing examples of sustainable resource management in the Arctic.
- Leo Aikio - Elected Vice-president of the Finnish Sámi Parliament (saamelaiskäräjät) and a reindeer-herder from Inari, Sápmi
Dmitry Arzyutov - Researcher at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm
Atte Korhola - Professor of Environmental Change at the University of Helsinki
Panel host: Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen (Indigenous Studies, University of Helsinki)
The event is co-organized by The Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT), the Indigenous Studies programme and ALL-YOUTH -research project funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC).
January 16, 2020, 13 – 15 at the Think Corner Stage
Earth is currently facing an unprecedented climate emergency, which has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity. The need for deep and transformative action is urgent, and universities are in a key position to work as pioneers in sustainable climate action.
This brainstorming dialogue will feature 3 short talks (from a representative from the university management, a professor, and a student activist) and a facilitated panel discussion exploring questions such as: How could and should the University of Helsinki address the climate emergency? What can researchers, students and university governance do? What does a university as a climate actor look like?
University Management: Vice-Rector Tom Böhling
Professor: Dr. Barry Gills, Development Studies
Student Activist: Laura Kolehmainen, founder of Ilmastoveivi and Climate Move, student of politics and law
Facilitator: Dr. Ossi Ollinaho, HELSUS and EXALT
The aim of the event is to offer a forum to discuss and reflect on the university's own position as part of a currently unsustainable society, but also to tap into its potential in countering the climate emergency and finding solutions toward a sustainable future with a focus on developing the basis for concrete proposals for action by the University.
The event is co-organized by The Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT) and the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS).
The event at the Think Corner stage is open for all with no registration. If you are planning to join us from 15 – 16 for Coffee/Conversation at the HELSUS Hub Lounge (Porthania 2nd floor, Yliopistonkatu 3), please fill in this e-lomake to let us know. We ask for registration so we can order an appropriate amount of coffee and reduce any potential waste.
We hope to see you on January 16 to discuss this important and timely topic!