Alternative Visions of Social and Eco-Justice: A Feminist Reflection on Models, Process, Action Research and Thinking Circles, Proposal to Joint Session RC02&44

Friday, July 18, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: 301
Oral Presentation
Linda CHRISTIANSEN-RUFFMAN , Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
This retrospective feminist analysis focuses on a series of thinking circles, action research and feminist networks that trace their roots back for over several decades. It could be argued that an initiating group was a network of feminists from the Economic South called DAWN, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era. DAWN was clearly one group who held a leadership role, convincing people such as me to participate in the series of UN Conferences that came to be known as the UN Conferences of the 1990s. The Women’s Environment and Development Network or WEDO also took on such a role. We started in Rio in 1992, and this reflection will focus specifically on the World Summit for Social Development. Its alternative thinking, such as the idea of conceiving of economics as “an enabling environment,” came from our participation at its “PrepComs” and surrounding meetings that led to the 1995 Summit.  The paper then builds from reflections on action research such as Nova Scotia Women’s FishNet and different types of thinking circles operating at local, national and global levels. These include on-going thinking networks such as International Feminists for a Gift Economy and the Matriarchal Studies Network and focused thinking workshops such as the Wise Women’s Workshop and one that produced the Pictou Statement, the “Feminist Statement on Guaranteed Living Income.”  The paper reflects on organizational models, process and content of these alternatives and explores the types of relationships within and between these and other networks.