Being more connected is good. So say Facebook, Google and any advert for a smartphone you’ve ever seen.
But what are we being told to connect to? And is our increasing connection through digital technologies disconnecting us in other ways- from ourselves, each other and our living planet?
On Tuesday November 20th join Philippe Sibaud, author of Wh@t on Earth –a new report exploring the psychological, social and ecological impacts of digital technologies – and Claire Milne, Coordinator of Inner Transition at the Transition Network, to discuss these pressing questions at 42 Acres Shoreditch.
Around the world, the number of people experiencing Internet Addiction and Nature Deficit Disorder is on the rise. Billions of internet-connected devices could produce 3.5% of global emissions within 10 years. Every smartphone and laptop carries an ‘ecological rucksack’ of many tonnes of land, water and energy that is often violently extracted from the territories of indigenous and land-based peoples.
Our many anxieties about digital technologies are not unfounded, foolish or backward. They are a logical and necessary response to the way we see these technologies re-shaping the world around us in the ‘anthropocene’.
Ahead of Buy Nothing Day – an international day of protest against rampant consumerism to challenge Black Friday – we will discuss how to make peace with our technologies in order to reaffirm our kinship with the planet, build more just societies and live happier, healthier lives.
“Our over-engagement with the digital sphere factor is accelerating our dissociation from the natural processes that sustain us. Our disengagement is both product and cause of planetary-scale ecological destruction, and comes at a time when renewing our bond with planet Earth is more urgent than ever.” – Philippe Sibaud
“Technology feeds the idea that we can be superhuman, we can get even more done, we can work 24/7. It contributes to the entrenched and widespread belief that to be liked, loved or good enough – to be accepted by ‘the tribe’ (be that a family, friendship group, sports team or work place) -we need to be increasingly productive and good at stuff.” – Claire Milne
More about our speakers
Claire Milne works for Transition Network, the NGO which supports the international Transition movement, which is made up of some 1400 local initiatives across around 35 countries learning how to collaborate across difference and inviting and challenging us all to reimagine and rebuild our world. Claire’s role is to coordinate the integration of the Inner dimension of change (Inner Transition / Resilience) and healthy collaborative culture across the international movement and beyond. Claire’s work is currently largely screen based and her engagement with the What on Earth Report has, in part, inspired her to make significant decisions to enable her to come more into alignment with the world she longs for – which is not screen based!
Philippe Sibaud is a writer and author of a number of Gaia’s flagship reports calling the alert on the impact of the extractive industries on our planet: Opening Pandora’s Box (2012) and Short Circuit (2013). His latest report, Wh@t on Earth, explores the psychological, social and ecological impacts of digital technologies. Philippe is also a Fairtrade business entrepreneur, currently running a microfinance institution in Malawi supporting small farmers and market traders – 80% of them women.
***Please note that 42 ACRES Shoreditch is currently unable to offer wheelchair access to this event, or access for those less-able to climb stairs, as the event space is on the third storey and currently lacks lift facilities. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused***