Living Utopias- Short Course

The word “Development”  is associated with the spread of “Industrialism” —  an ideology of ever increasing material growth and consumption  through faster and faster exploitation of Nature , using the wonders of large scale Science and Technology, guided by powerful Nation States and Corporations, rising world scale trade , and individualism.  Last 30 years of information technology has been able to make almost everyone aspire to climb this endless consumption ladder. This has brought the world to the brink of ecological collapse, depths of socio-economic inequalities and despair, increasingly dysfunctional political institutions, and hugely stressed socio-cultural systems.

In the last few decades, efforts to bring justice, equity, sustainability in the idea of development, can be classified in two broad arenas  — One, what we call , changes within the existing Industrialism paradigm  (such as  global efforts to measure development more comprehensively be it the  Human Development Index (HDI) , Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Green Growth,   or the triple bottom line) And two, what we term as alternatives which are radical  challenges to the very premise of  Industrialism  in all spheres of human civilization —- economic, ecological, technological, political, and socio-cultural.

In today’s times Industrialism as an ideology continues to  grow and spread , the crisis continues to worsen, and the alternatives remain in minority. If the crisis grows faster than solutions, human civilizations will collapse as they have done many times all over the word during last 3000 years. Except this time civilizations are likely to collapse worldwide!

However,  there are counter currents of hope  across the world, like have always been– be it the  significant old anti-Industrialism ideologies like Gandhi and Tagore’s vision  in India , Anarchism in Europe, Ubuntu in Africa, Buen Vivir in Latin America.  But today, as the crisis deepens, new ones are emerging such as Degrowth movement  in Europe, Radical Ecological Democracy in India, Rights of Nature in Latin America. In today’s times, alternatives are networking with each other and strengthening emerging new ones to counter the collapsing Industrialism. The hope that solutions can and will arise and spread fast to overcome the crisis

Most of us, including students of development and activists, are not aware about many of these efforts, alternatives, and networks. This course, “Living Utopia” is about exploring these living examples of alternatives to industrialism and engaging with them in the hope that another world is possible.

We invite you to be part of this exploratory journey with us of efforts striving for a world  that is just, equitable, healthy, happy, peaceful , creative, caring , sharing, self- sufficient, self- governing, eco-sustainable, non-exploiting, rural and urban communities.

Learning Objectives

This is a week long course designed to facilitate the participants to:

  • Understand the key features of INDUSTRIALISM —  its accompanying idea of DEVELOPMENT, its overwhelming ecological crisis today , and its possible collapse
  • Discuss some of the major ‘anti-industrialism’ visions and  frameworks
  • Become familiar with specific emerging alternatives aligned to the above anti-industrialism visions, in India and around the world
  • Get linked to some of these alternatives and initiatives
  • Grapple with how to adopt and try some of these ideas in their own places of work and living



Nov 14- 19, 2018


Green College, Living Farms, Muniguda, Rayagada District, Odisha


Prof. Sujit Sinha and Pallavi Varma Patil,  Faculty from Azim Premji University, Bangalore and Debjeet Sarangi, Director, Living Farms, Odisha

For Whom:

Anybody interested in exploring and engaging in various alternatives that point towards ecologically sustainable, personally enlivening, and just and humane social –economics-political systems.

Course Fee: (that covers basic accommodation and food for 7 days): Rs. 5000/-

For more information: Please connect with Pallavi Varma Patil, Faculty, Azim Premji University, email:  or email:


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