About the Assembly

On the 16th of June 2017, ARNA will convene the 1st Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy in conjunction with a wide variety of networks, organizations, and institutions involved with action research and participatory approaches to creating knowledge. This gathering will examine global convergences emerging in relation to knowledge production, social progress, respect for epistemological diversity, and alternative globalization. The Global Assembly Co-Chairs are Lonnie Rowell (USA), Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator for ARNA, and Christine Edwards-Groves (AUS), Australian coordinator and international co-leader of the Pedagogy, Education and Praxis network (PEP). In the following video, Dr. Lonnie Rowell explains what Knowledge Democracy means and why the Global Assembly has been created.

Lonnie Rowell: Introducing the Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy from Jose Ramos on Vimeo.

A key question for those working in the social spaces created by the global action research community, Urban Commons movement, the World Social Forum, Peer to Peer networks, the Indigenous Sovereignty and other anti/decolonizing movements, and the flourishing culture of alternative networks in general, is the extent to which epistemological, ideological and political differences can be reconciled in the interest of a sustainable and socially just world. The Global Assembly will address this question in the context of an ecology of knowledges. Our interest lies in “the geopolitics of knowledge, its eagerness to problematize the equation of who produces knowledge, in what context, and for whom.”[1] Thus, the 1st Global Assembly is being organized with the intention of initiating a thoughtful and strategic assessment of the politics of knowledge creation and the potential of participatory approaches as alternatives to a monolithic knowledge enterprise based on the domination of the Global North and the marginalization and subordination of other knowledges.
[1] Sousa Santos, B. (Ed.) (2008). Another knowledge is possible: Beyond Northern epistemologies. London: Verso. P. xxxiv.