Towards 2030: Challenging ‘Development’ to Bridge Extremes in an Age of Polarization
‘Development’ is a colonialist project. We cannot ignore its exploitative effects, including dispossession, enslavement, forced migration, and militarization, on Indigenous Peoples, Black people and people of colour, and other marginalized groups. CASID 2020 reflects on this and contemplates how we move forward as contemporary societies face increasingly polarized contexts – socio-economic, cultural, environmental, political. While there is great technological innovation and increased uptake of cleaner energies, the climate crisis has assumed foreboding urgency. Partnerships’ and citizen engagement platforms have proliferated, yet the claims of oppressed and dispossessed groups to land and to fundamental human rights such as health, education, and water continue to be contested. Never in human history have we had access to such a wide array of information sources and networks, yet we live in a ‘post-truth’ era. There is a marked rise of ethno-nationalism in some of the world’s largest and most influential democracies.
CASID 2020 recognizes the problematic and contested nature of ‘development’ itself. It challenges ‘development’, its institutions and processes, to act for decolonization and justice with urgency. It questions whether ‘development’ can act as a bridge between extremes within and across societies. It calls to centre the expertise of people experiencing the deepest inequalities in order to redress the harms that ‘development’ may have, itself, perpetuated. In an age of polarization, CASID 2020 aims to provide a much-needed open and inclusive space to address these challenges with nuance, rigour, and empathy looking ahead to 2030.