Knowledge democracy, or cognitive justice

This solution addresses hegemony of scientific knowledge in everywhere for everyone

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Problem Description

Shiv Visvanathan: "Transfer of technology is a theory of development that sees science as travelling from the centre to the periphery, metropolis to province. Science is the prime source of knowledge and it has its origins or concentration in the metropolis. Unlike science, other sources of knowledge are seen as ethno-science, superstition or more brutally, non-knowledge. Pre-scientific is a word that is often used, along with savage or primitive. Invention, as far as possible, takes place at the centre, while the drama of innovation and diffusion occurs at the periphery." Cognitive justice is call to engage instead in knowledge democracy.

Building Blocks

Story

This "solution" is more a paradigm shift than anything else. It proposes the recognition of knowledges other than science, seen not within the lens of science or the litmus test of scientific proof but as ways of living that had their own cognitive validity. Cognitive justice recognises the right of different forms of knowledge to co-exist, but adds that this plurality needs to go beyond tolerance or liberalism to an active recognition of the need for diversity. It demands recognition of knowledges, not only as methods but as ways of life. This presupposes that knowledge is embedded in ecology of knowledges where each knowledge has its place, its claim to a cosmology, its sense as a form of life. Cognitive justice seeks encounters, the possibilities of dialogue, of thought experiments, a conversation of cosmologies and epistemologies. It proposes plurality; an engagement across differences. Plurality is the guarantee that alternative solutions and alternative paths to problem solving are always available within a culture.

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Resources

Organisations Involved

Contributed By

  • Marah Moore, i2i

Solution Stage

One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
STAGE SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING FINANCE REQUIRED KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED GOAL
Changing systems7
Strong leadership and management, and identification and traning of new leaders and teams
  • Building networks
  • Calibrating markets
  • Changing behaviour
  • Changing laws and regulations
  • Understanding interaction of technologies
  • Map potential unintended effects
VARIED
  • Multiple financial systems requiring potential rewiring
  • Possible outcome-based funding
HIGH
New definitions of and measures for efficiency and impact are created
A transformation in the way we do things

Key Details

Activity