Most of us, at least in the mainstream, find ourselves entangled in a world driven almost exclusively by economics: a world still constructed through binary and atomistic thinking, and defined by values that are divorced from a living connection to life as a whole. Few would question the benefits, or the hazards, that modern science and technology have brought us. Enormous advances in healthcare, technology and global communication have impacted the world in significant ways. Yet, we have also witnessed the dismantling of our liberal and democratic traditions by corporate takeover, and the de-evolution of the media as an impartial source of information for the public at large. Our late-capitalist society dramatically impresses itself upon the experience of being an individual, and the evolutionary potential of our own subjectivity to reach for new horizons.
The triumph of science has also brought us to the Anthropocene – a world shaped entirely by us and for us. Contrary to the claims of neo-liberalist ideology, unrestrained free open-market capitalism based on the control of resources, has created an unparalleled disparity between the rich and everyone else. We live in extreme times. On one hand the juggernaut of scientific materialism is pushing us ever onward in the name of progress, to what are its inevitable limits. On the other, fissures are appearing everywhere.
Powerful social movements are mobilising in response to climate change, the excessive reach of technology and global corporations, ineffective government, and continuing racial and gender injustice. Voices of dissent and hope, as well as new paradigms of thinking and innovation, are connecting with each other and the world at large across cyberspace. The recognition of a crisis of ‘meaning’ is generating a different order of thinking within postmodernity. This is challenging the exclusive anthropocentric humanism of our time with a different priority of values: those that privilege authenticity and support non-hierarchical and integral ways of living and being.
At 3rd Space we see ourselves as part of this emergent process, providing spaces to field and nurture authentic counter-narratives, to bring enquiry, dialogue, and engagement to the issues of our time.