I’m at a workshop in Madrid organized by FORCE11. The first exercise was to imagine a world where universities did not exist, their hierarchies and power were abolished, but we still knew what we know. What would we build?
I answered through a series of “undoing” questions:
- What is HE for?
- Why do we research?
- What is “knowledge”?
- What financial form would have to underpin whatever we build? (this world isn’t that different it seems)
- How do we remunerate labour?
- Who gets to be “in” whatever we build?
- Why humanities/sciences?
- Why disciplines?
- What is relationship between knowing things and governing/having power?
- What kinds of freedom are needed to pursue knowledge?
- How do we tell people what has been found locally?
- How do they find it?
- How do they use it and how much do we want to determine how it is used?
- What labour forms are involved?
- Do we want division of labour and specialisation? Even in communications?
- Who might wish to harm us and how do we stop them?