1 year ago

13 September, 2016

Carslaw Lecture Theatre 175

Organised by:
USYD Geoscience Society

Please join us at the Geosciences Seminar Series: Welcome to the Anthropocene

Title: Climate Crisis, corporate imaginaries and creative self-destruction
When: September 13, 2016 @ Carslaw Lecture Theatre 175, 2-3pm

Professor Christopher Wright
University of Sydney Business School

Christopher Wright is Professor of Organisational Studies and leader of the Balanced Enterprise Research Network at the University of Sydney Business School. His current research explores organizational and societal responses to climate change, with a particular focus on how managers and business organizations interpret and respond to the climate crisis. His research has appeared in a broad range of leading journals including: Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Research Policy, Environment & Planning A, Human Relations, Organization and the British Journal of Sociology. As well as chapters in edited collections, he is the author of several monographs including The Management of Labour: A History of Australian Employers (Oxford University Press, 1995), Management as Consultancy: Neo-bureaucracy and the Consultant Manager (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and most recently Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-destruction (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Title: Climate crisis, corporate imaginaries and creative self-destruction
When: September 13, 2016 @ Carslaw Lecture Theatre 175, 2-3pm

We are now living in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene (Crutzen, 2002; Steffen, Crutzen, & McNeill, 2007). It is an epoch in which fossil fuel exploitation is reshaping the Earth’s systems, exceeding the boundaries of what constitutes a ‘safe operating space for humanity’ (Rockström et al., 2009). However, the fundamental environmental destruction that global capitalism has unleashed is a change so profound and so all-embracing as to be almost incomprehensible. Humanity’s place in the universe now seems far more uncertain. So how has it come to this? How to paraphrase Elizabeth Kolbert (2006) has a technologically advanced society chosen in essence to destroy itself? In this paper I argue that the particular neoliberal variant of late capitalism that now dominates global political-economy not only obfuscates the need for a fundamental questioning of the capitalist imaginary of endless growth, but exacerbates the problem by framing business and markets as the only means of responding to the crisis. In essence, the prevailing political view is that capitalism should be seen not as a cause of climate change but as an answer to it (Wright & Nyberg, 2015). In this paper, I focus on three core imaginaries that underpin our creative self-destruction: ‘business as usual’, ‘green business’ and ‘natural capitalism’. The presentation also explores alternative imaginaries that are likely to emerge as the climate crisis worsens.

Please encourage others to attend, everyone is very welcome.