Tuesday, 10 May, 2022 - 16:30

Hospicing Modernity: Facing Humanity’s Wrongs and the Implications for Social Activism.

A research seminar from Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti showcasing approaches to dealing with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in our challenging times. 

About this event

Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti (University of British Columbia) will deliver a research seminar based on her new book that brings together stories and exercises related to facing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in our challenging times. Tickets are free, but you must register.

Book outline

This book is not easy: it contains no quick-fix plan for a better, brighter tomorrow, and gives no ready-made answers. Instead, it presents us with a challenge: to grow up, step up, and show up for ourselves, our communities, and the living Earth, and to interrupt the modern behavior patterns that are killing the planet we’re part of.

Driven by expansion, colonialism, and resource extraction and propelled by neoliberalism and rabid consumption, our world is profoundly out of balance. We take more than we give; we inoculate ourselves in positive self-regard while continuing to make harmful choices; we wreak irreparable havoc on the ecosystems, habitats, and beings with whom we share our planet. But instead of drowning in hopelessness, how can we learn to face our reality with humility and accountability? The book attempts to break down archetypes of cognitive dissonance–the do-gooder who does “good enough,” then retreats to business as usual; the incognito capitalist who, at first glance, may seem like a radical change-maker–and asks us to dig deeper and exist differently. It explains how our habits, behaviors, and belief systems hold us back…and why it’s time now to gradually disinvest. Including exercises used with teachers, NGO practitioners, and global changemakers, it offers us thought experiments that ask us to:

  • Reimagine how we learn, unlearn, and respond to crisis
  • Better assess our surroundings and interact with difference, uncertainty, complexity, and failure
  • Expand our capacity to hold personal and collective space for difficult and painful things
  • Understand the “5 modern-colonial e’s”: Entitlements, Exceptionalism, Exaltation, Emancipation, and Enmeshment in low-intensity struggle activism
  • Interrupt our satisfaction with modern-colonial desires that cause harm
  • Create space for change driven neither by desperate hope nor a fear of desolate hopelessness


Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti is a Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Canada Research chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change at the University of British Columbia.

She is one of the founders of the Gesturing towards Decolonial arts/Research collective and is part of the coordination team of the Last Warning campaign.


This event is to be hosted via Zoom. Registered participants will be emailed a link in the days before the event, and also 30 minutes before as a reminder. Time after the presentations will be given over to a Q&A with participants.

The ANGEL Seminar Series

This event is part of a series of online events run by the Academic Network for Global Education & Learning. The series is aimed at Global Education professionals, as well as anyone with an interest in research in the fields of Development Education, Global Citizenship Education, Human Rights Education, Education for Sustainable Development, Education for Peace, and Intercultural Education.

ANGEL Network,
Development Education Research Centre (DERC)
UCL Institute of Education
33 Bedford Place
London WC1B 5JU

Partner organisations

Carousel image attribution: "panoramio (2525)" by William “Patrick” Ma. Under CC 3.0

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