Radical Futures

Radical Futures is a series focused on pressing future challenges. The inaugural edition, Death and Dying in New Zealand, was released October 2018.

Expressions of interest are open for the second volume in the series, Public Knowledge. Email our Editor Emma at emma@projectfreerange.com.

Public Knowledge (working title)
In light of climate change, increases in inequality, decreases in biodiversity, and the host of other social and environmental challenge facing us, we need to apply critical thinking and engage in informed debate now more than ever. We also need to explore responsive approaches to these challenges, and know when to delegate to the experts.

But in the context of the Information Age, with more information available to us than ever before; the rise of the knowledge economy; the proliferation of opinion and false balance in the public sphere; the teacher shortage; the economic model for universities, the ensuing standards and the sometimes competitive nature of scholarship; the privitisation of knowledge and the dismissal of experts in public conversations, just how well equipped are we here in Aotearoa New Zealand to engage in healthy critique and debate? Do we have the tools required? Is our education, in the broader sense of the term, sufficient? And just who is the ‘we’ in all of this?

An informed citizenry is essential to democracy and to the notion of consent, and to being able to respond, rather than react, to future challenges. So, what is the state of our public knowledge in New Zealand and just what are its limits?