The term ‘globalisation' commonly denotes an economic process that extends the liberal principals of the market economy over the whole planet. The concept of ‘globalisations' (in the plural) — as developed by GERM (Groupe d'Etudes et de Recherches sur les Mondialisations- Study and research group into globalisations) — seeks, on the contrary, to preserve, promote, and take on the totality of the diversity and depth found in the different cultural, artistic, scientific and political processes that are linked to human activities.
1.So, why hold a conference on ‘globalisations?
The question of ‘globalisation' carries important advances and new lines of interrogation in numerous domains. It remains however an area little researched, and risks being entered very late on into school and university education. It is on this basis that in 1999 GERM was founded, under the initiative of academics, artists and consultants, who rallied international correspondents originating from 50 countries to the project.
But why a Conference? The Globalisations Conference seeks to provide a means to inventory, analyse, confront and develop the suggestions which form the bridge between research into globalisations and new political, economic, social and cultural questions that these globalisations bring about.
The question of ‘globalisations' from this point on calls the scientific, intellectual and artistic community that it implicates to come together. For, by default, up until now, solely its economic face dominated the scene, in the form of the laws of the market and competition, with the risks related to privatisation of a world that only belonged to the economy. It thus appeared necessary to become concerned with the inequalities engendered by such a privatisation, inequalities manifest, for example, in the right to possess tools as essential as ‘new information and communication technology' (NICT), with the Internet at the head.
The general issue of the current project is thus to open out the mere idea of globalisations (in all its complexity, but also its promise) faced with the economic monopoly of ‘globalisation' (of a world in which the only distinctions are economic or territorial). In short, The ‘Globalisations' conference attempts to tackle an unavoidable issue: that of restoring criticism faced with the common usage of ‘globalisation', and that of the restitution of the globalisations issue to those who are its principle witnesses and analysts: in the domains of culture, art, education, research and development.
2.The 2003 Conference: ‘Cultural diversity, globalisations and globalisation'
The first edition of The Globalisations Conference will be organised by GERM and the University of Paris 8- Saint-Denis in spring 2003 on the Parc de La Villette site, in partnership with UNESCO, the French Foreign Affairs and National Education Ministries, and the Etablissement Public Parc et Grande Halle de La Villette (EPPGHV). It benefits from the label ‘Université européenne d'été' and the support of the National Ministry for Education. Initially, it will involve around 50 speakers and an invited public of circa 200 participants, made up of international researchers (in particular from the domains of fine-arts, philosophy, human, social, political and economic sciences), artists, experts from the cultural sector and students over a period of 3 days. Among the public will be one hundred students invited from all countries to report and diffuse the debates back to their institutions.
This Conference will propose a daily cycle of four round tables, organised around three themes (Cf. the attached pre-programme in annex 1):
1st day: ‘Current state of cultural diversity'
2nd day: ‘Refounding the concept of cultural diversity'
3rd day: ‘ Cultural diversity as a project'
The full programme for the conference is available online on our website in the section ‘What is Germ?'
3. A European and International future:
After the first edition at La Villette (which should become an annual event), The Globalisations Conference will propose, in cooperation with an enlarged circle of partners, analogous meetings in other countries. Thus it will uniquely ensure that the international network of GERM the mission to contribute to developing a critical and pedagogical stance (both intercultural and interdisciplinary) on current globalisations, in particular those that affect the domains of culture, education and the sciences.
If you would like to attend this conference, you can obtain an application form by emailing us at the following address : firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be aware that only applications completed and returned to us by the 30th of May 2003 can be considered (due to limited spaces).