Transnational Institute of Social Ecology 2015 conference


The Transnational Institute of Social Ecology (TRISE) is holding its third annual conference in Patras, Greece from August 28-31.

TRISE is a network of researchers and activists concerned with ecology and the development of cities. Its research aims, under the lens of social ecology, look at both current urban policy and the experience of social movements.

This title of the conference, The Power to Create, the Power to Destroy, is taken from a 1970 manifesto style essay by Murray Bookchin, which appeared later in his 1980 book, Toward an Ecological Society. The theme has been chosen to examine the double-sided nature of our current situation, both the destructive forces of global capitalism and the creative response from social movements.

TRISE welcomes abstracts from activists and scholars by 15 June. If you wish to take part, please submit a short abstract (max 300 words) explaining the content of your talk or workshop, including a short CV briefing (about 5 lines). They should be sent to

The papers should reflect one of the following sub-themes:

1 Social Ecology and the City

Cities today are more and more at the forefront of the environmental and social crisis. They represent both one of the major cause of the aggravation of these crisis, but also a potential solution to them. Social ecology has elaborated a robust body of theory on this topic that can help us understand better how to ecologically transform the urban. In this session contributions are welcome that analyse the urban from a social ecology perspective or that try to enhance social ecology theory as a tool to change the city

2 Social Ecology in Practice

Social movements worldwide today increasingly emphasize the connection between social and ecological issues, and calls for direct democracy and decentralisation. The Kurdish revolution in particular is awaking our imaginations, demonstrating that building a revolutionary society which resonates with the principles of social ecology is possible and is actually happening. In this session contributions are welcome that aim at understanding how to put in practice a society based on horizontality, either narrating and analysing existing experiences, or envisioning new possibilities.

3 Academia, Activism and Social Change

The role of academia has always been controversial. On one side universities are more and more forced to align with the neoliberal agenda; on the other side they are a space of radical thinking.  In this session the aim is to discuss the role of various actors in building social change, focussing in particular on the possibilities and limits of the exchange between activism and academia in support of the current struggles.

4 Europe in Crises and Revolts

Europe is currently marked by a series of economic and social crisis that are showing the limits of the current system, exacerbating the living conditions of the poor. These crises, however, also represent a possibility for a different rebirth, a space in which the necessity allow alternative economies and practices to solidify and grow.  In this session the analysis will be on today’s crisis and possible answers, looking at how grassroots movements are fighting for a post-scarcity society.