CRITS 2020 Symposium | Full Online Event

Building a New World in the Shell of the Old to Face the Climate Crisis : Between Transition, Resilience and Resistance

From 12 November 2020 to 14 November 2020

On November 12, 13 and 14, the Center for Research on Innovations and Social Transformations (CRITS) will hold its second annual symposium entirely online, entitled “Building A New World in the Shell of the Old to Face Climate Crisis : Between Transition, Resilience and Resilience”. 

The issue of climate justice is a crucial theme. The year 2020 has begun with multiple alarm signals related to the environmental crisis, which have manifested themselves all over the globe. These include the ravages caused by forest fires in Australia and more recently in California, the devastating locust invasion in India, and the recent blockades of the Wet’suwet’en community (BC, Canada) against the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The coronavirus pandemic, which has caused a global health crisis, has more than ever revealed the need for a profound transformation in our production and consumption systems. With the post-COVID recovery proposed by the officials, a multitude of social groups are mobilizing to claim that to build the After it is necessary to act in the face of the climate emergency, in order to create a just and resilient world.

To contribute to collective reflection on social and ecological transition strategies, CRITS is offering a two-day conference (November 13 and 14) to which practitioners, researchers, academics, activists and community organizers are invited. In addition, we invite you to two major conferences (November 12 and 14) that will be fully accessible to the public. In this sense, we wish to open a space for dialogue and knowledge sharing in order to stimulate exchanges around the issues, challenges, obstacles and possible victories of citizen initiatives and collective mobilizations.

Register now! 
For Starhawk and Christi Belcourt, it’s HERE
For the Symposium, it’s HERE
For Pablo Servigne, it’s HERE

Detailed program

Thur. 12 November

More information to come

Frid. 13 November

Intervener : Jonathan Durand Folco

When it comes to ecology, some people tend to argue that transition is neither right nor left, but ahead (Laure Waridel, 2019). For this presentation, I would like to show, on the contrary, that there is a multitude of political discourses concerning the environment, ranging from green neoliberalism to some more revolutionary perspectives. To better map the multiple currents of political ecology, I propose to replace the traditional left/right axis with two axes: 1) ecocentrism vs. technocentrism; 2) liberalism vs. radicalism. By giving concrete examples of social movements and well-known figures, my intention is to provide a “compass” to shed light on the tensions, divergences, and possible rapprochements between different factions of the ecologist movement. Instead of a consensual approach that seeks to bring together all ideological tendencies within the vague paradigm of the “Transition”, I will put forward the strategy of opposing an “ecology of 99%” to the “ecology of 1%”

Jonathan Durand Folco is a professor at the Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation at Saint Paul University. His work focuses on participatory democracy, commons, degrowth and municipalism.

Interveners : Arnaud Theurillat Cloutier, Mélanie Busby, Colin Pratte and Josee Provençal

Participative workshop

Arnaud Theurillat-Cloutier, PhD candidate in sociology (UQAM), member of the research group Social Ecology of Advanced Capitalism (ESCA), philosophy teacher, author of Printemps de force (2017, Lux éditeur)

Colin Pratte is a Phd candidate in sociology at UQÀM and previously studied law. He is also an associate researcher at the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS).

Josée Provençal is a PhD in Political Science (University of Ottawa), a postdoctoral researcher at the Labo Climat Montréal (INRS) and a member of the independent research group on degrowth, Polémos. She is interested in the governance of energy and the power relations that compose it. For more infos : 

Mélanie Busby participated in the coordination of the Québec ZéN Roadmap development process at the Common Front for Energy Transition. For more infos :

Interveners : Bengi Akbulut, Mathieu Dufour, Jonathan Durand-Folco, Sophie Élias-Pinsonnault, Audrey Laurin-Lamothe, Frédéric Legault, Éric Pineault, Simon Tremblay-Pepin.

Amongst the varied visions put forth of how a postcapitalist society could be structured, democratic economic planning stands out in its attempts to reconcile the need for broad coordination, the preservation of local autonomy and self-determination and the fulfillment of human needs. The decision-making mechanisms it proposes are able to integrate a variety of considerations that may be of importance to communities and individuals in shaping society and the economy. However, many of the early proposals in that tradition left relatively space for environmental concerns, focusing more on social and economic processes. With the mounting environmental crisis in the last decades, some of the authors of these models have recently started to integrate environmental issues in them. While these efforts are certainly useful in moving the discussion forward, we believe that there is scope for further work in order to account for the biophysical and ecological basis of the socio-economic processes within a democratic planning framework. In particular much can be gained by drawing on tools and insights developed in recent decades to describe the metabolism of societies in terms of biophysical flows and stocks and their impact on natural sources and sinks as well as metrics that capture the social colonization of ecosystems and human appropriation of biological productivity.

This workshop will present three fundamental questions that we should think about when envisioning a postcapitalist economy capable of overcoming the ecological crisis: (1) the fulfillment of human needs, (2) the impact on the social metabolism on the ecosystem and (3) ways of planning the economy democratically.

The CRITS research project on democratic economic planning is working on how to envision a post-capitalist economy. It has three objectives: (1) to establish the structures and institutions of models of democratic economic planning, (2) to update these models by trying to combine or even merge them, but also by adapting them to realities that they do not sufficiently address; (3) to conduct empirical research on the application of these proposals. For more information : here

Interveners : Laurence Guénette and Louis-Joseph Saucier

Participative workshop

Trained in political science, environmental sciences and sociology, Louis-Joseph Saucier is a counsellor in research and public services advocacy at the Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec.

Laurence Guénette holds a Master’s degree in Law and Society from UQAM. An environmental and human rights activist, she is interested in the potential of law in the struggles.

Satu. 14 November

Interveners : Jaydene Lavallée, Sakej (James Ward), Marie-Ève Marleau, Noémie Bautista Gonzalez and Jen Gobby

Participative workshop

Jaydene Lavallée is a Two-Spirit Michif-Cree woman currenlty living in Dish with One Spoon Territory (Hamilton, ON). She spends most of her efforts on antiextractive and land defense struggles but has also dedicated herself to defending Hamilton against gentrification, fighting patriarchy inside and outside of organizing circles, and pushing for animal liberation. 
Sakej (James Ward) belongs to the wolf clan. He is Mi’kmaw (Mi’kmaq Nation) from Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church First Nation, New Brunswick). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Masters in Indigenous Governance. Sakej has a long history of advocating and protecting First Nations inherent responsibilities and freedoms
Marie-Ève Marleau, coordinator of the Committee for Human Rights in Latin America (CDHAL), has been involved for fifteen years in social struggles against extractive projects. For more infos :
In her PhD research in anthropology, Noémie Gonzalez Bautista is interested in the social relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous people within multi-actor networks involved in forest fire management. She is particularly interested in the social inequalities and relations between human and non-human beings. Noémie’s research interests also include gender issues and intersectional feminist approaches as well as the challenges of contributing to decolonization movements as a white European researcher in Canada, interests that are also expressed in her activist activities.
Jen Gobby is an activist-scholar and postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University. She is interested in climate justice, social transformation, and relations of solidarity within and across social movements. See more at

Interveners : Lindsey Barr, Founder of World-Changing Kids, and a team of environmental activists, ages 8-13, from her Upstanders Academy

Since the pandemic started, World-Changing Kids has been running online workshops with children, between the ages of 7 – 13, where we discuss real life, social justice issues and actions we can take to help make things better. To date, we have discussed plastic pollution, textile waste, food insecurity and food rescue, caring for our elders, racism, LGBTQ+, reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and refugees.

For this symposium, we’ll work with a group of children to build a workshop where each one will present an action that will help make things better in the area of environmental activism.

Lindsey Barr, Founder, World-Changing Kids – dedicated to leadership development, community building, social justice – will be presenting with awesome kids, ages 8-13, from her Upstanders Academy. For more infos :

Interveners : Marianne Ariganello, Rosalie Thibault and Aliénor Rougeot, James Hutt and Maya Menezes. Moderator : Youth Climate Lab

Participative workshop

Youth Climate Lab : Dominique Souris works to enable youth create just, climate-resilient futures as the co-founder and Executive Director of Youth Climate Lab, a youth-for-youth organization focused on transformative climate action. Naia works as Events Coordinator. Passionate about building movements rooted in justice and equity, she also organizes with Climate Strike Canada, and Sustainabiliteens Vancouver. Disciplined as an urban planner, Shalaka is interested in pursuing questions around value relating to power and authority, and how to move towards reconciliation through climate justice. Shalaka works as the Design & Community Manager. For more infos :

Rosalie Thibault et Aliénor Rougeot : bios to come

James Hutt is the Senior Manager of Programming at The Leap and Maya Menezes is the Director of Programming at The Leap. For more infos :

Marianne Ariganello : bio to come

More information to come