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Tales of the Bioeconomy, Alexander Stingl (CIM WIRL-Cofund Fellow)


In this talk, I will introduce my research object, the so-called “Bioeconomy”, to the members of CIM and other interested members of the Warwick community. The Bioeconomy is vast, vague, and ill-defined by its interlocutors - all members of a transnational policy network - yet at the same time it materializes as a fundamental transition that is taking place across the global economy, across societies, and across ecosystems (from the nano- to the macro-scale). With my inaugural talk at at and for CIM, I will conduct a rhapsodic operation rather than propose a coherent argument or a clearly defined analysis. In picking up at a precise but also randomly chosen historic moment, that involves German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and growing an intellectual coral reef from there throughout space, time, and culture, I will arrive at the present transition to Bioeconomy as an economic, biotechnological, and, also, legal enterprise that is both a novel socio-technological imaginary and yet surprisingly familiar in its implicit logic of extraction. I will refer to examples ranging from your regular plastic water bottle to fish-without-borders or to blue jeans in the deep sea. In the end, against the notion of Bioeconomy as yet another Global Northern category, I will propose the possibility of thinking and doing bioeconomies otherwise.

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