Monika Büscher is Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University, UK. She is Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research and Associate Director at the Institute for Social Futures. Her research explores the digital dimension of contemporary ‘mobile lives’ with a focus on IT ethics and risk governance. She currently leads research on the informationalization of risk governance, exploring opportunities and challenges in national and international projects (BRIDGE, SecInCoRe). Her theoretical orientation builds on mobilities research, phenomenology, ethnomethodology, science and technology studies, feminist and non-representational theory, and design research. She has published many articles and books, including Ethnographies of Diagnostic Work, Mobile Methods and Design Research. Synergies from Interdisciplinary Perspectives. In 2011 she received an honorary doctorate for her work in participatory design from Roskilde University, Denmark. She edits the book series Changing Mobilities (Routledge) with Peter Adey.
The title of her tommorow’s talk is “Infrastructuring Mobile Utopia: Global Challenges, Global Responses“. Since the 1992 Earth Summit, 4.4 billion people or 64% of the world’s population have been affected by disasters, and the number of ‘loss events’ has more than doubled (UNISDR 2012, Munich RE 2015). Resilience concepts respond to global challenges, but the meanings, policies, and practices of resilience are ambiguous, on the one hand enacting a neoliberal individualisation of responsibility, on the other new forms of cosmopolitan relational ethics with ambitions for ‘respectful reciprocity, self-governance, improvisation and mutual aid’ (Shani 2016, Crawford et al 2013:6, Meier 2015). In this talk I mobilise utopia as method for a speculative sociology of ‘infrastructuring’ for radically reflexive resilience, following Levitas (2013), to critically unearth dynamics of inequality, and to reflect on what it means to be resiliently human.