On 15 February, METIS met with social science researchers from Cambridge University and the Open University to talk about the future of World Factory. Participants included:
Dr Ha-Joon Chang, an economist and author specializing in development economics.
Dr Brendan Burchell, a sociologist who studies the social and psychological effects of precarious employment and unemployment.
Dr Shana Cohen, a sociologist and political activist interested in the politics of social action under neoliberalism and how grassroots social action indicates the emergence of a new political consciousness.
Prof. Joe Smith, a geographer who writes mostly about environmental history, policy, and politics.
The discussion ranged from labour laws to climate change, from workers’ rights to the politics of public space. We thought through how the performance and research could work together to resonate in the public consciousness, and how to integrate these concerns into the World Factory project.
The concerns of World Factory exist in a wider web of global issues, from South-South outsourcing to the UK housing crisis, so we talked about creating more information about these issues through videos and online resources. We also considered creating a book version of World Factory that could be used in schools, universities, and businesses. Key to all of these initiatives was including the people who come to see World Factory in the long-term future of the project, allowing them to keep thinking about these issues and engaging with one another.