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This is an in-person event held at King’s College London. To RSVP and obtain your complimentary ticket, please click here

About the event:

Popularised in the 1960s, “Spaceship Earth” has become a metaphor for the vision turned imperative that all inhabitants of planet Earth be harmoniously united in the mission to preserve their planet. In this talk, I shall draw on works by Niklas Luhmann, Michel Foucault, and Friedrich August von Hayek to argue that fashionable “missionary theories” of economy, society, and environment converge, and complement one another, in the pathologisation of economic and social institutions as well as of the natural environment. If successfully applied, the “missionary therapies” proposed by the self-acclaimed officers of our planet might indeed turn it into a well-tempered, healthy, and totally institutionalised ‘Spaceship Earth’, a vessel with no mission other than orbiting another celestial body. The question for discussion is what can be done to avert this fate and develop more optimistic visions of the future.


Room 1.05, Bush House South East Wing, King’s College London

About the Speaker:

Prof. Steffen Roth is Full Professor of Management at Excelia Business School, La Rochelle, France, and Full Professor of Social Sciences as well as President of the Senate at Kazimieras Simonavičius University, Vilnius, Lithuania. He is also Visiting Professor of Management and Organization at the University of Witten-Herdecke, Germany, and member of the Executive Committee of the Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik, Croatia.

One of his own favourite articles is ‘Digital transformation of social theory. A research update’, where he outlines the basic design of a universal social theory machine.

Steffen is the field editor for social systems theory of Systems Research and Behavioral Science and a member of the editorial board of Sociology. The journals his research has been published in include Journal of Business Ethics, Sociology of Health & Illness, Ecological Economics, Administration and Society, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, European Management Journal, Journal of Cleaner Production, and Futures. His ORCID profile is available at orcid.org/0000-0002-8502-601X and his Twitter profile at https://twitter.com/derrothdotcom.