Origin of PoN
In the book “Politics of Nature”, as well as in “Pandora’s hope” and “We have never been modern” before it, Bruno Latour describes a new order, a new constitution in which humans and non-humans share the same social and political sphere – A Parliament of Things!
In June 2018, we decided to convene a Danish version, a “Tingenes Tinge” (a parliament of things translated to Danish). The Danish word for parliament is identical to the word thing, which fits well with the notion that we need to agree on the existence of things for them to become a shared and manageable reality
We imagined a gathering on a hilltop, perhaps in Virtual Reality, where a meadow would be parlaying with a rabbit, a fox, three species of trees joined in one collective, a hunter and perhaps a farmer. They would recognize the existence of one another, explore their interconnectedness, propose scenarios for the world in which they were willing to live as well as the sacrifices they were ready to make, and finally be able to consent to the continued co-existence of the collective.
Therefore, we decided to construct numerous laboratories, where tools enabling gentle shifts of the political reality could be trialed, evaluated and refined. We wanted to create both analogue and digital spaces where multi-species and multi-perspective conversations could exist.
We wanted spokespersons for actors normally outside the parliamentarian space or relegated to insignificant side rows, such as plants, animals and ozone holes, to be seated side-by-side with politicians, urban developers, human citizens, and engage in joint political discussion on topics relevant for the future of our collective at large.
From the onset, a driving hypothesis of the initiative was that we would be able to deploy technology to gradually enhance the capacity of humans to understand and interact with non-humans.
The meeting game was inspired by the Cratic Platform, merging components from Sociocracy and Holocracy. Added to the box of methods are Life Cycle Assessment to bring understanding of the environmental effects of products and services, and the concept of Privacy by Design, by which privacy and security can be built into the meeting format – essential for the proper functioning of democracies.