The common issue with these Oxford seminars, is outlined in my notes, this is the disconnect between academic discourse and the real-world challenges faced by activists and movements. Here’s a breakdown of the key problems I have highlighted:

  1. Co-optation of activism: Both right-wing groups and NGOs have co-opted the concept of activism without understanding or utilizing its purpose and path. This leads to a distortion of its original intent.
  2. Assumption of liberal path continuation: Much academic work assumes that the liberal trajectory will persist, despite mounting evidence from climate science indicating otherwise. There’s a failure to acknowledge the urgent need for alternative paths in the face of #climatechaos and its social and economic ramifications.
  3. Lack of focus on future paths: We need studies examining potential future trajectories led by both the hard right-wing and progressive left. This is particularly relevant given the likelihood of a post-apocalyptic scenario for many equatorial countries due to #climatechaos.
  4. Disconnect from real-world activism: The events are to, often status games rather than meaningful discussions about addressing the pressing issues. There’s a failure to engage with the messy realities faced by activists and movements on the ground.
  5. Academic feedback loop: The feedback loop between academics and activists is flawed, with academics relying on poor sources and engaging with #fashionistas rather than those actively “working” in grassroots activism. This results in a caricatured understanding of activism and its challenges.
  6. Irrelevance of academic thinking: Academic thinking needs to be criticized for being detached from the practical realities faced by activists. That it’s focused on building consensus and engaging in definition games rather than addressing the substantive issues.

In summary, the common issue is the disconnect between academic discourse and the lived experiences of activists and movements, leading to a lack of relevant insights and solutions to pressing real-world challenges.