ABSTRACT

This chapter explores and compares the development of Nordic deep ecology and the philosophy of indigenous and communitarian universities in Latin America. It draws on experiences from participating in a joint university project between Oslo Metropolitan University and three indigenous and communitarian universities in Colombia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. According to the Deep Ecology platform, the well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves, while richness and diversity of life forms are also values in themselves. The indigenous concept of “Buen Vivir” embraces the “inseparability and interdependence of humans and nature” and informs “critiques of the prevailing development model, confronting basic assumptions about progress, competition, consumerism, and materialism” (Escobar). As world leaders and the United Nations try to construct global blueprints to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all (the Sustainable Development Goals), the indigenous and communitarian universities and the deep ecologists remind us of the pitfalls of “guided dialogues,” “world-wide criteria of learning” and loss of diversity. Both agree that only communities can be creators of widening classless diversity