There was a very interesting conference by Phil Agre on October 4th (yes that was some time ago) in Paris. I couldn’t attend, but was told about the content and I think the conference is worth mentioning. Agre promotes an entrepreneurial vision of personal development in society that I find very interesting.
Social and political theories tend to describe society as a static structure. In reality, each human being creates his/her own career through entrepreneurial processes: by creating relational networks and structures around emerging topics of interest. This creation is not limited to business, but is concerns all careers, be they professional, civic, artistic and scientific. Successful entrepreneurial paths require a particular type of cognition. According to Agre, the inegal distribution of this specific cognitive capacity lies at the source of many social problems.
This view is interesting in that it is a generalization of the concept of entrepreneurship way beyond the business area. In sum, we’re all the entrepreneurs of our life, and this ability matters more than institutions we might work with. Sartre would have said that in this view, existence precedes essence, and that we’re actually very much in control of the existence.
I exchanged emails with Phil, but he told me he hasn’t put his thougths about the topic into a paper yet. You can still visit his home page: http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre
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