The futures of agency
Exploring the liminal spaces between action and responsibility
25 October 2023 (Wednesday), 14:00-16:00, cowork

Reimagining Inclusion: Exploring Alternative Futures for Organizations and People with Disabilities

Social issues, also known as "grand challenges", such as inclusion of people with disabilities, generate transformative actions stemming from a representation of an alternative future to the status quo. In this sense, the alternative is conceptualized as a representation of the future that goes beyond the dominant socio-economic paradigm, which therefore requires questioning the assumptions underlying this very paradigm. The goal is to produce new imaginaries in order to be able to anticipate the alternative. This leads us to utopia and its corollary, dystopia, which highlights the dysfunctions of the real world through the representation of an alternative society. In order to question the current representation of inclusion in organizations, stemming from a “business case” perspective, and to conceptualize alternative inclusive futures, we analyze a portion of the results from our thesis work, focusing on three questions asked at the end of our semi-structured interviews with 18 organizational actors involved in inclusive processes. The first two questions revolve around "utopian visions" and "dystopian visions," asking respondents to imagine an ideal situation and its opposite. The third question asks respondents where their company stands in relation to the two visions and the direction it is taking, in order to envision the possibility of a transformation towards inclusive futures. The visions imagined by respondents reframe the organization as an environment transforming itself to foster the capacity to act of its members, shifting the focus of the organizational strategy from economic performance to the development of the human factor and capabilities.

PhD candidate – associate researcher
University of Poitiers – Cerege Lab