- Date: November 23, 2022
The MC Project is a two-year collaboration between the Planetary Governance and Future Humans Programs at the Berggruen Institute. This project aims to facilitate the production of new values centered on multispecies mutualism rather than human exceptionalism, and collective intelligences rather than individualized human knowledge.
Every six months, the MC Project will convene communities of knowledge-makers often siloed from each other — philosophers, constitutional scholars, and scientists — who, through a series of sustained conversations around commissioned position papers, will draft a new kind of document: a Multispecies Constitution (MC). The Constitution will reflect the state-of-the-art knowledge on more-than-human ways of being, the design of inclusive and effective political institutions, and methods for listening to and translating more-than-human voices.
In total, a series of four working groups will be convened during the Project. During these convenings, we want participants to get concrete by actually answering questions such as:
How could a political body represent the biosphere?
What sorts of institutions could speak with — rather than for — the trees, the whales, the microbes, and the diverse humans of this planet?
As we cogitate on issues of rights and representation of species (or ecological collections of species), we might also think beyond our current moment. Given the variety of life forms’ lifetimes, how can we scale planetary institutions toward expansive temporalities of the future?
Staging a wholly new system of multispecies governance built upon planetary, rather than anthropocentric, principles is difficult — even controversial — but is precisely the aim of the project. We aim to spark acts of radical imagination that will culminate in the Constitution. We will move beyond rights, law, and courts as the central fora for multispecies political encounters and consider the question of multispecies representative political institutions.