Asia Institute Seminar Series 2024

Coming to Terms with Civilization: A Bioregional Turn and the Commons

Date: May 23, 2024

Time: 07:00 pm [Bangkok Time]            09:00 pm [Japan Time]            08:00 am [New York Time]


Michel Bauwens: He is a Belgian theorist in the emerging field of peer-to-peer (P2P) collaboration, writer, and conference speaker on the subject of technology, culture and business innovation. Also Bauwens is a founder the P2P Foundation.

Layne Hartsell: He is a research fellow in the philosophy of ethics and technology at Asia Institute in Convergence and 3E (energy, economy, and environment), Tokyo/Berlin. He also is Center for Science, Technology, and Society, Department of Philosophy, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Wanassanant Kunphon: Researcher, A person who is interested in Philosophy and aesthetics, Special lecturer and Director of Asia Institute, Thailand.

Dr.Layne Hartsell will discuss “Coming to Terms with Civilization: A Bioregional turn and the Commons” with integral thinker and founder of the P2P Foundation, Michel Bauwens.

The historical record and trajectory of civilization defined in the modern era, results from a specific set of ideas and practices culminating in urbanization or the large influx of resources to urban centers and the “intellectual lineage of the Urban Revolution.1” Whereas the Industrial Revolution increased and extended urbanization beyond the city-state to the city-region to the global megapolis network of the 21st century, there is a process by how civilization has occurred leading to the Anthropocene, particularly the interaction between humans through the Technosphere to the natural environment. The reactions and critiques of the core matter are varied, wherein the current paper, civilization is interpreted from the perspective of human ecology or urban centers (cities) requiring extraction beyond a land base, and now beyond Earth leading to catastrophic planetary biophysical and geophysical disruption. As a reorientation, I consider bioregionalism as a possible unifying ecosocial structure, or theoretical ecology, based on historical and archeological precedent in large-scale societies that were not urbanized. For empirical value in favor of a practical decrease in extraction, recent events, particularly the Great Recession of 2008 and the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020 are mentioned to show how regenerative forces of nature are evident not just to scientists but to the general urban populations as systemic slow down and reduction occurred. Bioregionalism, as a matter of public policy and democratic movements, can be a way to move forward and reduce the risks of further crises from environmental breakdown. Finally, suggestions are offered concerning human ecology or bioregionalism as a way forward.