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The Amazon Third Way and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: an attempt to overcome history through technology

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In recent years, a group of natural and social scientists have been crafting a vision of economic development that pursues both industrialising and preserving the biodiverse Amazon forest. Baptised ‘Amazon Third Way’, this vision seeks to transcend what its proponents conceptualise as the binary opposition between the ‘First Way’ of tropical conservation and the ‘Second Way’ of extractivist development. Key to this vision is the role of so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and biotechnology. In this talk, I will analyse how the abovementioned vision attempts to overcome historical inertias, and more broadly, I will situate it within longer histories of techno-economic and environmental imaginaries for the Amazon.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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