[00:00:00:28] What I study is cultural movements that go global, especially cultural movements that go global from below. One of the things I've learned by looking at Japanese popular culture is that often the elites, the people who are in charge or in power are the last people to understand change as it's happening. It may not be so vital that we convince the elites at first, but more important is building a dynamic, exciting, creative, effervescent movement from the bottom that can expand throughout the world.
[00:00:38:08] We see innovation happening at all levels, and often it's the distant marginal innovation that has great power to bring about change, but having it bubble up to the top is the challenge. Small things matter too. And the thinking about what we're doing around recycling in our local community, how we're changing our commuting habits, how we can find ways to work together to build systems that are locally based, but scalable once people find out about it. There's a way to convince people at the top that there are alternatives.
[00:01:14:01] The advantage of coming from below is that it opens up your opportunities for strategizing. That you don't have to focus only on changing government and changing these big powerful institutions that are already locked into very powerful dynamics.
[00:01:37:05] So climate change is one example of the ways we need to change our economy to be more socially aware. And I think part of this is recognizing that we're moving to a new kind of economy, from a manufacturing economy to a service and information era economy.
[00:01:53:19] It's one of the things I'd like to work with my economics colleagues in tackling is seeing how these new jobs and new industries around climate, around revitalizing our rural communities, about thinking about the people who've lost their jobs and the kinds of things they can do in the future. I believe that my economics colleagues are also interested in this, but I think they spend too little time doing fieldwork and talking with the people.
[00:02:23:08] I actually think of capitalism as built on this entire globe of social interaction and social value from raising children to education to all kinds of things that are not monetized. And on the top of that, there's this thin layer of kind of parasitical fungus that we call capitalism that is able to extract things from that top. But to confuse this thin layer with the mass of our social world is a big mistake.
[00:02:52:29] And climate action is one of those things that is trying to tear down that understanding that we're driven by capitalism and instead to see that no, the planet, how humans interact with the planet, this is way more important than any economic system. And it's not controlled solely by the economic system, but also by myriad things in our day-to-day life.
[00:03:19:17] It seems to me that we need to think in bigger ways about how education can really be at the center of social transformation. And activating our students in a way that says we don't know the answer actually, and it's going to take all of us, all hands on deck, across all disciplines from economics to anthropology, through sociology and history, cultural studies, literature all of these areas have something to offer and getting us to recognize new opportunities that didn't exist in the past.
[00:03:57:00] What can people do who feel disempowered who are disconnected? I think it's a really interesting and important question. And if you want to bring change it's in some ways I think it's great to go march, I think it's great to go out and do a public actions of various kinds that show people you don't know that this is important. But at the same time, we need to work our local groups. And the argument from my people I learned organizing from was that until you can convince your friends and your colleagues that then you haven't really done the organizing you need to do.