AESOP is broad and diverse community of scholars and practitioners at diverse stages in their career(s). The AESOP 2018 conference was a strong, engaged and engaging reflection of this diversity, which finds expression in the different thematic groups and wide range of events which AESOP members organise and participate in. Yet the diversity of what spatial planning does might lead to a sort of identify crisis for planning as a discipline, as mentioned at the 13th Head of Planning Schools meeting in Newcastle last spring. Looking at this diversity of research and industry practices in spatial planning, can we speak of a particular identity for the AESOP community? Is its name just an acronym or does it tie in with a deeper tradition of perceiving and experiencing the world? Or is it rather so that AESOP’s identity is a recursive one, an endless flow of contingent, amorphous expression and self-reconstruction?
Historians debate whether Aesop was an Ancient Greek story teller, or simply a style of popular story telling, in the manner of fables. The fable about the hare and the tortoise is probably one of the most famous ones. Here is an extensive selection of Aesop’s fables.
From Plato’s Republic, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, the writings of Aristotle and the minimalist lifestyle and Cynic philosophy of Diogenes, the stories, myths and philosophy of Ancient Greece have had a tremendous influence on European thoughts and worldviews to this very day, alongside numerous sciences and other aspects of Ancient Greek society. That is not even to mention myths, philosophy, spirituality and scientific approaches from other parts of the Ancient World, which have also travelled wide and far.
Guiding questions for concise, reflective contributions to the blog would be:
- How much of the values from Ancient Greece and other parts of the world live on in AESOP?
- How do some of the values from the Ancient World shape your own contribution to the AESOP community?
You are warmly invited to share your reflections in contributions that span anything from 100 to 1000 words, either as a short response to this two-question online survey (https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3TNN6PV), or as a more developed blog post to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to hearing from your muse!