The Sustainability Of Shared Knowledge

1687 WordsApr 15, 20177 Pages
The Sustainability of Shared Knowledge Sustainability is a term utilized by environmentalists, historians, biologists, and everyone in between to describe the capacity to endure (Sustainability). Most commonly, the action of being sustainable is thought of in terms of interactions with the environment to satisfy anthropogenic desires. Humankind’s insatiable consumption habits have made sustainability a word incorporated into vocabularies across the globe. The conversation of what it means to be sustainable occurs at the dinner table in a small, agricultural village, down the platitudinous isles of rice and beans at the grocery store, during merger meetings among Fortune 500 companies, and even in assemblages between the United Nations.…show more content…
To utilize knowledge in a manner that is profit-oriented is common in many industries, especially the agricultural and technological sectors. Winona LaDuke offers a germane example of the exploitation of indigenous knowledge for revenue. Anishinabeg peoples of Minnesota and a large corporation headquartered in California have been cultivating the “same” wild rice. Although the processes by which the rice is grown are completely different, the marketing of the impostor California rice is created to highlight the “wild” nature, suggesting that it is as wild as the original, indigenous rice. Unable to compete with the low prices of the industrialized rice, the Anishinabeg lost a significant part of their livelihood (Recovering the Sacred). Was this ethical for this corporation to assume the knowledge of the indigenous Anishinabeg and monopolize the rice market? Unfortunately, another domain where the commercialization of knowledge occurs is the field of medicine. Bioprospecting, propounded by Walter Reid and criticized by Vandana Shiva, plays a large role in the exploitation of knowledge “by global commercial interests for global markets” (Bioprospecting). Arogya pacha is a native plant consumed by the indigenous Kaui community of Sri Lanka to alleviate fatigue and stress. Introduced into the commercial market, this
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