Occupations in the Symbiocene

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Social context has been largely studied to understand the use of human capacity (i.e. occupations) to shape surroundings and ways of living. Yet, the intertwined relation of human capacities and natural features (i.e. physical geographies) received little or no attention within occupational science. We argue that harmful western notions of productivity, efficiency, comfort, and safety have disconnected human ways of living from natural processes and patterns. Thus, the discipline needs to think beyond the Anthropocene and dominance over nature, to engage with notions of Symbiocene (Albrecht, 2019) to envision a possible future on Earth. Purpose: The aim of this dialogical session is to explore participants' views of the role of occupation in shaping geographical environments. We will consider Symbiocene (Albrecht, 2019) and how this notion can influence future research within the discipline. Structure: Participants will introduce themselves and discuss how geographies shape occupations in their regions. Then, an introduction of the Symbioscene will be provided by the facilitators and in small groups participants will discuss the potential of advancing the Symbioscene through (collective) occupation. Two discussion questions or themes: How does the natural environment in your region influence human capacities? What is the role of occupation in influencing physical geography? How can occupation be harnessed to work with geography and ecology to promote the Symbioscene?

Albrecht, G.A. (2019). Earth emotions: New words for a new world. Longleaf Services on behalf of Cornell University
Farias, L., Laliberte Rudman, D., Pollard, N., Schiller, S., Serrata Malfitano, A. P., Thomas, K., & Bruggen, H. (2019). Critical dialogical approach: A methodological direction for occupation-based social transformative work. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 26(4), 235– 245. https://doi.org/10.1080/11038128.2018.1469666
Resende, A., & Dos Santos, V. (2020). Sustainable occupational opportunities in protected areas in Brazil. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, 76(1), 40-49. https://doi.org/10.1080/14473828.2020.1758398
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2022
EventInaugural World Occupational Science Conference - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 18 Aug 202220 Aug 2022


ConferenceInaugural World Occupational Science Conference
Internet address


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