Utopia 500 started out as a commemoration of the five hundred years since the publication of Thomas More’s “Utopia” (Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia). The project started in June 2015 and has been carried out globally until the present year. The goal of Utopia 500 is to play an active role in the implementation and dissemination of the notion of utopia as a driver of social change and as a source of inspiration for innovation in science and technology.
The project is run successfully by CETAPS — Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies (University of Porto and University Nova de Lisboa) and it currently includes the following main subprojects:
- PAN-Utopia – presents the global issue of food production and food waste, including the active initiatives to tackle and find holistic and prospective solutions for hunger worldwide.
- Great Utopians – these are people with ideas that have changed the world – explore their stories, see them on a map, or contribute to this interactive database by suggesting us your favourite Utopian of all times!
- Ecotopia – includes an ongoing research and promotion of sustainability and sustainable management, ecology and environmental awareness. The outreach work is done by organizing workshops, presentations and school visits. At present Ecotopia is the leading initiative of the Utopia 500 project.
- Guestbook Project – integrates multiculturalism in order to transform hostility into hospitality, enmity into empathy, and conflict into conversation.
- Valongo, Utopian City – a wonderful place in the vicinity of Porto, where (thanks to the close collaboration with the Mayor of this community) several utopian workshops, seminars and exhibitions have and will continue to take place.
The website also has a Blog section in which relevant News and Events are updated. In the Blog our trainees report on and promote solidarity non-profit organizations and projects from their own countries as well as from Portugal. The reports are based on the trainees’ personal interviews and site visits, thus providing a valuable insight to the real people involved in such initiatives, on a local, regional and global scale.
You can also find a link to ARUS network and database, which introduces Advanced Research in Utopian Studies scholars and bibliography. The ARUS database has over 19,000 entries compiled by Professor Emeritus Lyman Tower Sargent, a leading scholar in utopian studies. This is the most complete multilingual critical bibliography on utopia that continues to grow.
Utopia 500 has hosted over 70 international trainees from all over the world and from many different fields of study and research, representing different countries and cultures (see Utopia 500 Team). Thereby the project promotes internalization, interdisciplinarity and multiculturalism. We rely on the work of our trainees, here in Porto, as well as once they return to their home countries, to carry on spreading the word and integrate utopian values into the contemporary lifestyle. Utopia 500 continues to welcome international trainees and to contribute towards the path of world’s well-being, acceptance, harmony, balance and peace.