Public is Back: Proposals for a democratic just economy

20 May 2020

Support for public services and limits on private profit is at an all-time high in the wake of the pandemic. How do we ensure this prioritisation of public needs and goods becomes permanent? What are the best models of democratic and participatory public services? Join a webinar with trade unionists and activists in Italy, Nigeria and India advancing bold new visions for a public future. 

20 May 2020
16:00 - 17:30 CET
  • Alternative Information Development Centre
  • Focus on the Global South
  • Public Services International (PSI)

Public is Back - Proposals for a democratic just economy, 4pm CET 20 May
Public is Back - Proposals for a democratic just economy, 4pm CET 20 May
(French and Spanish interpretation will be available)

The coronavirus pandemic has painfully revealed the damage caused by neoliberalism and its policies of deregulation, privatisation and subsidising big corporations. It has also shown how little neoliberalism has to offer in a crisis like this. It has finally laid to rest the neoliberal lie advocated by Thatcher that ‘there is no such thing as society.’

COVID-19 has shown that collective choices and the strength of the public sector can determine whether people live or die. Our dependence on - frequently underpaid and understaffed - public-sector frontline workers has become abundantly clear.

The public sphere is back is vogue now, with even conservative governments prioritising public needs over private profit in ways that could not have been imagined a few months ago. However turning this into lasting change will require strong collective action and a clear vision of the democratic, equitable public solutions we need. A door has been opened, but vested interests will soon demand a return to the neoliberal status quo.

It is time for us - civil society and workers - to push for bold and creative proposals for democratically accountable, climate-conscious, worker-driven, and gender-sensitive public services for all, financed by taxing the excessively wealthy.

This webinar will share some of the most visionary ideas and campaigns emerging across the world at local, state and national levels advancing a new vision of a public future. It will ask how we can build a broad alliance between social movements and trade unions to ensure there is ‘no going back’.


  • Philip Alston, outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
  • Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of the global union federation Public Services International (PSI)
  • Aderonke Ige, Our Water, Our Rights Campaign in Lagos / Environmental Rights Action /Friends of The Earth Nigeria
  • Sulakshana Nandi, Co-chair, People's Health Movement Global (PHM Global)

4pm CET, 20 May 2020


And sign up to our newsletter to receive news and updates on future webinars and the latest reports and analysis from TNI.

The webinar is organised by TNI and co-sponsored by Public Services International (PSI), Focus on the Global South and Alternative Information and Development Centre  (South Africa)