Concern that civil society's space for action is shrinking has caused widespread concern, but whose space is really shrinking and what do we do about it? TNI hosted a workshop in Berlin in October 2016 with a variety of critical voices from academia, social movements, community-based groups and activists to hear their perspectives.
In Europe, land speculation and land concentration are an increasing threat to small and medium sized family farms and new entrants. Soaring land prices make it increasingly difficult for farmers to have access to land. In the meantime, investors are buying up enormous pieces of land, sometimes using legal loopholes. Land is increasingly becoming a globally tradable commodity and an object of financial speculation. Examples such as Scotland and Andalusia, where arable land, pastures and forests are highly concentrated since centuries, show the negative effects for sustainable rural development and societies as a whole.
Susan George joined an expert panel on the first day of a meeting of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council, tasked with developing a treaty on transnational corporations and human rights. She spoke with the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power about the history of UN action on transnational corporations, the potential pitfalls of the current treaty negotiations, and the range of tax abuses, wage evasion, and investor protection weapons that transnational corporations can use.
How is climate change both caused by militarism and likely to fuel wars and further militarism? And who will suffer the consequences? This short video documentary, featuring interviews with prominent activists gathered at the UN Climate talks in Paris in 2015 discusses the connections.
Violations of human rights and the rights of peoples and nature have become an all too common part of transnational corporations’ operations. There are no binding rules for corporations on Human Rights at the international level. That’s why again this year, in coordination with the Treaty Alliance, the Global Campaign is returning to Geneva to advocate directly to UN member states to engage in a process to create a treaty, and to ensure they hear the voices of communities impacted by corporate violations loud and clear. Inside and Outside the UN dozens of delegates from social movements and civil society networks worldwide will participate in the Week of Peoples Mobilisation.
The Transnational Institute, La Via Campesina, BioWatch/South Africa, FIAN, Friends of the Earth International, Global Justice Now, and Corporate Europe Observatory will be co-organizing a series of workshops at the Peoples' Assembly, linked to the Monsanto Tribunal in the Hague. These workshops will highlight peoples' struggles against corporate power and for peoples' sovereignty, peasant rights, and food sovereignty, and will provide a space to further develop strategies for the future of the movement.
The processes involved in working towards energy democracy are not limited to the local level. Energy democracy also means to envisage the energy transition within the public administration, the energy market and to democratize energy companies. A transition towards energy democracy faces major challenges. Institutions tend to resist the process towards energy democracy, even when left governments (local, regional and national) are in place. Nevertheless, many inspiring developments towards energy democracy are taking place at the municipal level – e.g. in London, Bristol, Nottingham, Barcelona, Pamplona, and Cádiz.
Frontline communities and social movements around the world explain why we need to keep our hands on the land for food sovereignty and climate justice! This includes the false solutions they are presented with against climate change, and the real solutions and ways forward that small-scale food producers promote.
TNI is hosting with Platform London a 6-week pilot online peer learning course on energy democracy. The course will include lectures by experts and practitioners along with discussion and active participation, sharing and learning by all participants. It is intended for people who have some experience in working on energy systems, who wish to take a holistic and global look at energy systems and politics, and learn from others. Deadline has passed (3 October), but feel free to register to be on waiting list or for the next course.
With the topic ”Tipping points” , the 5th edition of the Green Academy 2020 will continue with modulary work in three thematic blocks (commons/degrowth/climate justice) but large parts of the program will be also focused on issues like suspension of democracy, strengthening of social movements, development of new economic alternatives, all aimed to identify terrain, topics and strategies for systemic change and bold political action.
How are people across the world taking back power over the energy sector and re-imagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used? How can the concept of energy democracy be deployed to demand a socially and just energy system, with universal access, fair tariffs and secure, unionised and well-paid jobs?
The Southern Africa Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power is holding its first session of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on Transnational Corporations. 10 communities from Southern Africa will present their cases – the suffering they have endured at the hands of Transnational Corporations protected by the current structure of free trade agreements.
The Transnational Institute will take part in the World Social Forum in Montreal, Canada, from 9 to 14 August 2016. Staff from TNI will be active in the space “People and the Planet Before Profit: Moving away from Free Trade and Extractivism to Dismantle Corporate Power”. Hundreds of organisations and movements will meet to discuss resistance, establish strategies to expand the many progressive alternatives activists build in their daily lives, and take action together to change the prevailing neoliberal capitalist system, which creates inequality and exclusion and destroys our environment.
The Praful Bidwai Memorial Award has been set up to commemorate the life and work of one of India’s most outstanding journalists as well as accomplished author, committed activist and public intellectual, so that his legacy would inspire others.
We Own It organised the conference Own the Future: Public ownership in the 21st Century on 7th May, 2016 in London. A group of innovative, inspiring individuals gathered to start imagining the public ownership of the future: A vision for 2030 and a roadmap to get there. They tackled the key issues - robots, big data, power, space - and made a conscious effort to embrace the future.