Pauline Tiffen (TNI Board member), Editor -in-Chief of the Journal of Fair Trade, and a pioneer of the movement, explains the rationale for launching the Fair Trade Society - a worldwide membership organisation which owns the Journal of Fair Trade. She describes the complex but impactful story of the Fair Trade movement so far, while laying out the challenges we face, the relevance of Fair Trade and aspirations we should have for a fairer and environmentally safe global economy.
Mayo Fuster Morell, responsible for BarCola, a group working on collaborative economy policies in Barcelona, shares her thoughts and experiences on how commons-based forms of collaboration can build a more just society.
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.
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.
Researchers and activists from fifteen countries met in Amsterdam with the aim to jointly draft the research agenda of the New Politics Project, a decentralised think tank on counter-hegemonic politics. It will aim to boost the development of desirable, viable and achievable alternatives, transcending current oppressive and exploitative structures; acknowledge the diversity of knowledge as a source of inspiration for the co-creation of alternatives; and promote fruitful collaboration and exchanges among researchers and activists from different regions of the world.
How are people across the world taking back power over the energy sector, kicking-back against the rule of the market and reimagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used? How can the concept of energy democracy be deployed to demand a socially just energy system, with universal access, fair prices and secure, unionised and well-paid jobs? This report summarises the discussions and outcomes from an international workshop on energy democracy held in Amsterdam in February 2016.
The Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity & for Peoples Sovereignty, an international coalition of more than 200 organisations, social movements and networks convenes to a press conference Thursday 10th March 2016 12.30 pm Place des Nations, Geneva
In 2015, Greek citizens did a spectacular attempt to determine their own future but were despicably stopped by the unelected and democratically non-legitimized Eurogroup headed by the Dutch Minister of Finance, Jeroen Dijsselbloem. Critics like former Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis called this 'a coup'. As a counteroffensive, Varoufakis - together with other European left-wing politicians - will launch a 'Plan B' on in 9 February in Berlin, seeking an alternative and more democratic future for European integration.
To inspire us for action in 2016, TNI picked 12 significant victories of social movements in 2015 that show that, despite the immense challenges we face in a world of unprecedented concentration of corporate, financial and military power, people power works.
In addition to having a strategic role as a provider of jobs, food needs, and economic sustainability, small-scale fisheries also become an important driver in conserving fish and natural resources through a variety of local knowledge.
On June 26, 2014, under the leadership of Ecuador and South Africa, the UN Human Rights Council passed landmark resolution 26/9,2 establishing an open-ended inter - governmental working group (IGWG)3 that is mandated to elaborate an international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (hereinafter, the Treaty). It was a tight vote: the resolution was supported by 20 states, mainly from Africa and Asia, and opposed by 14, including the United States and the European Union, with 13 abstentions. The resolution strikes a nerve — and there is much expectation around it.
Thomas Marois, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies argues that until people regain control of money and credit, we will not be able to stop economic and ecological crises. Most people don't know that fortunately there is untapped potential in public banks, that make up a quarter of all banks worldwide. Drawing on his research on public banks in Turkey, Costa Rica and elsewhere, Marois points to the potential and problems of public banks and how we might harness them to deliver social and environmental justice.
An international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs) has the potential to substantially promote the protection and fulfilment of human rights in the long-term and on a global scale. It can contribute to ending the impunity that TNCs routinely enjoy for their human rights violations, especially in countries of the Global South, and to ensuring access to justice for the victims of their activities.
Austerity in Greece and Italy has struck workers' particularly hard, but it has also been the context for radical innovations in ’organising the unorganised’, building new kinds of work spaces and even taking control of production.
Not all types of investment are equal in terms of their impact on poverty reduction and development. Through an alarming global tendency, which has governments shaping investment and development policy around the needs of transnational capital, large-scale land deals capturing land and its associated resources are packaged as ‘investments for rural development’. The shift underway in development frameworks is from public sector responsibility for food security towards the private sector as the remedy to hunger and malnutrition, at the expense of the livelihoods, dignity and lifestyle of rural working people, especially poor and marginalised groups. There is a need to ‘reboot’ the debate on agricultural investment, away from the narrow corporate centric perspective, towards investments which best addresses rural poverty and hunger and democratic control of resources – such as public investments and the investments made by small-scale food producers.
Despite the track record of systemic and systematic violations of the range of human rights, the efforts to establish legally binding obligations and an instrument of enforcement within the UN system have been defeated by determined corporate opposition. The current Guiding Principles developed by the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, John Ruggie, do not create "any new international legal obligations" and are therefore non-binding.