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.
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.
The massive concentration and growth of corporate power poses a major threat to what remains of public services, highlighting the ever-deepening crisis of democracy, and the urgent need for people to reclaim the state.
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.
Why are people around the world reclaiming essential services from private operators and bringing their delivery back into the public sphere? There are many motivations behind (re)municipalisation initiatives: a goal to end private sector abuse or labour violations; a desire to regain control over the local economy and resources; a wish to provide people with affordable services; or an intention to implement ambitious climate strategies.
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.
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.
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.
Much touted "land investment" involves appropriation or landgrabbing. What positive alternative investments should public policy support which would strengthen the right to food, re-valorise agricultural work, and build up ecological capital?
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.
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.
Dr. Pedro Paez talks about the creation of a new financial architecture in Latin America, based on principles of redistribution, environmental sustainability and social cohesion rather than market principles that dominated the old architecture.
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.
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.
To which aspects of this crisis should Germans and especially German Christians be most attentive? What would be the right policies to escape from the debt crisis which has been allowed to fester and is now five years old?
Dramatic changes around food, climate, energy, and finance in recent years have pushed questions of land use and land control back onto the centre stage of development discourse, at the very moment when the same conditions are spurring an unprecedented rush for land and water across the globe.
'Policy Shift' identifies ten key policy changes that are required to support just alternative agriculture investments. The approach integrates human rights into the core of decision-making and is informed by practical, on-the-ground examples of positive agricultural investments that benefit both small-scale farmers and communities.