Satoko Kishimoto, Programme Coordinator for TNI’s Public Alternatives programme, has been elected mayor of Suginami City, a ward of 500,000 people in Tokyo. Satoko's colleagues at TNI are very happy for her.
Chile is currently undergoing a process of transformational change that is not only profound but also contradictory. The explosion of social unrest was a crisis that forced us as a society to fundamentally question the model under which we have lived for the past thirty years and which has caused widespread discontent in Chilean society. Today, that creative process takes shape primarily in the Constitutional Convention and in the fulfillment of its mandate: writing a new national constitution for Chile.
All eyes will be on the climate talks in Glasgow as COP 26 unfolds. Here at the Transnational Institute we work closely with partners and allies to develop and share analysis and solutions relevant to many facets of the climate crisis. Here, in one quick article, you'll find key readings, podcasts and other resources on a wide range of climate-related issues.
The current vaccine crisis in the midst of a pandemic could be a tipping point for the current order of global governance. The global policy response and vaccine rollout have proven too inept to counter the catastrophic moral failure of affluent countries' vaccine hoarding. The WHO Director General’s performative pleas for vaccine equity have done little to move an intransigent system of global governance to address an emergency of this scale. What do these overlapping and related failures mean at national and international levels?
Is there a culture of European solidarity? Yes, if you look at the local level. Many local communities in Europe have transformed their context by experimenting with new forms of democracy. The M2M Solidarity project creates peer-learning exchanges between these collectives, and seeks to contribute to a revival of European solidarity.
Over the past decades, private corporations have increased their control over prison services in the United States and around the world. Despite enormous lobbying efforts by the private players, citizens have started to reject this agenda of profiting from the criminal justice system, and instead demand to return prison management to public authorities. Biden has announced an end to renewing federal private prison contracts, which should be the starting point for wider changes.
The second ‘Municipalize Europe’ conference was held on 5 November online, while two years ago we organised the first edition in the European parliament. In that interval, municipalism, a new political movement, has been growing in Europe and beyond. It is a new way of doing local politics putting social rights and citizen engagements at the center. Municipalize Europe is an attempt to look at European politics through a municipalist lens and to build pressure for change of the top-down European politics.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, ‘staying at home’ has become the main strategy to minimize the spread of the pandemic. Consequently, affordable housing with adequate living conditions has become a matter of life and death, which demonstrates why it is essential to prioritize the right to housing. What have cities done to secure adequate living conditions before and after COVID-19, and what should the EU do to help cities achieve a breakthrough in terms of affordable housing? Those were the questions guiding the Housing panel during the Municipalize Europe conference on November 05, 2020.
On November 5th, the last session of the online Municipalize Europe! event brought together a variety of municipalists who power and practise progressive policies on the local and system-wide level in the fight against the climate crisis. They discussed which municipal actions the EU should support for a European Green Deal (EGD) to have justice, democracy and regeneration at its heart.
The Cloughjordan Ecovillage models the transition to a low-carbon society and shares its learning through various educational activities. With 55 low-carbon homes, a carbon-neutral district heating system, a community farm, green enterprise centre, a planned reed-bed treatment plant and Ireland’s lowest ecological footprint, the ecovillage is demonstrating different ways to achieve ecological, economic and social sustainability.
An outcry from city governments has helped shelve the European Commission’s power grab over services. The Commission has failed to install a Services Notification Procedure, which would have given it advance veto power over new laws by regional and local governments, and could have further limited local democratic initiatives in areas as varied as affordable housing, energy supply and waste management. The Commission should learn its lesson and support municipalities to enact social and environmental measures, respect their democratic right to regulate, and roll back obstacles that prioritise corporate interests over local residents.
TNI is excited to announce that the People's Vote for the Transformative Cities Award 2020 is now open! Vote for you favourite initiatives in the following categories: food, water, housing, and energy. You can cast your vote until 16 November, by doing so you help to promote transformative practices around the world that deserve more global attention. You will help to highlight the interventions that show us how access to basic rights can be guaranteed even during the times of COVID-19.
This month the 2019 edition of the Atlas of Utopias has been launched. An initiative by Transformative Cities, the atlas is a unique collection of community-led transformations of water, energy, food and housing systems, featuring 33 stories from 24 countries.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays, accessible papers, infographics and artistic collaborations for its forthcoming State of Power report launched in late January 2020 to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos. The focus for our ninth annual edition is on 'The Corporation'.
TNI is working with the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC), Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED), and South Africa's National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in developing a road map to establish a new public electricity system based on a progressive restructuring of Eskom, the country’s state-owned power company. To this end, a Reference Group has been set up with researchers from these organisations.
In 2012, citizens from Highland Park, Michigan came together to form Soulardarity in response to the repossession of over 1,000 streetlights from their city. Their goal is to organise for community-owned solar street lights, energy production and equitable development. Since its formation, Soulardarity has installed seven solar streetlights and deployed over US$ 30,000 worth of solar technology in Highland Park and the surrounding communities through the PowerUP bulk purchasing programme. The group has also organised advocacy at the city and state levels for regulation, policy and local political leadership to support community ownership, transparency and environmental responsibility.
Soulardarity also advocates for a Community Ownership Power Administration (COPA) as part of the growing call in the United States for a Green New Deal to tackle climate change, economic inequality and racial injustice.