State of the World 2022 Online global conference

Publication date:

Our world is in a state of flux and crisis. The pandemic exposed the deep injustice of our economic and social system. Yet more than 2 years on, the health crisis continues, compounded by spiralling food and energy prices, escalating wars and ever more signs of environmental collapse. How can progressive forces better understand these dynamics and improve our strategies to achieve system change? Watch back the recordings to hear some of the best scholar activists worldwide with a truly internationalist analysis of the state of the world.

Session 1: A world in crisis: Internationalist perspectives

Richard Seymour, Walden Bello, Annina Kaltenbrunner
Moderator: Fiona Dove

COVID-19 showed the fundamental flaws of neoliberal economics in dealing with a public health emergency and the scope for state interventions for the common good. But what is left two years on? What is the economic and political fallout of the pandemic? Is there any prospect of marshalling the response we need to the unfolding climate crisis? Where are the opportunities for forging alternatives to neoliberal globalisation?

Session 2: Ukraine, Imperialisms and a new International Order

Volodymyr Ishchenko, Ho-Fung Hung, Anuradha Chenoy, Phyllis Bennis
Moderator: Arun Kundnani

What are the long-term global implications of the war on Ukraine less than a year after the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan? Does it mark the beginning of a new era of inter-imperial rivalries? What are the key strategic goals for today’s great powers? Which regions will be the focus of future conflicts? What challenges and opportunities does this pose to progressive forces?

Session 3: Building a new economy in the wake of wars and the pandemic

Kate Raworth, Raj Patel, Ashish Kothari, Lauren Paremoer
Moderator: Laura Flanders

The pandemic should have been a turning point towards a new economy centered around essential workers and essential needs. Instead it has sparked speculative profiteering, a surge in prices for essential goods, the revival of an austerity economics and a disturbing growth in poverty and precarity. What changes are needed to bring back control over food and essential services, to put care rather than greed at the centre of our economy and to protect rather than destroy our environmental life-systems?

Session 4: Repower – Remaking our energy system to confront climate injustice

Mark Swilling, Irene HongPing, Abeer Al Butmeh, Hamza Hamouchene

To tackle the climate crisis and now a cost-of-living crisis, we need to urgently remake our energy system. How can we democratise and green our energy system by 2030? How can we ensure a renewable energy system doesn’t replicate the extractive and colonial systems embedded in the fossil fuel energy system? What policies are needed and what are the biggest challenges we must overcome?

Session 5: Digital capitalism: the new frontier

Anita Gurumurthy, Miriyam Aouragh, Seda Gürses, Nick Couldry, Jack Qiu
Moderator: Sofia Scasserra

We are experiencing a time of accelerated technological change, a new industrial revolution, led by giant corporations in the marketplace and by security states in terms of surveillance. How is digitalisation changing capitalism or entrenching it? Why is its infrastructure so colonial? How will the expansion of the digital frontier shape geopolitics and resource conflicts? How do we forge a different path that collectively resists this?

Session 6: Democracy undone: Confronting the forces of reactionary authoritarianism and corporate-captured politics

Samir Gandesha, Achin Vanaik, Esther Solano, Naureen Shameem
Moderator: Edgardo Lander

In many regions, democracy is absent or in retreat, hijacked by reactionary authoritarian populists, or stagnating as look-alike corporate-captured parties fail to offer solutions to the crises we face. Much of the world remains controlled by clientelistic or authoritarian goverments. What are the underlying causes of the rise of authoritarianism or corporate-captured politics? How can we push for a participatory political and economic democracy that can revitalise people power?

Session 7: State of the Movements – turning protest to power

Kali Akuno, Sara Abbas, Mitzi Jonelle-Tan, Ruth Nyambura
Moderator: Hilary Wainwright

Twenty years ago, social movements were described by the New York Times as the world’s second superpower. What is the situation today? What victories have been won and what are our biggest challenges? Who are the emerging social movement actors and what capacity do they have to shift power in today’s global economy? What can we learn from the strategies and tactics deployed by movements? How can we turn protest into power and rhetoric into real systemic change?

Session 8: The Future is Public

Satoko Kishimoto, Rachel Moussié, Aderonke Ige, Nicolás Arata
Moderator: Daniel Chavez

The world we want is already here. Worldwide, communities and states are putting into practice policies and practices that we need to address the systemic crises. Where are the most encouraging models for transformation globally? What are the conditions for their success and sustainability? What can we learn from their successes and failures? How can they be scaled up to national or global level?

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