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Communication for Sustainable Social Change
We study communication, society and culture to effectively enhance knowledge transfer and bring about sustainable social change.
Curated by Jan Servaes
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Leadership in the Age of Complexity « The Berkana Institute

Leadership in the Age of Complexity « The Berkana Institute | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
Jan Servaes's insight:

It is time for all us heroes to go home because, if we do, we’ll notice that we’re not alone. We’re surrounded by people just like us. They too want to contribute, they too have ideas, they want to be useful to others and solve their own problems.

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Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.
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The Automatic Earth - Real Futurists

The Automatic Earth - Real Futurists | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
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Education Post-2015: What next? | UNESCO

Education Post-2015: What next? | UNESCO | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
As 2015 approaches, the international community is discussing the importance of education in the post-2015 international agenda.Education Ministers, with support from UNESCO, have already committed to a last “big push” to reach the Education for All (EFA) goals, while the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative is mobilizing world leaders around the centrality of education.UNESCO's contribution to the debate
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UN agency's rankings of global worsts, bests in human development ...

In its annual report on human development, the United Nations Development Program ranks 187 countries based on measures such as the health and longevity of.
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These 10 Young People Are Changing the Food System in Huge Ways - Huffington Post

These 10 Young People Are Changing the Food System in Huge Ways - Huffington Post | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
These 10 Young People Are Changing the Food System in Huge Ways Huffington Post Mundele, who is studying social communication at the Catholic University of Congo, said that although her country has plenty of fresh food, it is often exported,...
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Millennium Development Goals Post-2015: The View from Africa ...

Millennium Development Goals Post-2015: The View from Africa ... | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
Since 2000, Africa has made convincing strides towards several of the Millennium Development Goals. As the 2015 deadline approaches, however, a shift must be made from an exclusive focus on the MDGs to a post-2015 ...
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Scientists are beginning to figure out why conservatives are…conservative

Scientists are beginning to figure out why conservatives are…conservative | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
Ten years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today, it's becoming hard not to.
Jan Servaes's insight:

All of this matters, of course, because we still operate in politics and in media as if minds can be changed by the best honed arguments, the most compelling facts. And yet if our political opponents are simply perceiving the world differently, that idea starts to crumble. Out of the rubble just might arise a better way of acting in politics that leads to less dysfunction and less gridlock…thanks to science. IOW: the confirmation bias confirmed!

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Commons Thinking Offers a Road Map to Transform Society | On the Commons

Commons Thinking Offers a Road Map to Transform Society | On the Commons | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
  
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EU snubs Green Climate Fund, France pledges to contribute

EU snubs Green Climate Fund, France pledges to contribute | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
The Green Climate Fund will be launched later this year, but India, China and, perhaps more surprisingly, the European Commission, will not contribute to its capitalisation. France promised to contribute, and called on its partners to do the same.
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The tide is turning against the scam that is privatisation

The tide is turning against the scam that is privatisation | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
Seumas Milne: The international revival of public ownership is anathema to our City-led elite. But it's vital to genuine economic recovery
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Reducing child deaths: the millennium development goal that is slipping away

Reducing child deaths: the millennium development goal that is slipping away | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
UN urges final push on global targets that have shown little improvement, notably those related to women and children
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Ten Documentaries on Champions of Social Justice | BillMoyers.com

Ten Documentaries on Champions of Social Justice | BillMoyers.com | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
Social activism has always been a popular subject for documentarians because it presents stories of both cause and characters. The 10 powerful films below
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Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically Modified Seeds | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically Modified Seeds | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
Vandana Shiva describes the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.
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UN News - Ban announces start of ‘UN70’, worldwide celebration of Organization’s anniversary

UN News - Ban announces start of ‘UN70’, worldwide celebration of Organization’s anniversary | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the start of the global celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, which will aim to honour the historic breadth of the Organization’s development, security and human rights work, and ultimately, unite the international community in common cause to enable a strong UN to realize a better world.
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Building resilience in an era of limits to growth

Building resilience in an era of limits to growth | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
Economic contraction, peak energy and geopolitical stress will limit growth over the next decades.
Jan Servaes's insight:

Sustainability 101: The way forward. LISTEN!

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Justice and Development: The Post-2015 Agenda

Justice and Development: The Post-2015 Agenda | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
The Millennium Development Goals are about to expire and the world is debating how to do things better. Let’s make access to justice part of the new agenda. (The Millennium Development Goals are about to expire.
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The internet is a politically and culturally loaded tool, particularly ...

The internet is a politically and culturally loaded tool, particularly ... | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
Two different situations — the deletion of certain search links in Europe, and Vladimir Putin's setting-up of the Russian internet for further censorship — have elements in common that cannot be denied.
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Statement of the Workshop on Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature

Statement of the Workshop on Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
See statement on climate change and the environment from Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, http://t.co/QMexG0BPQa
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The rise of data and the death of politics - The Guardian

The rise of data and the death of politics - The Guardian | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
The Guardian The rise of data and the death of politics The Guardian Thanks to sensors and internet connectivity, the most banal everyday objects have acquired tremendous power to regulate behaviour.
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Research Plan - FLOK Society (EN)

Research Plan - FLOK Society (EN) | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
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Let’s admit this is not democracy

Let’s admit this is not democracy | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
For decades we have been telling ourselves we are a democracy. We tell our people that elections mean we are a democracy. This is hammered home repeatedly. Consequently, we tell the world we are a democracy. But in reality, we are not. We have never been. We want it, but we don’t have it.
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Sustainable development goals .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

Sustainable development goals .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform - dedicated to improving the well being of present and future generations through the promotion of sustainable development.
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Revolution, History and Dominating Social Systems: Notes on a foundational approach to systemic change (Lecture notes, 2013-2014) - Heathwood Press

Revolution, History and Dominating Social Systems: Notes on a foundational approach to systemic change (Lecture notes, 2013-2014) - Heathwood Press | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
By R.C. Smith (Read the PDF version here) Author’s note: Due to the amount of interest that I’ve received over recent time regarding my series of papers ‘Introducing an alternative philosophy of systemic change’ and ‘On the Basic Income Law, Economic Democracy, Participatory Economics, and the Importance of the Commons in the 21st Century: Further thoughts on an alternative philosophy of social change‘, I’ve decided to publish my lecture notes entitled ‘Revolution, History and Dominating Social Systems: Notes on a foundational approach to systemic change’. While the following discussion summarises certain points made in previous papers and studies that extend well beyond the mentioned series on a philosophy of systemic change, the reader may find these notes of particular interest as they expand on and contextualise several key themes in that series. Please also note that the following was originally intended as personal lecture notes, which I’ve edited to make more accessible to the reader – More substantive discussion can be found in previous or forthcoming articles/studies/papers. I) One of the fundamental challenges of the 21st Century In the introduction to this lecture I wrote that: one of the greatest, most fundamentally challenging questions facing us in the 21st Century not only has to do with how we might transcend capitalism and formulate a more just, systemic alternative. There’s a deeper, more pressing issue facing us and it has to do with a fundamental understanding of the history of social systems of domination. Despite the deep flaws of Ayn Rand’s (capitalist) philosophy, I argued in a recent paper (in light of comments made by Slavoj Zizek) that she was right about at least one thing: free market capitalism, with its concept of ‘universal exchange’, historically takes the place of direct domination. For Rand, money is the strongest instrument for freedom because as a form of exchange, money mediates in principle between two separate individual parties, wherein both sides of the exchange ‘freely’ reach an agreeable trade that suits them both. While Zizek is right to suggest that we can refute Rand’s conclusion that our only option is the rule of money or direct domination – that without money direct domination will need to be restored and freedom will be eroded – the problem we face is nevertheless clear: If capitalism as a system of in-direct domination (i.e., Marx’s analysis of the abstract nature of domination evidenced by the type of social relations that the system of capital produces) emerged in history as an alternative to systems of direct domination – the fundamental question we face becomes, then, how might we formulate, in the present, a truly progressive and emancipatory (systemic) alternative without reproducing direct or in-direct systems of domination? In order to approach the challenge of how we might transcend capitalism, how we might even potentially transcend markets or even money, without reproducing systems of domination, I argue that we need to understand not only the importance of a critique of the system of capital but also a foundational, interdisciplinary and holistic perspective that goes beyond capitalism itself. What I mean by this last statement – as I’ve argued elsewhere – is that we must understand the basic elements that appear common across many societies and their determinate forms as transhistorical to some capacity.  Money, commodity, the state, markets, are of course included in this discussion, but I also claim that we must focus on the deeper foundational underpinnings of the genesis of pre-capitalist and capitalist societies that focus on the mechanisms that are driven toward or foster the specific dynamics of hierarchical, dominant, authoritarian, coercive and exploitative society writ large. When addressing the challenge we face in the 21st Century, this approach is important, I claim, because in order to understand what an alternative horizon might look like we must take into account a more or less foundational critique of society across different historical eras – even those societies that are on the fringes of the historic unfolding of capitalism’s institutional structures (i.e., indigenous societies, etc.) but reproduce similar systemic problems. In addition, this transhistorical character that I refer to is not necessarily meant to refer to a sameness in pre-capitalist and capitalist societies. In other words, there is something unique about capitalist societies in history when it comes to commodity, money and markets. But what I am more so interested in – at least in terms of the notion of the transhistorical aspect – has to do with what drives or underpins the shift from systems of direction domination to systems of in-direct domination (the latter being capitalist societies). For me there is something transhistorical beneath the surface (which I discuss extensively by considering mostly the psychological/emotional, existential, relational/anthropological, epistemological (and so on) aspects of human experience), which propels or indeed fosters the genesis of dominating social conditions and underpins the historical birth of the system of capital, which I consider to be one of Horkheimer and Adorno’s main theses in Dialectic of Enlightenment (i.e., ‘domination of the natural environment leads to limitation of the human horizon to self-preservation & power’.). I also take this to be a basic argument in Adorno’s critique of culture, particularly with regards to his analysis of domination and interhuman violence in his critique of culture, as well as in his analysis of the problematic status of the subject as enmeshed or caught up in the “dialectic of enlightenment”. It’s not to dispute the uniqueness of capitalist society – I almost see it as affirming the uniqueness of the system of capital precisely insofar as also recognising a continuity in that which underpins the shift from pre-capitalist to capitalist societies. (In previous works, this is what I mean by continuity in the midst of discontinuity). Moreover, as critical as I am of Slavoj Zizek’s overall project, he is right when he reflects: “one can criticize money as an alienated form,” but the more pressing question is “how can we actually organize complex social interaction outside money without direct domination?” As noted in a …
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The Unity of Water

The Unity of Water | Communication for Sustainable Social Change | Scoop.it
In May, Vietnam became the 35th and decisive signatory of the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. As a result, 90 days later, on Augus
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