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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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If I ruled the world: Martin Rees | Prospect Magazine

If I ruled the world: Martin Rees | Prospect Magazine | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"We need an enlightened despot to save our vulnerable planet."

Willy De Backer's insight:
I tend to agree that our current 'democratic' system is unable to deal with climate chaos but an 'enlightened' despot always ends up being just a despot.
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A new way forward in collective leadership?

A new way forward in collective leadership? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
We have built a world in which competition rules but it's time to pay more attention to the art of collective leadership, says Petra Kuenkel...

 

Good article in the Guardian Sustainable Business blog on the need for a new governance culture in business as well as society as a whole.

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A Modest Proposal from Berlin: End Democracy in the European Union

A Modest Proposal from Berlin: End Democracy in the European Union | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The Fiscal Pact mandates that all national governments in the European Union should achieve a “structural deficit” of no more than 0.5 percent of gross domestic product. I shall not again demonstrate that this concept is nonsense and, even were it not, 0.5 percent would be absurd, implying continuously deflationary fiscal policy. If the Pact is foolish, combining it with a “fiscal czar” (Merkel’s term, not mine) is authoritarian madness. It would abandon the pretense of electoral democracy within the European Union."

 

Good critical analysis by John Weeks of recent developments in European governance structure. Pro-Europeans who welcome this as "more Europe" are either terribly naive or have a hidden agenda.

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What Makes Countries Rich or Poor?

What Makes Countries Rich or Poor? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Jared Diamond's review of the excellent book Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson looks at the complex mix of factors that make countries succeed or fail.

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A global democracy manifesto

"Politics lags behind the facts. We live in an era of deep technological and economic change that has not been matched by a similar development of public institutions responsible for its regulation. The economy has been globalised but political institutions and democracy have not kept pace. In spite of their many peculiarities, differences and limitations, the protests that are growing all over the world show an increasing discontent with the decision-making system, the existing forms of political representation and their lack of capacity for defending common goods. They express a demand for more and better democracy."

 

This week saw the publication of two interesting manifestos. One by Krugman and Layard on the economic crisis and this one in Open Democracy by David Hayes on the need for global democracy. Both manifestos are correct diagnoses of two aspects of the "great disruption" but both also are very disappointing in terms of alternatives.

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The commons law project: A vision of green governance

"It is our premise that human societies will not succeed in overcoming our myriad eco-crises through better ‘green’ technology or economic reforms alone; we must pioneer new types of governance that allow and encourage people to move from anthropocentrism to biocentrism, and to develop qualitatively different types of relationships with nature itself and, indeed, with each other. An economics and supporting civic polity that valorizes growth and material development as the precondition for virtually everything else is ultimately a dead end—literally."

 

Interesting introduction to a new approach to solve the world's sustainability crisis by developing new laws of the commons.

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The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Our institutions are failing not merely because they're bankrupting us financially, but because they're bankrupting us in human terms — that, having become something like Alcatrazes for the human soul, they fail to ignite within us the searing potential for the towering accomplishments necessary to answer today's titanic challenges.

 

Thought-provoking reflections on our human condition and the future in the Harvard Business Review by Umair Haque.

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What qualities do future leaders need to meet the challenges of the 21st century?

What qualities do future leaders need to meet the challenges of the 21st century? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Future Leaders team respond to the video below and tell us what they think makes a 21st century leader...

 

A few wise words, loads and loads of empty platitudes and nobody mentioning "the capacity to accept limits" as the number one feature of the required transition leadership. When even the WBCSD does not get it, how bleak is the future?

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Comment lutter contre la "mondialisation déloyale" ?

Comment lutter contre la "mondialisation déloyale" ? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Pour protéger la compétitivité des entreprises européennes, les auteurs veulent que Bruxelles fasse respecter ses règles aux produits importés et autorise des aides aux industries en crise." (Source: Le Monde)

 

A new French report written for the French government analyses the roots of Europe's de-industrialisation and recommend to better protect industry by applying EU rules to foreign products.

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Greener than thou

Greener than thou | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
WHILE Europe’s leaders battle for the euro, another signature creation of the European Union (EU), one of the world’s most ambitious climate change policies, is also under attack.

 

Excellent article in The Economist blog about the EU's green trade conflicts.

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A World Bank for a New World

A World Bank for a New World | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A World Bank leader who once again comes from Wall Street or from US politics would be a heavy blow for a planet in need of creative solutions to complex development challenges. The Bank needs an accomplished professional who is ready to tackle the great challenges of sustainable development from day one.

 

The replacement of Robert Zoellick at the helm of the World Bank is an opportunity to give the US-led institution a new direction according to Jeffrey Sachs in Project Syndicate.

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Planning for the Rio+20 Conference: Enter the Commons?

Planning for the Rio+20 Conference: Enter the Commons? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The world’s governments are not likely to come up with anything significant. The G-20 nations, which have been described as the “executive board of the world,” have little interest in bold political and institutional reform. That would only disrupt the desperate search for economic growth. An open, candid inquiry into the growth economy, consumerism and the finite carrying capacity of Earth’s biophysical systems would be far too politically explosive. It is far easier to talk about a “green economy,” as if greater efficiencies alone will save the planet."

 

Very good article by David Bollier on the importance of the concept of the "Global Commons" as the real solution to the challenges raised at the Rio+20 summit.

 

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The idea to create a United Nations environmental agency is growing

The idea to create a United Nations environmental agency is growing | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The idea to create a United Nations environmental agency following the model of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the International Labor Organization (ILO) is growing.

 

Sounds nice in principle but what will be its powers and its mandate? What will it do better than UNEP now?

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Finance failure and the weakness in the system: the inside view

Finance failure and the weakness in the system: the inside view | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Changing any supply chain takes a lot of leadership effort – so why aren't the leading financial bodies stepping up, asks Raj Thamotheram...
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It is time for the judiciary to step in and avert climate catastrophe

It is time for the judiciary to step in and avert climate catastrophe | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"A fast-paced energy revolution is citizens' by right and judicial intervention will help to restore the democratic order, depoliticising the climate issue and making the influence of special interests and short-term gain in the political process less effective."

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Is employee ownership the answer to our economic woes?

Is employee ownership the answer to our economic woes? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Pushkar Jha looks at the potential for employee ownership to transform corporate culture and shore up the UK's recovery...

 

Good article from The Guardian's Sustainable Business blog.

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Trade Off: Financial system supply-chain cross contagion – a study in global systemic collapse

Trade Off: Financial system supply-chain cross contagion – a study in global systemic collapse | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"This new study explores the implications of a major financial crisis for the supply-chains that feed us, keep production running and maintain our critical infrastructure. I use a scenario involving the collapse of the Eurozone to show that increasing socio-economic complexity could rapidly spread irretrievable supply-chain failure across the world."

 

Excellent new report from Irish think tank Feasta on the interconnectness between global energy insecurity, economic supply chains and the financial system. Worth reading full report.

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Bonn climate talks end in discord and disappointment

Bonn climate talks end in discord and disappointment | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
At the talks, countries were supposed to set out a workplan on negotiations that should result in a new global climate treaty, to be drafted by the end of 2015 and to come into force in 2020. But participants told the Guardian they were downbeat, disappointed and frustrated that the decision to work on a new treaty – reached after marathon late-running talks last December in Durban – was being questioned.

 

No surprise there - global climate policy has been buried long time ago. Why are green NGOs still trying to revive it when they should be concentrating on alternative approaches?

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How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform

How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
It's bad enough that the banks strangled the Dodd-Frank law. Even worse is the way they did it - with a big assist from Congress and the White House.

 

Brilliant article in Rolling Stone on the financial terrorism of Big Business. Compared to these fundamentalists, Bin Laden was peanuts.

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The deep structure of the European crisis

"Instead of offering an alternative model of regional integration to the unregulated system of the global economy and its discredited ideology of market fundamentalism, Europe remained exposed to and entrapped by financial market players and neo-liberal economic policies. As a result, it de facto turned against its own aspiration to implement the European Social Model and equal up regional disparities. The East-West divide as well as the North-South divide is stronger or at least more obvious today than before 2004/2005. The new phase of peripheralisation conducted by German-led ordoliberalism ↑ has provoked national resistance and led to a further and sharp decline of public trust in both national and European institutions."

 

Interesting article in OpenDemocracy about the deeper reasons behind Europe's crisis. Excellent on analysis of what has gone wrong but less convincing on remedies.

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Why aren't we preventing harm?

Why aren't we preventing harm? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Less than five per cent of the £110 billion annual budget for health is spent on public health and health promotion. We prefer to fund flashing blue lights, emergency rooms and defibrillators. Yet it is chronic obesity, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, hypertension, depression and addiction that are swallowing up the healthcare budget. These are the modern ‘dis-eases’ of society: not amenable to quick-fix cure, and requiring treatment at root.

 

Good article from the New Economics Foundation looking at how policymakers are trying to cure instead of prevent social evils.

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Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe

Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Not technological innovation but fundamental social engineering and a radical revamping of global governance insitutions are needed to deal with the world's unsustainability crisis.

 

Gary Stix asks the right questions in this Scientific American blog article building on a scientific article which appeared this week in Science magazine.

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Will Markets Survive the End of Growth?

Will Markets Survive the End of Growth? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Is the end of growth the end of markets? The end of capitalism? Most definitely not. We will still need competition, we will still want ideas and innovation to flourish and we will want capital allocated as efficiently as possible. Markets are good at all those things."

 

New article by Paul Gilding ("The Great Disruption") which shows that post-oil and post-growth thinking is still struggling big time with the question of the balance between "state" and "market". Phrases like: we need to accept the earth's limits "as absolute boundaries of the market system" are unhelpful. We need much more sophisticated blueprints of how a just society could produce and consume within ecological and energy limits.

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Uneconomics: a challenge to the power of the economics profession

Uneconomics: a challenge to the power of the economics profession | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"It is time to acknowledge an uncomfortable truth about the public status of economics as an expert discipline: it has grown to be far more powerful as a tool of political rhetoric, blame avoidance and elite strategy than for the empirical representation of economic life. This is damaging to politics, for it enables value judgements and political agendas to be endlessly presented in ‘factual’ terms. But it is equally damaging to economics, which is losing the authority to describe reality in a credible, disinterested, Enlightenment fashion."

 

Brilliant analysis in Open Democracy on the perverse power of economic technocrats on our democratic institutions.

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Enhancing Capacity for Greening Development

Enhancing Capacity for Greening Development | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Moving to a greener development path requires incorporating the environment into every aspect of the national planning and budgeting process. A key obstacle for many developing countries in meeting this objective is a lack of capacity for identifying environmental challenges and priorities and their implications for development, formulating policy responses and implementing strategies.

 

This new OECD report outlines provides good guidance on how developing countries can build green development capacity into their planning processes ans structures.

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