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The Diversity Advantage Challenge

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The Shared Societies Project has been involved in the “Diversity Advantage Challenge“, an initiative supported by the ICC/Council of Europe in an effort to promote a new approach to managing increasingly diverse societies based on the concept of diversity advantage. It aims at raising awareness among the public about the benefits of diversity and to provide a large number of examples of how organizations, businesses and cities which have realized these benefits by creating innovative products, services, ideas and initiatives.

NETPLUSS Member Kinga Göncz was selected as a member of the jury of the Diversity Advantage Challenge in representation of the Shared Societies Project. The final stage of this process will be held next week on 24 March in Strasbourg in the framework of the plenary session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

This process has represented a great opportunity to learn from key local stakeholders from difference cultural (ethnic, religious, linguistic) backgrounds that are greatly committed to the design of innovative policies and initiatives which contributes to the dissemination of the notion of Shared Societies at the local level.

These are the 5 finalist that will be presenting during the final session:

  • Ordinary Heroes, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • La diversité à l’œuvre: des habitants charpentiers d’une nouvelle dynamique dans leur quartier!, France.
  • NDM –for more diversity in the media, Germany
  • Festival O Bairro i o Mundo, Portugal.
  • XEIX, Fostering intercultural relations around local businesses, Spain

Video presentations of the finalist’s projects are available here: http://www.coe.int/t/DG4/CULTUREHERITAGE/CULTURE/DIVERSITY/

The winner will be announced at the prize-giving ceremony and we will publish additional information of each of the finalists in the blog during the next days.

We wish all the finalists the best of luck!

 

Australian PM Tony Abbott Affirms Rights of Indigenous Peoples

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Partnership for Change Conference 2014: The World We Want

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Webinar Session on Social Inclusion: What You Need to Know

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The World Bank is launching a webinar series on social inclusion. The first session draw directly from use definitions, operating framework and examples from the recent World Bank Group report Inclusion Matters that places the discussion of social inclusion within global transitions and transformations.

These webinars can be accessed from anywhere and the spectators are expected to be researchers, students, policy makers and development practitioners primarily from developing countries.

The purpose of the webinar is to showcase the fundamental concepts related to social inclusion and policies and practices for their implementation. This session Foundations of Social Inclusion: What You Need to Know, conducted by Maitreyi Bordia Das, Lead Social Development Specialist at the World Bank, will draw important distinctions between social exclusion and related concepts of inequality, poverty, and discrimination. It will take place on December 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm Central European time.

Social exclusion can be felt everywhere. It is relevant for both developing countries and for developed economies as well as a fundamental element of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Therefore, as Club de Madrid has been working in the last 8 years, there is an urgent need for promoting leadership for social cohesion and shared societies as a key priority for the world today.

Into the doughnut: a new economic approach

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What would it be like living inside a doughnut? Kate Raworth developed this idea in an economic sense.

As we can see in the diagram above, Kate Raworth offers a brand new view on economics and on sustainable development. In the central hole, we find the cornerstones that are key in achieving what she calls “social foundation”.

Reaching social foundation means ending human deprivation by guaranteeing to the global population the coverage of their basic needs, to create the safe and justice space for humanity in the center of the diagram.

Once the social foundation is attained, the social boundary is created. In this way, people would live in “the safe and just space for humanity”. Nonetheless, living in that space requires the establishment of a new boundary: the planetary one.  It’s necessary to reach social the foundation without breaching the environmental ceiling in order to obtain actual sustainable development without causing environmental degradation.  So, planetary and social boundaries must always be in balance.

This is the challenge that the leaders of the 21st century must face: reaching equity for all whilst avoiding human deprivation with the limited resources that the planet offers and, at the same time, respecting the environment.

As explained by Raworth, the social foundation can be achieved without crossing planetary boundaries. For example, 13% of the global population is suffering from hunger and this situation could end with only 1% of global food supply; 21% of the people live with less than $1.25 per day. To bring this situation to an end, it would require just 0.2% of the global income.

There is a lot of work to do. The social foundation needs a big amount of work to be done on it and the environmental ceiling is being broken by human action, the loss of biodiversity and the use of nitrogen.  Wealthy countries are making an excessive use of the resources that are creating an unsustainable lifestyle that is leading the world towards increasing inequality and rising environmental stress.

Policies carried out until now to eradicate poverty should be reconsidered as the rise of GDP has not affected those living in poverty and this rise has had, as a consequence, the degradation of natural resources.

So, living inside the doughnut requires more efficiency and equity in the distribution both of income and resources. Raworth leaves the following question: is the rise of GDP the tool that will allows us to live within the doughnut or is a new vision on economic development necessary. It should make us think about  what prosperity means and what price do we want to pay for it now and in the next generations.

Kate Raworth has compared this analysis of development and the future of the world alongside the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the Open Working Group of the General Assembly.

She states that the Open Working Group’s proposed SDGs include all the items she lists as  required to achieve the social foundation except for the one related to “voice” (understood as democracy) which she considers has been placed on the secondary level of a target. However there are other opinions more optimistic including the one expressed by Clem McCartney of the Shared Societies Project, who commented on Raworth’s post in the Intermon Oxfam blog that “voice” was well-treated in SDGs as long as it was applied clearly and without ambiguities and pointing out that it also mentioned women’s participation, stressing the importance of voice to achieve the social foundation.

So, we have to decide between eating the doughnut or living within it.

Club de Madrid Members José Ramos-Horta and Martti Ahtisaari Talk Shared Societies

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On November 14, 2013, Club de Madrid Members José Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste and Maarti Ahtisaari of Finland met with various UN delegates and NGO representatives at the 8th UNOG-UNITAR conference in Geneva, Switzerland, speaking about the complexities of peacemaking and need for more inclusive social policy.

Common themes of the symposium included the importance of trust and inclusionary policies for building peaceful societies, topics to which the Club de Madrid gives the highest importance in our work to build Shared Societies upon a foundation of inclusion and respect for diversity. As Ramos-Horta remarked, “In some countries, respecting diversity is perceived as undermining the state when in fact we should look at this as wealth.”

In his speech, Ahtisaari importantly identified the core upon which division and deprivation occurs, noting that “conflicts are rooted in poverty, feelings of insignificance, and the people´s experience of unfairness.” Furthermore, “if we consider conflict resolution and mediation only as a redistribution of political and economic powers…we will never succeed. Sustainable peace is not measured only by the absence of violence and violence structures, but by opportunities and functions available in a society.”

Globally respected for their peacemaking efforts, Ramos-Horta and Ahtisaari greatly embody the efforts of Club de Madrid as we work in spreading the awareness of the Shared Societies Project and its desperate need in our crisis-stricken world today.

 

Sources:

http://www.unitar.org/nobel-prize-winners-martti-ahtisaari-and-jose-ramos-horta-prerequisites-peace

http://webtv.un.org/search/8th-edition-of-the-geneva-lecture-series/2842173045001?term=Martti#full-text

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