We find ourselves in the most consequential decade in the history of humanity. The choices we make now will determine what kind of future we’ll have, or whether we will have a future at all.
By replacing multilateralism with multi-stakeholderism, the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) is advancing a vision of food systems governance that sets the foundation for stronger corporate influence both of the UN and food systems at large.
So my plan for meeting the climate apocalypse is to keep thinking, keep writing, keep farming and keep being hopeful (but not ‘optimistic’) as best I can. What’s yours?
The failure of the UN Food Systems Summit to adequately engage civil society is one key reason why hundreds of civil society organisations have decided not to participate.
Our experience of love, care and belonging are formed by our relationships in the civil sphere, not by the state or the market. Our lives are subsequently shaped, battered and sometimes improved by the state and the market, but the primary formation of our unique selves and our values is the work of civil society.
In 2011, TIME magazine mentioned the sharing economy as one of the top 10 ideas that were going to change the world. According to the magazine, the main benefit of the sharing economy is social: “In a time when families are scattered and we do not necessarily know the people in our communities, sharing things – even with strangers that we just met online – allows us to establish meaningful connections”.
As each ten-year milestone approaches – from the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 2008 to the G20 London Summit held on 2 April 2009 – much will be written about the role of each of the major culprits: the reckless bankers, the weak regulators, the captured credit rating agencies and the blind economists. But what about civil society? What is there to learn from the experience of the financial crisis, and what does this mean for the future of civil society?
A few days ago, the topic for my undergraduate class, Earth in Crisis, taught to 150 students, half in Sociology and half in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara, was “What a COP is Really Like, and What the Treaty Looks Like.”
I want to speak today about a crisis that has gripped Europe, and the western democracies, over the last 30 years.
In an age of disruptive change, where trends in global politics shift at an unprecedented rate, civil society organisations could be the only solution capable of grounding the debate on sustainable food and pushing for the change so urgently needed.
The social economy is composed of civil organizations and networks that are driven by the principles of reciprocity and mutuality in service to the common good – usually through the social control of capital.
A community group, the LakesWater Quality Society (LWQS), successfully initiated action to restore water quality in a major group of lakes in the Rotorua district.