Transforming Society

Alternatives to the current economic system


The Sustainable Development Goals mention a path towards sustainable consumption and production; this will require a transformation of global value chains in which power is concentrated in the hands of corporate actors. Currently, transnational companies control about 80% of global trade through integrated value chains. Furthermore, throughout the world, multinational companies take advantage of loopholes in international laws to shift profits abroad while avoiding taxes. Current economic growth data are no measure for sustainability. The economic growth is achieved by extraction of resources and commodities, and concentrates the proceeds in a few hands while creating few decent jobs. If the SDGs are to be effective, it is imperative that they change economic power relations while ensuring that value can be created and retained in developing countries. For genuine sustainable development a paradigm shift is needed.

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European Policymakers framing migration

Recently, the upsurge in refugees reaching the Europe’s outer borders has dominated public debate in Europe. However, the current debate should be reframed to put migration flows in the right perspective and to include a long-term vision on migration and its root causes. With regards to this perspective, UNHCR data of 2014 demonstrates that developing countries are largely shouldering the burden, accommodating 86% of refugees globally. When discussing root causes, if at all, public policies steer wide of evaluating the contribution of economic policies of industrialised countries and company behaviour in developing countries to displacement in developing countries. The thirst of developing nations for acquiring land and resources through the logging, mining and agrifood industries is putting pressure on Africa’s land, resources and livelihoods. Public policies have also been accused of facilitating the corporate rush for resources. 

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Community stewardship of the Commons

Common/Public Goods, an alternative to neoliberalism (copy)

The concept of collective common goods, managed by the community and accessible to all its members, is found in the Bible. Alongside the vision of common goods at a global level, they present a possible alternative to today’s dominant neoliberalism. On the global scale, their management and accessibility would have to be regulated by a democratic global body that would guarantee the sustainability of the resource and the collective right to make use of it.

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