Lorenzo Fioramonti Blog Network of Wellbeing

“Stop GDP to Change the World”, The Network of Wellbeing

Read GovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti‘s guest blog post on the Network of Wellbeing website. The post is part of the “Sharing the World” series, which focuses on the links between wellbeing, consumerism and the environment. In this post, Professor Fioramonti discusses the negative roll of Gross Domestic Product, and the need to move the focus from a production and consumer centred approach to one focused on the wellbeing of the people and planet.

Traditionally our societies have pursued a narrow definition of economic growth as a means to attain development. Over time, the means has become an end in itself. We now associate development with growth, although the two are by no means synonymous. More importantly, the very meaning of development needs to be questioned, as its underlying nature should indicate a process-based functionality rather than an end goal. Development cannot be the end goal: it is itself a process towards a higher state of evolution. How we currently measure this process needs to be changed, to move beyond the limits of GDP.

Read the rest of the article on the Network of Wellbeing website.

Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti at the meeting "Measurement of Wellbeing and Development in Africa"

“Getting real about measuring up”, The Mercury, 18 November 2015

Read about GovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti’s participation in “Measuring Well-being and Development in Africa” discussion, as written by Colleen Dardagan for The Mercury.

ICHIRA Tambo, who heads Japan’s International Co-operation Agency Research Institute, tells this story: “When I was a college student 35 years ago, I worked in facilitation, co-ordination and interpretation for development country participants in a training programme in Tokyo on underground water development.

“The students bought many electronic devices such as radios, televisions, calculators and phones. These were gifts for their families and friends back home. But there was one exception. An Ethiopian engineer did not buy anything. One day, I asked him why.

“I said: ‘Ethiopia is a poor country and your family waits for you and your gifts.’

Read the full article:


Public conversation “The state of Ubuntu in South Africa: driver of change or buzzword?”

Please join GovInn in a day long workshop, where noted South African thought leaders will discuss the state of Ubuntu and it’s place in the current South African social and political system. The aim of the workshop is to assess whether Ubuntu is merely a buzzword, or whether it is a a force of change in South Africa.

Date: 23 November 2015

Time: 9:30 – 15:30

Place: Old College House, University of Pretoria

See the full programme: Public-conversation-on-Ubuntu-23.11-Final-Programme

Postdoctoral fellows call 2016

Postdoctoral fellowship: ” Wellbeing and Social Transformation in Africa”

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) at the University of Pretoria is proud to announce a call for postdoctoral applications to focus broadly on issues of wellbeing and social transformation in Africa.

For more information, read: Postdoctoral-fellows-call-2016

GovInn honored to be part of regional migration policy formulation

As part of the Migration for Work Research Consortium (MiWORC), GovInn is pleased to announce the final research report on social security and social protection of migrants in South Africa and SADC as well as its contribution to the formulation of regional policy on migration in Southern Africa.

Release of research report on social security and social protection of migrants in South Africa and SADC

The MiWORC Team is pleased to announce the publication of:

The research conducted for MiWORC Report #8 took place under MiWORC’s Work Package 4 on migrant workers and access to social rights and portability of social benefits in South Africa and the region. The report was written by Bob Deacon, Marius Olivier and Reason Beremauro.

The policy update on the SADC Labour Migration Policy Framework reports on the adoption of this document in 2014 and has relevance to the recommendations made in Report #8 as well as Report #1 A region without borders? Policy frameworks for regional labour migration towards South Africa.

Printed copies of both the report and the policy update can be obtained upon request from the African Centre for Migration & Society at Wits University. Please email miworc@migration.org.za or phone 011-717-4033.

Key messages in the report:

  • Social protection to which migrants are formally entitled within South Africa is often not accessed.
  • Informal modes of mutual social protection among migrant communities are often unsupported.
  • The inability of former migrant mine workers to access social security benefits requires urgent attention.
  • Access to social protection by all cross-border movers within a region is the key to regional social integration.
  • The sections of the 2014 SADC Protocol on Employment and Labour which address social protection need implementing.

Abstract of the report

This report highlights the realities of and issues around the provision of social protection for international regional migrant workers within the Southern African Development Community. The report tackles the contested policy question of which institutions or regional authorities are responsible for meeting the social protection needs of migrants.

The importance of this work lies both in the contribution which the researchers are able to make to literature on the subject of social protection and the recommendations they make to both SADC and individual countries. The primary argument of this report is that extending access to forms of social protection to migrants is key to real regional integration. Although migrants have some constitutional and legislative protection, in many instances legal stipulations exclude and discriminate non-nationals from accessing assistance and security.

Drawing on extensive qualitative field work, the report is able to highlight the vulnerabilities of these migrants and the difficulties they encounter when trying to access social services in foreign countries. Faced with these challenges, migrants are often found to assist one another through informal and social networks in order to meet social service needs.

Finally, the report also highlights the laws and practices which hinder access to pension, death, and disability benefits for migrant workers or their families once they leave South Africa and return home.

For more information and a list of all the publications containing all research findings, please see the consortium’s website www.miworc.org.za.

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Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti at the meeting "Measurement of Wellbeing and Development in Africa"

Lorenzo Fioramonti at the ‘Measurement of Wellbeing and Development in Africa’ Meeting, 12 November 2015

GovInn’s director, Lorenzo Fioramonti, gave the opening speech at the meeting ‘Measurement of Wellbeing and Development in Africa’ on 12 November 2015, in the presence of Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and SA’s Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel.


CSS Logo

Senior researcher Frank Mattheis at the Centre for Security Studies, ETH Zurich in November 2015

CSS Logo


On 6 and 7 November 2015 the Centre for Security Studies (CSS) at the ETH Zurich organised a workshop on the topic “Networked world? Multilateral institutions in international security governance”. The event brought together 20 researchers working on the interactions between multilateral institutions on multiple scales: inter-regional, intra-regional, global-regional. The theoretical discussions focused on grasping the increased density of interactions between multilateral institutions, while the novel empirical contributions included areas that are not typically covered by the literature.

Prof Dr Andreas Wenger, Dr Aglaya Snetkov and Dr Stephen Aris from the CSS served as the valued hosts of the entire programme and the debates that have paved the way for concrete publications plans and further collaboration.

GovInn senior researcher Frank Mattheis represented the ZOPACAS project by presenting unpublished work on Brazil’s delineation of the South Atlantic through a South-South institution. The full programme can be found on the CSS website.

Transformation demands universities rethink their role

Fioramonti, Lorenzo (with GDPbook 6)

In his latest piece, Lorenzo Fioramonti, GovInn director, provides further insight into the recent student movements that have taken place at universities across the country over the past year, highlighting the structural challenges that continue to underlie many of these institutions.

THE student protests mushrooming across SA in recent weeks reveal a profound malaise in SA’s higher education institutions.

#Feesmustfall is just the latest manifestation of a deeper discontent that has been making headlines at least since the #Rhodesmustfall movement earlier this year. The uprisings underlie a pervasive dissatisfaction with the role of universities in our society that will endure for as long as we refuse to address questions of transformation, equality and opportunity.

For many protesters, this is “a battle of ideas” that aims to “decolonise” education. The intersection of social, racial and class dimensions, epitomised by the slogans “black lives matter” and “we have had enough”, is not incidental. Students demand radical change that can be attained only if universities rethink their role in society.”

Read the full article on Business Day, 27.10.2015

Deputy Director Chris Nshimbi and Co-Director and CIRAD researcher Ward Anseeuw

CEO of CIRAD signs Memorandum with UP, 14 October 2015

On Wednesday the 14th of October, Prof Anton Ströh, Vice-Principal for Institutional Planning of the University of Pretoria, and Dr Michel Eddi, CEO of CIRAD (The French agricultural research and international cooperation organization working for the sustainable development in the South) have signed a five-year agreement establishing GovInn – the Center for the Study of Governance Innovation – as a joint center.

GovInn is the first research institution in Africa dedicated entirely to governance innovation. It analyses and accompanies the complexity of decision-making processes in contemporary political and economic affairs. It focuses on cutting-edge research, as well as on advocacy and support mechanisms for innovative governance.

As opposed to the more traditional ‘government’, the idea of governance presupposes a fragmentation and diffusion of authority. In this regard, decision making, policy development and governance overall, being multi-actor and multi-level processes, have become more complex and need innovative thinking and support instruments. Some of the most promising innovations in contemporary governance have to do with how we redesign our economic model and, how we find better ways to share limited resources, and which instruments to develop to support innovative governance structures. GovInn focuses on Innovation in the following areas: i) New Economic Governance, ii) Governance of the Commons, iii) Transboundary Governance and iv) Security Governance.

To promote the study of governance innovation, the University of Pretoria and CIRAD are now joining hands to establish GovInn as a joint center, reaching a critical mass with regards human resources, funding and experience. The aim is to become a recognized center of excellence in and for Africa, dedicated entirely to governance innovation, as an ‘innovation laboratory’ capable of generating new thinking about governance and development.

Ward Anseeuw

Pretoria, 20/10/2015

Lorenzo Fioramonti speaking in Austria about political alternatives to a GDP-focused world

VIDEO: Beyond GDP and political alternatives

Watch GovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti speaking about political alternatives to a GDP-focused world at an event hosted by Impulszentrum Zukunftsfähiges Wirtschaften on 9 October 2015, in Graz, Austria.