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Presentations from “Beyond GDP in Africa: Innovative ideas for a regional dashboard”

On 28-29 October 2014, GovInn, in partnership with the Sustainability Institute,  hosted a workshop that brought together academics and practitioners from statistical offices from Sub-Saharan Africa to identify practical solutions to measure well being and prosperity and move beyond numerical indicators such as GDP.

The title of the workshop was ‘Beyond-GDP in Africa: Innovative Ideas for a Regional Dashboard.’ Its goal was to take stock of the various criticisms raised against the gross domestic product (GDP) as a measure of economic progress and to propose a way forward for African countries.

Read and download the presentations given at the workshop: 

Why it’s time to leave GDP behind, by Robert Costanza

The GCRO BAROMETER 2014, by Darlington Mushongera

MEASURING DECENT WORK INDICATORS AND WORK STATISTICS, by Coffi Agossou

Environmental Economic Accounting Water Resource Accounting for South Africa, by Robert Parry

Gross National Happiness (GNH) in Bhutan, by Lise Pretorius

Why reversing Africa’s Resource Curse requires calculating natural capital accounts and ecological debt, by Patrick Bond

Update on the UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, by Mandy Driver

Developing a Diagnostic Tool and Policy Instrument for the Realisation of Decent Work, by Edward Webster

Beyond GDP: Towards a composite well-being index The case of the Green Economy Index , by Anton Nahman

Beyond GDP in Africa: Day 1 summary

Click here to download the workshop official statement 

Workshop on the EU’s External Environmental Policy

A three-day workshop on the EU’s external environmental policy was held at the University of Pretoria on 2-4 June as part of the GovInn Week 2015.

The EU has long been reported to be a global environmental leader and is party to the major international environmental treaties. However, apart from multi-lateral negotiations, the EU seeks to extend it environmental norms, rules and polices beyond its legal jurisdiction through a surprisingly large array of instruments, including: bilateral trade agreements, strategic partnerships, transnational policy networks, and development cooperation.

This workshop brought together a small group of top international scholars from around the world to explore how, where and to what effect the EU is embarking on new forms of external environmental governance.

 

 

The workshop programme is below:

Programme: The External Dimension of the European Union’s Environmental policy
2-4 June 2015, Graduate Centre,University of Pretoria, South Africa
Monday 1 June Arrival of international participants
Tuesday 2 June: Day One
08:30 – 09.00  Coffee and registration
Session 1
09:00 – 10:45 Opening remarks: Camilla Adelle, GovInn, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
“The external dimension of EU climate and energy policy”
John Vogler, Keele University (UK)
“The EU in international environmental negotiations” Tom Delreux, Institut de Sciences Politiques Louvain (UC Louvain)Read the policy brief adapted from Professor Delreux’s conference paper here.
Chair: Camilla Adelle, GovInn, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
10.45 – 11.15                 Coffee break
Session 2
11.15 – 13.00 The EU’s external governance tool box
“The European External Action Service”Diarmuid Torney, Dublin City University (Ireland) Read the policy brief adapter from Dr Torney’s conference paper here.
“EU climate diplomacy and the challenge of norm entrepreneurship”
Mai’a Davis Cross, Northeastern University (US)
Chair:  Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, University of Edinburgh (UK)
13.00 – 14.00                  Lunch
Session 3
14.00 – 15.45 The EU’s external governance tool box
“Can environmental standards in trade agreements be effective instruments of EU external environmental governance?” Evgeny Postnikov, University of Glasgow (UK) Read the policy brief adapted by Dr Postnikov’s from his conference paper here.
“Market-based instruments to support climate change objectives: Encouraging action on carbon taxes and emissions trading beyond Europe”, Sirini Withana, Konar Mutafoglu and Patrick ten Brink, Institute for European Environmental Policy (Belgium and UK)
“The Salience of EU Climate Law: Inspiration, Diplomacy by Law and ‘Learning by Doing’ in East Asia” Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, University of Edinburgh (UK)
Chair:  Mai’a Davis Cross, Northeastern University, US
15.45 – 16.30                Break
16.30 – 18.30 GovInn Week Keynote lecture: UP Conference Centre

“Poverty with added vitamins? Competing ways to govern the world food system”
Raj Patel, New York Times bestselling author of Stuffed and Starved and The Value of Nothing. Books available for sale.


18.30                             Reception: UP Conference Centre  
                                     (buses back to guest house)

 

08:30 – 09.00                  Coffee
Session 1
9.00 – 10.45 Country perspectives
“Making sense of the EU’s external climate change governance towards its southern neighbours”
Angelos Katsaris, College of Europe (Poland)“Integrating public participation into China’s environmental governance: The EU’s external influence”
Wen Xiang, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
Chair: Tom Delreux, Institut de Sciences Politiques Louvain (UC Louvain)
10.45 – 11.15     Coffee Break
Session 2
11.15 – 13.00 Country perspectives
“The EU’s role in natural resource use in Africa” Oladiran Bello, South African Institute of International Affairs (South Africa)
“Contributions of the EU to the Construction of Latin American Environmental Governance” Roberto Dominguez, Suffolk University, Boston (USA)Read the policy brief adapted from Professor Dominguez’s conference paper here.
Chair: Sarah Delputte, University of Ghent (Belgium)
13.00 – 14.00                  Lunch
Session 3
14.00 – 15.45 Future Challenges
“The limits of leadership in a cold economic climate: Whither the EU as an environmental normative power?” Charlotte Burns and Paul Tobin, University of York (UK)
“Closing discussion: next steps”
Chair: John Vogler, Keele University (UK)
15.45-16.30                              Break
16.30 – 18.30 GovInn Keynote lecture: UP Conference Centre

“Within or beyond capitalism? Four scenarios for the emerging collaborative economy”

Michel Bauwens, founder of the Peer-To-Peer Foundation and author of Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy.
Books available for sale.


18.30 Reception
Partnership to Explore New Funding Sources for Innovators

leddaThe European Social Innovation Research website features the LEDDA partnership this week.

This first-of-its-kind partnership is envisioned as a global, diverse set of academic, civil society, government, business, and philanthropy groups focused on ushering a new, parallel economic system through the development and pilot trial phases.

says Georg Mildenberger in his article.

“The economic system, called the Local Economic Direct Democracy Association (LEDDA) framework, or synonymously, LEDDA economic direct democracy, represents a rethinking of economic purpose and money. Among other things, it uses money as a democratic voting tool, and distributes voting power by increasing and equalizing incomes. This is a local economic system designed to complement and compete with existing systems within local (city or regional) economies.

A LEDDA itself is a membership-based, community benefit association open to residents, businesses, schools, nonprofits, local governments, public services, and others that choose to participate. Each LEDDA governs its own local framework through an online direct democracy process, and all LEDDAs are networked together within a global association.

The LEDDA framework is comprehensive, including as elements a novel local electronic currency, intellectual property pool, financial system, online direct democracy governance system, socially responsible business model, and buy local program. According to Boik, who outlines the framework in his 2014 book Economic Direct Democracy: A Framework to End Poverty and Maximize Well-Being, “the framework diversifies, strengthens, and infuses a local economy with democracy, and in so doing empowers residents to address local and global issues of interest.”

One key characteristic is that the LEDDA framework employs new motivations for economic decision-making. Rather than focusing attention on strict self-interest (by rewarding individuals who strive for higher corporate profits and investor returns), it focuses attention on cooperation, via a process of maximizing community well-being. A LEDDA assesses and forecasts social, economic, and environmental well-being using modern data collection and computer modeling tools. It uses the results to guide decision-making, especially in the LEDDA financial system, called the Crowd-Based Financial System (CBFS)”.

Know more about the CBFS and read the full article on the SIR website

(FGV), in Rio de Janeiro (22-24 October) with meeting organiser Inês Sousa from the International Intelligence Unit of FGV.

ATLANTIC FUTURE in action: Security in the Atlantic Space (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

ATLANTIC FUTURE second plenary meeting took place at FUNDAÇAO GETÚLIO VARGAS, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 22 to 24 October 2014. The three day event provided an opportunity for the Consortium to meet and discuss the results of the research, review the progress of the Project and to discuss next steps. Researchers Frank Mattheis and John Kotsopoulos represented GovInn at the Symposium.

 

(FGV), in Rio de Janeiro (22-24 October) with meeting organiser Inês Sousa from the International Intelligence Unit of FGV.

Frank Mattheis (left) and John Kotsopoulos (right) at the ATLANTIC FUTURE second plenary meeting at FUNDAÇAO GETÚLIO VARGAS (FGV), in Rio de Janeiro (22-24 October) with meeting organiser Inês Sousa from the International Intelligence Unit of FGV

 

 

If you missed it, re-live the meeting “Security in the Atlantic Space” on youtube:

Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his latest book in Heidelberg

Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his new book in Heidelberg, Germany

Numbers dominate global politics and, as a result, our everyday lives. Credit ratings steer financial markets and can make or break the future of entire nations. GDP drives our economies. Stock market indices flood our media and national debates. Statistical calculations define how we deal with climate change, poverty and sustainability. But what is behind these numbers?
GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti presented his new book at the German American Institute in Heidelberg, Germany on 14 October 2014.

In How Numbers Rule the World, Lorenzo Fioramonti reveals the hidden agendas underpinning the use of statistics and those who control them. Most worryingly, he shows how numbers have been used as a means to reinforce the grip of markets on our social and political life, curtailing public participation and rational debate.Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his latest book in Heidelberg

Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his latest book in Heidelberg

Lorenzo Fioramonti presents his latest book in Heidelberg

Monitoring and evaluation of a participative planning process for the integrated management of natural resources in the uThukela District Municipality (South Africa)

Monitoring and evaluation of a participative planning process for the integrated management of natural resources in the uThukela District Municipality (South Africa)
By Mélanie POMMERIEUX, Magalie BOURBLANC, Raphaële DUCROT

Working paper No. 2014/1 May 2014

Rethinking development series: Working Paper 1 Abstract
This paper intends to monitor the changes in perceptions and behaviour of stakeholders induced by the Afromaison participatory process, which is aimed particularly at helping to integrate natural resource management in the uThukela District Municipality, South Africa.
To do so, an evaluation protocol has been designed, combining social sciences as well as evaluation techniques. This protocol has been applied to both the initial assessment and the monitoring of the first workshop involving various local stakeholders held under the Afromaison project. The initial assessment showed that it was possible to regroup stakeholders’ perceptions into categories according to the functions those actors occupy. Most of those interviewees lacked a holistic understanding of the state of natural resources in the area, and had issues collaborating well with other stakeholders. By monitoring the first workshop, we found that almost half of the participants did not contribute their opinion because they expected getting information rather than actively participating in order to reach a common vision. This monitoring revealed however changes in the normative and cognitive functions of participants. Two interviews conducted few weeks after this workshop tend to indicate that those changes might be long-term. A final evaluation conducted at the end of Afromaison should help us verifying this finding.

Read and download the working paper here: RETHINKING DEVELOPMENT WP 2014-1 – Bourblanc et al.

The Rethinking Development working paper series has been designed to push conventional boundaries in development research and public discourse. This series engages academics, policy makers and development practitioners to critically reflect on old and new development alternatives and how they impact the society we all live in.

Modeling Dollar and Community Currency Flows in a Virtual US County

“Modeling Dollar and Community Currency Flows in a Virtual US County Using Python.” A general overview of the LEDDA framework and the LEDDA Partnership by John Boik, author of “Economic Direct Democracy: A Framework to End Poverty and Maximize Well-Being”.

To know more, visit the LEDDA page on our website.

LEDDA: Local Economic Direct Democracy Association

leddaUrban communities worldwide want economies that are stronger, greener, fairer, more resilient, and more diverse. Jobs must be created, climate change addressed, infrastructure repaired, schools upgraded, and more. The LEDDA economic direct democracy framework offers a bold yet practical solution.

The framework synthesizes multiple approaches currently in use in cities and regions around the world into a coherent, consistent, integrated whole. It builds on ideas from buy local, invest local, local currency, local food, local sharing, open source, smart cities, open government, open data, participatory democracy, and related initiatives.

LEDDA means Local Economic Direct Democracy Association. A membership-based, community benefit corporation that implements a secondary economic framework as a local overlay to an existing city or regional economy. The framework offers all members roughly equal and direct opportunity to influence their local economy. It is applicable to cities and regions in both developed and emerging or other developing countries.

The LEDDA framework arises from a “systems,” or holistic, view of an economy, which is understood to be a decision-making system that is ripe for direct democracy. Money is viewed in part as a voting tool that facilitates direct democracy. A complete description of LEDDA economic direct democracy is provided in the book Economic Direct Democracy: A Framework to End Poverty and Maximize Well-Being. A free PDF version is available at the Principled Societies Project website.

Govinn and the Principled Societies Project USA will carry out this project through a global partnership of academic, civil society, government, business, and foundation groups that will usher the LEDDA framework through the development and scientific pilot trial phases.

To know more about LEDDA, please visit the links below:

2014 – SUSTAIN: The Sustainability of Regional Governance

Contemporary challenges, from the global economic crisis to climate change, have revealed the strengths and weaknesses of regional integration throughout the world.
The Euro-crisis, for instance, has exerted a strain on the EU’s model of top-down governance, while reinforcing the pace (and changing the form) of integration in Europe.
Similarly, climate change is forcing us to rethink the current economic model based on globalized markets and GDP growth.
In a recent report for the European Commission and endorsed by the European Parliament, futurist Jeremy Rifkin has argued that the shift to a low carbon economy and the consequential contraction of the economic system will contribute to a shrinking of globalization (at least in its pro-market orientation) while paving the way to the resurgence of ‘continental regions’. In his view, production processes will be increasingly localized and resources will be managed and shared regionally, with a view to creating hubs of sustainability within geographically continuous continents.
This will fundamentally reshape regional integration and its ultimate goals. As conventional market mechanisms are reformed and production systems are reinvented, more and more regional integration will be built from the bottom up, through what Rifkin calls ‘lateral power’, that is, the capacity to affect change through peer-to-peer collaboration. In a word, a citizens-driven development model.

Against this backdrop, SUSTAIN will bring together top scholars of regional governance, civil society and business to reflect on what ‘sustainable regional integration’ entails for regionalism and what new governance ‘innovations’ will be necessary to achieve this objective.

Funding: EU Jean Monnet Research and Information Activities

2013 – Building Regions from Below: Regional Integration and Civil Society from Europe to the Rest of the World (RICS)

2013 – Building Regions from Below: Regional Integration and Civil Society from Europe to the Rest of the World (RICS) 

Regionalism has been traditionally analyzed through a top-down lens, generally emphasizing the role of governmental elites, political parties and – to a lesser extent – business associations and epistemic communities. By contrast, civil society has received limited attention by scholars of regionalism in spite of the critical role it can play in strengthening the legitimacy of regional governance. In the past few years, NGOs, social movements, advocacy groups, trade unions and civic associations have been able to exert a growing influence on decision-making at the regional level. This role has been amplified not only by the introduction of specific policy channels and tools (e.g. the non-state actors programme at the EU level, the African Peer Review Mechanism at the AU level, etc.) but also by the desire of citizens to make their voices heard in an arena traditionally dominated by technocrats and lobbyists. The RICS project aims to bring together well-known scholars, civic activists and practitioners to discuss how civil society has contributed and can contribute to shaping regionalism in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Through a major international seminar led by members of the Research Unit for Euro-African Studies, the EU Studies Association of Southern Africa and the UNESCO Chair on Regional Integration (all based at the University of Pretoria), RICS will investigate the role of civil society in ‘building regions from below’ by providing a series of comparative studies. Particular emphasis will be placed on civic-driven responses to the current Euro-crisis and lessons that other regions can learn from these recent events.

Funding: EU Jean Monnet Programme.