“In whose hands does all this power lie? It is extremely risky for only a small part of humanity to have it.” Pope Francis’ words set the tone for this issue of Open Space which explores global money power and asks the question, who makes the rules?
This issue features a reflection on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last year by all 193 member states. It is a hopeful document, certainly, but there are numerous challenges and limitations. Last August's inspiring World Social Forum, held in Montreal, is also covered.
This issue of Open Space offers a reflection on Pope Francis’ ground-breaking encyclical, Laudato Si’, alongside Change the Story, Change the Future, the recent book by David Korten (author of When Corporations Rule the World).
This issue of Open Space offers some reflection on the Idle No More movement which came as a forceful sign of the times as well as a sign of hope.
Every so often, a new book raises a major issue that none of us can afford to ignore. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies deserves that kind of signs of the times attention. This issue of Open Space considers the ideas in the book through the lens of issues raised at recent meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and economic analyses published in The Economist. Some questions are also raised in line with the thought of Pope Francis about the technology-driven transformations that are now upon us.
In this edition, Bill Ryan sj brings you thoughts on two books on power. Moises Naim's book, The End of Power, argues that the new microplayers can widen democracy, but they can also cause political chaos. Gar Alperovitz recognizes this dilemma and tries to find an answer to it in his What Then Must We Do? To welcome the spring, Sheila Watt-Cloutier speaks on The Right To Be Cold!
We all hear about the Earth-wide ecological crisis, but the news often falls on dull ears. The response is often contentious, contradictory, sceptical or passive. In this edition of Open Space, we explore these issues and look for the signs of hope. We also bring some voices of small-holder farmers from Mali and Indonesia to tell us about land grabbing which destroys both the environment and rural communities.
The gap between the rich and the poor - and especially between the very rich and most of us - has grown rapidly in recent years (please see our Open Space, The Rich and the Rest, March/April 2011). And it just keeps growing. Read this Open Space for more, plus inspiration from women in the Global South who are working together for their needs and creating forests as well.
Did you know that the cooperative movement is at work in more than 100 countries, and that it has more than 800 million members? Would you be surprised to hear that four out of every ten Canadians belong to at least one co-op? In Quebec, actually, co-op membership includes 70% of the population. The cooperative movement is a reality that accounts for approximately 100 million jobs world-wide. So how come the mainstream press is so quiet about it? The United Nations tried removing this cloak of silence by naming 1012 The International Year of Cooperatives.
This issue of Open Space introduces the umbrella theme of degrowth - an awkward word, but one that might begin to capture the imagination as it becomes more known.