Showing posts from March, 2017

Nixon, Reagan and Trump is the Russia Scandal anything new?

I am, like I am sure many others, both exhausted by the Trump Presidency and absorbed by it. It is like it is a really bad reality show. Every day when I go to the gym I catch up on the latest developments on the Muslim ban, President Obama wiretapping, the health care debacle, being invaded by aliens from the planet Zargon and of course the Russian scandal. In one of my quieter moments I reflected that the issue of a Presidential candidate having meetings with people from other countries abroad  -- isn't something new. There is of course Richard Nixon 'Tricky Dicky' as many of us affectionately knew him, creator of the EPA, the Council for Environment Quality in the White House. He was also the President who signed the clean water and air acts and tried to have UNEP HQ in Washington. But in the 1968 Presidential election he  persuaded the South Vietnamese to cancel the Peace Conference in Paris because it might help his Democratic rival Vice President Hubert Humphre

Guest Blog: Conversation, lifestyle and sustainability

Alejo Etchart holds some graduations, but is reluctant to labels and prefers to be called a conversationalist. Four years after quitting the sustainability arena to navigate ‘the self’, he realizes that learning to live a kind of first-hand life, reducing his market-reliance and consistently rejecting all manfestation of falseness, is the only that he can do for sustainability. With such purpose, he is undertaking a centre for Spanish language learning for foreign speakers [i] .     Falseness rejection has to do with what one eats or wears; where one buys goods or services (remarkably energy) from, puts his savings in or travels in holidays to; what’s the goal of the business that one works for or the fuel his car consummes; how one faces relations… rather than with being persuaded that the world outside should follow another evolution pattern and to try persuade others on it. This said, it does not involve that working on the ‘big thing’ (e.g., national or international climate

Guest blog: In defence of Unilever and corporate social responsibility

Mallen Baker is a writer, speaker and strategic advisor on corporate social responsibility and responsible marketing issues. Writes CSR-related blog The Respectful Business Blog, and produces the related Respectful Business Podcast. Founder and managing director of Daisywheel - digital agency, with a strong focus and specialism on corporate social responsibility communications and stakeholder engagement. Experience of building action networks of CEOs from top UK companies around issues of social responsibility in the marketplace.  Forbes recently ran an opinion piece titled ‘Unilever and the Failure of Corporate Social Responsibility’. The importance was not in the article itself – the author Tom Borelli is a long-term ideological opponent of CSR and its case is typically overstated – but it is an indication of the particular vulnerable position we’ve reached at the moment in the development of business as an agent for sustainability. Let’s list the substantive point

Guest blog: When elephants fight, the grassroots get hurt

Elephants fight. Flickr/Chris Eason. Some rights reserved. To explain the new and unexpected dynamics we are experiencing, let us consider whether we are witnessing a new three-way economic-ideological battle among global ruling elites. Harris Gleckman   is Senior Fellow at the Center for Governance and Sustainability, UMass-Boston and Director of Benchmark Environmental Consulting. He is the former Chief of the NY Office of UNCTAD, Senior Officer for the first Financing for Development Conference, and Chief of the Environmental Unit of the Centre on Transnational Corporations. Over a period of 30 years, he undertook policy oriented research on multinational corporations, global environmental management, financing for development, global governance institutions, and the economics of climate change. He is currently working on a handbook on the governance of multistakeholderism.  New political-economic forces have upended ‘normal’ international and domestic politics in a good nu

Guest blog: The robots are coming, your job is at risk

Martin Khor,  Executive Director of the South Centre, Geneva.   He joined the South Centre as its Executive Director on 1 March 2009. Prior to this, he was the Director of the Third World Network (TWN), a leading developing-country civil society organization involved in research and publications in trade, environment and development issues. He was also the Editor of the South-North Development Monitor (SUNS).  He is a member of the United Nations Committee on Development Policy. Previously, he served as a member of the Board of the South Centre (1996-2002), the  Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy, the International Task Force on Climate Change (2003-2005), the Commonwealth Expert Group on Democracy and Development (2002-2003), the United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Environment and Human Settlements in the United Nations System (1998), and the intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on the Right to Development under the UN Commission on Human Rights (as

Guest Blog: Green crowdfunding: behind the wheel of the new economy

Philip Drost  is a programme officer at UN Environment, working on the role of non-state actors such as companies, cities and citizens in environmental policy and UN Environment’s policy in particular. Topics include showcasing and tracking climate commitments from non-state actors. Before joining the UN Philip worked in the Dutch government on multilateral issues and as legal counsel, mainly in the areas of climate, chemicals and access to information. He holds an LL.M in law.  Introduction Many people are seeking to contribute to a greener, healthier and more sustainable world but question their impact. What is my real influence as an individual on the uptake of clean energy, they ask themselves. Our response would be: why underestimate yourself? There is actually a lot you can do. And the beauty is that you are not alone; the power is in the numbers of people that make these choices. In addition to making sensible and effective climate (and wallet) smart choices such as turn