Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Inter-Dependence Day - a project for us all? 

ID is a superb initiative from the Open University, the New Economics Foundation and others. It involves a communications, debate and research. It aims to rethink jaded debates about sustainable development, globalization and environmental change. It aims to stimulate compassion, care, curiosity and creativity.

This looks like a real public resource developing and we LibDems should be plugged into these debates. For more details see the ID website.

Would it be helpful to build up a LibDem ‘Interdependence Day’ support group? To draw on the material and perhaps even contribute? If so I might be of some use, living as I do a mile from the OU Campus in MK. Have a look at the site and see what you think.

Incidentally I suspect the Tory Group on Globalisation (Bob Geldoff official mascot) is quietly planning to latch on to this ID effort to co-opt any attractive themes. All the more reason to get involved.

The official ID site intro says this:

Demands to save the planet from environmental catastrophe, or to act on
poverty are often daunting in scale, distant from daily life. But there is good
news: there are acts of compassion, care, curiosity, and creativity that are
already part of everyday life, and modes of communication that are already
helping these ordinary acts to span great distances. The project brings together
researchers, communications and the public in a dialogue about the potential for
rethinking social practices, policy ideas and technologies to change the world
for the better.

The Interdependence Day project (ID) makes space for all of us to consider new ways of debating and acting on issues around environment, development and globalization.

What? ID is a communications, debate and research project. It aims to rethink jaded debates about sustainable development, globalization and environmental change. The project will provoke debate and experimentation amongst both specialists and the public through an integrated body of activities comprising:

ID Day July 2006: An annual public event comprising of a bundle interactive workshops; well-known speakers, and public debates on key challenges
1 Commissioning of art works and research
2 Publication of an ID report and linked features articles
3 Broadcast and web explorations of the theme

The project binds together interpretation, new knowledge and public participation with the goal of feeding fresh ideas back into policy debate. We start from a series of questions:
1 How can our affluent society respond to the fact that by 2050 we will need 3 planets to support our lifestyle? OR: How do we avoid going to hell in a shopping basket?
2 Why is there so little cultural depth’ to responses to environmental change and development problems?
3 Can thinking about interdependence help us to overcome the conflict between our pursuit of pleasure and our pursuit of justice and environmental security; between our desires to consume, and our knowledge of environmental impacts?

Where? Our aim for the public events is to work within (and in partnership with) some of the cultural institutions of the Exhibition Road area (eg. Natural History,
V &A, Science museums and Royal Geographical Society).

Back in 1851 the Great Exhibition tried to capture and represent the world.
We believe that the Exhibition Road institutions that grew out of that event are
an ideal location to take another critical look at the way the world is, tracing
interdependencies between the natural and social world, and between north and
south. We plan to engage wider publics through performance, internet, print,
broadcast and mobile phone projects.

Sounds more interesting by the minute...

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