Do our global governance systems have the capacity to effectively address the challenges we face as a civilization? What are the viable pathways towards a fairer, more sustainable and viable future? "Imperfect Utopias or Bust? Global Governance Futures" aims to present a space where these questions, and many more, can be addressed in a spirit of dialogue and exploration.
26: Ben Neimark - Militarism and Environmental Destruction
1:03:25Dr Ben Neimark is a Senior Lecturer at the Lancaster University Environment Centre. A human geographer and political ecologist by training, his research focuses on the socio-ecological effects of military supply chains and their wider environmental footprint. We spoke with him in March 2022.
25: What Is Home? - A Dialogue with Bayo and Claudio
1:28:27Tune in for a new format this week! After our episode with essayist, speaker and activist, Bayo Akomolafe, we were inspired to see a half hour video response from Claudio on his channel, Consciousness Now. For a while we have wanted to set up a discussion within our growing community, connecting audience and guests and vice-versa. Settle in for a dialogue spanning the eternal question of what 'home' is, has been and should be - utopian visions meeting messy and complex realities. This is a new concept for us and we hope to have more discussions within the growing community going forward. Bayo writes at his website: https://www.bayoakomolafe.net/ And tweets @BayoAkomolafe: https://twitter.com/BayoAkomolafe Claudio's channel can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLrbO53XddFUl4gwvKRU6BA
24: Vandana Shiva – Earth Democracy in Defence of the Life World
54:14Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned Indian scholar, ecological feminist and activist who over a career spanning decades has emerged as one of the world’s most prominent critics of GMOs, intellectual property rights and free trade. She holds a PhD in philosophy of physics and wrote her thesis on ‘Hidden Variables and Locality in Quantum Theory’. Her books include ‘The Violence of Green Revolution’ and ‘Monocultures of the Mind’. Dr Shiva is the Founder of Navdanya, a movement for Earth Democracy based on the philosophy of 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam' (The Earth as one Family), as well as the Founding Board Member of the International Forum on Globalisation and Diverse Women for Diversity. In this conversation, we talk about non-violence as positive action, hyper-globalization as recolonisation, WIPO patent 060606, what it means to be human, and much more. Vandana writes at Navdanya: https://www.navdanya.org/site/ We discussed: ‘Earth Democracy: Recognising the Rights of Nature, Respecting Human Rights’: https://www.navdanya.org/bija-refelections/2021/04/21/earth-democracy-recognising-the-rights-of-nature-respecting-human-rights/ ‘WIPO Patent 060606 – Cryptocurrency System Using Body Activity Data’: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2020060606 ‘Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth: https://www.therightsofnature.org/universal-declaration/ ‘A message for International Day for Biological Diversity, 22nd May 2020’: https://navdanyainternational.org/a-message-for-international-day-for-biological-diversity-22nd-may-2020/
23: Alfred McCoy - Who Governs the Globe?
1:57:55Professor Alfred McCoy is the Harrington Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He specialises in the history of the Philippines, US foreign policy, European colonisation of Southeast Asia, illegal drug trade, and Central Intelligence Agency covert operations. In this conversation we talk about run-ins with the CIA, world order and empire over the past 500 years, the duality of raw power and principle, the fading of US empire and the rise of China, as well as the prospects for world order in a context of climate breakdown. Al McCoy can be found here: https://history.wisc.edu/people/mccoy-alfred-w/ His essays for Tom Dispatch are available here: https://tomdispatch.com/authors/alfredmccoy/ We discussed: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (1972): https://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/politics-of-heroin--the-products-9781556524837.php A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror (2006): https://history.wisc.edu/publications/a-question-of-torture-cia-interrogation-from-the-cold-war-to-the-war-on-terror/ In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power (2017): https://history.wisc.edu/publications/in-the-shadows-of-the-american-century-the-rise-and-decline-of-us-global-power/ To Govern the Globe: World Orders and Catastrophic Change (2021): https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1742-to-govern-the-globe
22: Dave Snowden – Complexity, Sensemaking and Entanglement
54:57Dave Snowden is the founder and chief officer of Cognitive Edge. He is a pioneer in the field of complexity science and sensemaking, and is perhaps best known for developing the Cynefin framework as a sensemaking device for decision-makers. In this conversation, we talk about Neo-Darwinism, the trouble with specialisation, why democracy is failing, radical sacrifice, and much more. Dave blogs here: https://thecynefin.co/author/dave-snowden/ You can find more out about Cognitive Edge here: https://www.cognitive-edge.com/ We discussed: ‘A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making’ (with Mary E. Boone), Harvard Business Review, Nov 2007: https://hbr.org/2007/11/a-leaders-framework-for-decision-making
21: Virginia Haufler – Private Authority in an Age of Globalization
1:03:41Virginia Haufler is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on the changing nature of governance in the global political economy, especially the role of transnational corporations and corporate social responsibility. In this conversation, we talk about private power, the blindspots of IR regime theory, transparency in the extractive industry, and the place of ethics within the capitalist structures of the global economy, and much more. Virginia can be found here: https://gvpt.umd.edu/facultyprofile/haufler/virginia Tweets @VHaufler We discussed: "Corporations, Governance Networks, and Conflict in the Developing World," in The New Power Politics: Networks and Transnational Security Governance, eds. Deborah Avant and Oliver Westerwinter), 2016: https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190604493.001.0001/acprof-9780190604493 Private Authority and International Affairs (ed with Clare Cutler and Tony Porter), 1999: https://sunypress.edu/Books/P/Private-Authority-and-International-Affairs Regime Theory and International Relations (ed. Volker Rittberger), 1995: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/regime-theory-and-international-relations-9780198280293?cc=ro&lang=en&
20: Bill McGuire – Telling the Truth About the Climate Emergency
51:27Bill McGuire is an academic, activist, broadcaster, blogger and writer of popular science and speculative fiction. Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at University College London, Bill cut his teeth researching the link between volcanism and sea-level change and pioneered research on the geological impact of a rapidly changing climate. Over the past two decades, his expertise on natural hazard has been frequently sought out by government and media broadcasters. In more recent years, Bill has devoted much of his time to climate activism, displaying a flair for the cut and thrust of social media, as well as taking aim at the delusions of orthodox climate policy, including the dangers of geoengineering (in his most recent fiction book, Sky Seed). Brace yourselves for a no holds barred account of the climate science, as Bill spells out why dangerous pervasive climate breakdown is now all but inevitable. This is not a counsel of despair though, but rather a call for a serious, sober reckoning with our predicament and what we can still do to mitigate the worst impacts. On the way, we also explore the widening chasm between the climate science and political action, the serious, fun and even therapeutic pleasures of writing speculative fiction, the strange absence of public education on the climate emergency, as well as the importance of speaking up in the face of climate denialism, including among friends and colleagues. Bill tweets @ProfBillMcGuire You can learn more about Bill’s work here on his website: http://billmcguire.co.uk/ And read Bill’s essays on his Cool Earth column on Substack: https://substack.com/profile/23258461-bill-mcguire Articles we discussed include: ‘An open letter to all climate scientists’, 19 July 2021: https://billmcguire.substack.com/p/an-open-letter-to-all-climate-scientists
19: Jim Rutt – Prototyping a Global Social Operating System
1:09:55Jim Rutt is the host of one of our favourite podcasts: the Jim Rutt Show. He is a past chairman of the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) with a long and distinguished career in the California tech community. An avid proponent of complexity science, Jim is currently an SFI Research Fellow working in the scientific study of consciousness and evolutionary artificial intelligence. He is also one of the founders and most prominent advocates for Game B, a community trying to figure out what a viable, better civilization could look like and how to reach it. Jim joins us for a wide-ranging conversation, riffing on ideas from Game B, liquid democracy and the cutting-edge thinking on display in his own podcast series. From the historical contingencies which gave rise to Game A to the great acceleration of the 20th Century, Jim helps us take stock of where we are as a global civilisation, the contours of the civilisational crisis we find ourselves in, and possible exit strategies which do not involve collapsing into a neo-dark age or analogous undesirable states. Along the way we talk game theory, energy justice, the role of universities, complexity science and building “Proto-B” communities above the Dunbar number. Jim tweets @jim_rutt: https://twitter.com/jim_rutt You can find Jim at The Jim Rutt Show: https://www.jimruttshow.com/ Many of Jim’s writings are available on Medium: A Journey to GameB (13 Jan 2020): https://medium.com/@memetic007/a-journey-to-gameb-4fb13772bcf3 The Game B Wiki: https://www.gameb.wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page An Introduction to Liquid Democracy (26 Feb 2018): https://medium.com/@memetic007/liquid-democracy-9cf7a4cb7f In Search of the 5th Attractor: Complexity Science Thinking About Real Change for the Better (3 Feb 2017): https://medium.com/@memetic007/fifth-attractor-6d1a54fcda2e
18: Jacqueline McGlade – Empathy, Science and Circles of Compassion
59:19Jacqueline McGlade is Professor of Resilience and Sustainable Development at University College London. She is also the Frank Jackson Foundation Professor of the Environment at Gresham College and Professor at Strathmore University Business School in Kenya. A marine biologist by training, Jacqueline was Chief Scientist and Director of the Science Division of the UN Environment Programme from 2003 to 2013 and before that, served as Executive Director of the European Environment Agency. However, today she is more likely to be found exploring ideas through working with local communities in Kenya than frequenting high-powered meetings at international organisations. Indeed, as you will hear, in a curious twist of fate, Jacqueline became a member of the Maasai tribe in 2016 through marriage to a Maasai chief and has relocated to live near the Maasai Mara Nature Reserve in Kenya. As we explore in our conversation, this life experience gives Jacqueline a unique perspective on the interface between culture, science and politics. Her career has been strongly informed by the complex interplay of data and communication and the ways in which science is filtered through the worldview of the beholder. An early love for languages also played a key role, revealing communication as a portal to mutual understanding across cultural realities. Ultimately, Jacqueline argues for more empathy in science and a willingness among her colleagues to communicate their knowledge in a way which meets people where they are. In honouring our shared humanity in the act of communication, Jacqueline suggests we invite a deeper sense of mutual responsibility and care to naturally arise. Jacqueline tweets @JacquieMcGlade You can learn more about Jacqueline’s work here on her UCL webpage: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/igp/professor-jacqueline-mcglade And watch Jacqueline’s lecture series at Gresham College here: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch/?subject=&subcat=&files=&year=&search=mcglade
17: Bayo Akomolafe – Bending Questions Into Rites of Passage
1:20:40Bayo Akomolafe is a prolific essayist, speaker and activist, a professor of psychology, a master wordsmith and executive director of the Emergence Network. An acute observer of our troubled times, Bayo has a gift for capturing the awkward confusion of our present predicament in phrases like “the times are urgent, let us slow down.” In this conversation, Bayo invites us to sit with our awkward confusion as we explore vulnerability as strength, the acceleration of history, race and reparations, the “mind forged manacles” of our times, as well as agency in times in crisis, and much, much more. This was a real mind-bending or, more accurately, question-bending conversation, we hope that you enjoy it as much as we did. Bayo Akomolafe writes at his website: https://www.bayoakomolafe.net/ And tweets @BayoAkomolafe: https://twitter.com/BayoAkomolafe Some of the essays that we discussed in this conversation include: • ‘Dear White People’: https://www.bayoakomolafe.net/post/dear-white-people • ‘Let’s Meet at the Crossroads’: https://www.bayoakomolafe.net/post/lets-meet-at-the-crossroads • ‘What Climate Collapse Asks of Us’: http://www.emergencenetwork.org/whatclimatecollapseasksofus/ • ‘The Times are Urgent: Let’s Slow Down’: https://www.bayoakomolafe.net/post/the-times-are-urgent-lets-slow-down • ‘I, Coronavirus. Mother. Monster. Activist’: http://www.emergencenetwork.org/icoronavirus/ The Emergence Network website can be found here: http://www.emergencenetwork.org/ You can find out more about his course in ‘postactivism’: ‘We Will Dance With Mountains’ at this webpage: https://course.bayoakomolafe.net/