COMMON ACTION FORUM 2019

Mexico City 13-14 October

a new path to development

At Memory and Tolerance Museum

PRESENTATION |

There was a time, not long ago, when one could entertain the firm belief that the world was moving in a virtuous direction. There was a clear path in which present and future were connected by a straight, linear vector of unstoppable development. It was only a matter of time before the benefits of progress could reach beyond a small elite of people or countries, to include all of those whose efforts where deserving of such benefits. This perspective was shared even by the primary competing ideologies, which were already disputing at the time whether Market or State would triumph as a transforming agent par excellence.

However, this snapshot serves as one of the last chapters in the long ontological process of separation between humanity and nature. Since we began to dominate and objectify the forces of the world, we have overcome a series of frontiers: the continental ones in the explorations during the 15th Century; that of energy with the Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century; and the boundaries of space, body and information with the Knowledge Society in the 20th Century.

The 21st Century, however, presents us with a new, harsh and unpredictable reality. The righteous promises of development based in limitless economic growth have given way to a landscape of social inequality, financial unease and stretching of ecological limits as never before. Regions like the Global South seem increasingly unwilling to continue internalizing the evils and externalizing the benefits of the current model of development; it is increasingly evident that investing blind hope in new technologies as a manner in which to solve these challenges, without first correcting the regimes of accumulation, will lead us to an even more profound inequality.

In spite of everything, the good news is that this challenge generates the ideal conditions in which to confront these paradoxes, which have become normalized in our current world system. And it is in facing this pressing challenge, which is no small feat, that the Common Action Forum proposes to inaugurate its events in Mexico: we are encouraged by the new political ethos of reconciliation and innovation that pervades the country, which makes it an unparalleled laboratory, with potential to inspire not simply the whole region, but also the world.

Problems such as poverty, which affects half of humanity, or the global warming that affects us all, are only part of a dystopian reality that no longer allows us the luxury of time for local utopias. Citizenship and the intellectual, political and economic elites must invariably obtain a new regenerative heterotopia. This means going beyond reformism and changing conceptually how we think, act and exist. Reconceptualizing a new path to development and beginning its implementation is a mission that awaits us in the coming years. It’s time to usher in a new era.
 

PARTICIPANTS |  * to be confirmed

MARCELO
EBRARD

OPENING
1st Session
ABOUT

Marcelo Ebrard is the current Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has previously served as Mexico City’s former Head of Government and as Minister of Public Security, as well as Social Development of the Mexican Capital.

*Claudia
Sheinbaum

Opening
2nd Session
ABOUT

Claudia Sheinbaum is a Mexican politician, scientist, academic and activist. Current Head of Government and former Environment Secretary of Mexico City, she holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering and has published extensively on energy management.

wadah
khanfar

OPENING
3rd Session
ABOUT

Wadah Khanfar is the Chairman and Co-founder of Common Action Forum. He previously served as the Director General of Al Jazeera, transforming it from a single channel to a media network.

REBECA
GRYNSPAN

Opening
4th Session
ABOUT

Rebeca Grynspan is an economist and former Vice-President of Costa Rica, who currently serves as Secretary General of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB). She has also served as former Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.

Pedro
Brieger

1st Session
Moderator
ABOUT

Pedro Brieger is an Argentinian journalist and sociologist, and Professor of Sociology of the Middle East at the University of Buenos Aires. He directs Nodal, an online media resource centered on sociopolitical and cultural news in Latin America and the Caribbean.

John
Ralston Saul

1st Session
Speaker
ABOUT

John Ralston Saul is a Canadian award-winning philosopher, novelist and essayist. Author of ‘The Collapse of Globalism’, which predicted the 2008 economic crisis. He is Co-Chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and President Emeritus of PEN International.

Leticia
Merino

1st Session
Speaker
ABOUT

Leticia Merino is an anthropologist and Professor at the Institute of Social Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Her expertise lies in environmental policy, specifically collective action and the communal management of natural resources.

Melanie
Dulong

1st Session
Speaker
ABOUT

Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay is a permanent researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and at the Institute for Communication Sciences (ISCC), and the leader of the research group Information and Commons Governance.

ANDRES
LOMEÑA

2nd Session
MODERATOR
ABOUT

Andrés holds degrees in Journalism and Literary Theory, as well as a PhD in Sociology. He is the author of Ficcionologia (2016), El Periodista de partículas (2017), Rescoldos Mentales (2018) and the scriptwriter of the awarded short-movie Psicopolis. He is also a regular contributor at Huffington Post.

Andres
Arauz

2nd Session
Speaker
ABOUT

Andrés Arauz is an Ecuadorian economist specializing in regional integration, finance and technology. He works with the Observatory for Public Procurement, Spain, and served as Minister of Knowledge, Deputy Minister of Planning and the COO of Ecuador’s Central Bank.

Eduardo
Barcesat

2nd Session
Speaker
ABOUT

Eduardo Barcesat is an Argentinian jurist, UNESCO expert on Human rights, Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. He is also a founding member of the American Association of Jurists.

*Giovanna
Valenti

2nd Session
Speaker
ABOUT

Giovanna Valenti is a Mexican academic and sociologist and professor at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM). Author of numerous publications and books, her research field mainly addresses the evaluation of public policies on labour market and human capital.

Gaspard
Estrada

3rd SESSION
MODERATOR
ABOUT

Gaspard Estrada is Director of the Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean at Sciences Po, France. His research focuses on political communication, electoral campaigns and French foreign policy in Latin America.

Alicia
Puyana

3rd SESSION
speaker
ABOUT

Alicia Puyana Mutis is an Economics professor and academic at the FLACSO University and advisor to British Petroleum. Se has published extensively about integration and the socio-economic dynamics of Latin America.

Martine
Durand

3rd SESSION
Speaker
ABOUT

Martine Durand is Director of Statistics and Chief Statistician for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She was formerly OECD Deputy-Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs.

Stacco
Troncoso

3rd SESSION
speaker
ABOUT

Stacco Troncoso is an author, activist and professor specializing in the field of the commons. The Advocacy Coordinator of the P2P Foundation, he also works as the project lead for Commons Transition, the P2PF’s main communication and advocacy hub.

Renata
Avila

4th Session
Moderator
ABOUT

Renata Avila is a Guatemalan lawyer and activist with a human rights and technology focus. Member of Diem25, she serves on the Creative Commons Board and the OCDE’s Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council.

Cecilia
Nahon

4th Session
Speaker
ABOUT

Cecilia Nahón is an Argentinean economist, politician and diplomat. She was Ambassador of Argentina to the United States between 2013 and 2015, and former Secretary of International Economic Relations of the Argentinean Foreign Ministry.

Celso
Amorim

4th Session
Speaker
ABOUT

Celso Amorim is a Brazilian diplomat who served as Minister of Foreign Relations under both President Itamar Franco and President Lula da Silva. He was also Minister of Defence (2011-2014) under President Dilma Rousseff.

Magdalena
Sepúlveda

4th Session
Speaker
ABOUT

Magdalena Sepúlveda is Senior Research Associate at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and member of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT).

Javier
López Casarin

CAF Award
Presentation
ABOUT

Javier López Casarín is the Chairman of the Fundación Reinventando a México (FRaM). An established entrepreneur in the financial, technology and telecom sectors, he has devoted his career to promoting the social and economic development of Mexico.

Rafael
Heiber

CAF Award
Presentation
ABOUT

Rafael Heiber is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Common Action Forum. Geographer and Climatologist with a PhD in Sociology, his expertise includes the political links between technology, territory and citizenship. He advises journalists, provides commentary and publishes in the international media.

SESSIONS | 

1st Session − Recognizing diversity, governing the commons

Accelerated transformations in the past decades have brought with them profound challenges in understanding the world’s entities and the laws that govern them. Within this there is a difficulty in administering our shared commons, which would allow us to solve the present’s precarities and correct our paths to the future. While massive extinction of animals and plants occur and natural resources are contaminated at unprecedented speeds, technology becomes hybridized and hyperlinks society. The concept of the cloud essentially becomes a more comprehensible virtual sphere than the phenomenon of water condensation in the atmosphere.

This session lends itself to identifying a new state of the world, in which the natural, the human and the technological are more interconnected than ever, to explore principles of governance that maximize the potential of these new formulations to reverse trends of transforming the marginalized into the permanently excluded.

2nd Session − Capital flight and the crossroads of the theory of value

Value is created, extracted and destroyed. Historically, traditional economists have attributed an overstated influence to companies in the creation of wealth, while minimizing the contribution of the state or the worker. The real nature of the theory of value is quite different: the creation of wealth is a complex process of co-creation and co-participation. The current manifestation of globalization is at a crossroads: there is a choice between whether to distribute wealth or to extract and circulate it through flows that are far from transparent.

Capital flight is a threat that endangers the domestication of what has become a savage globalization, that of a capitalist system fed by an unbridled financial economy. The regulation of and fight against capital flight, offshore companies and tax havens is a necessary condition, but not enough, to draw closer to an economy of hope.

3rd Session − GDP and development from outside of Plato’s Cave

According to the famed Platonic allegory of the Cave, contact with a projected reality limits and obscures the complexity of reality itself. What if we conceptualized of the Cave as our current perception of the world, governed almost exclusively by an economic dimension? Would the GDP, that unit of measurement so repeatedly mentioned in the news, not then symbolize the referential projection in this dimension? Would it not embody the tension between the sensible and intelligible worlds at the zenith of the so-called “Information and Knowledge Society”?

Based on the lessons learned precisely on the margins of this society, we have discovered that growth becomes a paradox when the planet approaches the point of demographic saturation and common resources are at risk of collapse, overexploited by barely or non-sustainable lifestyles. It was not so long ago that the promise of social progress, the true indicator of collective benefit, proved a disappointment and was replaced by the debacle of a growth oriented towards division. Now, more than ever, we need to allow social progress the transformative protagonism it deserves.

4th Session − The Global South Leadership and the Green New Deal

The absence of immediate global strategies to address the climate crisis hast the potential for incalculable impact, and we must look beyond Paris. For almost a decade, the possibility of a Green New Deal has been gaining momentum among progressive actors, serving as a common agenda for international political platforms. The idea appears simple: to end austerity, invest locally, restore social welfare and found a sustainable economy based in resources and technologies that do not harm the environment.

But can the most vulnerable countries afford to adopt this vision? Is it compatible with the accelerated and extricative digital transformation of developed countries? No matter which version of the Green New Deal we look at, there always seems to be a reproduction of colonialist and North-Atlantic tendency amidst an era of transnationalization, with no consideration for the future vision of the Global South. This is where the imbalance driving this unequal world is lived and suffered, but it is also where the possibility for a radical change in the system lies, and where new leaderships, voices and ideas must emerge; they must hold the relevant actors accountable in taking action regarding the current climate catastrophe, to ensure a prosperous future for all.

PROGRAM | 

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speakers Program

SUNDAY
Private program in Mexico City

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1ST SESSION

MONDAY 10:00
Memory and Tolerance Museum

coffee break

MONDAY 11:30
Memory and Tolerance Museum

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2nd SESSION

MONDAY 12:00
Memory and Tolerance Museum.

LUNCH TIME

MONDAY 13:30
Memory and Tolerance Museum.

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3Rd SESSION

MONDAY 15:00
Memory and Tolerance Museum

coffee break

MONDAY 16:30
Memory and Tolerance Museum

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4th SESSION

MONDAY 17:00
Memory and Tolerance Museum

CAF AWARD

MONDAY 18:30
Memory and Tolerance Museum.