Economists are invited to Davos as a reflection of the profession’s influence in society, particularly in policy making and business strategy.
The history of food in Europe is long and storied. Deeply rooted agricultural and place-based food traditions are now experiencing renewed attention, as global interest in food origins grows. In 1986, the Slow Food movement was founded in Italy as a protest against fast-food chain McDonald’s encroachment on historic sites in Rome. Slow Food is now a vast, grass-roots international organization. As the food movement has grown in Europe, opportunities to study food have also expanded.
This article is based on a talk with Livia Macedo from MakeSense Shanghai on social enterprise in the world’s second biggest economy. As we count down the days to the World Resources Forum (October 21-23), our attention has been turning increasingly towards fascinating China where it will take place. Given the novelty of the Chinese social enterprise scene, I sat down with Livia Macedo, who is actively involved in the Shanghai hub of the social enterprise network called MakeSense, to talk about the prospects of Chinese social entrepreneurship. Livia, a former mentor of the Choice movement for social enterprise in her home country Brazil, has carried out a market research on social business in China as the national coordinator for edge, and at the same time she has been advocating social enterprise for Shanghai university students, locals and expats alike though the MakeSense gang.
On social enterprise emerging in China:
This has been the title of an article published in the Spring issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review. Recently, the BBC reported about social entrepreneurship being not only a growing trend in China, but also a philanthropic activity with bigger potential than traditional NGO actions. What’s more, China daily wrote about the increasing popularity of social enterprises.
Lindsay Shafer had the opportunity to interview John Etgen, Senior Vice President of the Project WET Foundation, about the role of education in water sustainability. This education is vitally important because today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders. In the interview, Etgen discusses Project WET’s initiatives, which include giving kids the opportunity to discuss complex water issues from all sides and viewpoints. Project WET reaches kids through teachers, informal classes, and water festivals throughout the United States and in more than 50 countries on 5 continents. The initiative incorporates water lessons through activities that integrate into the existing curriculum for art, math, music, social studies, and science.
At a conference of this size, conference planners ponder how to create ways to facilitate valuable personal interaction and discussion between people of different backgrounds. A good example of an interactive event at the Forum happened on Tuesday as one of the interactive program facilitators chatted with people wandering around in the Village of Solutions. She encouraged more than half a dozen people to come in and participate in a collaborative event. This event, intended to make people feel like they were being observed and responsible for serious decision-making, was entitled the ‘fish-bowl negotiation’ session. People gathered around a table in order to discuss a topic. Christine, a zoologist and biologist from Switzerland, led our group comprised of people from around the world including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mexico, France, U.S.A., and Switzerland, in typical moderator fashion.
Last night, I got a rare chance to participate in the behind-the-scenes development of a global movement. I was one of eight students who met in a nearby hotel lobby to write up our definitions of the three established Water Youth Movement pillars — Education, Crossing Boundaries and Innovation — and create a pivotal structural document outlining the Movement’s mission and goals that will be presented to the sixth World Water Forum Secretariat tomorrow. The group included the three leaders of the Youth Task Force, the governing body of the Water Youth Movement — Matt Agarwala, Rozemarinj ter Horst, and Marie-Alix Prat. The Water Youth Movement was organized by the Emerging Academic Program, in collaboration with Youth Diplomacy of France, The World Youth Parliament for Water, the Water and Youth International Movement, and other progressive youth-led associations. While the participating youth have had a presence at the past five World Water Forums, this conference in Marseille is the first chance the Youth Task Force has had a significant presence and voice amongst the businesses, diplomats, and NGO’s that participate in these global-level meeting. The opportunity to participate arose from attending the Youth Task Force Opening Session, which Sharon covered in more detail here.
Today is the beginning day of the World Water Forum 2012 in Marseille, France. The WWF is the world’s largest meeting about water – previous forums in Istanbul and Mexico were attended by 25,000 people. Participants and presenters include members of international bodies like the United Nations, global NGOs like The Nature Conservancy and local NGOs such as NetWWater, a Sri Lankan organization working to ensure water supply to schools and hospitals. Officials from governments and the private sector also contribute to and participate in the Forum. The multitude of viewpoints allows deep discussions on several topics in water; the WWF organizes these topics into themes such as supply; the water, energy and food nexus; infrastructure; water as a right; gender and water; and more.
The student reporter team from the World Resources Forum in Davos came up with a comprehensive manual. It comprises the various perspectives from the editors and the student reporters including the 10 rules of student reporting, a collection of valuable resource websites, the steps to write posts, record and embedd videos and interviews, take pictures, etc… Though we realized that such a manual can be very helpful it still is a very static document and we are planning to provide video tutorials in the near future. The outcome of this great team effort is open for comments and support for ongoing improvement – enjoy reading. Student Reporter Manual_vApril2012