News

July / August / September 2017

Doughnut Economics Kate Raworth

UN Global Goals Year 2 and the Rethinking of Economics

At the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York at the riverside of the East River and since the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed by all countries of the world in 2015 we followed the second Partnership Exchange conference via livestream this time. Especially the keynote speech of professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University was impressive and highly motivating to go forward with all the 17 goals toward 2030 and beyond.

Also former US vice president Al Gore appeared in the news with his newest book about Why How What about Change which will become his newest bestseller. An Inconvenient Sequel describes all the issues about climate change in all the latest details and also how to help change the course of Mother Nature into the future we want.

Doughnut Economics is the newest inspiring title of a book about retinking economics in the most fundamental way. The doughnut was chosen as the picture of a ring between the minimum income needed for human lifestyles and the maximum possibilities of Mother Nature to deliver the resources for our daily needs. Professor Kate Raworth from Oxford University published this greatest bestseller-to-be this year to help economists AND consumers/citizens to adopt a more living kind of thinking in economics. It is written in a very daily language and most people read it untill the last page!

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April / May / June 2017

Money

Put your money where your mouth is - Buy the Change!

We can change ourselves. But we cannot change the world on our own! More than 80% of our lifestyle depends upon those people to whom we asked to produce products or to deliver services for us based on the division of all labour worldwide. Because of that same division of labour and expertise we can produce of course more quality and/or more quantity for lower prices than by doing it ourselves. But of course we have also to pay the true price for true sustainability and true income of those who are our producers. Then only then we can name ithe worleconomy an economy of question and answer!

To manage our expenses and to have an agenda for the annual meetings of consumer organizations with producers it is most easy to use a household booklet and/or agenda based on the 12 necessities of life. And in all dialogues between consumers and producers we can use the 7 aspects of trade.

More and more the whole world is working towards more sustainabilty. Following the UN Sustainable Development Goals we can now see the ISO 26000 directions for producers, and since this year also the ISO 20400 for working towards fair trade and true price.

The international Triodos Bank for financing sustainability started their new slogan "Buy the Change" meant for all of us especially as consumers while we are the ones who decide to which farmer architect or carmaker etc etc our euro yen or dollar goes for a new round in our everyday purchases and financial decisions.

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March 2017

The Story of Stuff

Education Dialogue Change - Global Goal SDG 17

More than 7.000.000.000 consumers are taking their everyday decisions to buy or not to buy products or services for their daily living. Education about the world around us is now more important than ever because of the many problems in all areas of our cultural social and economical world order.

Towards a new economical and social world order dialogue on a regular basis between consumers and producers is the essential basis. Only by meeting each other live (and via internet) understanding of the real problems and possible solutions can be managed and innovations triggered for the future we want. By asking better questions we can hope for better answers and better solutions!

From a macrocosmic point of view and way of thinking, through all possible arguments about the WHY HOW and WHAT towards a final "Put your Money where your Mouth is".

From Sustainable Development Global Goals via the worldwide agreed ideas about sustainability in ISO 26000 we can change the world around us in the best possible directions!

From the Story of Stuff through Change towards Solutions!

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February 2017

Dialogue

Dialogue Dialogue Dialogue - Global Goal SDG 12

The Global Goal SDG 12 requires a systemic approach and cooperation among actors operating in the supply chain, from producer to final consumer. It involves engaging consumers through awareness-raising and education on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing consumers with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others. This is the official text of SDG 12 of the United Nations declaration about the Sustainable Development Goals 2015 - 2030.

For this purpose the international guidelines for sustainable production and consumption ISO 26000 and especially the follow up of these guidelines the newly introduced ISO 20400 about dialogue in the supply chain are providing the information infrastructures and suggestions for dialogue among ALL stakeholders about ALL aspects of ALL products and services we need for our daily living (January 2017 - to be published May 2017). We were (partly) involved in the Dutch working group to think about the consumer aspects and because dialogue is the main instrument for working towards the future we want.

And whatever product or service we are communicating about it is always about the seven aspects of all trade: quality, quantity and price, about guarantees, and finally about payment, delivery and user issues. These are the aspects of trade as described in every book about economics and globalization. The modern aspects of trade are now also sustainability, true pricing, labelling and ethics.

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January 2017

jaar2016

Education in the 21st Century - Consumer Freedom and Responsibility

The year 2016 was full of activities and conferences about education, THE most important Global Goal for making the future we want. Especially the education of the next generations in schools and universities for finding their ways to cope with all the worldwide problems now and in the future. But also of course for the adults of today, and for all organizations in business, government and non-governmental organizations.

On January 10 this year even President Obama gave us in his Farewell Speech the urgent wake-up call to become more and more active citizens to make democracy work! Freedom and responsibility are the two sides of the same coin!

United Nations Partnership Exchange

July 18 we visited the United Nations Partnership Exchange conference in New York for the first year evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030 and for looking forward for the year(s) to come. About three hundred participants representing partner organizations from around the world reported about their activities and about the plans for the future. Looking toward the little green park outside the building we saw the great bronze statue of the archangel Saint Michael on his horse with a long spear fighting the dragon of evil. This could give us an image of hope that the Global Goals will be reached even if everything looks to be too difficult sometimes.

International Conference on Consumer Research

September 26 we were in Bonn Germany at the International Conference on Consumer Research ICCR for the latest results of researchers from around the world. Bonn is also the residence of the International Federation for Home Economics IFHE the worldwide organization for teachers and researchers in home economics.since 1912, Especially interesting was the closing keynote speech of Frank Trentmann author of the book just launched one month earlier about the complete history of THE consumer. His book The Empire of Things is already a bestseller from day 1 and a masterpiece for reading not only for researchers but for every consumer as well!

International Conference on Financial Education

October 13 the International Conference on Financial Education was held in Auckland New Zealand organized by the OECD / INFE. Especially for research about financial literacy teached in schools. This time a little bit too expensive for us to go but we hope to join a conference in the future. It also triggered us to renew our contacts with editors for an upgraded reprint of our own financial agenda the Consumer360Manager.

TEDxAmsterdamED

At TedxAmsterdmED in March and TEDxNyenrodeUniversity in October we learned a lot about the latest developments in education worldwide not only related to schools and universities but also in lifelong learning and even in learning how to win the Olympic Games by accepting yourself and not only thinking about the top you want to reach!

Club of Rome

And last but not least we were invited for the two day seminar at Nyenrode University organized by the Club of Rome in the Netherlands. A highly inspiring seminar about how we can really change our habits necessary for real change towards a better world. Professor Dennis Meadows who ws co-founder of the Club of Rome and the co-author of the Limits to Growth in 1972 introduced his latest bestseller to be The Climate Change Playbook! He presented all 22 games how to learn to change our habits for real change!

The world in dialogue - the future of marketing

For the years to come education will be highest priority for all of us consumers young and old because WE are the change! And working towards an economy of question and answer we are the ones to ask better questions so that producers can give us better answers in delivering better products and better services. For that we need all kinds of platforms and activities to exchange needs and possibilities. Consumer organizations and inititiatives will be the game changers towards new business models of this new bottom-up marketing.

Consumer360Academy and catalyzing change

In 1980 November 11 our chairman started his research project about new consumer initiatives and consumer organizations and the role of the single consumer and the management information needed to be able to find relevant arguments to take best possible decisions, Working at the newly founded Triodos Bank for sustainable and ethical business finance he had the opportunity to meet many new initiatives in all kinds of projects in agriculture and food, healthcare, education, housing, transport, communication etc etc. After seven years of research and many newsletters he published in 1998 his sixty page book Consumer freedom and responsibility - towards the 21st century. Founding the Free Consumers Association in 2001 was the next step and the website Consumer360Academy in 2004 the final step to inform consumers and organizations worldwide. By ongoing research, following all the news in the world, helping many projects by lobbying and moderating, with brainstorms or a simple email about an interesting article or link, helping where possible in catalyzing change.

December 2016

Dennis Meadows The Climate Change Playbook The Club of Rome

Club of Rome to COP 22 - Solutions in the Making

One year after the Climate Summiit COP21 in Paris this month in Marrakech in Morocco the COP 22 conference was about starting towards solutions for the problems causing climate change. Especially interesting was the launch of Dennis Meadows newest book about changing attitude and behaviour. The Climate Change Playbook - 22 Systems Thinking Games for More Effective Communication about Climate Change.

In the old beautiful castle of Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands Dennis Meadows co-author of Limits to Growth (Club of Rome 1972) presented us with great enthousiasm the 22 games that teachers and trainers can use to learn children and adults and organizations as well not only to understand the problems but also to find the tools for effective communication about climate change and to real change in attitudes and behaviour, habits and lifestyles. The Climate Chance Playbook is a masterpiece for transforming system-dynamic thinking towards taking the right decisions in our lifestyles.

These simple interactive games in the Climate Change Playbook help practioners and educators present climate change from a systems-perspective demonstrating its complex interconnectred web of causes, effects and unintended impacts. Designed by leaders in sytems-thinking climate communications and sustainability, the games focus on learning by doing and are suitable for a variety of ages and audiences. Playing the games help people navigate the obstacles that make understanding climate change so difficult and also identify the leverage points to create real long term solutions.

"When you're walking along a tricky curving, unknown, surprising, obstacle-strewn path you'd be a fool to keep your head down and look just at the next step in front of you. You'd be equally a fool just to peer far ahead and never notice what's immediately under your feet. You need to be watching both the short and the long term. You need to watch the whole system!"

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November 2016

Auckland Today vs tomorrow OECD Symposium

OECD Global Symposium on Financial Education in Auckland New Zealand

More than 150 high-level delegates from 40 countries attended the two-day event in Auckland, New Zealand, including officials and experts from the OECD/International Network on Financial Education (OECD/INFE), ministries of finance and education, central banks, regulatory and supervisory authorities, governmental officials, as well as international organisations, the academic community, the private sector and NGOs.

This high-level global symposium addressed the following topics:

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October 2016

Bonn Germany ICCR 2016 Terrace

International Conference on Consumer Research 2016

The Competence Center of Consumer Research North Rhine-Westphalia (CECORE NRW) organized the second International Conference on Consumer Research (ICCR) 2016 September 26-27 in the Science Center (Wissenschaftszentrum) in Bonn Germany. The theme of the conference was "The 21st Century Consumer: Vulnerable, Responsible, Transparent?" and meant to discuss different views, concepts, and models of consumers and the implications for policy-making. Questions like: Is there a way to protect vulnerable consumers more efficiently? Can responsible consumers get new tools to achieve healthy and sustainable societies? Is transparency an asset or a threat to consumers? Does nudging help to unfold self-governance of consumers?

Roles, capabilities and responsibilities of consumers seem to be rapidly changing. Companies and politics reach out to consumers to shape future markets and the well-being of our societies. Interdisciplinary consumer research is vital to explore conditions and consequences of change. Researchers from different disciplines and countries worldwide gathered to enrich this debate.

Prof. Victoria Thoresen gave an inspiring keynote speech about the educated consumer who wants to be part of the chain more and more in the dialogue between producers and consumers and all other stakeholders. (Read more: September News). Prof. Frank Trentmann the writer of the amazing history of the consumer untill the 21st century The Empire of Things and a great storyteller about the consumer in space and time gave the closing speech of the conference (Read more: August News).

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September 2016

Bookcover Responsive Living Bookcover Enabling Responsible Living PERL groupphoto PERL Logo

UNESCO Chair - Partnership for Education and Research About Responsible Living PERL

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 build on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and seek to address their unfinished business. "The interlinkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realised. If we achieve our ambitions across the full extent of the Agenda, the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better." (From the preamble of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development)Awareness of the impacts human activity have on the environment and on society is not new, but integrating up-to-date, evidence-based insights on the topic into higher education curricula and practice is only slowly becoming noticeable.

Following the first global wake-up calls in the early 1970's, the topic of minimizing the effects on nature caused by the way people live was reiterated and became the core mandate for Agenda 21 initiatives. Focus was put on the role of industry and government in improving infrastructures, enacting regulations and modifying products in order to reduce carbon emissions. Life-cycle analysis of products and dematerialization/decoupling production processes have been the main approaches, concentrating on improving energy efficiency.

Eventually economists and social scientists provided additional perspectives dealing with the social consequences of unsustainable production and consumption. The role of the individual and his/her lifestyle choices has become a significant part of the discussion on how to mitigate climate change and promote the transition to a more just, sustainable future. The Marrakech Process on Sustainable Consumption and Production (2000-2010) supported projects and worked to bring to the attention of educators, policy-makers and the public at large the pressing need to reflect on how we organize our daily life, socialize, share, learn and educate. In other words, rethinking our ways of living, how we buy and what we consume.

The UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) integrated education for sustainable consumption into its agenda as an essential element of ESD in 2008. By then recognition of the interrelatedness of systems and processes was growing and the discussion about sustainable lifestyles expanded to examine how unsustainable ways of living are connected to non-communicable diseases, to poverty, and to the unequal usage and distribution of resources. The concepts of social responsibility began to incorporate consideration also for future generations and their opportunities.

At the World Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in 2012, leaders of the world agreed that awareness-raising and education about sustainable lifestyles needed to increase both in scope and quality. A 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10-YFP) was adopted and preparations are being made to launch the program on Sustainable Lifestyles and Education in order to up-scale positive initiatives already in existence and to support new, innovative ones."We recognize that poverty eradication, changing unsustainable and promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production, and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are the overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development." The Future We Want, Rio+20, 2012 Parallel to the establishing of a 10-YFP UNESCO has prepared a Global Action Program as a follow-up to the UN DESD. This Program also emphasizes the urgent need for holistic, values-based, practical education which stimulates systems thinking and social learning.

Among the issues which PERL has brought to the discourse on sustainable development has been that of the need to promote empathy, social learning, moderation and sharing. To do so, a more world-embracing vision is needed from institutions of higher education -- a vision which encourages all students to be global citizens and to show in their daily lives how they contribute to a more just and sustainable world community. This is more easily said than done. PERL has encouraged the processes of social innovation and co-creating based on a cycle of social learning which involves reflection on values and practices, frank and open consultation amongst all relevant stakeholders, action, reflection on the actions taken, making adaptions, followed by a renewed cycle of consultation-action-reflection-adaption. PERL has also assisted in creating multi-stakeholder alliances and fora where new research and experience on these issues can be shared (SOURCE: PERL / UNITWIN WEBSITE)

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August 2016

Bookcover The Empire of Things Frank Trentmann Illustration Map Silk Road Marco Polo

The Empire of Things - How We Became a World of Consumers (A must-read for everyone!)

Book Review (Amazon): What we consume has become a central-perhaps the central-feature of modern life. Our economies live or die by spending, we increasingly define ourselves by our possessions, and this ever-richer lifestyle has had an extraordinary impact on our planet. How have we come to live with so much stuff, and how has this changed the course of history?

In Empire of Things, Frank Trentmann unfolds the extraordinary story of our modern material world, from Renaissance Italy and late Ming China to today's global economy. While consumption is often portrayed as a recent American export, this monumental and richly detailed account shows that it is in fact a truly international phenomenon with a much longer and more diverse history. Trentmann traces the influence of trade and empire on tastes, as formerly exotic goods like coffee, tobacco, Indian cotton and Chinese porcelain conquered the world, and explores the growing demand for home furnishings, fashionable clothes and convenience that transformed private and public life. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries brought department stores, credit cards and advertising, but also the rise of the ethical shopper, new generational identities and, eventually, the resurgence of the Asian consumer.

With an eye to the present and future, Frank Trentmann provides a long view on the global challenges of our relentless pursuit of more-from waste and debt to stress and inequality. A masterpiece of research and storytelling many years in the making, Empire of Things recounts the epic history of the goods that have seduced, enriched and unsettled our lives over the past six hundred years.

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July 2016

New York Bay Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals Year 1 - A Consumers Impression

At the first ever conference about the progress of the Global Goals we heard all the stories and best practices during the Partnership Exchange at the United Nations in New York July 18. About 300 of the more than 2200 partner organizations followed the debates and the discussions about the essentials of working towards the SDG's in the first year and the years ahead in the Agenda 2030.

"You are the actors" was the starting point of the day and of course we ourselves as individual consumers or citizens are the ones who are co-responsible for the future we want, Not only to ask better questions for best possible solutions but also change our daily habits towards more responsible lifestyles. Together with our consumer organizations and in dialogue with producers, trade, financing and governments as well.

Literacy and a common language are the basis for that dialogue and needs to be learned already at schools and universities but also in all kinds of projects and meetings around the world. Through internet and working with new business models all the best practices can be learned in the most efficient way.

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April - June 2016

TRUE Brands Energy Globe Awards Ralph Nader

TRUE Brands - Transparent Responsible Unique Empathic

TRUE Brands was published in April in the Netherlands but soon also in English. A bestseller about a better world in the making! Mark van de Grift has written a masterpiece about all aspects of all stakeholders in the production, trade, pricing and consumption of products and services in a way we can all follow the processes and organizations involved.

Ralph Nader organized in May his groundbreaking 50 years of consumer advocacy and the road ahead. The 4 days "Breaking Through Power" congress was held in the Constitution Hall in Washington DC and followed livestream by The Real News Network, a tv station which is financed 100% by consumers / viewers.

Energy Globe Awards were announced in June for the winners in 177 countries worldwide - the most important prize for sustainability projects. End of this year the five world awards will be announced for projects about earth, water, air, fire, and youth.

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January - March 2016

COP21 roadmap COP21 photo COP21

Paris Climate Conference COP 21

In december all countries of the world decided in Paris to work together in managing the climate change within 1.5 degrees raising of the average temperature. An euforic finish of years and years of conferencing debating and calculating! After twenty years of thinking and twenty years of talking the next twenty years will now be about working and implementing the new techniques and organizations to fulfill that promise.

In January and February two big events in the Netherlands were organized to discuss about the future of food. Bio1000 and Food Otherwise (Voedsel Anders) at Wageningen University with more than 900 people! About he quality of food, about true price and about more and more dialogue in the chain from farm to fork. About the essential steps towards agriculture as being part not of industry or technique but of nature itself. Organic and especially biodynamic agriculture have proved to be the most innovative road into the 21st century.

In March the whole world was watching all shifts in the geopolitical relations, war and peace, Europe in stress, and the United States where elections get more attention than ever in the world! Especially Bernie Sanders is favourite for the youth willing to participate for a better future.

This winter season showed us a lot of interesting startups since the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030 in September in New York. More people than ever are now active to work on all options. The words "Yes We Can" are now heard around the world. Enough work to do, lots of problems ahead but the trend in motivating each other is now that by trial and error another world is possible!

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December 2015

World Congress Unlocking Consumer Power Consumer Consumers International

Consumers International and the Sustainable Development Goals 2015 - 2030

"With the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the world takes an important step towards a more sustainable future. But the journey can be made so much easier with consumer protection as a companion", writes Consumers International's (CI) Director General Amanda Long (Blog September 23).

"The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals build on the work of the Millennium Development Goals, which focus on poverty eradication and fighting hunger, and will take a more inclusive, universal approach with the addition of new measures to reduce inequality, tackle climate change and environmental degradation, promote peace, prosperity and sustainable economic growth. With slightly less fanfare, but no less significance to consumer organisations, the revised UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP) are also expected to be adopted by this year's UN General Assembly. Consumers International have been at the heart of this revision process, working with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Member States to ensure they are both stronger and more relevant to consumers in today's global marketplace.

I strongly believe that much more should be made of this opportunity to link these two important global agendas. Consumers are at the heart of many of the issues dealt with in the UN SDGs and it will be a missed opportunity not to use the UN Guidelines to promote consumer welfare, sustainable consumption and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. People's ability to consume, the consumption choices available to them and whether they are treated fairly as consumers, fundamentally affects the quality of their lives and of the environment around them. The UN SDGs' ambition is commendable, but to meet this ambition, everyone needs to be on board. Consumers are the largest constituency in the economy and should not be ignored.

Consumer protection provides a clear means to curb inequalities and to promote fairness, justice and environmental protection in an increasingly complex global economy. It ensures that people everywhere are treated fairly and with dignity in the marketplace, and have access to safe, healthy, sustainable products and services. This is particularly important for poor and vulnerable people who are often the most exploited. There is still time and opportunity. Once the UN SDGs are formally adopted, policy makers' attention will turn to getting their message across to the public, and to developing ways to measure their progress.

The public will gain a greater understanding of the UN SDGs if their rights as consumers are protected and promoted through the UN SDGs. And a number of the UN SDGs will be achieved far more effectively by including the implementation of the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection as an indicator to help measure progress towards the achievement of the UN SDGs. UNEP, the UN Environment Programme, also recognises the UNGCP's value and is calling for the same indicator to monitor progress on the UN SDG on sustainable consumption and production. But the UNGCP's impact covers far more than simply helping people buy the most sustainable option available.

The UN SDGs' objectives to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and promote shared prosperity, fundamentally rely on how consumers think and act, and how their opportunities, choices and rights are protected - in the developed and developing world. The eight Millennium Development Goals made great progress in some areas, but fell short in others. The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals need to draw on everybody and every policy, to stand any chance of achieving their objectives by 2030. Consumer protection is an essential partner for this journey. Let's not miss this opportunity."

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November 2015

Earth Theatre Museumplein Limburg Creative City Kerkrade

Sustainability Through the Eyes of Astronauts - Unique 3D Earth Theatre

This month a unique theatre was opened in the Netherlands! Looking to the Earth through the eyes of the astronauts of the International Space Station ISS. To experience the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals for our magnificent but also fragile planet! And explore the possibilities of new designs to save the climate and our future in the other exposition halls!

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October 2015

New York Sustainable Development Goals UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015

Education for All - The UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015 - 2030

The greatest conference experience of the 21st century happened in New York September 25-27. All world leaders and all representatives of the most important companies, citizen- and consumerorganizations were there to launch the sustainable development goals and to discuss the first steps to make. An inspiring start for the future we want!

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September 2015

101 Reasons for a Citizen's Income Money for everyone Basic Income World Conference

Citizens Income in Perspective

The newest book 101 Reasons for a Citizen's Income offers a short, accessible introduction to the debate on a Citizen's Income, showing how a universal, unconditional income for every citizen would solve problems facing the benefits system, tackle poverty, and improve social cohesion and economic efficiency. For anyone new to the subject, or who wants to introduce friends, colleagues or relatives to the idea, 101 Reasons for a Citizen's Income is the book to open up debate around the topic. Drawing on arguments detailed in Money for everyone, it offers a convincing case for a Citizen's Income and a much needed resource for all interested in the future of welfare (Policy Press).

Next year the Basic Income World Conference will be in Seoul, South Korea July 7-9, 2016. This year's pre-conference in June was already very inspiring because of so many initiatives and laws in-the-making in so many countries. Next year it will become visible how the pilots have started in Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and perhaps even more countries. And how to interprete the first results and experiences.

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August 2015

Education International Education International Education International World Congress Ottawa 2015

Education International puts free education high on summit agenda UN

When the governments of Ethiopia, Norway and the Republic of Korea joined UNESCO to discuss the Investment Case for Education at the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa on 14 July, one important issue was absent from the conversation: free education. A side event was organised around the conclusions of both the World Education Forum in Incheon, Republic of Korea in May as well as this month's Summit on Education for Development in Oslo Norway.

"Education is the most transformative source of any society. We need to assert education as the core of the new sustainable development goals, whether it is gender equality or skills." Also on the panel was the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) stressing that more needs to be done to adequately finance education, including greater partnerships in advocacy because education needs its moment now. We have to step up our investment, adding that training is crucial; otherwise you end up with kids not learning if the teachers aren't trained! Access to quality education is a basic human right. The conference created a realistic roadmap on how to finance the Sustainable Development Goals.

Commercialisation and privatisation in and of education will be at the heart of Education International's agenda for the next four years as the organisation concluded a successful Seventh World Congress in Ottawa, Canada. It is a "threat that poses great harm to the greatest enterprise of our society: quality public education", said EI's President, Susan Hopgood in her closing remarks at the end of five days of debate, networking, and sharing of ideas and best practice. "We leave here united, ready to fight against the scourge of private enterprise in our classrooms."If the new global Sustainable Development Goals are to succeed, EI must use its standing to ensure quality education for all finally becomes reality for every child, she said. Hopgood also praised the work of Education Support Personnel and called for investment in young educators.

Concluding her remarks, she said: "This congress was about values in the world. It was about union values, educator values, and societal values. We are here to make a better world."

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July 2015

Greece Democracy Rising

Democracy Rising - World Conference in Athens

CRESTON DAVIS, GLOBAL CENTER FOR ADVANCED STUDIES: "Boy, we couldn't have planned the conference to be at a better time given the volatility of what's happening here in Greece. But basically yes, after Syriza came to power here in January, my friend Maria Nikolakaki, a professor, and myself started to think, let's put on a conference that deals with specific questions about democracy rising that is a kind of inspirational moment where you connect up the Occupy movements to things that happened in the Arab Spring to all over. And you start to bring together leading intellectuals, public intellectuals like Tarik Ali, to journalists, novelists, and even politicians from Podemos and Syriza."

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June 2015

ConsumerClassroom Lifelong Learning Programme

Economy360 - An Introduction to Consumer Governance

"As consumers we take all the decisions of the world! Who is going to work for us as farmer physician teacher architect or otherwise? So we don't have to think about empowerment in the first place because we already decide in which direction a euro yen or dollar is starting a new round. Directly or indirectly via taxes savings or subsidies. So consumer education is all about conciousness. About learning how to make the best possible choices. And the best way to see the big picture and all the details of the complex world of economy is by looking through the windows of our twelve daily necessities of life. The easiest way to streamline all information for "consumer governance" (Our first text on the expertblog of the European website for schoolteachers).

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May 2015

Peter Blom Triodos Bank Triodos Bank

Triodos Bank Annual Report 2014 - Focus on Impact

"Triodos Bank takes an unconventional approach to assessing impact. Numbers do matter of course, but they are not our starting point. It sounds counterintuitive because we often hear that conventional growth, graphs that go up, and rising numbers are good news to be celebrated. But this is not always true. For instance, if your bank is in the business of sustainable change, financing a single, innovative new business which will drive an entirely new sustainable industry could mean more impact than financing ten established businesses in a mature industry." (Peter Blom, CEO)

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April 2015

apr 2015

Symposium and launch State of the World 2015

"We think we understand environmental damage: pollution, water scarcity, a warming world. But these problems are just the tip of the iceberg. Deeper issues include food insecurity, financial assets drained of value by environmental damage, and a rapid rise in diseases of animal origin. These and other problems are among the underreported consequences of an unsustainable global system.

In State of the World 2015, the flagship publication of The Worldwatch Institute, experts explore hidden threats to sustainability and how to address them. Eight key issues are addressed in depth, along with the central question of how we can develop resilience to these and other shocks. With the latest edition of State of The World, the authorities at Worldwatch bring to light challenges we can no longer afford to ignore."

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March 2015

mrt 2015 UNESCO Victoria Thoresen

Unesco 70 years and the Unitwin chair for sustainable lifestyles

At the final conference of the Unesco Decade for Education for Sustainable Development in Nagoya Japan last November professor Victoria Thoresen was chair of a discussion panel. This month at the headquarters in Paris she received the UNESCO/UNITWIN chair for Sustainable Lifestyles for Hedmark University in Hamar Norway and launched the book Responsible Living - Concepts, Education and Future Perspectives.

At the conference of the International Federation of Home Economics later this month in Malta she gave a very inspiring presentation of what consumer education can be! Not only about responsible living as an individual but also as part of the whole world family we are all together as consumers and citizens as well! The essence of a holistic view to see what is everyone's role on the stage called planet earth as focus point in the universe!

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February 2015

Aarde World Economic Forum World Economic Forum Logo

A better world in the making - business governments and civil society working together

While revolutions are sometimes necessary for ending structures of the past, working towards a better world takes a little bit more time than seven days! Following the developments of the world and especially the world economy during the conferences in Davos Switzerland each year all parties have done a great job in starting up the great dialogue between all parties and about all issues! Especially important now because the United Nations will launch the new Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2025 this year.

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January 2015

How to start a revolution From dictatorship to democracy The politics of nonviolent action

Gene Sharp's 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action

How to Start a Revolution is the inspiring movie about the ideas of how people can work towards societies of living together in the best possible harmony. Gene Sharp was nominated three times for the Nobelprize and worked lifelong on this research and published a small book of only 70 pages about the basic principles of nonviolent revolution: From Dictatorship to Democracy. It became a worldwide bestseller for all people that wanted to change towards taking own responsibility for their own life and freedom of choice, for their country and society as citizens, and for their participation in the worldeconomy as a whole as consumers.

One way or another, people are more and more active today in what Alvin Toffler already wrote in all his books The Third Wave, Future Shock, Powershift, Revolutionary Wealth and others about the changes in civilzation into the 21st century.

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December 2014

The Future of Banking

The Future of Banking - Banking for the Future

Two important conferences in England and in the Netherlands about banking in the future and for the future. The financial crisis has triggered us all to think deeper about the real values presented by money. And to think further about the ways that banks can help streamlining the economic globalization towards prosperity for all. What about local currencies and crowdfunding and what about the worldwide sytems of banking and investing and the dialogue between consumers and producers as the new basis for financing in the 21st century?

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November 2014

UNESCO World Conference

DESD 2005 - 2014 Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (final conference)

In Nagoya Japan the UNESCO World Conference looked back to the decade for educating the next generation towards more knowledge about sustainable development. Coming to an end in looking back of what was achieved it was also a looking forward to the next decade to come! As we know the Millenium Development Goals will also be followed next year by the new UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015 - 2025.

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October 2014

Rudolf Steiner Exposition: The Human Being in the Middle of the Universe

After travelling through many European cities the exposition about the life and work of Rudolf Steiner was now in the Netherlands in the Port of Rotterdam. Like this largest harbour in the world where people know what economics is all about, a special paper about what Rudolf Steiner said about the worldeconomy as science and as reality in 1919 already was sold out in the shortest time (fourty thousand). In those days he already saw the problems growing which we now see in the financial crisis. In the Economic Course for students he gave many basic insights for economic thinking which make clear many new insights, why's and how's.

In the same way that we saw a return of the ideas of John Maynard Keynes we experience more and more "hunger" for basic insights in worldeconomy (as we do in all areas of knowledge since consumers finally became more interested to take responsibity for a better world). As a scientist and as a philosopher Steiner gave many basic insights. Although he gave also many guidelines for practical use for agriculture, schoolteachers, medicare, arts, economics and society as a whole, etc etc etc it's up to everyone and every organization themselves to think about all kinds of solutions which are most appropriate to circumstances and goals. (See for instance our own webportal Consumer360Academy as an initiative for exchange of insights and experiences about consumer-producer dialogue and consumer education in consumer governance!).

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September 2014

Magnificent panoramas of the Rhine from Bingen to Bonn

International Conference on Consumer Research

In the German city of Bonn the first international conference about Consumer Research was organised. Although research is an always ongoing process it is also essential to meet each other from time to time to exchange insights and experiences. Bonn is also the city where the International Federation for Home Economics, the worldwide oldest association of teachers and researchers is housing.

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August 2014

Arctic Sunrise

Greenpeace ice-breaker - back from breaking the ice in an international conflict

The "Arctic Sunrise" and the whole crew came back to her home shipyard in Amsterdam! With tears in our eyes we watched the ship slowly entering the harbour of Amsterdam with some small boats escorting her and a loud hello from the ship and an even louder welcome from the quay! Director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo gave a warm welcome speech for the crew who had broken the ice for the international talks about drilling oil in the Arctic Sea. A very important action because the whole world is asking to preserve the area as a part of the Earth where nature can help us solve our pollution- biodiversity- and climateproblems.

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July 2014

Harvard Business Review

New Basics of Marketing

"We can't think of another discipline that has evolved so quickly! New approaches are appearing every day!" (The New Basics of Marketing / Harvard Business Review / July-August 2014 / page 56.) Indeed the 21st century shows us in all directions that consumers are now active partners in almost all product/service chains. The economy of demand and supply has grown towards an economy of question and answer! Where we as consumers have to ask the best questions to get the best answers (the best possible products, services and advices)!

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June 2014

Piketty, Capital

Capital, inequality and income

On top of all discussions about basic incomes, top salaries and the rising inequality between both this book appears about how capital works in the economy. Thomas Piketty not only wrote a masterpiece in economic science since Adam Smith, Karl Marx and Paul Samuelson but also in inspiring "storytelling". A bestselling book worldwide in the financial world but also in a wide interested public which is now almost the whole civil society because of these discussions!

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