The 12 basic needs
Where Meet&Greet is the first step in human relations, where active democracy is the basis for relations in a greater perpective, consumer associations are the organizing platforms in collecting all our economic needs of products and services, for all those things we asked other people to do for us. In the same way all other associations, clubs, sports and societies are organized also consumer organizations have members, annual reports and annual meetings to discuss the activities of past, present and future.
Practically we only have to follow the annual reports of twelve consumer organizations to have a complete managerial survey of all developments worldwide. And in reading those developments we can understand the whole “picture” by looking to the seven aspects of which Quality is of course the main item and goal of every product or service! Based on this simple scheme we can take our decisions what to buy or not to buy, which service to ask, which questions to ask, or decide yes or no to take action if necessary.
For the more general questions country-wide or worldwide there are the national consumer organizations (see the list in de PDF below or search on consumersinternational – members), the european organization in Brussels called BEUC (Bureau of European Consumers) and of course Consumers International in London.
12 202312 December 2023
12 202212 December 2022
Consumers international – The future we want
Consumers International CI is the platform for the consumer organizations of all 220 countries worldwide. Founded in The Hague/Netherlands in 1960 as the International Organization of Consumer Unions IOCU represented by all the consumer organizations worldwide. (Although only 120 out of the 220 countries have national consumer unions so far).
One way or another representing all 8.000.000.001 consumers worldwide, starting points of all the money going around every day when people make their decisions to buy (or not to buy), to save and lend or to subsidise. From supply and demand towards an economy of responsible questions and sustainable answers!
Development of conciousness, dialogue consumers-producers and even crowdfunding new initiatives and co-financing world trade and production with small but basic amounts of money connecting the world of the division of labour, being consumers AND producers in all our different roles every day.
The COP27 conference last month in Egypt shows the steps to go from promises to sustainable actions. As consumers we can ask the right questions so that producers can work on the best possible solutions!
The Amsterdam University Press published this month the bestseller-to-be “Economy Studies – A Guide to Rethinking Economics Education” by Sam de Muijnck and Joris Tieleman. Result of ten years worldwide discussions about Rethinking Economics by student groups and other people working in the academic world. Hundreds of pages about the renewal of economic studies. For all types of schools, for universities and for consumer education as well. The book can be downloaded for free (see below).
- Consumers International
- COP 27 Conference Egypt / Welcome Speech
- Economy Studies – A Guide to Rethinking Economics Education (PDF) (bestseller! free download!)
12 202203 March 2022
Sustainable Development Goals – Another World in the Making!
Sustainable Development Goals are now THE real catalyzers for change! Everybode knows them, everybody is talking about them, and everybody and every organization is now working on solutions one way or another. New ways of farming and food, energy and all kinds of commodities, and working on cleaning the seas and reforestation of what has been exploited.
The Club of Rome (1972) the Brundtland Report (1987) and the Earth Charter (2000) were the great initiators. Buy Nothing Day (1992), Rethinking Economics (1992), and Fridays for Futures (Greta Thunberg 2018) were the great promotors in the last few years. And the whole world is now aware of the urgency about climate change, sustainability and all other issues about equality, responsibility and development in general.
And the first results are becoming more and more visible! Electric transport and travel, 3D efficient organic and biodynamic farming, self-responsible healthcare, quality education and life(s)long learning, More equality for all people and a more reasonable income for everyone. Better ways of production including a much better longterm profit for everyone and every organization! The 21st century has really started towards mature and responsible lifestyles.
But there has to be done more than the SDG’s alone! The SDG’s are 17 goals together, but only about six of the twelve necessities of life. The SDG’s are mostly about sustainability of the natural world and about equality among people when it is about income, hunger and healthcare. But much more has to be developed than the SDG’s alone! The way we think about science itself as a holistic issue more than natural sciences alone, The way we think about democracy more than gender equality alone. And so the way we think about religion philosophy of living and thinking about the arts as basic principles of creating and co-creating for everyone. For stewardship of the planet and the cosmos around us (not to be overcrowded by traffic and litter … ).
Therefore we published our first video about the twelve necessities of life to complete the complete horizon of information which we need as consumers (and as producers). Because a video “reads” so much faster than pages in a book or on a website. This was our press release which we send to the press and many other organizations on the 12th of February:
Newstip: Premiere YouTube Video (11 min)
An overview of all information consumers need for their daily decision making.
A summary of the complete website of Consumer360Academy in a nutshell.
Discover the world of the consumer!
Read more: www.consumer360.org
12 202202 February 2022
Work in Progress – Another World Under Construction
Many papers and magazins are reporting about the new generation which is willing to take action to change the world into sustainability and responsibility, transparency and equality. Willing to take the lead of their own future!
Although worldwide most noses are pointing into the same direction it is not easy to change the world in one day! But after so many years of research, dialogue and experiences we have to make up our minds and take decisions.
What about a to-do list for consumers? That is us! Taking economical decisions every day choosing what we need. Making our decisions mostly as a routine. But when making choices about to change something we always have to read and talk a lot, to calculate and/or think about moral issues, to doubt again and again before taking our final decisions.
For exchange knowledge and experience there are many different “circles” of people talking about many different issues. Groups of consumers, citizens or co-creators (depending on the role one is acting) are discussing about issues of common interest. Consumers around a shop, people around a center for medicare, parents around the school of their children, citizens around politicians, or co-creators around an academy for the arts or a circle of people around a theatre or museum. According to the research 1980-1987 on which this website is built we can recognize twelve types of “consumer circles” in which we are in dialogue with each other but especially with our “producer”.
But to exchange knowledge and experiences about our role of consumer as a consumer we need a thirteenth circle as a platform for dialogue. To talk not about our relation to the world around us but to the world within us! In opposition with the consumer circles and consumer unions in the outer world we have to look to the inner world of our role of consumer. And not only to home economics which is in fact about the family life but to our own role in the world as a consumer. And not only talking about sustainability but about everything, about all twelve necessities of life.
That is what this website is all about as a basis for home economics and for consumer circles as well. Knowing all about who I am, what I feel atracted to, and what I really need to have to live my life is the starting point for all the other dialogues.
To start the “inner circle” which we are ourselves, we can study the content of this website as a basis for our own thoughts, our own arguments, our own decisions. Then only then we are also 100% prepared for all other dialogues. Changing the world is starting from ourselves, from our own insights, motivation, and true needs (plus more for fun).
12 202005 May 2020
Consumers International Change Network
The newly launched Change Network is a global group of diverse organisations from civil society, governments and business, together with members to tackle specific consumer challenges and opportunities faster.
Invited progressive organisations are joining as founder associates to help shape the future now. By coming together, in partnerships on the right topic, at the right time, making real change happen.
12 201805 May 2018
The 1968 Student Revolution – Starting The Future We Want
Fifty years after the student revolution in May 1968 around the world many people, consumers, citizens, companies and politicians are working together in dialogue about quality of life, quantities of products and services and true pricing for true income. Some people doubt the progress made after the uprising capitalistic trends. But most people and most politicians in the Netherlands and the world as well are now really optimistic about the progress made and the trends towards the future. Former leader of the Green Party Prof Femke Halsema wrote a book about imagination and power (of all stakeholders) for the Month of Philosophy. Marianne Thieme, leader of the Party for the Animals (and Nature), made a lively video presentation about the urgency of a holistic view on Planet Earth. Jesse Klaver leader of the Green Party invited Thomas Piketty to talk about his book Capital and its influence on inequality. Norbert Klein started a new party for free-thinkers to build a better society based on open dialogue, basic income and working for real constructive and social politics for everyone. Internationally we saw the French president arguing to Trump that there is no Planet B so we have to work together worldwide! The Sustainable Development Goals are the new guidelines for all peoples of the world to meet each other and work for the earth and the universe as a whole!
12 201803 March 2018
Transforming the World – World Social Forum and New Business Models
The World Social Forum this year in Salvador/Bahia Brazil was again a great event! It was all about transforming the world into a one we want. Between hundreds of workshops there was one session about what to expect from the results of the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland last month. Seen from the perspective of the consumer-producer dialogue which becomes more and more daily, monthly and yearly activity worldwide represented by consumer organizations and marketing departments, it is interesting to see that producers and trade and marketing are also gearing up their activities to find the best possible business models. To achieve modern and mature dialogue about our daily necessities of life according to sustainability, true pricing and responsible lifestyles. We can read about those intentions not only in the guidelines of ISO 26000 or the GRI guidelines for Global Reporting but also in the book that Klaus Schwab (founder of the World Economic Forum) published last year: The Fourth Industrial Revolution ISBN 978-0-241-30075-6. He also makes the statement that transforming the world is of course only possible when ALL STAKEHOLDERS are involved and acting towards the world we want!
12 201712 December 2017
All noses in the same direction
The introduction of the 17 Global Goals in 2015 was a real turning point in human history turning all noses in the same direction for a better future. So many conferences, websites, seminars, books and articles in the press worldwide in this last year were about the future-we-want-in-the-making. The next conference will be July 9-18 at the United Nations in New York. If possible we will be there too at the Partnership Exchange July 13. All general and parallel sessions can be watched live-stream and also downloaded afterterwards. Thanks to the internet we are all living in a globalized world now! Together with 7.000.000.001 consumers!
12 201607 July 2016
Sustainable Development Goals Year 1 – A Consumers Impression (by Peter Daub, Consumer360Academy)
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.
- Sustainable Development Goals Report 2016 (PDF, 8MB)
12 201512 December 2015
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.”
- UN Secretary General about SDG (PDF)
- Opening speech Amanda Long (PDF)
- World Congress program (PDF)
12 201510 October 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!
12 201107 July – September 2011
Occupy Wall Street – We are the 99% Consumers
Occupy Wall Street can be seen not as a heated debate but as a mature discussion between consumers. It’s all about what is called an un-reason-able division of common made wealth. And so the question about the quality of life. And therefore the ultimate cause of all problems about sustainability. Not only because the consumption of the 1% but the consumption of all of us, directly via our own expenses or indirectly via our taxes and pensions.
12 201002 February 2010
How egoism turns into altruism
When we are taking care for our own life we are free but also egoistic by definition. When we take into account our family as well, then our egoism will have another “sound”. And when a king is fighting for his people, then egoism gets an even bigger scale and a sound of higher ideals! But when somebody feels him/herself responsible for humankind and the cosmos as a whole, egoism becomes altruism! In other words: freedom becomes freedom for all!
Thanks to globalization and internet we feel more and more like living in a big village, as one big family. Which – of course – we were already since Adam and Eve! Together with our ongoing insight that spirituality and materiality are two sides of the same coin we learned to look 360 degrees around to become world citizens AND cosmopolitans!
A better world in progress – looking talking and working 360
In the ongoing process we can also recognise the developments within the twelve different areas.
01 The upcoming talks between worldreligions starting 2011 in the UN Decade for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. 02 The rise of art and especially social art as a tool for more dialogue and thinking in solutions instead of problems only. 03 Science on a turning point from materialistic towards wholistic thinking.
04 Education for a free individual development for everybody as UN Millennium Development Goal. 05 Medicare, clean water and hygiene worldwide. 06 Food, biological agriculture and biodiversity becoming mainstream, INCLUDING the buzz of living bees if we are not too late!
07 Housing and architecture show more experiments and “organic” style according to more creativity of the people living in it. 08 Financial restructuring of institutions making money a mirror of reality instead of virtuality. 09 Traveling from tourism to connecting people and projects.
10 Communication from small talk towards international conferencing and sharing knowledge. 11 Human/consumer rights, fair trade and democratization towards direct dialogues. 12 Associations from sporting clubs and small talks towards highly professional consumer organizations.
Consumer governance in progress
Those who take the final decisions are the consumers of course! WE make choices every day who is going to work for us as farmer, physician, teacher for our children, architect, government, artist or scientist! And WE pay the bills. So WE are the stakeholders and the stockowners. And our household booklet is the mirror of our piece of a better world in progress!!!
housekeeping book in 12 columns
12 201001 January 2010
Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild – Another World is Possible
The first three words are the title of the annual conference of the World Economic Forum this month in Davos Switzerland. The World Social Forum (Another World is Possible) is organising dialogues this whole year around the world on many platforms. And the Worldwatch Institute published their annual State of the World 2010 with the title “From Consumerism to Sustainability”. After a century of lessons learned and homework done now the exams can begin!
- World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010 (PDF)
12 200909 September 2009
kabbala – macrokosmos microkosmos
Robert Rotar 1926-1999
Blueprints and Roadmaps. Darwin, Buber and Steiner about the big picture.
Everyone’s own blueprint is the inner motivation for everyone’s own biography! That’s what the philosopher Martin Buber is telling us about the development of the human individuality. But what about mankind? What is interesting to know about our common history, our common problems now, and especially our common future yet to be created? That’s the most interesting question now in the year of the philosopher Charles Darwin, at the beginning of the 21st century where we all turned into the age of maturity!
Darwin simply thinks that it is a matter of struggle for life only and then hope for the best. The philosopher Rudolf Steiner was not satisfied until he found out that the human being is able to see his/her own biography through former lives on earth. And to understand how the blueprints and the roadmaps of all people are forming a big picture which is quite similar to the individual biography. In a nutshell: humankind has entered the 21st century! We all can experience now that we are stepping into maturity, that we are also talking within organizations more mature than ever before, and we can observe that globalization is a living process of human relations itself!
Looking into the reality of history and the developments today we can feel a beginning of understanding that the human being has all the creative power to unfold his/her own “blueprint” via all possible “roadmaps”! We’re free to choose! But the same is also relevant for everyone else and even for humankind as a whole including the whole nature and cosmos. Because we all live in the same house, in the same infinite but nevertheless common place called cosmos. And so we also have to talk about responsibility. In cultural, social and economical sense we have to find out how we can shape together the best world possible.
And for those who love mathematics: “the proof is in the pudding”! If astronomers found out that the solar system itself is in a continuous spiral on its way towards the stars of Hercules. When it is possible to see our own (world) biography in the Akasha Chronicle which is likely to be that same spiral. And when we recognize spirals in flowing water, structures of trees, and our own DNA, then we can also understand WHY all the roadmaps of our lives are spirals as well! Always swinging between left and right, lighter and darker times, sometimes backward, but most of the time forward! We can proof this by looking back: the problems of today we couldn’t solve ten years ago, so we are growing every day, also humankind as a whole! The old game of mother Goose on a board with 63 steps (9×7) shows the biography of the individual and of humankind. That’s the bigger picture!
12 200810 October 2008
Homework to do … And The Buss About Bees …
There’s a lot of homework to be done by everybody and all organizations worldwide! The new standards for Corporate Social Responsibility ISO 26000 are discussed in Santiago (Chili) and will be published in 2010. UN/UNEP and Global Reporting Initiative GRI are working together about new guidelines for financial institutions and climatechange. The debates for the next 4 years of US policy will start next month and be revealed in the State of the Union in January 2009 which in this globalizing world will still be an important indicator of the direction the world will sail, although… the whole world is now on board ship !!!
Consumer organizations discussed at the OECD conference in Paris this month about consumer education. Consumers International in London welcomed their new Director General Mr Joost Martens, bringing a lot of experience from all corners of the world during his work for Oxfam. The European consumers organization BEUC in Brussels started with masterclasses for professionalizing staffmembers of consumer associations in media presentation, lobbying, consumer law, and management.. For all participants (including us) also a great challenge to go for more international networking to exchange experiences!
In the greatest workshop of all called “world” we see debates become more and more dialogues! But if it is biofuel versus food, solar versus nuclear energy, or biodiversity versus gmo, dialogues are going towards the bottom of the problems towards full transparancy! And thanks to internet, thanks to modern journalists as moderators, and thanks to consumers/citizens working in civil society organizations all discussion have become worldwide discussions! Also the discussion about the bees…
The Buzz about Bees …
Even de problem about the vanishing bees (30-70%) in the western industrialised world called colonial collapse disorder CCD was on CNN television this month! And even Prince Charles is fighting for their survival in a worldwide action to save the bees from GMO crops, see www.mellifera.de . In the same way that agriculture had to turn into an efficient but now also more organic and dynamic direction – or let’s call it allround – agriculture in this 21st century, also the beekeepers have to upgrade their working methods and not use their honey-bees as working bees alone anymore! Because organic beekeepers don’t have these problems! Their bees have a stronger immunity against diseases because they can live their own lives (more natural materials, normal distance between honeycombs, etc) and be as almost as productive. See also the website of organic consumers in the USA www.organicconsumers.org/bees. As consumers we should therefore ask more and more for honey delivered by bees kept on a more natural way, called organic honey. And pay the right price for the work that bees and beekeepers do for us! It is now or never to bee or not to bee! Also for our own survival because our agriculture is depending on their buzzzzzzy work! See article below.
Mellifera e.V. – Centre for Organic Beekeeping
Mellifera e.V. is an independent non-profit-making association. Since 1985 we have been pioneering and developing sustainable ecological concepts for beekeeping. With research projects, seminars and publicity Mellifera e.V. is heading the discussion on beekeeping matters including the care and management of colonies and dealing with illnesses. Our Centre is running the Fischermühle apiary with approx. 150 hives for research and training purposes. Mellifera e.V. introduces lay people to the fascinating world of bees, informs about their endangerment and makes sure there is a public political debate about the future of beekeeping.
Fascinating topics in the beekeeping center Fischermühle On a world-wide level apiculture is caught in an existential crisis the true proportions of which are covered up by drugs and the feeding of sugar. The causes are manyfold. Without measures of the beekeeper most bee colonies would be destined to die. In Germany wild bees do not survive any more. Many other pollinating insects are threatened or already extinct. Keeping bees has become a challenge, in many respects taking the beekeeper to his limits.
The conventional measures of the beekeeper are often a strain on the bees. Mellifera e.V. is interested in an appropriate way of keeping bees, not only in an organic approach to combating illnesses. We link holistic perspectives and working closely with the bees with practical concepts and scientific work. The Centre offers a place to meet for non-dogmatic exchange and professional further training. Mellifera e.V. works with a net of partner organisations caring for bees and other pollinating insects.
There is no way back to ’the good old times’. It is necessary for all social forces to work together on as large a scale as possible and to carry a common responsibility for the bees. You as an individual can also help. You are warmly invited to participate.
The Buzz About Bees
The breathtaking book of Jurgen Tautz / University Wurzburg / Germany / is now also available in English!
The Buzz about Bees / ISBN 978-3-540-78727 / $ 40,-
12 200807 July / August 2008
Monitor / Outlook
This month we give you our annual overview of all 12 areas of consumer governance so that you can “connect the dots” again between all activities of mankind. The consumer is living in a world where all products and services play a role in his/her daily life. So as a consumer we have to overlook the whole “theatre” to recognise all the different roles played by ourself and others as consumers, producers and all kinds of traders and moderators in between, AND the play as a whole!
tendencies in the worldnews
Update July / August 2008
“From globalise to cosmosize” / understanding needs helicopterviews / From clash of civilizations to meet & greet / individuality and spirituality
Especially religion is an area where we ourselves as consumers have to be active in finding the roots of all spirituality! Find our own “lifelines” instead of listening alone (to our producers/moderators – priests, rabbi’s, imams, guru’s, sjamaan, Darwin, or even our best friend). Also Pope Benedictus in Colonia Germany already told the youth of the 21st century: “….it’s not any more about religion and faith in the old fashioned way, but from now on it’s all about ….. how credible are YOU?” From the old religions – through materialism of the past four, five centuries and secularisation nowadays – the human being is on its way to find his/her own free destiny! As individual, as citizen, as consumer. “Connecting the dots” with spirituality (again).
Art from outside watching to inside activity / art as a tool in daily life / social relations / building organizations
Arts become more and more part of daily life itself. Jeder Mensch ein Kunstler – Every human being a (co-) creator (professor in modern art and especially social art Joseph Beuys always repeated). Worldwide all schools also recognised the arts as a training instrument for creativity more than making fine things alone! Even big organizations discovered that one day of painting, dancing or sculpting in clay can be a very profitable learning process for building better relations and better organizations. Transforming ideals into realities is an ever ongoing creative proces of trial and error, thinking – arguing – willing, not only when working on new products but also working on new relations, workprocesses, new laws, and all other issues concerning änother world “in the making”.
Making the unvisible visible / from microscope and dna to visualizing through projective geometry, flowforms or cristallization / and further
The science must go on! For science in general we need new ways of research! The natural sciences have led us into the physical world. But for a real understanding of plants, animals and human beings we need the scientific fenomenologic methods that Goethe developed (Urpflanze or living principle for the world of all plants, Typus or character for the animals/groups, Biography for the individual human being). These researchmethods also form the bridge to the higher forms of science, looking into the spiritual worlds, by strengthening our thinking, feeling and willing (head/hart/hands) in imagination, inspiration and intuition. This was our comment on the website of the World Science Forum in Budapest 2005.
Every child worldwide / from individual development to a better society / consumer education and lifelong learning
All kids to school according to Millenium Development Goals of the United Nations is in progress but will take longer than expected (81% – 87% from 1990 – 2004)
Since the turning point of the centuries also quality is more and more recognised in developing individual possibilities instead of training the old knowledge alone. See Rudolf Steiner, Montessori, Dalton and others. And last but not least life itself (consumer as autodidact) is a playing field for all kinds of learning and discovery! Lifelong learning not only for new jobs, not only for consumer education, but also as a discovery journey through infinity and eternity!
Less patents for more medicins worldwide / clear water first
More than one Millenium Development Goal of the United Nations is focussed on health and healthcare. Developing conciousness that biological and local food-production is the first step for surviving and get on our feet here on earth, all kinds of medicare are neccesary first to survive the sicknesses of the past such as hunger, war and bad water supplies. More and more organizations, governments and producers are now working on new ways of a better distribution of healthcare and medicins worldwide. Using the wealth of nations for the health of nations. Globalisation of healthcare first, pay later…
Biological food in the lift / gentech to be contained / new energy / restoring sustainability
Getting the whole world family sitting at the table and have a decent meal is the most important Millenium Development Goal of the UN. When we re-arrange incomes or only spend 3 percent of all our army budgets for this we can start eating and even not need to go to war anymore at all! The other 97 % we can use then for all kinds of other activities! The old economic principle of choosing between producing butter or bullets! And of course gentech is interesting for scientists and some medicare but not for food! Biological food is now in the lift, the EU has even started a promotion campaign! Now we can go “culinair” following the Eurotocques top-cooks!
Other issues underway are the discussions about gentech, about nanotechnology, about the honeybees, about the biofuel, climate and clear water. Agriculture, environment, energy and commodities are parts of nature as a whole. Solar energy and hydrogen are on the move, so we can hope to restore sustainability and climate in time. The new wave is Cradle2Cradle! New commodities as carbon can follow-up iron and aluminium. Nature itself in all aspects is in the centre of all discussions today!
Experiments experiments / organic architecture in the making / tangent lines and projective geometry as a tool
After so many styles of architecture through the ages we ended in the most materialistic form … the cube. The most non-spiritual mathematical structure of the salt cristall. represented in the Dead Sea! But it gave us the utmost freedom to think about sculpture, architecture, furniture and gardening. And today we’re really in the middle of experimenting and discovering how lines, structures, surfaces, colours and materials give us the finest views, feelings and inner forces to work and live! The turning point towards living (organic) architecture was made by Frank Loyd Wright and Herzberger. In the magnificent House on the Waterfalls the connection between living inside and nature outside is made visible and became a real experience! In the multi-cubic office building of Centraal Beheer Assurance Company in Apeldoorn Netherlands the architect Herzberger opened up all cubes to make relations possible between all people in the building. From container building to social networks! The beginning of using mathematical tangents not yet visible as in organic architecture, but already full-scale experience! The organic style today became worlwide fame with the ING Bank headquarters in Amsterdam (Bijlmer), built in a network of ten tower-structures which was also the most energy-efficient building in the wordld. This year it was chosen by the public as one of the most beautifull buildings.
Sustainable investing / worldwide bookkeeping / one stocks-exchange and perhaps worldmoney in due time / wto and fair trade
Money is a mirror of all activities in society based on division of labour. To achieve more benefits for all we divide all our labour in specializations and exchange all the products and services again. The administration system is called money. When products or services are not available or not in time the value (price) changes to make exchange possible in the end. All other issues as international relations between countries, ethical labour, fair trade etc are manipulations or corrections on this process. The worldwide standard for financial reporting IFRS, a world currency in the making, the globalization of trade in the WTO discussions now, IMF and Central Banks together in Basel, and of course the Global Reporting Initiative GRI for good corporate governance will have the result that the world economy will become highly transparant and show us the real prices. New York and Amsterdam Stock Exchanges also merged last year, and Asia will follow in some years to make one worldmarket for stocks. About fair trade and the whole discussion about dividing the wealth between two dollar a day and ten million a year can then become fully transparant how to look at the colours of the spectrum in between and how to talk about the right for a REASONable income for everybody.
World is getting smaller every day / from tourism to ecotourism to private projects / Meet & Greet
When oil will be replaced by solar energy in H2O tanks (prognosed within ten years by Durch students of the University of Delft this summer who designed a hydrogen racing car) the travelling possibilities will be almost unlimited for everybody. Together with the internet people will be able to communicate and meet&greet by wire and tyre! And the oil can be used for other products, tires, asfalt and plastics, anti-noise walls can dissapear in the landscape to give a clear view on the horizons again, and with carbon cars the world can use steel for railways only. But who wants to go by train then?
Internet and mobile / citizen journalists / alternative newsmedia / multi media
Although talking one-to-one is the basis of communication and telepathy the long distance variant of it, internet is the main route for all our communication today. And beyond that it is a medium also for all written information and can be used as archive as well, plus all kinds of applications in technique, design and our daily work in all different aspects. But even further it became a “tool” voor everybody to become a citizen journalist, private researcher, a lifelong learning student, and a worldwide activist if neccesary. Research, surgery, spaceshuttles, warfare and the rise of democracy worlldwide, fair trade, world currency and financial reporting worldwide in the end. Communication has everything to do with exchange of information (systems) parallel to trade and travel and between people. But direct communication as writing and reading, travelling and talking will always be there as the basic communication route for ALL twelve sense-organs!
11 Law and politics
International diplomacy and crises mediation / participative democracy / europe as a test / proposals of citizens
Politics and diplomacy at work in the 21st century! No longer citizens are waiting for actions of actiongroups but rather start an action themselves via internet. Since 9/11 and the first three years after that where a kind of black&white thinking came up, people began to cooperate in all organizations more and more. The World Watch Institute spent the whole issue of their State of the World 2004 to the consumer/citizen! In 2005 the UN started with the Decade for Education in Sustainable Development DESD 2005-2014. The World Social Forum in Porto Alegre Brazil and the Economic World Forum in Davos Switzerland started up talking. And the systems of money, stocks, trade and financial reporting went globalizing too. Parallel to the cultural and economic globalization also political democratization went global. The EU referndum as an exemple, but also initiatives as PressNow to help papers, radio- and tv stations emerge in all countries, and last but not least the International Crisis Group that went into action to solve problems, moderate and start projects to prevent war. The same procedure in official governmental strategies is called 3D – defense- diplomacy – development.
All kinds of human relations / consumer-trade-producer relations / consumerorganizations
Multimedia, forums, and finally choosing our own networking are the three steps in modern time to create all kinds of associations to reach our cultural, social or economical goals. In cultural and social life we know it since centuries that people come together. But consumer-trade-producer relations including the finance of projects is very new! The rise of all kinds of consumer associations is also the proof that mankind has entered maturity in the 21st century!
12 200806 June 2008
Another world in the making – Consumer, freedom and responsibility
The tone has changed! In all directions we can hear and see people taking action more and more! After all the thinking and talking conferences and workshops have now titles such as “from thinking to action” and alike. This year there is a clear tendency to DO things, even by trial and error. Although it still takes a lot of talking and writing, the “tone” and the “intentions” have changed significantly.
In the Netherlands for instance there was a concrete conference about tuning in all the different methods of medicare, we were visitor at a very constructive discussion in the Upper House about defense-diplomacy-development or 3D strategy in Afghanistan, we listened to the presentation at the SER (Social Economical Council) of their report about new ways of financing agriculture biodiversity and landscaping in the Netherlands and in Europe, listened to the speech of Alexander Rinnooy Kan about globalising and sustainability at the Club of Rome, and read the speech of the bee-keepers association in parliament about the crisis of the disappearing bees. But also the discussions about the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius about food-supplements etc became more “overheated” while approaching the implementation in 2009. And the teachers who were overheated by government-rules became now cooling down by taking over again the management of their own jobs.
Internationaly we see discussions more and more looking for pragmatic solutions, action, building bridges to go forward one way or another. In trade, in sustainabilty, in crisis management, in working together between countries and continents to build a global village. The introduction in 2005 of the International Finance Reporting System IFRS, the connecting of stock-exchanges and the Euro as a pioneer of a worldwide “greenback” in the making are signals as well.
And last but not least the Internet and the exchange of knowledge worldwide by open courseware for instance by the Massachustes Institute of Technology in Boston USA. Their website counts 80.000 pages free knowledge and even the possibility to be “in the classroom” via webcam! The MIT was also the University where Meadows and Forrester started the Club of Rome in 1971 and foresaw that globalising is a creative process which needs the responsibility of all of us 6 billion consumers to restore sustainabilty while (and sometimes before) going on! Cradle2Cradle sounds like a magic solution, but that will take time. But why not ask ourself daily: …. how sustainable am I?
Annual Report 2008 / Jan – May
Most important development in the world was the OECD conference in Paris “Beyond GDP” followed by a conference at the University of Tilburg in The Netherlands January 10 about the neccesary trend in thinking from Wellness to Well-being. If this is the breakthrough in our thinking then we can hope for another world! Because thinking about the quality of life – of ourself AND of all the others – is in fact our everyday starting-point in decision-making!
But even more urgent is of course the present foodcrisis! Although the development in the quality of food and organic foodproduction is booming, the quantity-problem is even getting worse! Hopefully the experience of world politics in problemsolving will be strong enough to overcome the foodcrisis! Especially now becomes visible that ……. “a reasonable income is a right” !
As Free Consumers Association we are now more and more active in workshops, seminars, and in innovative projects such as “professionalizing” consumer-trade-producer dialogue and of course the ongoing conferences on consumer education of the Consumer Citizen Network, this year in Tallinn Estonia.
Last but not least our english website is almost ready for readers worldwide!
12 200710 October 2007
Consumers International, Cradle to Cradle, ISO 26000, and more
All consumer unions around the world gathered in Sydney this month at the 18th annual congress of Consumers International. Hot item was of course the development of the new ISO 26000 standard for social responsibility which will be launched worldwide in 2009. But many many other items were discussed of course. See (Consumers International was launched in 1959 in the Netherlands on initiative of Consumentenbond and many others, as Int Org of Consumer Unions IOCU).
# About sustainability is the best option given now by all the projects of Cradle2Cradle worldwide which are the most concrete examples of how to get the world sustainable (again). In the USA and China Ford and Nike changed whole productionlines already. A big pilot cityproject will be launched now in Venlo, Netherlands. See Google, Wikipedia, or the book itself written by William (Bill) Donough and Michael Braungart: Cradle to Cradle – Remaking the Way we make Things ISBN 0865475873.
# In bio(dynamic) foodchains plans are developed to professionalize client cards and pre-financing that piece in stock which will go to our own household by our purchases during the month. A way to become more associated with the whole chain of production to consumption (an old idea also of Consumer360 which we co-developed in different projects together with Triodosbank in the eighties, but which obviously becomes relevant only in the 21st century…..)
# In England and Holland discussions are ongoing about probable integrating alternative directions in medicare when based on professional basis.
12 200705 May 2007
World in Progress: Long-term (Positive) Developments in a Nuttshell
Most of the time we give the news about the most interesting items, but this time we give you again a kind of overview of all twelve areas. Although in every area so many interesting developments are to be reported we try to concentrate on the main upward trends. And the biggest reason to be positive is that more and more people every day are thinking, talking and acting towards solutions. And that’s by definition an irreversible process!
- religion / from clash of civilizations to meet & greet / understanding needs helicopterviews / from globalise to cosmosize …
- art / art from outside watching to inside activity / art as a tool in daily life and for new social relations and building organizations …
- science / getting the unvisible visible / from microscope and dna to planetary foodquality visualized in cristallization / and further …
- education / every child worldwide / from individual development to a better society / consumer education and lifelong learning …
- medicare / less patents for more medecins worldwide / clear water first …
- food and nature / gentech to be contained / biological food in the lift / new energy / restoring sustainability …
- housing / experiments experiments / organic architecture in the making / tangent lines and projective geometry as a tool …
- money / sustainable investing / worldwide bookkeeping, stocks and perhaps worldmoney in due time / wto and fair trade …
- transport / world is getting smaller every day / from tourism to ecotourism to private projects …
- communication / internet and mobile / citizen journalists / alternative newsmedia / multi media…
- law and politics / international diplomacy and crises mediation / participative democracy / europe as a test / proposals of citizens …
- associations / all kinds of human relations / consumer-trade-producer relations / consumerorganizations …
12 200702 February 2007
Consumer Governance in Action – Asking Questions
Saying no to Europe in a first round triggered all Europeans to go into debates now in February and in March (Berlin) about how to go forward! Thinking, debating and asking the best questions IS consumer governance towards those who do the government issues. And of course only if it is continued as a lifelong process and includes the checking of the answers! Only participating democracy is true democracy. Participating is also the right word in all other associations where consumers and producers are in a continuing dialogue about products and services. About quality, quantity and price. About guarantuee. And about payment, delivery and use. Participating by asking the questions especially about (inner) quality, and paying the right price in the right time. All questions asked in the last decades are now resulting in more and more positive actions of producers. For instance insurances for all kinds of medical treatment, teachers developing new lessons themselves, researchers going beyond the natural sciences looking for ALL knowledge! So that we can ask even better questions in the next round!
12 200701 January 2007
What is consumer governance?
As we saw this month at the World Social Forum in Nairobi, the World Economic Forum in Davos, and in the Netherlands how the new government in Holland and the EU were discussed, all signals were about understanding and especially about promoting consumer governance! People themselves as consumer-citizens are more and more taking seriously their role in asking the questions, but also their responsibility for their choises. But consumer governance also means dialogue with producers, government or educators, with marketing, science and last but not least check and double-check! Consumer governance has to do with all the same items as every manager has to work on. In a world where all labour is divided we are delegating or in fact asking to each other “to do the job for us”. And only DIALOGUE can bridge the gap again which we invented ourselves by dividing and delegating all those jobs: in space in time and in expertise!
12 200612 December 2006
Catalyzing Change 2001-2006
The smallest website about the biggest issue: consumer governance!
After 5 years we’re still a small organization but that has everything to do with the character of our association! Catalyzers ARE always small by definition, they only try to help forward the bigger issues! But in 2007 we will introduce our new website and start with more lectures and seminars. And of course also continue in writing comments, joining discussions and social forums, indirect lobbying via consumer organizations, and networking by matching information between organizations, press-agencies and individuals.
In 2006 we gave seminars in consumer governance at the Dutch Social Forum and at Nyenrode University. We joined conferences about consumer education in Hamar/Norway, Berlin/Germany and Utrecht/Netherlands.
And we were listening and discussing at several meetings with lectures of ministers and members of parliament. Plus seminars about microfinance, about alternative moneysystems, (Lietaer), and the introduction of his book Globalisation that works by Joseph Stiglitz in Amsterdam.
Comparing with other general and special consumer organizations we are focussed on management information as a tool itself. How can we as individuals oversee and understand the whole worldeconomy and ourselves in the middle of it? With the 360 degrees overview of consumerorganizations we all have to deal with, it has become much easier to find our way and to prepare our decisions. With the different pages of our website with “open courseware” information, search-options and a newpage in which we try to analyse the main issues, daily information becomes easy to read! In working out these things during lectures and seminars we experienced how everybody became aware of that as an eye-opener.
To write about all 200 actions this year would take pages. To get a broader insight of our activities see our former annual reports. An overview of the developments in consumer governance worldwide over the last few years is also given in our newspages.