Over this last year my posts were related to negative forecasts in terms of unsustainability, lack of leadership and resounding failure of global institutions. However, I would like to end this year with a positive message of hope and lessons learned. The Paris agreement on climate change COP21 shows that is feasible to revert everything done till now and start again from a different approach and a renewed exercise of diplomacy.
It´s possible! My usual remark each time I refer to the use of 100% renewable energies – like the case of Galapagos Airport, Cochin Airport (India) or Aspen, among others-; reaffirms the idea that clean energies are not an utopia, but tangible results that could be applied in the immediate present. This is exactly the message that COP21 leaves us: climate change poses present not a future threats. What is a real part of the future is the integration and consolidation of adaptive and innovative policies by mainstreaming strategies in all sectors of society.
Another important pillar that is still hitting the world is the global financial crisis that even now, 8 years from its onset, has still a devastating impact on developed countries that slows down efforts for a recovery on rates of unemployment or reduction of public debt. However, it is also an opportunity to shift to new structures able to build resilience, preventing and strengthening societies in the face of new financial crises. Unfortunately, the reaction to this and other crises, like migration, triggers the raise of extremist positions on both left and right wing groups. In a contradictory relationship: more migrants = more extremism, a greater fall down of the economy = more left-wing rhetoric. All this makes any attempt to move away from those crises a move with a “disguised ideological position”.
It is important to bear in mind the need for alternative and complementary forms of financial support. The new Development Bank founded by BRICS is just an example of the consolidation of a model that could fill the gaps of traditional institutions. Emerging countries are paradoxically the hope for better development structures mainly because of the dramatic drop of resources from developed countries. South-South & triangular cooperation is another example of many of the successful initiatives,that also from the World Bank are pushing for global structure changes.
It is paramount to accept that we´re living in times of multiple crises what supposes to take it as a part of our daily life and adapt politically, economically and financially to live under this “storm” of interconnected catastrophes. This new map of the world has to start with the assumption that, in the meantime, only individual actions could lead to sustainable change. More than empowerment, citizenship engagement in relevant decisions should be taken as part of a new model of national and global governance. It is in this sense that referendums become the best resource for a full exercise of democracy and the involvement of the whole citizenship, not just the political sector and without becoming a populist mechanism to manipulate public opinion. We find the best recent examples in Greece, concerning the acceptance of Troika´s bailout conditions, or in the UK, with the BREXIT consultation scheduled for 2017.
As the paradigmatic example of global institutional crisis, the United Nations has recently reached a point of awareness of the need to make changes with the rise of Palestine flag in UN headquarters. A step that had the opposition of 8 countries and the notorious absence of a clear political will to end this conflict. After 20 years, this is taking away the credibility of their representatives and the legitimacy to be part of an international community especially in relation with Chapter VI of Charter of United Nations: “pacific settlement of disputes”.
Institutional reform and reshape on kind of leadership and leaders seems to be key step to address a “world in crisis”, not by an “anti-system” approach but by a “pro active” approach of restructuring institutions to meet the new challenges.
The fact that the world is in a constant “emergency” means that the traditional codes of leadership needs to be versatile and adapt and change according to current and future needs in a global context and with a global resilient focus.
We have the “equipment” to succeed and only our individual will, transferred into a tangible political will could bring the structural reforms that the world is urgently calling for.
Utopias are just an illusion of what is not succeeding on the present but also a strong possibility that with support, awareness and work they could make the difference and let us move forward.
At the end a better future is always ……. next exit