Can Citizens Action Save the World?


The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Sweden has published a new report, asking the basic question any young green activist has in his heart: can we change the world? It was written by someone who probably has some more experience with this than we folks: the boss of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo. It is not only the first „Development Dialogue“ that is written by solely one person, it is – with over 200 pages! – also one of the longest ever written. You can download it here.
Cover DD54, two hands together
I advise you to have a look at this booklet. It might become a new guideline for thoughts, just like prior publications by the Foundation.
This volume offers the insights and reflections – both critical and self-critical – of a prominent civil society activist who has been engaged in local and global struggles for emancipation for over 30 years. On the basis of his own experiences in many different contexts Kumi Naidoo pleads for the involvement of ordinary people in the work for greater justice in this world. His point of departure is that civil society cannot be strengthened in a vacuum. Its achievements must be the result of actions by real people dealing with real problems. The volume deals with several of today’s most burning issues and also touches on sensitive matters within the global movements engaged in struggles for justice and equality. It does not avoid unpopular views on several issues, and advocates engagement with representatives of various agencies, including controversial ones such as faith-based organisations and the business community. While being guided by a notion of non-violent forms of resistance, the author nonetheless promotes radical alternatives to the existing reproduction of societies as a necessity to meet the challenges in securing the survival of the human species and a decent life for all. His reflections add to the search for sustainable alternatives and the potential contributions that concerned citizen action can offer. This volume thereby also contributes to a better understanding of the potential that a so-called ‘third United Nations’ can offer to global governance issues currently at stake.“

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