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Raise your voice for global sharing

05 November 2012

In recent months, STWR has attended a number of conferences and published various papers in which we argue the necessity of sharing global resources, and call on everyone to raise their voice for global sharing. An update of news and activities from Share The World's Resources. 

At Share The World’s Resources (STWR), we are far from alone in talking about the importance of sharing in relation to the world’s most pressing problems. Today, it has become almost fashionable to talk about sharing in many different contexts, and yet very few people are discussing the need to share the world’s wealth and resources in order to tackle global poverty, inequality and climate change. There may be some justification for this – for example, no-one wants to be branded as religious or a socialist if you don’t ascribe to any particular creed or political ideology. But the practice of sharing is not beholden to any doctrine, ideology or ‘ism’, and remains a fundamental principle that humanity must implement into world affairs if we are ever to end poverty, engender peace or heal the environment. That’s why we argue it’s about time that everyone who perceives this for themselves starts to raise their voice about global sharing. There are many good reasons for doing so.

To this end, STWR recently released a campaigners’ report on financing the global sharing economy. The report specifically talks about sharing in relation to how governments provide welfare and public services to their citizens, which is far from the usual conceptualisation of the ‘sharing economy’. But as the report posits, modern systems of welfare are perhaps the most advanced forms of sharing ever established on a nationwide level. Understanding sharing in these simple, practical terms helps us to cut through the complex debates of rival political parties and perceive the right path that governments should follow. It may also help us to realise, as ordinary citizens, why we all need to get involved in the global movement for sharing and justice. You can download the report, read it on Issuu or request a hard copy.

In recent months, STWR has attended a number of conferences where we’ve argued the necessity of sharing global resources. At the Globalisation for the Common Good (GCGI) Conference in Oxford, UK, we presented a paper based on our most recent report. In a presentation given by STWR at the World Public Forum ‘Dialogue of Civilisations’ 10th Anniversary Conference in Rhodes, Greece, we argued that social injustice and ecological crises must be recognised as inextricable parts of the same problem: our failure to share the world's resources in a way that benefits all people and preserves the biosphere. The final report on the conference’s Ecology Panel included a call for a greater sharing of the world's resources in order to reverse the trend of increasing inequality and economic insecurity.

Upcoming events in 2012 include a presentation at the Antalya Forum in Turkey on the theme of 'Rethinking the Global Economic Order'. On November 14th, STWR will also be one of the partners in the first ever Global Sharing Day, which is being organised by The People Who Share with the aim of shining a spotlight on the growing public discussion around sharing resources. Do come along to the event we’ll be attending in London on Financing the Sharing Economy, or host your own sharing eventwherever you are in the world! 


STWR's Presentation at the World Public Forum 2012     
STWR presented a paper entitled 'Envisioning a New Earth: Sharing the World's Resources' during the third plenary session of the World Public Forum 'Dialogue of Civilisations' 2012 conference, which took place in Rhodes, Greece. A video and edited transcript of the presentation are now available.

Visions of a New Earth: Responding to the Ecological Challenge
The final report on the Ecology Panel held at the 10th Rhodes Forum on October 5, 2012, included a call for a greater sharing of the world's resources in order to reverse the trend of increasing inequality and economic insecurity. By the Chair and Moderator of the Panel, Professor Kamran Mofid.

Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative 10th Annual Conference         
STWR attended the 2012 GCGI conference in Oxford, UK. The paper presented to delegates was based on STWR’s recent report, Financing the Global Sharing Economy, and can be accessed here. A link to the full list of presentations given by participants as well as the Oxford Declaration can be found here. 

STWR Recent Publications

Why We Should All Be Talking About Global Sharing      
Today, it seems that the idea of sharing is being discussed in almost any context except the political economy. This may be understandable, but if we're serious about ending poverty and healing the environment perhaps it's about time that we all start talking about global sharing, says Adam Parsons.

Proposing a Vision of a New Earth
Our failure to share resources has resulted in severe social consequences which cannot be divorced from any discussion about the environment. The most pragmatic way to address both these crises is to share the world's resources more equitably and sustainably.

Financing the Global Sharing Economy             
A report by Share The World’s Resources demonstrates how governments could mobilise over $2.8 trillion every year to bolster the global sharing economy and prevent life-threatening deprivation, reverse austerity measures and mitigate the human impacts of climate change.

It’s Time to Prioritize the Global Sharing Economy
The very basis of the sharing economy is being eroded in countries where austerity measures are dramatically reducing public spending on social welfare and essential services. But governments could collect and redistribute huge quantities of additional finance for critical human needs.

Living in the Gift: On Retreat with Charles Eisenstein
What would the world look like if money embodied our values, if the best business decision was the best decision for society, and if wealth was defined by how much we give, not how much we have? Charles Eisenstein shared his insights during a workshop attended by STWR's Adam Parsons. 

Global Sharing Day - November 14th

On November 14th, STWR are one of the partners for the world’s first ever Global Sharing Day, which is being organised by The People Who Share. A host of different activities are set to happen throughout the day, including pop-up/flashmob style events in and around London and the UK. From 1-2pm, everyone is encouraged to take part in The Greatest Share on Earth by spending an hour sharing goods, services, time, knowledge and skills in an attempt to set a world record for the most sharing happening in a single hour. The aim is to shine a spotlight on the rapidly emerging sharing economy, bringing together entrepreneurs, social investors and the public to discuss new business models based around the sharing of resources.

STWR will be participating at one of the main events in London on the theme of Financing the Sharing Economy. We’ll present our ideas around the need to think about sharing in global and political terms, as well as in relation to social entrepreneurism and community-based sharing. Do register to come along if you’re based near London, or else get involved wherever you are in the world by hosting your own event or helping to create a social media buzz on the day!  

Featured Articles

'Individual Ownership is the No 1 Source of Inefficiency'
The Guardian newspaper asked 50 readers and public figures how they would lead the world out of the climate predicament. According to the secretary general of Co-Operatives UK, it is time for the old idea of sharing to inspire us again. By Ed Mayo.

UN Calls to Fund Social Safety Nets in World's Poorest countries                         
Most people are not protected against unemployment, illness, disability, crop failure or soaring food costs. But investing in social protection would save on emergency relief, argues the UN. By Mark Tran.

The Commons as a Transformative Vision                                   
'The Wealth of the Commons' is a new book that explores the full dimension of what the commons means in our lives, and details ways it can be applied to transform politics, economics, culture and the fabric of our communities. The following article is adapted from the book's introduction, by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich.

Halving Food Losses Would Feed an Additional Billion People                                 
A new study at Aalto University estimates that globally 614 kilocalories per every person a day are lost as a result of food loss in the food production chain. By halving these food losses, we could feed an extra billion people with the currently used resources. By Science Daily. 

Featured Reports

New Statistics on Global Hunger          
According to the latest UN hunger statistcs, nearly 870 million people, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. This may be fewer people than previously thought, but analysts point out that the fight against hunger is still far from being won.

The Global Citizens' Report for Seed Freedom          
A global citizens' report on 'Seed Freedom' depicts the concentration and restrictions in the global seed sector as a result of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regimes and corporate convergence. Released by Navdanya.

The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2012           
Civil society representatives launching the fifth annual report on the right to food and nutrition state that it is impossible to combat the causes of hunger while keeping existing power relations untouched. A report by members of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch Consortium.

A Recovery for All          
The world’s financial and economic crisis has taken a toll on children and poor households. This book describes the social impacts of the crisis, policy responses to date and United Nations alternative proposals for ‘A Recovery for All.’ Edited by Isabel Ortiz and Matthew Cummins.