Alternative World

Imagine…there’s a world where companies truly care for their longevity

First Impressions from Frank Bold’s Creating Sustainable Companies Summit

By Theresa

“Imagine” by John Lennon is one of the most iconic songs for world peace. World peace is the global, very idealistic objective to which the predecessors of today’s Business and Human Rights practitioners have adhered. In today’s world of ever-persistent globalisation, the idealistic practitioner does not want less than putting an end to corporate human rights abuses – much in the same way the generation before took the streets against imperialism and wars. Though today’s political activism may seem less visible, both generations are closely intertwined. Idealism and the willingness to see potential for radical changes in human conduct are uniting past John Lennon fans and today’s activists who have never heard him live. (more…)

Happy Birthday to the UNGPs – Happy Anniversary to Us All!

Celebrating the 5-year anniversary of the current global framework to render states and companies responsible

By Theresa

ungp-postcardVALE+BHP-frontWEB-1

On November 5th, 2015, Brazilians have been victims of the worst environmental crime in the country’s history with the collapse of the mining dam operated by Vale/Samarco/BHP. Photo courtesy of the Treaty Alliance initiative

The 5-year anniversary of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) took place on Thursday, 16 June 2016. Anniversaries on the level of the United Nations usually give rise to self-congratulating speeches by politicians and press releases listing demands from civil society organisations. Anniversaries also come very handy for drawing attention to a topic among those who do not yet know about it. This is what this post sets out to do: after a brief introduction to the UNGPs, we benefit from a speech by David Pitt-Watson to ascertain why the potential impact of the UNGPs is so great. The post concludes with an overview over challenges and achievements of the UNGPs during the last 5 years. (more…)

Beyond Capitalism: Other Ways to Organise Ourselves

by Sofia

In one of his essays about circular time Jorge Luis Borges quotes Marcus Aurelius: the one who sees the present, has seen the past and the future. Borges adds that the realization that time and history is circular (or rather humans’ existence is unchangeable) is especially painful (or angering) at times of prosperity and renaissance, while at times of decline, circularity is the guarantee that no disgrace, calamity, dictator can belittle us.

Capitalism too, like any other form of socio-politico-economic organization, is sooner or later going to be replaced. We can now see the embryos scattered all over the globe which promise to crack and replace the capitalist mantle. Like most of the transformations, the process might be painful, but it eventually can bring an end to our disgrace (for those considering this a period of prosperity, be ready for decline).

In this post I would like to speak about several alternatives to our current socio-political, economic, moral and other crises. There seem to be many alternative initiatives at the moment, which makes one hopeful about transitioning from crises. I will speak only of several, so feel free to add a sentence or two about others in the comments bar. (more…)

International Fair Trade and Fairtrade International Part II

By Theresa

Welcome back! This post explains why the product certification route is heavily criticised among fair trade-minded people. It illustrates the general criticism by focusing on a study conducted 2014. If you missed out the first part, you can catch up here. This study found that Fairtrade certified farms were neither paying nor generally treating their workers better than conventional farms in the same area.  (more…)

Creating An Alternative World By Buying Fair Trade

By Theresa

The introductory post on our Alternative World section already recommended buying fair trade products as one of many potential actions for a people-and-planet-friendly lifestyle. In today’s world most of us are consumers – and can take influence by making informed choices about our consumption. This post presents you to the idea of fair trade and tries to share a glimpse of the movement behind it. (more…)