Latest activities of group The Global Voices Global Media Imagination: A (Reflexive) Interview With Shani Orgad2014-02-25T19:33:19Z<blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;">In an image and media dominated age, where immediacy and encounters with distant others are legion, what kind of imagination makes up our global psyche? How are we invited to think about others, and in the process ourselves, and what does it tells us about media, identity and our global world? These are the core questions of Shani Orgad&rsquo;s latest book &ndash; the work of several years of intense, detailed and original research. The Global Journal met the LSE senior lecturer in Media and Communications to talk about the limits but also the potential of imagination in an increasingly mediatized global world. And to see what lessons <em>Global</em> as a media outlet can learn from some of the finest academic research in media studies.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;"><em>What are these media representations that your book is concerned with and how do they shape a global imagination?</em></span></p> <p><span>I am interested in the archives of images, narratives, notions and ideas produced by media that are being accumulated and absorbed in our mind. I am not referring to a direct relationship by which, for example, a TV program simply gets into our imagination archive that we then use. Rather, what concerns me is the cumulative process by which images and the ways we are invited to imagine feeds into how we see the world, ourselves and others. My understanding of representation is dual in that I look and analyse the objects produced by the media but I also constantly reflect on what&nbsp; kind of reality it tries to capture and how this feeds into the way we imagine the absent. Imagination is the capacity to form mental images and concepts of what is absent. We encounter images and narratives in the media, and we are able to fill the absent &ndash; what is not there - with some kind of a mental concept or image. This is where imagination comes in. Media producers both imagine and produce representations and we as viewers both consume and imagine. Through media and representation, we self-represent ourselves, others and our world.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>I deliberately didn&rsquo;t frame the question of imagination as a one of thinking. Not that I exclude the question &ldquo;how the media shape the way we <em>think</em> about the world&rdquo;. But imagination allows capturing a much more dialectic and complex idea that includes the cognitive, but crucially also the affective, the emotional. We often imagine something before necessarily knowing it. Sometimes we need to imagine things that we don&rsquo;t know, that we have not encountered personally. The argument of the book is that we live in a world full of uncertainties and that we should allow a space for our imagination to accept that. And for the media to more proactively provide this space of ambivalence; a space that would allow us to admit that not knowing and not fully understanding are inevitable features of life today. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;"><em>How did you go about addressing the two challenges of technology and globalization in the book?</em></span></p> <p><span>Technology is the propeller of the process of cultural globalization that I am interest in. The opening of the book&nbsp; - using an advertisement from the 1950s - puts at the heart of the discussion the technological force behind the shrinking of distance, and its consequence: bringing the far away to our &lsquo;here and now&rsquo;. The process of imagining far-away others, events, and places depends on technology. Of course we can imagine independently of media technologies but what interests me is how our imaginations are fed through representations that are produced and disseminated by technology. So technology is at the background, but underpinning this story.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>With regards to globalization, it&rsquo;s probably a mark of my own history and entry into this debate, for I came to London in 1999 when Anthony Giddens was the Director of the LSE. Many of us, me included, were very enthused about the ideas of globalization and the global world. And of course, at the same time, quite a lot of doubts and questions started to be raised: do we live in a global world? Is it really globalization? The schism, that is not always helpful, between the national and the global started to be pronounced quite vocally. To me, the spaces of intersection between local, regional and national spheres of representation and imagination constitute significant spaces, within what I regard as &lsquo;global&rsquo;. Discussions within national spheres about how are we being seen in the world, what the world says about us are relevant questions to address in the process of globalization. They are of course <em>national</em> discussions occurring in the national sphere and shaping national imaginations, but they concurrently implicate the way we imagine ourselves as part of or in relation to the globe. It is therefore unhelpful to think about these only in terms of the national and national media.</span></p> <p><span>I have tried to distance myself (normatively, that is) from celebrating or embracing cosmopolitanism.&nbsp; In the book I address cosmopolitanism as an ideological project, not as an empirical reality. The issue of migration, for instance, is one where the local &ndash;within national spheres - is clearly the result of a global process and a response to global pressures.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The centre of my interest in globalization is therefore as a cultural rather than economic process&ndash; notwithstanding the fact that economic processes underpins a lot of what I am looking at. But what has driven me is a curiosity about how globalization manifests itself in the cultural realm, beyond the homogenization / heterogenization argument. The book is neither a utopian nor a dystopian account of the consequences of cultural globalization. Rather, it &nbsp; is an empirically-grounded exploration that suggests, following Arjun Appadurai, that one of the central forces that propel globalization is imagination, and asks what possible effects it might have.</span></p> <p><span>The book concludes with a discussion of the &ldquo;self&rdquo; that is located in a global context. I show how global and national &ldquo;public issues&rdquo;, concerning war and conflict, humanitarian disasters, and migration, are explained and imagined in the media by a focus on the self, often in the form of the story of an individual&rsquo;s intimate life.&nbsp; I argued that the focus on the personal and the intimate invites deep and meaningful engagement with the issue and potentially fosters interest in the other. At the same time this focus in the media on the individual encourages an inward, self-centred view, which fails to invite opening up to the world outside us, and to contemplating alternative lives to the ones we lead.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;"><em>You write: "What I discuss as occurring within the current media environment is that the ethnocentric, largely western 'we' is changing, specifically because groups and individuals who previously were excluded from the public media space are gaining visibility and voice, a process which is calling into question the symbolic frontiers between 'us' and 'them' ". Can you give some examples of such appearances in the global media landscape and talk about their significance?</em></span></p> <p><span>One of the case studies I am looking at in the book is the 2005 French Riots in Paris&rsquo;s suburbs, but the broader argument applies to many other cases. You could look, for instance, at the Arab uprisings. The key process I discuss is the way in which formerly &ldquo;others&rdquo; enter the public sphere by gaining visibility and voice, those that were and still are to a large extent relegated to being &lsquo;exotic others&rsquo;, be them the &ldquo;Arabs&rdquo; in the Arab World, or the suburban youth, particularly of Maghrebi descent in the case of the French riots. These &ldquo;others&rdquo; have the capacity today more than ever to voice themselves on mediated stages that can become very quickly global &ndash; through, for example, online and social media,&nbsp; and international news networks. In the words of a French blogger: &ldquo;Finally the microphones are pointed towards us&rdquo;. And it&rsquo;s in this reversal moment - without being too utopian about it for of course it has its limits &ndash; that these youth, who were historically excluded from French TV screens, eventually gained a voice, on BBC world, Reuters or Al Jazeera. This kind of moments challenge both the sense of the nation as a stable category but also the sense of &ldquo;us&rdquo; as Western viewers and our relations to those often impoverished &ldquo;others&rdquo; that have been historically shown in ways we have become so used to. These moments of reversal, however brief, may not always seem meaningful and they assuredly need to be cumulative to have an effect, but I believe they contribute to a process of opening up, which, in its most extreme form, I call estrangement.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;"><em>As an international magazine dealing extensively with global issues and which interacts a lot with NGOs, media and public communication practitioners, we are very interested in hearing some of your ideas about how the media industry can contribute to a different global imagination and for instance your ideas of ambivalence and non-narrative structure.</em></span></p> <p><span>I have had a lot of discussions with NGO communication people and journalists working about humanitarian crises and war. To their credit, the majority of them are highly aware of the pitfalls of what they do and are reflexive of many of the consequences of the representations they produce and how they feed our imagination. More awareness and reflexivity is already a great step &ndash; despite an economic media climate that favours certain stories and styles and delegitimizes others. But taking risks, being innovative and refusing to fit in existing categories have quite often made an impact and propelled some important changes in how people and places are represented.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The technological developments we are witnessing of social and online media, and the increasing visibility open up a possibility to have a more ambivalent media space; a space that includes stories that allow the assigning of an object or an event to more than one category, or stories that are unable to categorize some things at all. I draw on Zygmunt Bauman in referring to the idea of ambivalence. I am not calling for reversal of global power &ndash; as can be seen, for example, in the narratives about Asia as &ldquo;the next global power&rdquo;. These narratives are locked in familiar categories of financial power and empire. They fail to offer other formations of global relations, that wouldn&rsquo;t necessarily fall into the familiar categories that ultimately reproduce inequalities.</span></p> <p><span>Certainly, we need narratives, we need clear explanatory accounts that help us to cope with the constant uncertainties, fragility and lack of coherence of our times. Narratives work to impose symbolic order on the modern experience which is fraught with ambivalence and anxieties. At the same time, I conclude the book by arguing that we need symbolic spaces to articulate the contradictions and tensions brought by modern life in a global world, by the disembedding of social relations from their local contexts. We need representations that allow us to &lsquo;live with&rsquo; ambivalence and to accept incompleteness, lack of closure and moralizing.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Take the case of migration. As a migrant who arrived in London in 1999 I have experienced contradictions, ambivalence and uncertainties, just like many other migrants. When I researched representations of migration for one of my chapters - in various contexts from Chinese press representation of local migrant workers, other Asian countries, as well as North American and European contexts &ndash; I was hoping to be surprised and to be able to say to many previous studies: &ldquo;you got it wrong, the representation of migration in the media is not always about either criminalizing migrants and victimizing them, or celebrating the promise and benefits of migration. But sadly, my research confirmed this rigid representation, which I call nightmare and dream &lsquo;scripts&rsquo; of migration. In contrast to these rigid scripts, the experience of migration is ambivalent by definition. It is fraught with uncertainties, dilemmas and the inability to categorize. You can be away from your home country all your life and still experience this ambivalence, and this ambivalence needs to be negotiated sometimes on a daily basis. Where is there space in the media today for articulating this negotiation?&nbsp; We have a topic here &ndash; migration &ndash; where the reality of people&rsquo;s experiences <em>refuses</em> narrativity because it&rsquo;s so complex and full of contradictions and yet the majority of its representations that we encounter in mainstream media &ndash; as well as in online and social media &ndash; insists on categorizing and narrativizing, and refuses to acknowledge this ambivalence. I am not simply saying that everything is uncertain but that media representations should document and explore these uncertainties. So my hope is that media professionals &ndash; journalists, editors, producers, bloggers, social media users - would take this into consideration, despite the logistic, technical and aesthetic constraints, the process of production, and the impetus of news and other media genres to impose closure, that work against ambivalence. I do believe that media representations can become a vital force in re-educating our imagination in this direction.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;"><em>Thank you</em></span></p> <p><em><a rel="nofollow" href=";;">Media Representation and the Global Imagination</a></em> by Shani Organ,&nbsp;Polity Press,&pound;16.99 / &euro;19.50</p> <p><img title="Media Representation and the Global Imagination" src="/s3/cache%2F29%2F27%2F29271de6ab07ea6a56b128bed117178a.jpg" alt="Book cover Shani Organ" width="200" height="304" /></p>Global Health What the Frontliners Can See from the Field2012-03-06T12:16:18Z<p><img style="vertical-align: top; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/s3/cache%2Fe6%2Fd5%2Fe6d595a3659d72e9ca7537c2b76e32c2.jpg" alt="Prof. Louis Loutan" width="387" height="580" /></p> <blockquote> <p>Pr. Louis Loutan,&nbsp;President of the Geneva Health Forum and Head of division of International&nbsp;and Humanitarian Medicine at Geneva University Hospitals.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">What was the origin of the Geneva Health Forum ?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We launched the first event in 2006, six years ago,&nbsp;with the idea of meeting every two years. Since 1999,&nbsp;the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) have developed&nbsp;a clear strategy of openness and involvement&nbsp;with humanitarian activities, as well as cooperation&nbsp;with low revenue countries. The partnerships were&nbsp;directed towards training to enhance local capacity,&nbsp;and towards operational research projects. In 2005,&nbsp;the director of HUG asked me if it would be possible&nbsp;to set up a conference on topics with a global dimension.&nbsp;Geneva was the ideal place, with its medical&nbsp;faculty, world famous university, international organizations,&nbsp;numerous NGOs and private companies in&nbsp;the biotechnological, the pharmaceutical sectors&hellip;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We had a pool of potential partners to discuss the&nbsp;major health issues, and we wanted to remain pragmatic&nbsp;and linked to the reality on the ground. The&nbsp;first conference was centered on the global market&nbsp;of health professionals, with the problems faced by&nbsp;countries which train their professionals, but don&rsquo;t&nbsp;keep them because of low salaries, or poor working&nbsp;conditions, etc. In 2010, the theme was economic&nbsp;and humanitarian crises. This year our attention&nbsp;is focused on what we call &lsquo;frontliners&rsquo;, that is the&nbsp;people on the ground in the front line confronted&nbsp;directly by problems, who are having to find innovative&nbsp;solutions with whatever comes to hand, while&nbsp;trying to apply more global standards and policies.&nbsp;Another very important aspect of the next event is&nbsp;the subject of transmissible or non-transmissible&nbsp;chronic illnesses. To study chronic illnesses means&nbsp;following the patients for months, or years or even&nbsp;throughout their lives. We don&rsquo;t go in for grand declarations&nbsp;&ndash; mostly they are not followed through. The&nbsp;forum is a place for debate open to everyone, it&rsquo;s not&nbsp;only a debate for experts, but experts are present.&nbsp;There are people from international organizations,&nbsp;civil society, academics and industrialists who all&nbsp;have the opportunity to speak. In fact, no single sector&nbsp;can resolve all the difficulties.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">How do you measure the success of the Forum ?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The most important indicator is the number of people&nbsp;who want to present abstracts. We received 400&nbsp;proposals, 250 of which have been retained. A jury&nbsp;of 45 reviewers from all over the world (relatively few&nbsp;from Switzerland) share the task of selection. Each&nbsp;application is seen by three people. Sixty abstracts&nbsp;will become the subject of a conference presentation&nbsp;and a hundred others will be presented in the form&nbsp;of posters. Of course the number of visitors is also&nbsp;important &ndash; this year we are expecting 1000 people.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">What strikes you about the very first conference in&nbsp;2006 ? What has changed with regard to perceptions,&nbsp;interests, major preoccupations ?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the first interesting developments is the&nbsp;increasing power of the notion of global health - the&nbsp;health problems which have appeared across the&nbsp;whole planet. The idea of solving them all alone in&nbsp;one corner is laughable. It requires consultation and &nbsp;a coordinated, complementary approach. The Americans&nbsp;were very quick to propose the idea of Global&nbsp;Health.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Clearly, we have moved from tropical medicine to&nbsp;international health and now to global health. Tropical&nbsp;health covers the field of illness in the colonies,&nbsp;like malaria, which threatened the colonies and was&nbsp;threatening to spread over here. It&rsquo;s an old disease&nbsp;and has a very limited number of pathologies.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">International health addresses public health problems&nbsp;in emerging countries: malaria of course, but&nbsp;also tuberculosis, AIDS, malnutrition, measles, diarrhoea,&nbsp;lung problems &ndash; all major child killers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">To read the full interview, order a copy of the <a rel="nofollow" href="">magazine</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: #808080;">by Henry Montana</span></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: #808080;">Photography by Pascal Dol&eacute;mieux for The Global Journal</span></p>Syrian Dissident Says Assad Regime on Verge of Collapse2011-12-15T21:16:32Z<p><img style="vertical-align: top;" src="/s3/photos%2F2011%2F12%2Fee62cdbc425453a2.jpg" alt="Haithan Al Maleh" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Renowned Syrian dissident lawyer and judge, 80-year old Haitham Maleh, believes the continuing brutality of President Bashar Al-Assad&rsquo;s regime, which has led to a death toll of over 5,000, is a sign that the regime is on the point of collapse.&nbsp; Maleh spoke with The Global Journal during a stopover in Geneva (December 7) where he was scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following her private meeting with opposition leaders of the Syrian National Council. <strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Stated Maleh, <strong>"</strong>In the end I was only able to speak with one of Mrs. Clinton&rsquo;s aides for about 15 minutes, but I gave him a letter outlining my concerns. Mainly this included putting pressure on Arab nations that have not closed their embassies in Damascus to do so, such as Oman and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).&nbsp; We are asking that pressure also be put on former East bloc countries to follow the lead of other EU countries and withdraw their ambassadors. Even though they may not have significant ties to Syria, the gesture would help to isolate the Assad regime.&nbsp; I also asked that measures be taken to make military movements by the regime more difficult."</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">Including intervention by NATO such as was done in Libya, in the name of protecting citizens?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">- I do not agree with NATO intervention. I am not recommending air attacks or the introduction of foreign troops but rather other measures that were used in Libya such as disrupting electronic communications, especially in offshore shipping lanes.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">What is your reaction to the interview President Assad gave to a US television network in which he denied being responsible for killing and ordering a brutal crackdown on his people?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">- In this interview, Bashar Al-Assad appeared to be afraid and tried to distance himself from the crimes committed by his soldiers. But, according to the Syrian constitution he is responsible because he is in charge of the military and he is the head of the executive branch.&nbsp; So how can he say that he is not responsible?&nbsp; This is a sign of his weakness and his regime being on the verge of collapse.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">Are you at all concerned that the US and the rest of the free world - in opposing the Assad regime - might be hastening the day when extremist Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood might gain power and impose Shari&rsquo;a law on Syria?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">- The Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed for some time in Syria but those who speak for it in exile say the movement has abandoned its calls for violent resistance and for the application of Shari&rsquo;a law or for a Sunni uprising against the Alawites (ruling minority). Our laws today are not according to Shari&rsquo;a and I don&rsquo;t believe most Syrians want that for the future. They want democratic change - to be able to choose their own leaders.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="/s3/photos%2F2011%2F12%2Fa00102fb6730df38.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">But aren&rsquo;t you concerned that asking for support from the US could give the wrong message to the Arab world?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">- The Syrian people, like all Arabs, thought President Obama&rsquo;s Cairo speech in 2009 was a big first step. We are now asking him to follow up on his beautiful words with concrete actions. The US remains an important world leader despite its historic support for dictatorships throughout the Middle East. It is speaking forcefully about encouraging democratic movements around the world.&nbsp; But frankly, the role of the EU is more important for us. It has more economic pressure it can apply and it has already reacted forcefully at the UN.&nbsp; Also, I have given the EU 200 names of Syrian individuals who attacked and killed their own people and so far 60 have been delivered to the ICC (International Criminal Court).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">Why were you not included in the talks with Syrian National Council leaders here in Geneva? What do you think of them?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">- I am not a member of their Council.&nbsp; Most of them have lived outside Syria for years and have foreign citizenship.&nbsp; They did nothing during the decade 1980 to 1990 when over 50,000 people were imprisoned. Syria is one vast prison.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">You have a certain reputation as a leading dissident opposed to the Assad regimes over the past 50 years and you were imprisoned several times. Tell us about that.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">- I was first arrested by Hafez al-Assad in 1980 and jailed for 6 years. Then I was again arrested, this time by his son Bashar, during the street demonstrations of October 2009. I was imprisoned for another 3 years. In July this year, I was &lsquo;invited&rsquo; to discuss my situation with the authorities after being released under an amnesty extended to prisoners over 70 years old.&nbsp; There are more than 10,000 political prisoners in Syria today.&nbsp; On the day I was scheduled to meet with the regime, I managed to flee the country through Turkey.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">So are you now seeking asylum in Switzerland or anywhere else?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">- Never. I am Syrian and my place is in my country with my people.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&copy; 2011 - Marwan Bassiouni - All rights reserved</p>Where Will the Next Black Gold Party Be?2011-11-15T11:01:36Z<p><img style="vertical-align: top; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/s3/cache%2F92%2F21%2F922159f45beb1af5e09c4ae856ce88d4.jpg" alt="Van der Hoeven" width="389" height="580" /></p> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;">Maria van der Hoeven, a former economics minister in the Netherlands, took&nbsp;over as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency in September.&nbsp;She is taking over amid concerns that the I.E.A. is losing relevancy because&nbsp;emerging energy giants like China are not members, and following a rare&nbsp;public split in June within the OPEC about whether to raise production levels&nbsp;in response to unrest in Libya.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">Where in the world do you see the greatest risks&nbsp;for energy companies and for national energy&nbsp;strategies?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Middle East and North Africa regions are already&nbsp;responsible for around 35 percent of the world&rsquo;s oil&nbsp;output and, more importantly, they are expected to&nbsp;meet the vast bulk of predicted future growth. The&nbsp;recent turmoil has added to uncertainty about the&nbsp;pace of investment in the regions&rsquo; upstream industry&nbsp;- how quickly will production capacity expand&nbsp;and, given rising domestic energy needs, how much&nbsp;of the expected increase in supply will be available&nbsp;for export ? Our 2011 World Energy Outlook, to be&nbsp;presented on November 9th, will look at the implications&nbsp;of any possible shortfall in upstream investment&nbsp;in the Middle East and North Africa countries.&nbsp;Meanwhile the events at Fukushima this year raised&nbsp;serious questions about the longer-term prospects for&nbsp;nuclear power in Japan and elsewhere. We will also&nbsp;use our 2011 Outlook to examine the implications of &nbsp;any reduction in nuclear investment. Such a reduction&nbsp;would certainly make it more difficult for the&nbsp;world to meet the goal of stabilizing the rise in temperature&nbsp;at 2 degrees Centigrade.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #800000;">What does the new energy map look like from your&nbsp;office in Paris?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">I think that different countries and different regions&nbsp;will continue, quite justifiably, to vary in their energy&nbsp;balances due to differences in endowments, geography,&nbsp;economic patterns, and political and social&nbsp;values. Even in oil and gas, that geography is varied&nbsp;and regional. While U.S. shale gas may dominate the&nbsp;gas story in North America, lack of American export&nbsp;capacity means that it will not dominate the market in&nbsp;Europe, where piped conventional gas will continue&nbsp;to play a major role. Another example is the international&nbsp;oil market. It is too large to be dominated by&nbsp;one source. Increased Iraqi production, for example,&nbsp;will have to make up for declining mature fields in the industrialized world. But it will compete with other&nbsp;new conventional and unconventional production&nbsp;elsewhere.</p> <p style="text-align: right;">To read the full interview, order a copy of the <a rel="nofollow" href="">magazine</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: #999999;">By James Kanter</span></p>Mallika Sarabhai: Leading Indian Performer Joins Revolt Against Corruption2011-10-25T15:07:54Z<p><img style="float: left; margin-right: 25px;" title="Mallika Sarabhai" src="/s3/photos%2F2011%2F10%2F69e4f238d2b9af77.jpg" alt="Mallika Sarabhai" width="220" height="438" />Mallika Sarabhai is a noted Indian dancer and choreographer, turned political activist. She first came to international notice when she played a lead role in Peter Brook&rsquo;s The Mahabharata, first in French and then English. A long time advocate and social activist for women, in 2009, she ran as an independent candidate for parliament from her home state of Gujarat. Although she lost to the ruling party candidate, her intention was to encourage others to challenge India&rsquo;s two main parties. During the recent hunger strike by Anna Hazare that captured world attention, she joined his campaign to pass laws to rein in corruption.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color: #b81e21;">As a political activist in India, can you explain why it</span><span style="color: #b81e21;"> took a dramatic spark like Hazare&rsquo;s hunger strike to</span><span style="color: #b81e21;"> rally ordinary Indians to the problem of corruption,</span><span style="color: #b81e21;"> which has been a problem in India for as long as anyone</span><span style="color: #b81e21;"> can remember?</span></p> <p>Symbols are very important in India. To a large extent we remain a people in search of charismatic leaders. Anna Hazare had the right look and profi le: old, male, unattractive, looks ascetic, no family and simple living. An attractive man or woman would never have been able to do the same. Corruption, especially in government, has been angering people for generations. It has just been getting more and more blatant, and a coterie of MPs, bureaucrats and corporate heads have formed a club to loot the country and cock a snook at those outside the club. That is why the movement caught the public imagination. Annaji was the right person, for the right cause, at the right time.</p> <p><span style="color: #b8273c;">Now that Hazare has ended his hunger strike, how do you think he will continue his protest? And why a hunger strike as a form of protest?</span></p> <p>Fasts unto death, in these circumstances, show a selfless commitment to the cause, which fuelled the fire. How can one mistrust someone who is willing to die? I must add that the media was crucial in making the phenomenon happen. Irom Sharmila has been fasting for eleven years in Manipur, but the media has not turned her into a phenomenon. She is largely unknown. Here, the media focus on the movement created the force of the movement...</p> <p style="text-align: right;">To read the full interview, order a copy of the&nbsp;<a rel="nofollow" href="">magazine</a></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: #808080;">by Pamela Taylor</span><span style="color: #000000;"> <br /></span></p>5 Questions to Jovan Kurbalija2011-09-16T20:59:07Z<p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title=" Jovan Kurbalija" src="/s3/photos%2F2011%2F09%2F8859ea897fbe7a4a.png" alt=" Jovan Kurbalija" width="650" height="435" /></p> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;">Diplofoundation is a non-profit organization created in 2003 and based in Malta, unique in its vision of diplomacy as a field in need of greater inclusiveness through use of the internet. Its most emblematic achievement could very well be the creation of the first Virtual Embassy, in 2007, for the Maldives. Dr. Jovan Kurbalija, a former Yugoslavian diplomat and Diplofoundation&rsquo;s founding director, talks about his organization and its future challenges.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #b8273c;">What does Diplofoundation do?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our main mission, to make diplomacy more inclusive and efficient and to help small states, is methodologically supported by e-tools. In some cases, like that of small island states, this is the only way to deliver continuous training for diplomats. It&rsquo;s another reason why Diplo has alumni from 187 states, and we are considered, uno cially, as the diplomatic academy of small island states. Our focus on e-tools came out of practical necessity: we started Diplo in Malta, which is geographically isolated, so the only way to be present in international discussion was through e-tools. In the early 1990s we began turning our geographical disadvantage into conceptual advantage, and Diplo became the leading institution in e-diplomacy and use of e-tools both in training and practical diplomatic activities.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #b8273c;">You&rsquo;re contributing to the development of the so-called &ldquo;cyber-diplomat.&rdquo; What does being a diplomat of the Internet age entail?</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">What we are essentially trying to do is to train and equip diplomats with the necessary skills to use e-tools. This is to make them aware, fi rst of all, of social media and its power. Secondly, this makes them aware of the importance of the negotiation about Internet governance. We are adding an &lsquo;e-layer&rsquo; to the core values of diplomacy &ndash;negotiation and human contact&ndash; through the use of social media and other tools.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: #800000;"><a rel="nofollow" href=""></a></span></p> <p style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;">To read the full interview, order a copy of the&nbsp;<a rel="nofollow" href="">magazine</a></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: #888888;">by Global Journal</span></p>The Watchmaker with Global Management in his DNA2011-07-11T11:46:22Z<p><img title="The Watchmaker with Global Management in his DNA" src="/s3/cache%2F62%2F41%2F6241284863ec5c2735c8c84e87d1a428.jpg" alt="Marc A. Hayek" width="580" height="379" /></p> <blockquote> <p>Swiss watchmaker Marc A. Hayek cherishes those who make watches and those who love them. In this interview he talks about looking towards a global market and the surprises he faces when thinking locally and acting globally. The voice is soft, almost guarded, but the thinking is clear and far-reaching. A short lesson in globalization.</p> </blockquote> <p>At the heart of the Swatch empire, both a family and a global group, grandson Marc A. Hayek is slowly but surely spreading his wings. As deeply committed as his grandfather was, he now presides over the destiny of three luxury, prestigious brands: Blancpain, Breguet and Jacquet Droz. It is not easy to follow in the footsteps of such an inspired genius, the man who relaunched the watch industry with a brilliant, opposite tactic &ndash;a good value, mass market watch&ndash; while remaining passionate about prestige watchmaking. Marc A. Hayek is an entrepreneur who works on the global scale. Blancpain has gone from 65 to 650 employees. Breguet is continuing to expand and Jaquet Droz is starting to show its teeth. His consuming passion is to develop their identity and their &ldquo;DNA&rdquo;, as he calls it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color: #ce2232;">A few years ago, with two friends, you opened a restaurant called Colors in Zurich. Why did you abandon this baby in 2002 at the very moment that you were contemplating opening a second establishment in Milan?</span></p> <p>In watchmaking, as in gastronomy, there is always that exceptional product, the one you want to be part of. I&rsquo;ve never been against working either in watchmaking or with the family. It&rsquo;s true that I was on the point of opening a second restaurant in Milan because things were well established in Zurich and I said to myself, &ldquo;let&rsquo;s keep moving&rdquo;. But then the Swatch Group&rsquo;s offer happened and Blancpain was part of the proposal. I had fallen in love with Blancpain well before it became part of the group. It was the main reason for rejoining the family group &ndash;a completely unexpected return. A second important aspect concerned the management philosophy of the group. Swatch has always put entrepreneurial people in positions of responsibility: people capable of fully embodying the brand, while respecting the rules of the group. That allows managers the freedom to act in a spirit of initiative and independence. So, the idea was definitely not to enter a cartesian universe, deprived of this entrepreneurial spirit and the sense of responsibility that goes with it. Another important factor in my decision was to do with the human size of Blancpain: in such a structure it&rsquo;s possible to be involved in the details, from the creation right through to the commercialization.</p> <p><span style="color: #ce2232;">So you moved from local to global status!</span></p> <p>And that has become more marked with the passing years. Today I manage three brands &ndash;Blancpain, Breguet and Jaquet Droz. As an executive of the Swatch Group, I look after the prestige and luxury range, and I supervise the markets in South America, central America and the Caribbean, without being involved in an operational capacity. The three brands are enough to occupy my day.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: right;">To read the full interview, order a copy of the&nbsp;<a rel="nofollow" href="">magazine</a></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: #888888;">by Jean-Christophe Nothias, photography Rita Scaglia</span></p> <p style="text-align: right;"><a rel="nofollow" href=""></a></p>Gordon Brown, the Huge Transition Phase in Our History2011-04-11T13:02:35Z<p><img title="Gordon Brown | Car" src="/s3/photos%2F2011%2F04%2F4b1abc9bc220e759.png" alt="Gordon Brown | Car" /></p> <h3><span style="color: #000000;">&ldquo;We&rsquo;re at a Huge Transition Phase in Our History&rdquo;</span></h3> <p>Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was at&nbsp;the helm in London when the global financial system came&nbsp;close to collapse in the autumn of 2008. He speaks about&nbsp;his snap decision to recapitalize British banks and explains&nbsp;why global regulation has been so long in coming.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;">Early one morning at the height of the banking crisis, you told&nbsp;your wife Sarah to get ready to move out of Downing Street as&nbsp;you might resign that afternoon. How did she react?</span></p> <p>Very professionally. She got on with the preparations. Of course,&nbsp;she couldn&rsquo;t call in the movers just yet. That would have been a&nbsp;bit too disastrous a signal to the markets.</p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;">We&rsquo;re talking about Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. Lehman Brothers&nbsp;had just filed for bankruptcy. In your new book &ldquo;Beyond the&nbsp;Crash,&rdquo; you write: &ldquo;I sensed that if no-one acted, total collapse&nbsp;was imminent.&rdquo; What exactly were you expecting?</span></p> <p>The Royal Bank of Scotland would have collapsed within hours.&nbsp;HBOS was not far behind, and in that case, other European and&nbsp;American banks would have followed. I think people still misunderstand,&nbsp;in retrospect, the scale of the collapse that we were&nbsp;facing: It would have been absolutely catastrophic.</p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;">Would the ATM&rsquo;s have stopped handing out money?</span></p> <p>Most likely. People would have been in panic about their savings,&nbsp;there would have been a run on the banks. But what worried&nbsp;me most was that at this moment there was a total lack&nbsp;of leadership about the way forward, both within banks and&nbsp;governments. The banks still deceived themselves. One banker&nbsp;told me on the day before his bank collapsed: &ldquo;All we need is&nbsp;overnight funds.&rdquo; He didn&rsquo;t even realize that his institution was&nbsp;virtually on the brink.</p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;">That morning, you announced the immediate recapitalization&nbsp;of the British banks using billions of pounds in public funds,&nbsp;and which basically meant nationalization. Today, you receive a&nbsp;lot of praise for the steps you took. But how did you know then&nbsp;that it would work?</span></p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;">&nbsp;</span>I didn&rsquo;t. To be honest, it was a gamble. No other country had&nbsp;done it before. I would have resigned that day if it failed. But it&nbsp;worked. Within days, most large economies followed our path.&nbsp;At around the same time, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbr&uuml;ck&nbsp;was still in denial, blaming the problem entirely on Anglo-American banking practices.&nbsp;What really sparked the whole thing was the subprime crisis in&nbsp;America. But what people hadn&rsquo;t yet realized was that half the&nbsp;subprimes had been sold into European banks. The banks were&nbsp;undercapitalized, and they had a lot of impaired assets on their&nbsp;balance sheets.</p> <p><span style="color: #808080;">...</span></p> <p>To read the full article&nbsp;<a rel="nofollow" href="">buy the magazine</a>.</p> <p><span style="color: #808080;">by Marco Evers and Christoph Pauly &copy; 2011 Der Spiegel/Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate</span></p>Sandrine Salerno, Mayor of Geneva2011-04-11T12:43:57Z<p><span style="font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; color: #000000;">The City, the World's Local Laboratory</span></p> <blockquote> <p>Sandrine Salerno, Mayor of Geneva since June 1, 2010, is convinced&nbsp;that the future of global governance starts at the local level.&nbsp;Here, she explains how cities should be working together to fulfil&nbsp;their natural role. And why it&rsquo;s time that Geneva stopped being&nbsp;so modest and became the hub of global governance.</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="float: left; margin: 0 40px 30px 0;" title="sandrine salerno" src="/s3/photos%2F2011%2F04%2F3f1503b0a2a54853.png" alt="sandrine salerno" width="300" height="360" /></p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;">You have made two trips recently, to Mexico and to&nbsp;Senegal. What was behind these journeys?</span></p> <p>Geneva is part of an international network of cities&nbsp;called UCLG, United Cities and Local Governments,&nbsp;and once every three years, this organization brings&nbsp;together as many of its members as possible. That&nbsp;was the reason for my trip to Mexico City, which followed&nbsp;a visit to Korea at the beginning of my term,&nbsp;three years ago. The UCLG meeting allows elected officials&nbsp;to share knowledge on issues, exchange information,&nbsp;learn best practices, even learn from each&nbsp;other&rsquo;s difficulties and failures. It is also a network&nbsp;of elected officials who, like Geneva&rsquo;s officials, are&nbsp;interested in developing local policy and comparing&nbsp;it to other realities, even if they are very dissimilar.&nbsp;And since the city of Geneva has funds for cooperation&nbsp;and development, we can work in certain directions&nbsp;at the local level, and have the financial means&nbsp;to support other local authorities, other elected officials,&nbsp;with their own projects. This helps to develop&nbsp;decentralized cooperation between cities. The city of&nbsp;Geneva is no missionary trying to develop its counterparts.&nbsp;Instead, the idea is to have a project that can&nbsp;enrich our city and the collaborators who work here,&nbsp;through which they can meet their counterparts in&nbsp;other parts of the world. It is also about creating intelligent&nbsp;solidarity between cities, because I think that,&nbsp;in the years to come, even if it takes time internationally&nbsp;and diplomatically, cities will have more weight&nbsp;and will be heard. Over 51% of the world&rsquo;s population&nbsp;already lives in urban areas.</p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;">Were any important cities missing from the meeting?</span></p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;">&nbsp;</span>There are already some not in the UCLG structure.&nbsp;There are very few U.S. cities. Some Chinese cities,&nbsp;but relatively few considering China&rsquo;s potential. UCLG&nbsp;now has about 1000 members, cities and local authorities.&nbsp;These can be a city or province or, in our case, a&nbsp;canton or a community of communes.</p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;">Why are so few U.S. cities members?</span></p> <p>UCLG was born from the merger of two existing structures&nbsp;representing cities and local government where&nbsp;the U.S. already had very little presence. The organization&nbsp;is now seven years old, so it is young. Over&nbsp;time, as UCLG grows in importance, the U.S. will perhaps&nbsp;see that joining is in its interest. These include&nbsp;the realities of international openness, openness to&nbsp;the world. When you travel to the United States, it&nbsp;is a bit like traveling in China, even if the situations&nbsp;are very different.</p> <p>...</p> <p>To read the full article&nbsp;<a rel="nofollow" href="">buy the magazine</a>.</p> <p><span style="color: #808080;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #c24a3d;"><span style="color: #808080;">by Jean-Christophe NOTHIAS &ndash; photographs by Pascal Dol&eacute;mieux</span><br /></span></p>The City, the World’s Local Laboratory2011-03-16T19:18:53Z<p>Sandrine Salerno, Mayor of Geneva since June 1, 2010, is convinced that the future of global governance starts at the local level. Here, she explains how cities should be working together to fulfil their natural role. And why it&rsquo;s time that Geneva stopped being so modest and became the hub of global governance.</p>