Experts like Paul Collier, Professor of Economics at Oxford University, argue that skilled migration leaving low-income countries is too high: it undermines the sustainable development of the home-country, and the people left behind. Other experts like Justin Sandefur, a research fellow at the Centre for Global Development, contradict that those emigrants send money back home and influence positively their families, clans and politics. Returning to their home-country, they are equipped with better skills and attitudes to speed up the democratic process. The motivation-drain and brain-drain in developing countries need to be better quantified 1). Adequate registration of the emigrant (refugees) and interviews would provide a clearer picture of who is leaving and why, how many leave, how long they want to stay, skilled or unskilled, in search of education or job. They more people leave their country so less is the motivation to stay. Achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals would motivate they migrants (refugees) to return to their country or stay there. It needs a mechanism for the coordinated return. In the opinion of the author of this posting, we have to empathise with the situation of refugees. The asylum procedures and conditions, like waiting for asylum, no work permits, asylum on time, no adequate training and German lessons, no immediate reunification of the family is counter-productive and demotivating.
Paul Collier, How does emigration affect the people left behind in poor countries.
Justin Sandefur, Migration and development: who bears the burden of proof?
Both commentaries are in Making It, Number 19, www.makingitmagazine.net
- The analytical foundation for quantifying and qualifying motivation delivers Nobel Laureate Georg Akerlof. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Akerlof
The WU Center for Sustainability’s mission is to establish the Principality of Sustainability at WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business in Vienna / Austria) a key objective of teaching, research, knowledge exchange, and university management. The Sustainability Controversies talks add controversy to the public debate about sustainability. The Following Sustainability Controversies have already taken place:
Sustainability controversy I “No business as usual. Sustainability between privatization and politicization” on January 14, 2014.
Harald Welzer lectured about his ideas on sustainability and discussed this together with the interdisciplinary panel: Ulrich Brand, Professor of International Politics at the University of Vienna; Helga Kromp-Kolb, professor Meteorological and director of the Center for Global Change and Sustainability at BOKU; Andreas Novy, Professor at the Institute of Regional Development and Environment. The panel discussed the role of the individual and the policy on the path to a more sustainable operating company.Fred Luks moderated the evening as director of the WU-Competence Center for Sustainability.
Sustainability Controversy II “What business do we want? About money, welfare and sustainability.” 15 May 2014.
This controversy took place over Christian Felber new book “Geld (Money)” in which it comes to “new rules of the game” a democratic monetary and financial system. With him discussed Silvia Angelo, Director of Economic Policy in the Vienna Chamber of Labor and member of the University of WU, Fritz Breuss (WU), Rainer Hauser, independent consultant and Senior Advisor at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Franz Schellhorn, director of Agenda Austria about the role of money, and regulatory issues relating to responsibility in democracy. Fred Luks (WU) moderated the controversial discussion.
Sustainability controversy III “Living well or living rightly?” on November 4, 2014
The philosopher Robert Pfaller presented his books “Gut leben oder korrekt leben, Living well or living rightly” and “What is worth living for” and discussions about sustainability, ethics, and politics. The podium – WU Professor Verena Madner, the philosopher and journalist Andrea Roedig and the WU student Nathalie Spittler – and the audience intensively discussed various facets of the issue, for example, questions of regulation, responsibility and quality of life. Moderator of the third sustainability controversy was Fred Luks, director of the WU-competence center for sustainability.
Sustainability controversy IV “participation. Royal way in the sustainability or pseudo-democratic nightmare?” on March 24, 2015
The fourth episode of the series “WU sustainability controversy” discussed the issue of more participation: which opportunities are available and which risks arise in context to a more of participation. Robert Misik, journalist and nonfiction author from Vienna/Austria led the discussion with WU Professor and Vice-Rector for Personnel Michael Meyer, Michaela Moser, FH-Professor at the FH St. Pölten, and Rita Trattnigg independent researcher and process-consultant-coach and the audience whether more participation is now a silver bullet in the sustainability or may be a pseudo-democratic nightmare.
Sustainability controversy V “The economy of Sharing” contribution to sustainable development or rejuvenation of capitalism” on May 11, 2015
The participants argued about the hopes and fears connected with the “economy of sharing.” The main speaker was Reinhard Loske of the Witten / Herdecke University, one of the most prolific actors of the German sustainability discourse. With him discussed Richard Bärnthaler, WU student, Beate Littig, Institute for Advanced Studies, and Sigrid Stix, an economics expert at the Federal Environment Agency.
Sustainability controversy VI “post-growth economy! Overgrowth limits, limits growth and the search for sustainable management concepts.” on September 7, 2015
The principal speaker Niko Paech, one of the major post-growth economists, calls for a radical rethinking and abandoning the growth paradigm and considers that a sustainable economy is possible only if Exnovation and deceleration are more important as innovation and expansion. With him discussed Silvia Angelo, Director of Economic Policy in the Vienna Chamber of Labour and Member of the University Council of WU; Josef Hackl, Head of Sustainable Development at the Federal Environment Agency, WU professor and head of the Institute for Ecological Economics Sigrid Stagl, and Lorenz Stör, student WU master program “Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy”.
The presentation of Niko Paech to “post-growth economy. Overgrowth limits, limits growth and the search for sustainable management concepts” -> here. The Standard published a follow-up report on the event -> here.
Niko Paech believes that we are at a turning point in “green growth.” The so-called energy turnaround has failed: flopped bioenergy and negative CO2 balance. The reasons for the failure are the different rebound effects. On the one hand, we have the (ethical) growth boundary and on the other we are under compulsion for growth. The result is the search for sustainable management concepts. The peak is everywhere: raw materials, crude oil, water, rare earth, and so on. Through the dynamic of prosperity, the demands of the human are growing faster and ultimately leads to psychological and physical limits. The mental growth boundaries (economic pressure) are due to time shortage and overwork and are the cause of increasing depression and digital dementia.Niko Paech recommends a four-step reduction program: sufficiency, self-sufficiency, Regional economics and remodeling of the industry.
Sigrid Stagl trusts that the problems are well described, but still there is no holistic solution in sight, – no effective decoupling mechanisms exists. Silvio Angelo points out to the ecological self-deception: the problem lies in the distribution of wealth caused by the neo-liberalism. She considers the privatization as no sustainable (she requests a reverse indeed) and growth is not a goal. Niko Paech recommends a different approach: the consumer behavior needs to change, – we must change ourselves and others have to change too. Things are changing for the better, but it is still too little. Lorenz Stör focuses on his power theorem. He criticizes the arguments put forward by Niko Paech as unrealistic and naïve. The power politics and interests of the multinational companies will not allow any realization. Lorenz Stör’s conclusion: Not the politics and economics can generate a change (transformation), but the society: Profit versus society. The debate reflected the power of civil society. It takes civil disobedience, and alliances must be formed to fight against the elites. Niko Paech counts his transformation scenarios again with his conclusion: if decoupling is not working, then politics is at the end. Private exercise programs (experimental fields) are required to implement the transformation because individuals ultimately make the decisions, – people behave independently despite manipulation. Niko Paech urges the reform of the multilateral institutions like the WTO, IMF, World Bank to accelerate the necessary transformation. There were only a few neo-liberal views who defended entrepreneurship and the pursuit of profits: the approach of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) includes the concept of common good “public wealth”, – increasingly adopted by political actors of the progressive left.
Sustainability controversy VII “Degrowth business? About sustainability, limits to growth and transformation processes.” on October 13, 2015
The discussion viewed “degrowth” from a microeconomic perspective: companies that do not explicitly focus on growth. The WU-Master students Maria Juschten and Heidi Leonhardt investigated closely at the growth mechanisms, reasons for the growth and so-called post-growth companies. Their contribution to the debate, – usually performed at the macroeconomic level, is focusing on entrepreneurial perspectives. The discussion offered new insights into controversial topics of sustainability. On the panel discussed Ulrich Brand (Professor of International Politics, University of Vienna), Heidi Leonhardt, (student in the master program “Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy” of the Vienna University of Economics) and Eveline Steinberger-Kern (Founder and Managing Director, The Blue Minds Company).
- Brand, Ulrich (2015): Degrowth und Post-Extraktivismus: Zwei Seiten einer Medaille? Working Paper 5/2015 der DFG-KollegforscherInnengruppe Postwachstumsgesellschaften. Jena. Link
Sustainability controversy VIII “degrowth transformations: Paths in the next economy” January 19, 2016
Preliminary text: Because of the decisions of the Paris summit on climate change, terms such as reducing and shrinkage of the economy are on the top of the sustainability policy agenda. The question is: How does ecological deconstruction complement with the economic goals and how can transformation towards sustainability succeed? André Reichel, Professor für Critical Management and Sustainable Development at the Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe, Germany, researched this topic and presented a model with a Multi-Level-Perspective: Landscape, Regime, and Niche stressing the role of entrepreneurial activities. He discussed at the podium with Verena Madner, Head of the Research Institute of Urban Management and Governance at the Vienna University of Economics, Alexandra Strickner, co-founder and chairwoman of ATTAC Austria and Lorenz Stör, a graduate of the WU Master’s program “Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy.” Fred Luks moderated the evening as director of the WU-Competence Center for Sustainability.
The Author of this posting attended this event, and he remembers some of the remarks in the debate. Andre Reichel presented a graph, – although abstract and static -, indicating how three inter-reliant levels such as Landscape, Regime, and Niche could induce an efficient transformation and what should be done on this levels to enhance and accelerate sustainability. He recommended a new strategic model based on the diversity of economic activities: Dominance, Sufficiency, Subsistence, and Niche. He alleged that the Dominance-Strategy, although dangerousness -, should be considered only by large international companies like (VW, Toyota). The Sufficiency-Strategy proposes that the manufacturing of products shall be reduced (car sharing and so on). The Subsistence-Strategy is an economic model based on the collaboration with the consumer, such as supporting the domestic production for and with the customer and extending the lifecycle. The Niche-Strategy needs to consider qualitative technologies, geographic scope and the assurance of product promises. Based on the multi-level perspective, Reichel mentioned as an example (based on the Zukunftsreport of Mathias Horx) at the level Landscape: Low Growth Energy Carbon; at the level Regime: Collaborative NetworkEconomy and at the level of Niche: Entrepreneurial Activities.The question arose how the politic will accept this model and how it will react. Verena Madner and Andre Reichel discussed Governance spectrum of the State and over the Governance Gap, i.e. that States may take less and less influence on the economy. Alexandra Strickner replied that the results of Paris (climate change) and the above-mentioned model does not fit into the existing neo-liberal system (enterprises want to make profit, distribution of the wellness) as well as to the trade policy of TIIP. Thus, the system does not wish to support the required transformation. From the audience came the objection that companies must make profits to secure jobs and to create new ones and to pay taxes to remain our welfare state. Lorenz Stör disputed that is too naive to believe that large multinational corporation will support the transformation of a new economic order: they do not want change, – they are too powerful (his power-theory). Instead, the change should focus on a new society and social distribution of wealth. Reichel replied that politics do react when it is almost too late: the situation in Paris or the refugee crises, and so on. He also repeated that Niche-Enterprises will play in the post-growth-phase an important role. De-growth research is critical for both for SMEs as well as for large multinational companies. Reichel asked to interpret the term transformation in different ways, like some form of planned Laizes Fair Change and mentioned the Porter model (shared value approach). Fred Luks pointed out that enterprises through the approach of Corporate Citizenship respectively CSR behave like political actors. Andre Reichel criticized that the great multilateral institutions such as the IMF were pretty clueless about the current situation and the requirement of the transformation. The incentives should, therefore, come from the consumers too, and Lorenz Stör added that the Civil Society should do their part. He pointed out that the power of large multinational corporations could have an adverse impact on the required transformation; and therefore, its better to start from the lower level (family) as a counter-power. Verena Madner added that the research is an important issue to Governance. Alexandra Strickner asks that society and the business system must be redesigned to achieve a “good life for all.” Andre Reichl concludes that transformation without economic growth will not work because people in developing countries ask for a higher standard of living too.
Ing. Gebhard Fidler is President of the International active peace organization “Verein zur Förderung der Völkerverständigung” – “Association for the Advancement of International Relation”. The NGO is accredited by United Nations with ECOSOC consultative status, OSCE, EU-Grundrechtagentur (EU Fundamental Rights Agency) and Austrian Standards. Fidler works as an expert in the field of “Islam” considering rules of law, economy, finance, insurance, HALAL and CSR, and collaborated with the Austrian Standards Insitute to develop standards for HALAL food, Islamic Banking, and Islamic Insurance and for the ASI HALAL mirror committee for CEN in Brussels; moreover, he deals with the issues of integration, migration, asylum and religious aspects of Muslims Membership in various UN committees.
For the content of the comment in German written by Gebhard Fidler, he is solely responsible, and his views do not necessarily reflect the views of the UN NGO Committee on Sustainable Development and its members.
Contravening to international treaties which prohibits child labor affecting about 169 million children worldwide, child-labor-unions plead from the Bolivian Government to legalize child labor for kids as young as ten. Recently the Government approved this appeal with a new regulation, but still prohibiting hard and exploitive work. The Government insists that this legislation,- giving priority to education -, is necessary for a country where 45% of the population lives below the poverty line and 850.000 poor children have no choice but to sustain their families by working part-time. Despite certain difficulties in managing the time of work and education, most of the kids use the earned money to pay their studies and to reconcile the economic needs of their family with their own ambitions. The Human Rights Watch called it a “short-term solution to economic hard-ship” which could compromise the education of the younger generations. Source: Matteo Fagotto, Bolivia Kids, biber newcomer, Winter 2015/16, page 17. The International Labor Organization claims that global child labor had been reduced by a third since 2000 and in between 2008 and 2012 child labor in Latin America and the Carribean had fallen by nearly 2 million. The ILO argues that the move by Bolivia could halt the progress currently being made. Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bolivia-becomes-first-nation-to-legalise-child-labour-9616682.html
The child labor, – even if the requirement is small – , shall be linked with relevant education and training from the very beginning. Maybe an adapted Dual Education System tailored to the requirement of the work and to the age of the children is maybe a good solution.
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
The demand to transform current systems seems to be a depressing diagnosis. It takes a holistic package were almost everyone gains by those desired transformations. The problem is, – contrary to the holistic solution -, that attempts are made to solve each problem isolated and the suggested solutions are zero-sum games. It’s a political, social, ecological and economical arrangement that one set of players would gain at the expense of another set. Because the prospective losers could be a powerful nations, multinational corporations or influential stakeholder, they are not willing to negotiate adequately or refuse it entirely fearing they would be losers. To break this deadlock, a non-zero-sum game has to be started; therefore, the suggested solution is instead to solve each problem by itself (individually) applying the holistic approach with the chance everybody wins.
Previous game theories based on the assumption that one party’s loss was always the adversary gain. John Nash, 1928-2015, he shared the Nobel Prize with two fellow game theory pioneers 1994 (depicted in the hit 2001 Hollywood film “A Beautiful Mind”), developed the Nash Equilibrium where each party gets the best deal possible under the circumstances and is now used to underpin everything from nuclear arms talks to developing contract negotiations tactics (Source: Obituaries, The troubled mathematician who inspired A Beautiful Mind, The Week, June 5, 2015, Volume 15, Issue 722).
Here is an amusing example of the Nash Equilibrium as shown in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”: Five girls meet in the evening in a bar five lads. All ten persons are interested in making an acquaintance, so there are ten persons with the same objective. One of the five girls looks very beautiful and all five young men desire to have a date with her. According to the theory of John Nash, none of those young men will achieve his objective. The beautiful girl would, if at all, select no more than one of them, but probably none, because it feels obliged to her girlfriends who are not cherished by the boys. To preserve her status in the group, the sought-after girl will do anything not to be separated from her group. So no one will achieve his or her goal: the girls who want to make the acquaintance, not, and the young men not because they interfere with each other due to their mutual interests. John Nash calls this a “non-cooperative equilibrium“: five possible relations, bit five times a failure.
It seems that in this “Nash Equilibrium” are stuck the negotiators at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 being held in Le Bourget near Paris, November 30 to December 11. In case of post-capitalism, the economists (or self-proclaimed one), politicians and well-meaning people hinder and denigrate each other at every given opportunity at low level by discussions about the transformation of the capitalism or about the climate change. In the case of economics, the conclusion is that the originators of the well-known schools of economic suffered less of a tunnel vision that some of their followers today: they caught in the Nash Equilibrium! (Source: Josef Taus, Oliver Tanzer, Umverteilung Neu, Ideen für die Zukunft von Wirtschaft und Finanzsystem, 10. Kapitel, Chancen der Synthese, Plädoyer für eine neue Sicht der Ökonomie).
Although the Nash Equilibrium appears mathematically and abstract, it should be applied in conjunction with synthesis. Maybe a reader of this Post has an idea how this “non-cooperative equilibrium” could be bypassed whether in the negotiations in Paris or to create an adequate system for the Post-Capitalism?
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) based on the Triple Bottom Line Approach (TBL: PPP – People, Planet, Profit) and CSV (Creating Shared Value) is the ability of organizations to create value for society. Critics argue that the creators of CSV, Porter & Kramer, have a very limited understanding of CSR. In the opinion of the author CSV should not be isolated from CSR but CSV but considered as part of CSR, meaning that simultaneously to TBL, CSV shall be approached.
For corporations to achieve CSV they shall service all markets including developing and emerging markets, accessing new markets through new products and services; improving production-, and service systems including logistic, – all to meet social needs. For governments to achieve CSV they shall provide the proper framework like rules of law, security and infrastructure to the society, corporations and NGOs. For NGOs to achieve CSV the shall provide activitities: meeting the needs of the poor peoples and refugees; activities to improve health, familiy planning and education; in self-help projects where local people are involved; to help people to develop a clearer understanding of social, political and economic factors affecting their lives; in cooperation with companies; as facilitators achieving an maximum involvement of the beneficiaries.
Triple Bottom Line -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_bottom_line
Creating Shared Value ->https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creating_shared_value
Author: Roland Leithenmayr, CSR Expert, VfV
We would appreciate to hear your opinion how NGOs could better achieve CSV.
Europe has troubles to find a concord between their nations to deal with the flow of refugees: Europe has lost empathic. The citizens are confused, frustrated, scared and angry about the hesitant “back and forth” decisions and actions of their politicians and institutions. It lacks for transparency, traceable identification, analysis, assessment and management of risks that may arise from the migration flow. Adequate risk- and crisis-management is missing. Each system and organization has its own risks, but it is fundamentally that they are accurately recognized and managed before a real threat or crisis arises. Risk management is essential and must be applied not only by politicians, experts, economists, but by the civil society especially NGOs to secure sustainable development regardless of whether it is a developed country, developing or emerging nation. Europa is currently in a crises situation associated with a decision-making problem (a dilemma!). No matter how politicians or institutions decide on, they encounter more often drawbacks, because the final decision commonly generates not only benefits but disadvantages too: the anxiety of the citizen and therefore voters, risk of creating a parallel society (sharia) or in a greater sense compromise with politicians regardless of whether they are appreciated, rejected or disliked. That means the politics or NGOs have to deal with diplomacy and stakeholder interests (smart engagement) if they like it or not. Contrary to risk management, the crisis management is concerned how with crisis (threats) before, at present or afterwards shall be dealt. Because NGO’s possess much experiences with refugees and other risks and crises around the world, they are predestined to support risk- and crisis management, to develop and improve it, and to initiate or support the process of transformation, inter alia, replacing obsolete systems that can no longer be maintained. The UN NGO Committee on Sustainable Development in Vienna/Austria and its associates are aware of the dilemma that politicians and institutions like the UNIDO and others encounter and is open to cooperate and support risk- and crisis-management and the process of transformation. To cope adequately with risks the rules (standards) of the risk-management should be applied to meet (sub-optimal) sustainable decisions and to act accordingly. A useful project to be recommended is to identify the most relevant indicators and associated risks for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In the event it runs not so well as planned, there is no unpleasant surprise, instead the execution of appropriate measures will prevent or reduce the chaos and minimize the crisis.The excuse that it was simple a surprise is no longer more an excuse!
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
Measuring impacts of projects were NGOs collaborated with public actors and institutions like UNIDO is not an easy task. Before entering in cooperative projects particular an NGO with a company, sponsor or institution it needs a common understanding and goal; therefore, the communication including “smart engagement” is the most important aspect. The first stage (stop or go) is to investigate what the NGO with the support of a private actor (a company or sponsor) or institution can do to achieve the required impact which is essential for a community or a country. A common goal, – that makes it easier -, is not necessary, but the basis for a good partnership are at least overlapping interests. The success of a project depends on a good project management and controlling having precise Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Benchmarks for measuring project progress. For measuring the impact it needs to approach a tool-kit containing relevant impact indicators based on the Triple Bottom Line (People, Planet, Profit, PPP) and guidelines such as ISO 26000, UN Global Compact, Austrian Chamber of Commerce – CSR, Industrieellen Vereinigung (IV –resPact), etc., and naturally the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). To put the “tool-kit” to work it needs more time at the beginning of the project but is less complex and time-consuming at the end. Impact measuring will be successful when the expectations of the stakeholder (stakeholder-mapping, stakeholder-engagement) match. Besides to understand what each partner wants to do carry out, it requires trust between the partners and all stakeholders. The actors may have different backgrounds and goals and report to different stakeholders.About measuring indicators, benchmarks and project progress it needs to rely on local partners. Data collection and the executions of statistical and neuro-fuzzy analysis is an effective way to create indices, indicators, and benchmarks. It needs access to proper data available in institutions like Worldbank, UNIDO and private Data collection. To investigate the links between the impact and indicators, it requires the development of proper instruments for the tool-kit. The WU Vienna works on a project (GLOBAL VALUE – Assessing the Impacts of Multinational Corporations on GLOBAL Development and VALUE Creation) developing a toolkit for measuring the impact of Corporation in developing and emerging countries. It’s not clear to the author if this project includes the impact of NGOs as an important partner in a project. http://www.global-value.eu/
Roland Leithenmayr VfV
“Fifteen years ago a milestone was set for the future of international development: the Millennium Development Goals signed by all heads of state in the UN aimed to cut hunger and poverty in half by 2015. Did they achieve their objectives? What does the new program Sustainable Development Goals promise? Can we trust these announced ambitions? Can we trust that the United Nations is strong enough to convince the nation states to implement these goals? Can we trust that the signatory nation states will take these objectives seriously?”(quoted from event program).
Petra Dannecker, Institut für Internationale Entwicklung, Uni Wien (Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna)
Tally Einav, UNIDO – Organisation der Vereinten Nationen für Industrielle Entwicklung (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)
Sandra Monterroso, Künstlerin, Guatemala/Wien (artist, Guatemala/Vienna)
Daniel Bacher, Dreikönigsaktion der Katholischen Jungschar (DKA of the Catholic Youth Movement)
Moderation: Ursula Baatz, Philosophy, Journalist / philosopher/journalist
7.Oktober 2015 at the Depot Breite Gasse 3, Wien,
MDGsSDGs, Statistics in German about Millenium Goals.
Summary by the author who attended the meeting:
The World Justice Project (WJP) is a multinational and multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities (countries), of opportunities, and equity throughout the world. A key element of that initiative is the WJP’s Rule of Law Index. It is a quantitative assessment tool designed to offer a detailed and comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries around the world adhere the Rule of Law. By measuring performances on a periodic basis across a larger number of variables, the Index offers a road map that can aid governments, private sectors and civil society in identifying opportunities for targeted reforms. The index consists of 16 factors and 68 sub-factors, organized under a set of four principles, or bands (Source: The Rule of Law Index, World Justice Forum II, November 11-14, 2009, Vienna/Austria). www.worldjusticeproject.org.
Roland Leithenmayr, VfV