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On October 1st, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno announced a series of economic measures for the country, including the elimination of gasoline and diesel subsidies and the liberalization of their prices, as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These measures led to the eruption of massive nationwide protests for eleven consecutive days, which were met by the government with fierce repression. Despite the repression, protests did not yield and ultimately made the Government back down and derogate these unpopular measures. The protests in Ecuador have important lessons for thinking social justice in environmental policies, and climate policies in particular.read more
Chile despertó, “Chile woke up” reads the main slogan used in the massive protests that have brought Chile to a halt. People flooded the streets demanding deep structural changes in enormous, mainly peaceful protests, the biggest one of which took place on 10/25 gathering more than one million people.read more
Digitalization is changing the world. And it’s true: The vehicles of digitalization have spread through society at a rapid pace. Smartphones only entered the market a good ten years ago! Moreover, everywhere else in society – in companies, administrations, in agriculture, in transport and even in art and music – sensors, processors and many other digital devices are introduced. Yes, it is fair to say that digitalization is changing the world.read more
Degrowth scholars and activists often turn to past cases of social or socioecological transformation for inspiration to inform transformative action in the present. Yet, there has so far been insufficient awareness of the bias that comes with using any historical analogy. The insights provided by historical analogies are limited, but can fruitfully complement analyses of the present and future-oriented visions of societal change. read more
I come from the dark side.
Between 1994 and 1999, I studied at two business schools. Then I worked in advertising and marketing from 1999 until 2016 — for 17 years. First I was an employee in a couple of advertising agencies. Then I got a doctorate in Marketing and helped build our own specialised agency, with a group of friends and colleagues. The one over-riding goal of everything was always:
I was not aware, when I was born, that I was born onto a battlefield. I was not aware, as I learned to walk, that I was stomping over the habitats of many creatures. I was not aware, as my mother drove me to school, that we were riding roughshod over the unmarked graves of our fellow humans. I was not aware, as we flew around the world, that I was attacking my child’s chances. I was not taught, when I went to school, that we all had been drafted, as unwilling and unwitting child soldiers, into an army of destruction. I didn’t read, in any of my university books, that my civilization of towering buildings, zooming machines and feasting on the meat of other creatures was waging a bitter war against the promise of a possible future.read more
The arrival of smartphones, self-driving cars and the Cloud are all symptomatic of a profound shift that is re-writing modern society from within: the Fourth Industrial Revolution. New technologies claim to provide answers to a host of problems, but is technology unbound always a force for good? In the first of a three-part series on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, EcoPolítica’s Paz Serra Portilla argues that blind optimism must be replaced by a wider societal debate in which technological advances are scrutinised and held accountable. Only then, in an age of climate warming and spiraling inequalities, can we fruitfully navigate both the opportunities for emancipation and autonomy and the dangers of perpetuating past mistakes that the technological revolution presents us with.