The conference will focus on peoples’ alternatives, how these are being realized and how they can be strengthened, linking them to the realities of peoples’ every day struggles. Key questions to be explored include: how are people in different conditions bringing about positive social and political change? How are they resisting and fighting back against predatory capital, land water and nature grabbers, antagonistic state power and corporations? What are their aspirations for the future and visions for a better life/society? What alternative paradigms have they been trying to actualize through their own means?
The conference programme will integrate sharing and learning from national, regional and international actions and processes, including deglobalisation, food sovereignty, the commons, global social justice, Buen Vivir, climate justice, feminist economics, ending corporate impunity and regulating finance, among others. The conference will be a space to foster collective debate about critical issues, renew unities and solidarities, forge new partnerships, plan together for a better world, and celebrate 20 years of Focus’ activism for peace and justice.
- Provide a space for collective reflection and discussion on development in Asia, the world, and the state of peoples’ resistance and alternatives.
- Draw out examples, cases, and narratives of peoples’ alternatives along key themes of economy and finance, commons, nature, environment and climate, democracy and human rights, and social movements and power.
- Gather inputs and suggestions for Focus’ work over the next five years, in terms of research, analysis and collaborations with social movements, grassroots partners, academe, media, policy makers and development partners.
- Written documentation/publication of the conference
- Photo/Video documentation of the conference
- Narratives/stories of people’s alternatives on Focus’ website
Focus hopes that the ideas and contents that will be generated in the conference will feed into broader debates and initiatives on people’s struggles and alternatives, especially in Asia. Three outcomes that Focus envisages emanating out of this conference are:
- Strengthened ties and partnerships between Focus and its partners
- Possible new projects or areas of collaboration/future work
- Ideas for future work of Focus—in terms of its core areas of work: research and analysis, political education/capacity building, social movement building, and advocacy/campaigns
Countdown till the Whose New Asia Conference
Focus on the Global South
Walden Bello is a senior analyst, and he co-founded Focus in 1995 with UNDP Senior Advisor Kamal Malhotra. Until recently, he was a representative to Congress in the Republic of the Philippines. A 2003 recipient of the prestigious Right Livelihood Award (the “Alternative Nobel Prize”), Walden is considered the most respected anti-globalization thinker in Asia by the Belgian newspaper Le Soir. He is the author and co-author of more than 14 books.
Timuay Santos Magay Unsad
Timuay Justice and Governance
Timuay Santos Unsad is Teduray leader from Upi, Maguindanao. He is a member of Minted sa Inged (Supreme Council) of the Timuay Justice and Governance (TJG) with the position of Titay Bleyen (Assistant Supreme Chieftain). Timuay Justice and Governance (TJG) is an Indigenous Political Structure (IPS) or customary governance system of the Téduray and Lambangian Tribes in South-Central Mindanao.
Global Justice Now (UK)
Polly Jones is the head of the policy and campaigns of Global Justice Now in the UK. Polly was International Officer for UNISON, the public service trade union. She has worked with trade unions and other civil society groups all around the world, in particular southern Africa and Latin America. Her areas of expertise include international development, trade and public services.
Tao sings and writes her own songs, and acts on stage and in film. She works as an assistant operations manager and events booker. She was Task Force Pride’s Communications and Campaigns Committee Co-Head for the 20th Metro Manila Pride March in 2014. She headed Lesbian Activism Project, Inc.’s staging of “Hubad: Mga Kwento ng Kalayaan”, a collection of monologues about Coming Out, in 2012 and 2013. She worked in Quezon City Hall’s Gender and Development Resource and Coordinating Office as a documentor in 2013 and 2014. Her most recent role onstage was as the 14-, 35-, and 55-year old Carmen “Nanay Mameng” Deunida in Nanay Mameng: Isang Dula, produced by Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap and the Urban Poor Resource Center of the Philippines
Professor Emeritus of Sociology Surichai Wun’gaeo is currently Director at Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Chulalongkorn University. After finishing his post-graduate studies at University of Tokyo, he has successively held various academic posts including Director, Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute and visiting professorships at various universities including Hitotsubashi, University of Illinois-UC and Humbolt. He has been Professor of Sociology, Chulalongkorn University, since 2009. Ajarn Surichai is the current chair of Focus’ Board
People’s Health Movement
Amit was trained in medicine and works on issues related to public health, pharmaceuticals policy, and other S&T policy issues like Intellectual Property Rights. He is associated with the Peoples Science Movement in India and the Global Peoples Health Movement. He has also been involved in implementation of a number of research projects related to health, IPRs and Medicines Policy. He held /still hold positions of: General Secretary, All India Peoples Science Network, Co-Convenor, Peoples Health Movement-India (PHM – India), Associate Co-cordinator, Global Sectt. of Peoples Health Movement (Global), and Managing Editor of Global Health Watch.
Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)
Lidy Nacpil, who recently joined 350.org’s board of directors, is an activist from the Philippines working on economic, environmental, social and gender justice issues in national, regional and global campaigns. She is the Coordinator of APMDD, Co-coordinator of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice (DCJ), and member of the Coordinating Committee of the Global Alliance on Tax Justice (GATJ). She also serves as the Vice President of the Freedom From Debt Coalition (FDC) in the Philippines and Convenor of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).
Jenina Joy Chavez
Action for Economic Reforms (AER)
Jenina Joy Chavez coordinates the AER Industrial Policy Team. She was a Senior Associate and Philippines Programme Coordinator with Focus on the Global South until 2011. She works on the political economy of industrial policy, the nexus of economic policy making and public health, and regional social policy. She volunteers for the Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy on the strengthening of the social dimension in regional integration and the democratization of ASEAN processes to include non-state actors; and the Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition on the campaign for the passage of the People’s Freedom of Information Act.
Silvia Ribeiro is the Latin America Director for ETC group and a board member of Focus on the Global South. She has a background as a journalist and environmental campaigner in Uruguay, Brazil and Sweden and extensive experience in social and environmental advocacy. As a civil society representative, she has attended and followed the negotiations of several of United Nations environmental treaties. She has also been an invited speaker at many civil society events around the world speaking on transgenic and other new technologies, corporate concentration, intellectual property, indigenous and farmers’ rights.
Four Regions Slum Network
Nutchanart is an urban poor and land activist in Thailand and is one of the key active members of the Four Regions Slum Network and People’s Movement (PMove).
Max de Mesa
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Max de Mesa is the Chairman of PAHRA, an advocacy centre that has been committed to working towards the respect, promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights since 1986.
Premrudee is the co–director of Toward Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance (TERRA) and has been working in the Mekong for more than 20 years on ecological issues.
La Via Campesina
Dr. Peter Rosset is a food rights activist, agroecologist and rural development specialist based in Chiapas, Mexico, where he is a researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) and at El Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano, and co-coordinator of the Land Research Action Network. He is also a member of the technical team of La Via Campesina. Peter was board member for many years of Focus on the Global South.
Member of Parliament-Malaysia
Charles Santiago is a Malaysian economist and MP. Prior to his election, he worked for NGOs such as the Coalition Against Water Privatization and Monitoring the Sustainability of Globalization Malaysia. He is the co-coordinator of the EU-ASEAN FTA Campaign Network and is part of the international organizing committee of the Asia Europe Peoples’ Forum (AEPF).
ATTAC - France
Christophe Aguiton is a French alter-globalization activist and a board member of Focus on the Global South. In the 1980s Christophe Aguiton co-founded the union Solidarity, Unity, Democracy (SUD). He is also a co-founder of Attac France, and a member of the International Council of the World Social Forum.
La Via Campesina
Henry Saragih is Chairman of the Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI — Serikat Petani Indonesia), and the former General Coordinator of La Via Campesina. La Via Campesina is an organization of organizations, part of a global movement of peasants, family farmers, indigenous and landless people.
Brid is a researcher with TNI’s Economic Justice and Alternatives Program. She is co-founder of the European Solidarity Centre for the Philippines and most recently, RESPECT, a Europe-wide anti-racist network for migrant domestic workers. Brid is also one of the prime movers of the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity.
UP Asian Center/DAWN
Marina Durano is currently a professor at the University of the Philippines Asian Center. Before joining the university, she spent more than 15 years engaged in strengthening women’s political engagement with macroeconomic policies and global economic governance structures with DAWN or Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era and with the International Gender and Trade Network.
Seema is the Editor-in-Chief of The Citizen, India’s first independent online daily newspaper in English. She is also the Director of the Centre for Policy Analysis (CPA), an independent and non-profit policy research centre based in New Delhi and a board member of Focus on the Global South. Seema is a senior journalist who has worked in and edited several newspapers, including Patriot, Indian Express, The Telegraph, Economic Times and Asian Age. She was also with the News X channel as their National Affairs Editor. She has covered conflict in both India and abroad, and writes extensively on politics. She has authored two books V.P.Singh: The Lonely Messiah; and more recently Azadi’s Daughter. She has edited a book of essays on Journalism: Ethics and Responsibilities
Pablo Solon is Focus on the Global South’s former Executive Director (2012-2015). He was also previously the ambassador of Bolivia, under the Evo Morales government, to the United Nations. As ambassador, he became known as a tireless advocate for the rights of nature; he delivered the now famous speech explaining why Bolivia chose to “stand alone” by not signing the Cancun climate agreement in 2010. Before holding this post, he was a social activist involved in indigenous movements, workers’ unions, student associations, human rights and cultural organizations in his native Bolivia. He is also extensively involved in the global justice movement.
Programme & Events
Time Zone: +8 GMT
|08:30 – 09:00||Registration|
|09:00 – 09:30||Opening Remarks
Surichai Wun’gaeo, Chulalongkorn University
|09:30 – 10:00||Keynote Address
Walden Bello, Focus on the Global South
|10:00 – 11:15||Opening Plenary: Where is Asia Now? Asia in relation to the world
Premrudee Doaroung, TERRA
Henry Saragih, La Via Campesina
Amit Sengupta, People’s Health Movement
Lidy Nacpil, Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development
Max de Mesa, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights AdvocatesModerator: Clarissa Militante
|11:15 – 12:30||Open Forum|
|12:30 – 01:30||Lunch Break|
|01:30 – 02:15||Moderated Session: What do we mean by People’s Alternatives?
Jenina Joy Chavez, Action for Economic Reforms
Charles Santiago, Member of Parliament-Malaysia
Nutchanart Thanthong, Four Regions Slum NetworkModerator: Peter Rosset
|02:45 – 02:30||Focus’ World Café: Explaining the methodology and break out sessions|
|02:30 – 04:00||World Café on Alternative Economy and Financial System|
|04:00 – 04:30||Coffee Break|
|04:30 – 06:00||World Café on the Commons|
|Joseph Purugganan and Mary Ann Manahan
Time Zone: +8 GMT
|09:00 – 09:15||Struggles and Alternatives: An Indigenous Peoples’ Perspective
TimuaySantos Magay Unsad, Timuay Justice and Governance
|09:15- 10:00||Panel: People’s Struggles for Alternatives in other parts of the world and what it means for AsiaChristophe Aguiton, ATTAC-France
Silvia Ribeiro, ETC
Brid Brennan, Transnational Institute
Moderator: Judy Pasimio, Lilak, Purple Action for Indigenous Womens’ Rights
|10:00 – 10:20||Open Forum|
|10:20- 10:30||Coffee Break|
|10:30 – 10:40||World Café Instructions|
|10:40 – 12:10||World Café on Climate and Environmental Justice|
|12:10 – 1:00||Lunch|
|01:00 – 02:30||World Café on Social Movements, Organizing, Strategies and Engagements|
|02:30 – 3:00||Coffee Break|
|03:00 – 3:30||Synthesizing the World Café discussions|
|03:30 – 04:30||Closing Plenary on Peoples’ Alternatives
Marina Durano, UP Asian Center/DAWN
Moderator: Shalmali Guttal, Focus on the Global South
|04:30 – 05:15||Open Forum|
|05:15 – 05:30||Closing the Conference
Closing Remarks: Indra Lubis, Focus on the Global South Board
Nicola Bullard or and Afsar Jafri
|7:30 – onwards||Celebrating 20 years of Focus
Slide ShowMessage from Shalmali Guttal (Focus new Executive Director)
Intermission and Song from Tao Aves
Solidarity Messages from Partners and Friends
Message from the Board
Songs from Tao Aves
Closing remarksParul Thrapa and Niabdulghafar Tohming
|7:30 – onwards||Focus 20 years Party at Conspiracy Bar and Restaurant
Sophea Chrek, Ros Sokunthy, and Raphael Baladad
UP Balay Kalinaw
Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City
Messages from Friends
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary celebrations for Focus on the Global South, we wish to express our deepest respect and continued support for the important action-research work that your group is doing in Asia and throughout the world. It is an inspiration to many!
We love you, Focus on the Global South!!!
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