The theme for our current work plan is "Revisiting Deglobalisation: a vision for progressive social transformation"
With political, economic, social, and environmental trends coming to a head, the failures of corporate driven globalisation are finally entering mainstream discourse, and established political elites are failing to gain support of masses disenchanted and disempowered by the forces of globalisation. There are clear signs that that a new world order modelled on xenophobia, nationalism, religious intolerance and individualism is on the rise. Now is a pivotal moment for progressive movements to re-capture the narrative, and re-channel anti-globalisation sentiment towards hope, justice, equality, and plurality. New narratives need to be articulated that break decisively from neoliberalism, halt corporate driven globalisation, challenge authoritarianism, and build bridges across peoples, societies and cultures. New politics need to be built, based on grassroots democracy, peace, justice and equity. Economic and social development need to be reshaped to respond to the needs and aspirations of the majority, respectful of the rights of nature.
In the coming three years, Focus will build on the efforts and successes of its 2015-2017 workplan, Peoples’ Alternatives for Asia: Defending Rights, Nature and Life, by continuing to emphasize peoples’ alternatives to build and sustain better lives, societies, economies, and environments, while converging these activities towards re-articulating a paradigm that Focus believes is both timely and crucial: deglobalisation.
As part of the anti-globalisation movement, Focus has been developing and popularising the paradigm of deglobalisation since 2000. Deglobalisation promotes the transformation of the global economy from one centred around the needs of transnational corporations, to one that focuses on the needs of people, communities and nations, and where social solidarity is strengthened by subordinating the operations of the market to values of equity, justice, community and harmony with nature. Deglobalisation does not advocate de-linking from the international economy. It emphasizes a healthy balance between national and international economies, diversity in economics and governance, and strengthening local and national economies. In these unpredictable times that throw up both challenges and opportunities for progressive movements, Focus seeks to strengthen and amplify the voices of progressive grassroots communities, activists, civil society and public intellectuals to inspire, inform and pressure the general public, elected officials, governments, investors, and other powerful actors to recognise and move towards progressive systemic alternatives.
Focus will work on three broad thematic areas: 1) Political economy of development, 2) Power and Democracy, 3) Peoples’ Alternatives, each of which are interrelated and interdependent. Within these thematic areas, Focus will work on defined projects which themselves have specific objectives, outcomes, activities and outputs.