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The people’s responsibility to stand in solidarity with the poor

26 March 2013

Read about STWR's work in 2012 and some of our planned participation at events over the coming year in the newsletter for March, which includes a run-down of recent articles and posts as well as an overview of our upcoming research priorities and a website redesign.

Latest news from STWR

A growing interest in the concept of sharing is increasingly perceptible throughout the world, in everything from peer-2-peer technology and open software development to time banking, mutual aid, the gift economy, land rights and the reclaiming of ‘the commons’, among other areas. As we move further into 2013 STWR is working to try and influence the various debates that are emerging around this simple everyday concept, particularly to emphasise the importance of sharing in relation to the key global crises affecting humanity. This includes growing levels of poverty and inequality in most countries and on a global basis; worsening environmental problems and climate change that governments show no sign of adequately addressing; and also the entrenched crises of peace and security that often originate in conflicts over land and other natural resources.

It requires little imagination to see how the principle of sharing can play an essential role in mitigating these interlocking crises of our civilisation, as emphasised in a webinar hosted by STWR and GlobalNet21 recently that can be viewed below. As various participants at the webinar agreed, there is a real need to discuss these issues in simple and clear terms if a global movement of ordinary people is to embrace the urgency of restructuring our political, economic and social systems. If the case for global sharing captures the public imagination as quickly as the calls for redistribution within individual countries, perhaps an end to poverty and injustice could finally become a realistic possibility.

You can read more about STWR’s work in 2012 and some of our plans and events for the coming year in an annual review posted below. Also see below for links to recent activities, articles and blogs posted on the STWR website and our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Recent Activities

STWR Annual Review 2012
Our latest Annual Review provides an overview of STWR’s key activities over the course of 2012 as well as an insight into our plans for 2013, which include a website redesign, the publication of further reports and our involvement in a number of upcoming events. 

STWR Webinar Discussion on Global Sharing
In a recent webinar discussion STWR presented an overview of what sharing means in economic and political terms, and outlined how the principle of sharing could act as both a guide for policymakers and a rallying platform for civil society in the urgent process of world reconstruction.

Earth Rights and Sharing World Resources
Land value taxation embodies the principle that natural resources are the creations of nature and should therefore belong to society as a whole, not individuals – and as STWR acknowledges, the ramifications of this conceptual shift for a more just and sustainable world are potentially immense.

Cultivating Intrinsic Values through Sharing 
According to a growing body of psychological research, promoting intrinsic values can lead to better outcomes for the environment and society as a whole. Can a call for greater economic sharing help promote these values and unite progressives in a common cause that spans diverse cultures and multiple issues?


Will Development Goals Ever Be Enough?
Governments must accept that the root causes of poverty, inequality and climate change will never be addressed without substantial reforms to the global economy. In the meanwhile, the post-2015 development goals need to be much more ambitious about preventing avoidable poverty-related deaths within an immediate timeframe.

Extreme Wealth vs Global Sharing 
Campaigners have long proposed measures to reduce extreme inequality, but policymakers remain fixated on an economic model that threatens to undermine the fabric of society. When will the political elite heed the growing demands for redistribution that are being voiced in countless reports, books and public protests?

The Climate Deal Sham: Only Sharing can Break the Deadlock
The recent climate talks in Doha were held as if in an alternative reality to distressing developments across the world. But there still remains hope and optimism because there is no possibility of preventing runaway climate change without global sharing and justice.

How to Mobilise $2.8tr to Finance the Global Sharing Economy
There are many policies that governments could implement to raise the finances needed to reverse austerity measures, tackle climate change and prevent needless poverty-related deaths. But we cannot rely on governments to change the current world direction - the only hope is a huge groundswell of popular support in favour of global sharing.


On Seed Freedom and Sharing  
The seed freedom movement is an inspiring example of how the principle of sharing is central to resolving the crisis in agriculture, and highlights the urgency of resisting the powerful agribusinesses that seek to eliminate biodiversity and criminalise the saving and sharing of seed.

Values and the Sharing Economy 
In order to stimulate further public engagement and activism on global issues, it is important for those promoting the sharing economy to place far greater emphasis on the environmental and social benefits of sharing rather than any purely personal benefits, such as financial gain.

The People’s Responsibility to Stand in Solidarity with the Poor
Oxfam's chief executive makes some thought-provoking observations about transitioning to a sustainable and just world, and points towards an important question: what will it take to spur a mass engagement of ordinary people around the need to end poverty and social injustice?

Facing the Future: Share to Survive
In a guest post on Friends of the Earth's Green Blog, Benita Matofska of The People Who Share says that a new model is emerging for how the world could operate, and argues that the simple solution to our most complex global problems is the sharing economy.