Ep. 30, Civil Society and Sustainability

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Ep. 30, Civil Society and Sustainability

Education and Sustainability

  • The conference emphasized the crucial role of education, particularly higher education, in achieving sustainability outcomes.
  • The concept of "world society" often associated with the liberal world order emphasizes democracy, higher education, civic rights, and women's rights.

Challenges to Activism

  • Civil society organizations face increasing restrictions and repression in many countries, limiting traditional activism.
  • In authoritarian regimes, environmental activism takes on subtler forms to avoid state crackdowns.
  • Restrictions on international funding for domestic nonprofit organizations impact activism, particularly in Canada, where American foundations' influence is notable.

Social Innovation

  • The conference highlighted the value of interdisciplinary perspectives in understanding the limitations of social innovation.
  • There is a debate about the optimal level of social innovation, with some advocating for more innovation as a solution and others emphasizing potential waste and inefficiency.
  • Ethical issues arise in piloting programs that may not continue, especially in education, where starting and then shutting down a program can be harmful.
  • Experimentation is necessary for progress but should minimize the downside of failure for those involved.

The Future of Civil Society and Sustainability

  • The future of civil society and sustainability lies in increased collaboration and mixing across sectors, including government, civil society, and academia.

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