Inspiring Change in Times of Crisis – Conversations that Matter Series

News 12.05.2021

Our common global challenges are becoming increasingly acute and tangible all over the globe; for example the climate crisis, authoritarian governance, the continuous threat of violent conflict, including the use of nuclear weapons, and growing inequality between rich and poor.  We are now facing a new global crisis, as the spread of COVID-19 is affecting everyone around the world. As part of the Right Livelihood Foundation 40th Anniversary, three global conferences were planned for the spring of 2020. Two of them are currently postponed, due to the pandemic. The Foundation has therefore adapted with new ideas and will instead launch an online series, inviting Laureates under different themes. These conversations will be spread in the Foundation’s network and Right Livelihood College network.

Past conversations in the series:

April 17, Building Solidarity Economics in the Age of Coronavirus and Beyond

Join us for a timely panel discussion on how Nnimmo and Vandana’s alternative economic frameworks are informing and informed by this moment of the coronavirus crisis. We will consider how these frameworks can inform all of us about positive paths forward, and how we might turn this moment of great tragedy and challenge into a future of opportunities.


April 29: Women in Global Health – COVID spotlight on major challenges

Healthcare structures around the world are now being tested, and differences in approaches are becoming increasingly visible. As in the majority of crises, women are disproportionately affected. Reports of domestic violence towards women have increased, while women are also over-represented in care work and family-related care, making it harder to maintain social distancing. How can we take advantage of and learn from this pandemic to change the global health system, so that it becomes more inclusive, accessible, and just for all?


May 6: Water Justice in the Age of Coronavirus and Beyond

Water contaminated by toxic chemical wastes; hundreds of millions without access to minimum necessary quantities of potable water.  These were grave, immense issues long before the coronavirus pandemic.  Now the pandemic, raging globally, poses new questions for us:  Do these pre-existing conditions, the polluted waters, the lack of access, make the pandemic worse?  Conversely, will the pandemic affect society’s future ability or willingness to improve access and quality?  These are the kinds of questions we will be exploring in this webinar with two Right Livelihood laureates, Maude Barlow and Robert Bilott.


May 13: Threats & Opportunities for Democracy

As the Coronavirus spreads around the world, it is having far-reaching effects not only on public health, but also on our capacities for democratic politics. States have responded to the pandemic in various ways as they try to quickly implement new rules and restrictions for their populations to fight COVID-19. Many of these measures have not followed regular democratic protocols for decision-making, and some raise serious concerns about threats to democracy posed by increasing authoritarianism, lack of transparency, repression of media and opposition groups and parties, and other concerns. At the same time, crises can also be moments of political opportunity. As countries grapple with the Coronavirus, there is a spotlight on issues of unemployment, labour conditions, access to health care, and social interdependence, and this may provide openings and momentum for new democratic movements and agendas. What are the threats to democracy we should be grappling with and trying to prevent? What opportunities and potentials do we see for future democratic societies that we could be building now?


May 27: Inequality and Vulnerability in Crisis

Around the world, states and organisations are struggling to control the outbreak of COVID-19. The directives from WHO declares that we should constantly wash our hands, keep good hygiene, and stay inside to protect others. But how does this affect the part of the population without access to basic hygiene articles, running water or a home to take refuge in when quarantine rules are applied. Like most crises, COVID-19 takes extraordinarily high demands on those already exposed in society. How can we turn this crisis into an opportunity to strengthen human rights and more just societies?


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