Archive for October, 2008

anatomy of collapse

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

just returned from a meeting with the African sustainabile development group at the World Bank. a few impressions & reactions:
–the Bank has come a long way from their old (and much critized) Washington Consensus model (of privitization, deregulation, etc.) to an advanced thinking on how to put sustainable development into practice better, faster, and at more scale. sure, there still is a lot resistance and there still is a long way to go. but it was inspiring to work with this group of sustainability pioneers inside the Bank.
–we also looked at the case of Zimbabwe. we all know the facts from newspapers: a difficult postcolonial history leading into the collapse of the sectors of agriculture, water supply, energy supply, food supply, manufacturing, and the monetary system, resulting in mass poverty and hunger (absolute poverty going up from  29 to 63% ), and mass exodus (about 4 million fleeing the country).
–looking at the extreme version of a collapse in Zimbabwe makes clear that what is needed is not only instant action and help, but also, a new approach to developing, healing, and regenerating the whole. how would that work?
–talking about collapse: aren’t we also in the midst of a collapse in the West right now? having seen socialism collapse after the crumbling of the Berlin Wall in 1989, now it appears as if the other shoe is dropping: the collapse of extreme market capitalism (meltdown of the unregulated financial sector at the expense of the real economy).
–and now, what?