REINVENTING life together
It is true that we have problems, but we also have solutions. Many people are developing and experimenting with new ways of doing things. New ways of thinking and approaching culture, urban planning, environmental and social sustainability, participatory design, the circular economy, tourism, the integration of functional diversity and poverty, among other issues. The guests taking part in the REINVENTING life together cycle are all involved in tackling these issues. The aim of the cycle is to inform and reflect on the innovative responses to key social challenges – responses which are being put forward from both inside and outside of Málaga.
In 2018 «Radar. New ideas for a common future» was the first event held by LABMálaga, a citizen’s laboratory promoted by the General Foundation of the University of Málaga and La Térmica, the Contemporary Culture Centre of Málaga Provincial Council.
The post-pandemic economy must be an economy for the common good
4 June, 2020, videoconference
Speaker: Christian Felber
The Economy for the Common Good is an alternative economic model pioneered by Christian Felber which has aroused enormous interest around the world. Proof of this is that, since 2010, more than 3,000 companies and other organisations (including banks, universities and municipalities) have joined this initiative, of which 600 have committed themselves to values such as decent working conditions, environmental sustainability, promoting local economies and ethical trade and consumption.
The Economy of the Common Good proposes that, rather than focusing on the Gross Domestic Product, the economic system should consider democratically created social well-being and development indicators: the “Common Good Product” and, at a business level, the “Common Good Balance Sheet”. These indicators would make public administrations and companies accountable for the common good generated by their activities, with consequences for the profitability of products and services. Thus, the more a company or product contributes to the common good, the less tax it pays and the more rights it will have to subsidies and public purchasing, as well as access to funding and international markets, thereby turning so-called “free trade” into “ethical world trade”.
In addition, the Economy for the Common Good proposes a third generation of “ecological human rights” so that mankind’s consumption of natural resources remains within the ecological limits of the planet. Concerning inequality, the Economy for the Common Good proposes both decent minimum wages and maximum incomes that do not exceed a specified multiple of the minimum wage. To end deprivation, an unconditional basic income could complement the system in order to maintain a social balance.
The European Economic and Social Committee has urged the European Commission to adopt proposals set out in the Economy for the Common Good. Can we afford to think about the Economy for the Common Good when we are faced with the corona virus pandemic? Is it a luxury that we can indulge in? Or is it something that needs our urgent consideration?
Christian Felber has taught at several universities in Austria and Germany and is currently an Affiliate Scholar at the IASS in Berlin-Potsdam. He was a founding member of the global justice movement Attac Austria and founder of the Democratic Bank, today known as the Cooperative for the Common Good, which offers the first Common Good Account in Austria. Together with a group of entrepreneurs, he developed the model known as the “Economy for the Common Good” as an alternative to the capitalist market economy and the planned economy. Felber is the author of many widely translated bestsellers, including: Change Everything (2012); Money. The New Rules of the Game (2014); Trading for Good (2018) and La voz interior: espiritualidad, libertad y bien común (The inner voice: spirituality, freedom and common good (2019).
Free money? An income to give freedom? A universal basic income (and not just for the poor) now?
21 May, 2020, videoconference
Speaker: Daniel Raventós
There is a great deal of interest nowadays surrounding the fairness and viability of a universal basic income for all, which, moreover, has been suggested as a way of dealing with the social emergency caused by COVID-19. It is also being discussed due to the imminent implementation of a minimum living wage in Spain, although the minimum living wage would not be the universal, unconditional and permanent basic income that many are demanding.
In this online session of the Reinventing life together cycle, we will talk to Daniel Raventós, founding member and head of the Spanish affiliate of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). We will hear about the proposal of the Basic Income Earth Network and discuss its feasibility. Would something like this could be affordable in post-pandemic Spain? Even if it was used to stimulate the market, could it turn out to be a medium- or long-term economic disaster? Is this the best way to combat poverty and inequality?
Doctor of Economics and tenured professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Barcelona. Founding member and member of the editorial board of the international political magazine Sin Permiso. At present, he chairs the Red Renta Básica, an affiliate of the Basic Income Earth Network. He is on the Scientific Council of ATTAC and the International Board of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). His latest books include: Renta Básica Incondicional Una propuesta de financiación racional y justa (Unconditional Basic Income. A proposal for rational and fair financing) (Serbal, 2017) in collaboration with Jordi Arcarons and Lluís Torrens, and, in collaboration with Julie Wark, Against Charity (Counterpunch, 2018) recently published in Spanish (Icaria) and Catalan (Arcadia).
Healthy relationships in the culture of narcissism
13 February, 2020, at La Térmica (Avenida de los Guindos, 48)
Speaker: Arun Mansukhani
The history of Western culture has been somewhat daringly absorbed into the history of self-aggrandisement, and this self-aggrandisement has recently accelerated and become more democratic. However, the self does not exist without other people, without someone else’s perspective. As such, the fostering of our egos on social networks makes us depend on the approval of others, on the “likes” of others. Our huge yet vulnerable egos affect both our relationships with others and our sense of identity. Research indicates that the need to see ourselves as capable and desirable leads to psychological distress and emotional traumas.
Based on an analysis of the current situation, in this talk we will reflect on how to achieve healthier and more genuine relationships with others, which in turn requires an equally healthy and honest relationship with ourselves. To this end, we will explore the patterns of intra and interpersonal relationships, and distinguish between those that are worth cultivating and those that are not.
Specialist Psychologist in Clinical Psychology, EuroPsy Specialist in Psychology and Psychotherapy, sexologist, Expert and University Specialist in Clinical Hypnosis, practitioner and European EMDR consultant. Since 2016, he has led a team of psychologists and sexologists who approach the treatment of emotional and psychological problems from a holistic perspective. He combines his clinical work with teaching for mental health professionals, research and dissemination. His TEDx talk on emotional dependence was widely acclaimed.
Grow together or compete: science, philosophy and delusions
24 January, 2020, at La Térmica (Avenida de los Guindos, 48)
Speaker: Jordi Pigem Pérez
The world seems to have fallen into a spiral of boundless individualism, and it seems as if we have come into this world only to compete with each other. Selfishness, arrogance and lies are publicly displayed, devoid of any shame. All this stands in stark contrast with the overwhelming scientific evidence that individualism and selfishness lead to dissatisfaction, that societies with fewer inequalities are better in many ways, and that cooperation is healthier and more productive than competition. In fact, evidence provided by psychology, sociology, anthropology and primatology (among other disciplines) indicates that the values collectively governing us today are a delusion and are counterproductive. Furthermore, the discoveries of twenty-first century science regarding individualism and selfishness coincide with what many centuries ago was considered true by those who were seen as the bearers of wisdom.
At this historic moment, with greater challenges and more opportunities than at any other time, how can science and philosophy help us manage our personal and collective lives?
Jordi Pigem Pérez
Jordi Pigem Pérez holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Barcelona, where he teaches a postgraduate course in Ecological Agriculture. He was the coordinator of the Integral journal and teacher of the Philosophy of Science module for the Master´s in Holistic Science at Schumacher College (UK) from 1998 to 2003. He won the Philosophy Award from the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (1998), the Resurgence and Scientific & Medical Network Award (2006) and the XXV Joan Maragall Award (2016).
His books include: Inteligencia vital: Una visión postmaterialista de la vida y la conciencia (Vital intelligence. A postmaterialistic view of life and consciousness) (2016); La nueva realidad (The new reality) (2013); GPS: GlobalPersonalSocial (2011) and Buena crisis: Hacia un mundo postmaterialista (Good crisis: Towards a postmaterialist world) (2009).
Aging has a future: collaborative housing, children in nursing homes and other formulas for success
24 October, 2019, at La Térmica (Avenida de los Guindos, 48)
Speakers: Mayte Sancho and José Manuel Marín Carmona
The so-called longevity revolution has changed the meaning of what it means to grow old. In a society in a constant sate of flux, the increase in life expectancy is driving us to continue learning, work longer, retire later and nuture our health and skills. Differences based on age are disappearing, since our identity is largely made up of lifestyles, how we consume and what we do in our free time. Older people are increasingly being acknowledged as providers of resources, as agents of change rather than passive spectators, consumers or users, and although much remains to be done, we are quite clear about the route that needs to be taken. The great social and political challenge around aging is to create projects in favour of a community in which age is not a differentiating factor. The challenge is for society to be more egalitarian and capable of recognizing the value of each person regardless of not only of their gender and social condition, but also of their age. Needless to say this requires the right attitudes on both an individual and collective level. It also needs environments that provide maximum personal autonomy even in cases of vulnerability and dependency, which include collaborative housing (known as “cohousing”), social networks that prevent loneliness, outings, community centres, age-friendly cities, etc. These initiatives are already underway and will provide a sense of well-being for all citizens, not just the elderly.
International expert in new models of care for the elderly, and planning director of Matia Fundazioa. She has headed the Observatorio del Envejecimiento y la Dependencia (Aging and Dependency Observatory) at IMSERSO, coordinated the project “Saber envejecer, prevenir la dependencia” (Know how to age, prevent dependency) of the Spanish Geriatrics and Gerontology Society, and worked as an OECD Expert in Social Protection and Aging.
José Manuel Marín Carmona
Doctor specialised in Geriatrics, José Manuel Marín Carmona coordinates the Memory and Dementia Municipal Programme and the Centre for Healthy Aging of Malaga City Council. He is a researcher in the field of active and healthy aging and in Alzheimer’s and other dementias. He has managed the Gaceta de la Sociedad Española de Geriatría (Spanish Society of Geriatrics Gazette) since 2012.