Adam Parsons

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Adam Parsons is STWR's editor and can be contacted at adam [at] sharing.org

Latest articles by Adam Parsons

The Catholic Church has embraced a radical position on sharing the world’s resources, one that we would all do well to heed and ponder. But the real significance of Laudato Si’ is its powerful message on the centrality of ending poverty for healing the wider crises of climate change and environmental degradation....
The major spiritual lesson for humanity in the twenty-first century could not be simpler or more urgent, however difficult it has been to realise this obvious truth in our structures of international relationship: that a more equitable sharing of wealth, technology, skills and knowledge is the fundamental basis of a...
If de-growth on a global level is inevitable sooner or later – and there is enough evidence to suggest that it is – then the implications go far beyond Piketty’s solutions for how we can achieve a just and sustainable world. The following article was originally published as an editorial in the November-December 2014...
To address the epochal challenges of the twenty-first century, we will have to heed Christ’s simple message like never before—and finally share the world’s wealth and resources more equitably among us all.  In Christianity, the need to share is central to the teachings of Jesus and a major theme throughout the New...
For all of Brand’s joking and braggadocio, a sagacious theme runs through his new book: that a peaceful revolution must bring about a fairer sharing of the world’s resources, which depends upon a revelation about our true spiritual nature.  The political conversation on sharing is growing by the day, sometimes from...
Can the ethic and practice of sharing really create fairer, more sustainable and more democratic societies - and if so, how is it going to happen? STWR recently took part in an event called Reclaiming the Alternative held in Brighton, East Sussex, UK (#ReclaimingBrighton). The free event was based on the ethic of the...
Occupy is back in London, UK, with a renewed focus on politics and an ambitious vision: to galvanise a mass movement for real democracy and establish a huge People's Assembly to debate a list of specific demands for radical political reform. This week, stalwarts of the Occupy Democracy campaign in Britain are...
We need to talk a lot more about sharing as a way to radically reframe the post-growth debate, argues a recent report from the Green House. If growthism is the substitute for a more just and equal society, then it's time that we all start saying so - and embrace a new common sense for sharing.  In recent years, the...
The latest bestseller in economics has done a great deal of service to progressives in highlighting the imperative of shared wealth. But given the social and ecological limits to economic growth, this emerging conversation on global sharing has to get a lot more radical.  There is no doubt that Thomas Piketty’s best-...
TTIP is the latest bid to capture policymaking by the profit-making interests of the 1%, with dire implications for anyone who upholds a vision of a more equitable and sustainable economic order. But campaign groups and activists are working hard to expose this trade agreement for what it is, and to build an...
A vibrant debate is beginning to question the meaning of sharing in relation to the big questions of our time. In a recent article printed in STIR magazine, STWR argues that this emerging economic concept should not be beholden to solely personal, consumer-oriented or commercialised forms of collaboration, and must...
As the Sharing Spring kicks off, more and more people are participating in localised forms of sharing in response to the failures of government and big business. While this is right and imperative, it is equally vital that citizens call upon their political representatives to integrate the principle of sharing into...
Few could disagree on the beneficial aspects of sharing resources within communities or across municipalities, but does the sharing economy in its current form represent a movement that can challenge unjust power structures and pave the way to a better world?  This blog was orginally published at Shareable, and is...
Can the sharing economy movement address the root causes of the world’s converging crises? Unless the sharing of resources is promoted in relation to human rights and concerns for equity, democracy, social justice and sustainability, then such claims are without substantiation – although there are many hopeful signs...
As the global financial crisis now enters its seventh year, it is time to start asking difficult questions about the right priorities for popular protest if we want to realise a truly united voice of the world’s people. There can be no genuine revolution in a moral or global sense until the critical needs of the...
The following article is based on a talk given by STWR's Adam Parsons at the 11th international conference of the Globalisation for the Common Good (GCGI), held at the Cité Universitaire Internationale in Paris under the theme: "Imagining a Better World: An Intergenerational Dialogue for the Common Good to Inspire a...
The idea of sharing food has taken root in recent years as a response to our broken food systems, but does it make sense to talk about food sharing on a global basis? Perhaps it does, as long as we advocate a true form of economic sharing that addresses the power structures and politics underlying our unjust...
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...
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. The latest round of climate negotiations in Doha...
There can be no talk of peace in the Middle East so long as Israel is given political immunity, financial assistance and diplomatic support by other Western states. It is high time that the international community assumed responsibility for securing justice for the Palestinian people. The conflict in Gaza may have...
Bravo to the magazine 'In These Times' for proudly hailing the importance of the welfare state in America. It is essential that more progressives follow their example in advocating sharing on a nationwide level - which is exactly what the universal provision of social welfare is all about. It was compelling to read...
What should we make of President Obama's election victory this week? Only one thing is for sure: the intense focus on the bombast of politicians is somewhat misplaced, and we still await the public to rise up in a concerted call for sharing and justice. Was it good news, bad news or not-much-news-at-all with the U.S....
Today, it seems that the idea of sharing is being discussed in almost any context except the political economy. This may be understandable, but if we're serious about ending poverty and healing the environment perhaps it's about time that we all start talking about global sharing. The idea of sharing is increasingly...
The very basis of the sharing economy is being eroded in countries where austerity measures are dramatically reducing public spending on social welfare and essential services. But governments could collect and redistribute huge quantities of additional finance for critical human needs. There is much talk about the...
What would the world look like if money embodied our values, if the best business decision was the best decision for society, and if wealth was defined by how much we give, not how much we have? Charles Eisenstein shared his insights during a workshop attended by STWR's Adam Parsons. This summer, I decided to escape...
  Download full report [PDF] Summary Public uprisings and mass occupations have become a significant force for change on the world stage since 2011, as evidenced in the Middle East revolutions and Occupy protests across North America and Europe. This essay explores the nature of this new social actor, which can be...
Following the ‘hoax summit' and failure of political leadership at Rio+20, it is clear that the responsibility for change rests with ordinary, engaged citizens to forge a united and informed world public opinion that is stronger than any government or vested interest. Almost a week since the Rio+20 Earth Summit ended...
One important piece of the answer to the food price crisis is the simple yet powerful idea of saving food in times of plenty for use in times of scarcity. The Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy have released a compendium of current writing on food reserves, with a contribution from Share The World's Resources....
The World Bank's latest data suggests a decline in global poverty throughout every region of the developing world, as well as the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goal on halving poverty well ahead of schedule. But is this really the 'good news' that we are led to believe?  Read the response to this article...
The purely market-based approach to development has failed the world's poor. If the global economy is to serve the interests of all people, it must be primarily geared towards securing basic human needs in perpetuity, founded upon a genuine form of multilateral cooperation and economic sharing, write Rajesh Makwana...
Finding ways to increase tax revenue is critical if developing countries are to fund essential public services and reduce poverty. Global reforms to tackle tax evasion and policies to strengthen the capacity of national revenue authorities should be a top priority for development cooperation, argues Adam Parsons. The...
The international response to the East African crisis is far short of urgent needs, yet the extreme deprivation being reported is only the tip of the iceberg. A massively upscaled redistribution of resources from North to South is needed if we are to prevent needless poverty-related deaths worldwide, write Rajesh...
Filmmaker Emily James spent a year documenting the secretive world of environmental direct action, delving into the motivations, creativity and determination of those involved. The result is a film which breaks through tired stereotypes and may just inspire the new wave of protest actions across Europe, writes Adam...
An internationally coordinated effort to secure universal social protection may not address the structural factors which make people vulnerable to poverty, but it could represent a major step forward in the fight against needless suffering and deprivation, argues Adam Parsons. Of the many proposals that have been...
Protesters in the Arab world have much in common with those reacting to austerity across Europe, as well as the millions who have mobilised in support of ending poverty in the South. What we may be witnessing is an emerging public voice in favour of a fundamental reordering of global priorities. In a dramatic series...
In the space of a few weeks, a nationwide protest movement has emerged in Britain characterised by intelligent, humorous and peaceful direct actions. The question that remains is whether it can connect with the popular protests in other countries through its fundamental call for equality and justice, writes Adam...
    Much may be written about informal settlements in academic books and journals, but the depiction of slums in popular movies and literature often serves to reinforce a number of long-held prejudices against the urban poor. This report sets out to unravel some of these core myths, and aims to give a general...
For anyone who takes an interest in the problem of slums, a few basic facts will soon become clear. Firstly, the locus of global poverty is moving from rural areas to the cities, and more than half the world population now lives in urban areas for the first time in human history. Secondly, most of the world’s urban...
    Link to full report [pdf]: The Seven Myths of 'Slums' - Challenging Popular Prejudices About the World's Urban Poor Link to landing page to view full chapters Myth 1: There Are Too Many People It is easy to believe that urban slums are a consequence of too many people living in cities, or too many poor people...
“Poor peasants and artisans have existed from time immemorial;but miserable and destitute villagers in their thousands andurban pavement dwellers in their hundreds of thousands - not in wartime or as an aftermath of war, but in the midst ofpeace and as a seemingly permanent feature – that is amonstrous and scandalous...
 “...‘ordinary people’ – that is, all of us as citizens – have to slough offthe vestiges of cap-touching filialism and demand that those in powerhelp us to do what we can do locally for ourselves – by guaranteeingour access to fair shares of available resources – and where essential, byproviding complementary...
“The creation of a new urban commons, a public sphereof active democratic participation, requires that we roll back that huge wave of privatisation that has been themantra of a destructive neo-liberalism in the last few years.”[i]   According to the international institutions and powerful states that drive...
“Development has become a big business, preoccupied morewith its own growth and imperatives than with the peopleit was originally created to serve. Dominated by professional financiersand technocrats, the development industry seeks to maintain anapolitical and value-free stance in dealing with what are, more than...
“So distribution should undo excess,And each man have enough.” [i]   Is it realistic to talk about an end to slums at any point in the future? Or does the same view hold for ‘slums’ as for those who proclaim against global poverty: “the poor have always been with us, and always will be!” For some modern writers, the...
A new vision for cities clearly begins with a change in mindset by the business and political community and all those involved in the governance and construction of cities. This requires a rethinking of the entrepreneurial and ‘marketing’ approach to urban development in which the city is regarded as a product for...
The basic assumptions about human nature that inform economic and political decision-making are long outdated and fundamentally flawed. By acknowledging our interdependence and common ethical values, we can build a more sustainable, cooperative and inclusive global economy, argue Rajesh Makwana and Adam Parsons. As...
It may seem that the goal of universal primary health care - in which state capacities are strengthened to ensure the rapid expansion of free publicly-provided health services - is further away than ever before. But there are many signs that the ideal of 'health for all' is making a second resurgence, writes Adam...
Growing unemployment across sub-Saharan Africa is linked to the free market restructuring of national economies over recent decades. Governments must embrace an alternative paradigm of development that prioritises social needs above short-term profit, says STWR's Adam Parsons in an interview with Uwana Archibong. Link...
While the United Nations recently claimed victory for the Millennium Development Goal on slums, the global population of slum-dwellers continues to grow. It is time for governments and civil society to give the problem of urban poverty the attention it deserves. Thousands of people and various world leaders have now...
Food reserves could play an important role in a longer-term strategy to achieve universal food security if implemented as part of a new international framework for trade and agriculture, finds a study released today by Share The World's Resources. STWR Brief (PDF): Global Food Reserves - Framing the Context for a New...
While the healthcare debate rages in the US, a broader discussion has been renewed on the international stage that envisions the universal goal of "health for all". The time is ripe for a global civil society movement to turn this vision into an international priority. This article was originally published on Foreign...
Following the latest weak outcome of the Commission on Sustainable Development, it is time to ask if the United Nations is achieving enough in the realm of sustainable agriculture - and to start building a grassroots movement that can forge a new vision for the future. In the first two weeks of May each year,...
The issue of globally-managed food reserves is receiving increased attention from policymakers in light of the food price crisis. But will the current proposals help achieve food security, or do we need a new framework to discuss their implementation?  Link to a report that includes this article in a compendium of...
The real path to peace in the Middle East, requiring the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, is dependent on Israel's recognition of its responsibility to ensure economic justice in the Palestinian territories. Since the Israeli onslaught against Palestinians began on...
As the world economy continues to deteriorate, the American public must influence a momentous turnaround in global priorities and light the way for other countries in how to live a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle, writes Mohammed Mesbahi and Adam Parsons. The presidential election of Barack Obama is a milestone in...
The following talk was given at a seminar hosted by World Goodwill on the theme "Human Rights, Spiritual Responsibilities - A Crisis for Democracy?", held in London on the 1st November 2008. A transcript and audio of the talk below is presented by Adam Parsons. Thank you for inviting me here today on behalf of Share...
The economic freedom promised through the liberalisation of market forces has, in reality, resulted in a freedom for the very few and a contradiction of the promise that increased wealth will be shared. Hence the calls are ringing out for a new alliance of the global justice movement, says Adam Parsons. As the phrases...
STWR was invited to present a talk at a seminar held by World Goodwill in London on November 1st 2008, an event in support of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. An afternoon of talks and discussion was held on the challenges facing democracies in the present time of uncertainty and...
Unlike the crisis of 1970s stagflation that signalled the end for the Keynesian social-democratic model, the food crisis of 2008 could be marked down in history for setting in motion an opposite trend, writes Adam Parsons. In the wake of a food crisis that gripped the media's attention during the summer of 2008, a...
The inability of world leaders to face up to the root causes or policy contradictions of a food crisis is nothing new, but the resultant crisis of faith in neoliberal economic orthodoxy is a sign that the world direction is changing course, writes Adam Parsons. In the wake of a food crisis that gripped the media's...
The World Bank's latest poverty figures underline the fact that globalisation has been largely ineffective at either reducing the burgeoning ranks of the world's poor, or including this vast swathe of the global population into the mainstream economy. An economic catastrophe occurred on August 26th 2008 that was...
The World Bank's revised international poverty line of $1.25, which on many counts reveals a negligible difference in reducing poverty since 1981, raises legitimate questions about the assumed success of globalisation. An economic catastrophe occurred on August 26th 2008 that was quickly forgotten across the media: an...
A new book by Dr Zeki Ergas, based on a collection of short essays originally published in Share The World’s Resources (STWR), explores the major threats facing humanity in the 21st century and outlines the systemic, structural and institutional changes necessary to avert a global catastrophe. Link to the front and...
The neglected policy debate on ecological limits is unable to call out the elephant of unsustainable lifestyles without challenging the very premise of our economic system, writes Adam Parsons.  As the latest summit to discuss a post-Kyoto treaty continues in New York this week, the single most revealing statement has...
An investigation into the common denominators behind the escalating environmental, financial and political crises, and an examination of how greater economic sharing can lead to a more sustainable world.  Unless the international community learns how to share the world’s resources, it is unlikely that we will make it...
A renewed air of questioning is being felt in the movement for global justice. Non-governmental organisations are wondering what to do next after the campaigns for more aid, less debt and better trade are proving inadequate to counter the sheer scale of mass poverty, whilst activists raising awareness of climate...
The latest overseas aid figures will be no suprise to the developing world. Broken promises will continue to make newspaper headlines until the deeper contradictions and biases of the current economic approach are addressed. Headlines this week on the ‘lack of charity’ and ‘broken promises’ of rich countries on aid...