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Earth Charter International and The Common Good Forum webinar

On 22 January 2015, as part of the 15th anniversary of the launch of the Earth Charter, ECI co-organized a webinar on the topic “Imagine le Bien Commun – Avec la Charte de la Terre” (Imagine the Common Good – with the Earth Charter) with the Common Good Forum, a French organization founded and directed by Violaine Hacker. The Common Good Forum focuses its work on the concept of the Common Good. The webinar was held in French and it was the first step in a promising collaboration between Earth Charter International and The Common Good Forum.

The conference featured four main speakers. Violaine Hacker, co-organizer of the webinar, made an introduction on the concept of the Common Good and on the idea of the collaboration between Earth Charter International and The Common Good Forum. Following her, two experts presented their thoughts and work on the two essential topics of the conference. Firstly, Johannah Bernstein, an international environmental lawyer who has worked with the Earth Charter for a long time, spoke about the status of the Earth Charter in the juridical world, and its potential role in ongoing and future processes of negotiation, decision-making, and action related to sustainable development. Secondly, Michel Bauwens, an expert in the management of the commons, peer-to-peer practice, and President of the Peer-to-Peer Foundation, talked about the new practices emerging in social and civic organization and management, and the main issues in sustainable governance today that relate to the visions of the Earth Charter and the concept of the Common Good. Finally, several cases of the Earth Charter “in action” were presented by Mirian Vilela, Executive Director of Earth Charter International. These examples described different processes of implementation of the Earth Charter and a set of examples of how the Earth Charter is used today by different types of organizations. The webinar was moderated by Andrea Zubialde from Earth Charter International, one of the main co-organizers of the webinar.

The event was successful with a diverse and large group of participants. The presentations led to an interesting and passionate discussion between the participants and the speakers, approaching a series of key issues related to sustainable governance, the role of the Earth Charter in the world, the different tools provided by perspectives such as the Common Good or peer-to-peer approaches, and others. The recording of the conference can be seen here (starting at min. 20).

Earth Charter International and The Common Good Forum are proud of the success of the event, and especially of the following interest shown by certain participants in the webinar. It has opened new opportunities for collaboration, partnerships, and for spreading the word about the Earth Charter in France, a country where it is still mostly unknown. Earth Charter International is setting up new projects in France in cooperation with The Common Good Forum. The most important one, which began last month at La Paillasse in Paris with a meeting with members of French Youth organizations (CliMates, Jeunes Ecologistes, OIKOS, Alter’Actions, among others…) aims at communicating, raising awareness, and experiencing the Earth Charter and the tools provided by the concept of the Common Good with a number of Youth and Senior organizations and agents working in sustainable development. All the information on this project is published and updated here.

The ultimate goal is to bring these diverse stakeholders together to foster deeper cooperation. The co-organizers hope to achieve this by putting the values of the Earth Charter and the tools of the Common Good into practice, both of which envision sustainable development in a systemic way. They expect that although each stakeholder has its own objectives, interests, and culture, all will support the common vision promoted by the Earth Charter and The Common Good Forum. That common belief is “unity in diversity”.

Join us and participate in this inspiring initiative!

Earth Charter International would like to thank Violaine Hacker for her initiative and excellent leadership in undertaking the project, Johannah Bernstein and Michel Bauwens for sharing their expertise at the webinar, Didier Gleyzes for his help and support, and La Paillasse for their willingness to opening their doors for kicking off the initiative in Paris.

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