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Webinar: Data revolution in the post 2015 agenda

  • What does the call for a data revolution mean in the process of defining the post-2015 development agenda?
  • What are the essential elements to take into consideration in the search for new ways to measure progress towards sustainability that is transparent, inclusive and just? How much are we advancing in that direction?
  • How can we make the social and ecological costs and benefits of our economic activities visible?
  • Will there be a possibility in this data revolution to measure the “intangibles”, such as well-being, happiness, knowledge, and others related to sustainability values enactment in national statistics to guide policy making? 
  • What are some alternative ways to define success?

Earth Charter International is contributing to the discussion on the data revolution for the post-2015 process with a two-hour webinar welcoming two distinguished speakers: Hazel Henderson and Herman Mulder.

When:  7 May 2014 16:00h GMT/UTC (10:00h Costa Rica, 17:00h London, 12:00h New York).   Make sure to check your local time, you can use this link: www.thetimezoneconverter.com

How to participate: On the date and time, click on this link:

Click on “Launch Class”, the system will ask you to enter your name. We prefer you to mention your country as well, so we can better identify you:  e.g.  MaryCanada

Background

The outcome document of Rio+20 Conference, The Future We Want, made a call to “recognize the need for broader measures of progress to complement gross domestic product in order to better inform policy decisions” (Paragraph 38). 

The Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development  makes a very relevant recommendation following the above mentioned paragraph:

 “We recommend that any new goals should be accompanied by an independent and rigorous monitoring system, with regular opportunities to report on progress and shortcomings at a high political level. We also call for a data revolution for sustainable development, with a new international initiative to improve the quality of statistics and information available to citizens. We should actively take advantage of new technology, crowd sourcing, and improved connectivity to empower people with information on the progress towards the targets”. Page 3, Executive Summary

This “call for a data revolution” is generating very interesting debates to the point that it has turned into one of the hot topics of the post-2015 process. What does this data revolution mean? Many are saying that it’s about information to better understand the local and national situations to guide policy making, to track progress, to increase accountability by opening access of development information to all, to include civil society in the process of gathering information.

An important point for discussion is what type of information, or data, will be gathered, and what the means to obtain it and assess it will be. As the Rio+20 outcome document states, it is important to complement GDP with other measures, to get “the big picture”. Donella Meadows said “…indicators arise from values (we measure what we care), and they create values (we care about what we measure).” (Meadows, 1998)

About the speakers:

Hazel Henderson (UK) is a world renowned futurist, evolutionary economist, a worldwide syndicated columnist, and the founder of Ethical Markets Media, LLC, where she’s the co-executive Producer of its TV series. Most of her work relates to the creation of an interdisciplinary economic and political theory with a focus on environmental and social concerns. For instance, she has delved into the area of the “value” of such unquantifiables as clean air and clean water, needed in tremendous abundance by humans and other living organisms. This work led to the development, with Calvert Group, of the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators.

Henderson has many awards and is listed in Who’s Who USA, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Business and Finance and Who’s Who in Science and Technology. She is an Honorary Member of the Club of Rome, and member of the International Council of Instituto Ethos, among others.

Herman Mulder (Netherlands) was Director-General, Head of Group Risk Management at ABN AMRO Bank (1998-2006) and Head of Global Structured Finance (1995-1998). He was the initiator of the Equator Principles (2002/2003), initiator and first Chairman of the ABN AMRO Foundation and a non-executive Director of Bank of Asia (Bangkok). After his retirement in 2006, he was, inter alia, Board member of Utz Certified, BiD Network, Consensus Building Institute, and other organizations. He was Senior Advisor on climate issues to the WBCSD, the UN Global Compact; advisor to OXFAM NL, Club de Madrid, Taellberg Foundation, and Earth Charter International. He is currently Chairman of the True Price Foundation, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI; and its Chairman in 2011-2013), Worldconnectors; he is a member of the TEEB Advisory Board, a member of the jury of Dutch Sustainable Supply Chain Award (since 2007). He was mentioned among “the 100 most influential people in finance”  by the US Treasury and Risk Magazine (July 2007).  He is (since 2005) a Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau.

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