Hopeful signs: VISIONING BRASIL 2020


Richard Moore

Delivered-To: •••@••.•••
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 00:04:31 -0800
To: •••@••.••• (undisclosed list)
From: Tom Atlee <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Some good news from a struggling planet

by Hazel Henderson,
author evolutionary economist

Brasil's leadership in forming the Group of 21 (now 22) developing
nations opened a new era in world trade at the Cancun WTO meeting.

No longer will narrowly-calculated trade rules and negotiations trump
fairness and higher human values and goals. Brasil's President Luiz
Inacio Lula da (Silva) has emerged as a world leader in alternative
paths toward sustainable economies. Also articulated at Cancun by
Ricardo Young (Silva) of the Instituto Ethos de Empresas e
Responsabilidade Social, was a new model of socially-responsible
business management. He called for these higher standards of social and
economic performance to be incorporated, along with full cost prices and
life-cycle costing into WTO rules and accounting practices.

The new indicators of sustainable human development and quality-of- life
call into question the traditional GNP-growth model. The social costs,
waste and ecological destruction of this obsolete model are now
self-evident. The first international conference of world-class
statistical experts on these expanded national accounts, ICONS, will
convene with Brasil's leaders in these new statistics of sustainability
in Curitiba, October 26-29, www.sustentabilidade.org.br. The United
Nations Human Development Map shows that from 1991-2000 quality of life
has increased in most Brasilian cities.

The obsolete neoliberal model applied to world trade, also drove World
Bank advice, which led developing countries to focus on short-term
export-led growth and resulted in many of today's glutted markets in
commodities: from coffee to computer chips. Such short- term strategies,
often with tax-holidays, export platforms and reliance on cheap labor,
minimum regulations and all the other Washington Consensus policies have
led to today's global "race to the bottom."

The new Group of 22 has opened the door to a necessary struggle between
powerful countries, corporations and financial interests versus more
numerous, weaker developing countries, corporations, smaller and
medium-sized enterprises, labor unions and civil society worldwide.
These new global dynamics will be driven by electronic networks and mass
media and the world's newest superpower: global public opinion. Brasil
led in founding the World Social Forum of alternative global thinking to
rival the Davos-based World Economic Forum.

The WTO has been weakened, the IMF discredited as too aligned with
global creditors and banks and the World Bank is still in the messy
process of trying to change its paradigms. Awareness is growing about
how the neoliberal world trade paradigm increases the power and wealth
of powerful countries and corporations. Regional integration strategies,
including MERCOSUR become more attractive to developing countries
including eventually, a common currency to increase Latin- American
trade independent of US dollar, euro and sterling reserves.

Such strategies could advance entrepreneurship, new businesses based on
local currency loans and venture capital for more robust, homegrown
consumer-driven economies. Leaders envisioned Brasil's future in a
recent 2-day retreat in Belo Horizonte of the Economic and Social
Council, chaired by Federal Minister Tarso Genro. The some 200
participants from business, labor and civil society developed scenarios
around the shared goal of sustainable development: "VISION BRASIL 2020"
looking back from the year 2020:

We are a nation of 210 million people reigned by peace and wide access
to work. In the last 16 years we have presented significant improvements
in income distribution, the rich and poor gap, in balanced geographical
occupation and access to education, culture and health.

We are a nation without misery in which education is a priority. A
country in which there is a high life expectancy, oriented by
sustainable development. We are a country which is able to develop
widely accessible technologies. We are a nation with more safety, more
justice and with an increasing feeling of social responsibility.

Today, our human relations are based onrespect of the elderly and
children; we have more time with our families, we are guided by
confidence and ethics in our commitments. Equal opportunities are
provided and we are recognized in the world by our culture of peace, as
a country that has taken a leadership role in the Latin American
continent, due to solidarity, full and sovereign international

We are the biggest world production of food, based on a sustainable
agriculture that conciliates different forms of production organization.
There are no land conflicts. 20 to 30 million people live in "rural
towns" producing with more added value.

We utilize our environment assets with preserving actions.

Alternative energies are applied. Our cities are clean, non polliuted,
with more green spaces accessble to the whole population.

Science & Technology research efforts interrelate the private and the
public sectors. Small businesses have assured access to the most
advanced technologies.

Our participatory and collaborative culture has favored innovation and
competitiviness of our products, as well as a Brasilian management
style. Every Brasilian is a citizen. The public interest prevails over
private interests. The State is controlled by society.

Political representation is legitimate and the public administration is
guided by morality and effectiveness.

The participants also articulated the goals and values behind the
vision, including:

Education as value: priority in the government budget

Commitment with a healthy, joyful, happy life

Democracy, solidarity, national unity, effective participation of

Self-esteem and pride in being Brasilian

Miscigenation, large ethnical and cultural diversity and ability to live
with differences

Creativity, flexibility and intelligence

Entrepreneurship, assurance of opportunities, cooperative, compromises
and solidarity spirit

The challenges included: - Paradigm shifts in the economy - Full
employment policies and incentives to micro and small business -
Political, agriculture, administrative, judicial, labor and tax reforms
- Eradication of child and slave labor and illiteracy - Rational
utilization of natural resources - Development of citizenship and fight
against corruption - Dissemination of good news to the whole society, by
reducing the dark side of the media - Acceptance and assumption that
Brasilian act with their hearts - Incentive to youth to embrace public

I would add challenges to reduce interest rates (over 20%) and greed of
banks with large profits and excessive lending spreads on personal
loans. More effective ways of curbing inflation include raising bank
reserve requirements and margins for stock purchase, and mandating more
community credit unions to compete with banks. Many of the necessary
policies to create this prosperous, globally- competitive, educated,
equitable, healthy Brasil leading the world in international cooperation
and peaceful sustainable development require paradigm shifts now
widely-acknowledged. Brasil's influence in global affairs is growing.
Brasil should become a permanent member of an enlarged United Nations
Security Council.


Hazel Henderson, author of Beyond Globalization and other books, is
partner with the Calvert Group of socially responsible mutual funds in
the USA in creating the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators
(updates at www.calvert-henderson.com). She participated in the Brasil
2020 conference.

Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * PO Box 493 * Eugene, OR 97440
http://www.co-intelligence.org *  http://www.democracyinnovations.org
Read THE TAO OF DEMOCRACY *  http://www.taoofdemocracy.com
Please support our work.  *  Your donations are fully tax-deductible.



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