The Oslo Forum is an unusual gathering of high-level political mediators, organized by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. They have gathered a book of essays on mediation, by authors including Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt and Norwegian foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide. I was very honoured to be invited to contribute. My essay tries to specify exactly what kind of conditions are necessary for successful mediation, in particular what kinds of access, to both...
This is the first episode of "The World: Decrypted" a short video commentary on international affairs
An interesting video about Semco, an innovative worker-led company in Brazil. Very much the sort of thing that The Leaderless Revolution talks about as a new form of the company, the basic unit of the economy.
A very generous profile of me and Independent Diplomat in Foreign Policy magazine.
I have been very shocked by the impact of this storm on New York, and particularly the city's failure to attend to the needs of the most vulnerable. The authorities were clearly unprepared for this disaster, and when it struck it was the poor and invisible who were hit the hardest, and were then the most ignored.
In contrast, ordinary people - the people right beside us - demonstrated great compassion and a willingness to help their fellow New Yorkers. This story is...
Hunger, ill health and poverty are simple to measure
From Mr Carne Ross.
Sir, Sir Samuel Brittan is right to be sceptical of government efforts to measure happiness (“Leave us alone in our quest for happiness”, August 3). But the pursuit of gross domestic product as primary has led the world to severe problems, including crises in those things ignored in that measure such as the global environment and inequality, both of which, as we now see, are of fundamental concern.
Karl Popper believed...
This is the title of an influential essay by Jo Freeman aka Joreen about the many subtle and insidious risks of leaderless movements, including, for instance, the formation of unacknowledged and informal elites. Her recommendations on principles to avoid such dangers are interesting, and are pasted below. The essay does not discuss more structured systems of decision-making within leaderless movements (the Occupy General Assembly and Spokescouncil models are examples of such)....
Occupy Niall Ferguson! My row over #occupybank with the Prof #ows
This has just been broadcast on the BBC in the UK, and will be soon on the BBC World Service.
Every year, the BBC holds the “Reith lecture” which is a major set-piece speech by some public figure on an issue of the day. Niall Ferguson this year gave a series of talks on “The Rule of Law”. He and I had a bit of a contretemps at the recording of the lecture a few weeks ago, in New York City.
His lecture is in any case...