During the Speakers Tour the three representatives from Central America also joined the “Conference for a world economy we want to live in” which was organized by the Romero Initiative in Münster on October 28th and 29th, 2022. Speaker Luis González contributed by giving a presentation about a “Global perspective on the socio-ecological transformation”.
Tropical storms, biodiversity loss and unusual periods of drought clearly show: The planet is exhausted. And so are the people who have to mine raw materials, sew clothes or spray pesticides on farmland under dangerous working conditions in order to survive. The current economic system, which places profit at the center of society and turns a blind eye to human rights violations and environmental disasters, is not sustainable. Fundamental changes are needed in the way we understand the economy to create a future worth living for all people.
The world economy we live in is unjust and destroying our livelihoods at a rapid pace. Current transformation policies of the German government and the EU with a focus on green growth - above all, the measures to meet the 1.5-degree target - are sorely needed. But they are based on old principles: Over-exploitation of people and nature, especially in the Global South, and growing inequality worldwide.
At the “Conference for a world economy we want to live in” the Romero Initiative addressed the question: What must the urgently needed transformation look like in order to be social-ecological and globally just?
Further questions that have been tackled at the conference were: How much do we need to challenge our socially entrenched patterns of consumption, lifestyles and ways of working in the Global North, and how much do institutions, values and norms need to change? What positions and visions do activists from the Global South have on the socio-ecological transformation and how can they get more involved in the debates here?
In various workshops on topics such as "Economic Development 4.0" or "Community Care and Empowerment", theoretical inputs could be experienced practically.
Alongside exciting contributions from Germany, experts from the Global South also shared their perspectives on the transformation. Climate activist Luis González from the organisation UNES made it clear in his presentation:
"The solutions already exist, it's just that our governments don't want to implement them," is his thesis. "The important thing is to realise what we actually need. We need food - not a hamburger. We need clothes - not brand-name clothes. Sustainability is the alternative to the crisis. And the solutions come from below." He gave gold mining in El Salvador as an example, where in 2017 communities, among others, mounted organised resistance as water supplies were threatened.
He emphasises the responsibility that the global North bears for overcoming the current crises.
Romero initiative has visions for an agricultural turnaround, a raw material turnaround and a supply chain act which commits companies to human rights and environmental protection. The conference showed that we need to rethink the economy: Instead of profits, the well-being of people must be in the foreground and planetary boundaries must be consistently observed! CIR also published an informative brochure concerning an economic system change called “Courage for Change” (only available in German at the moment).