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Citizen Science: AIR (Air Pollution Interdisciplinary Research) Network

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The AIR (Air Pollution Interdisciplinary Research) Network is an interdisciplinary research partnership of African and European researchers and African community members, with the long-term aim of creating innovative, participatory solutions to air pollution and its effects on human health in low-resource settings in sub-Saharan Africa.

Photo - street scene in Mukuru (Nairobi)
Typical street scene in the Mukuru informal settlement in Nairobi. 

Attempts to improve air pollution and reduce people’s exposure to it have been introduced in Nairobi’s informal settlements in recent years, including awareness raising campaigns. However, significant positive effects on people’s health have not yet been reported.

The AIR Network is exploring new approaches, bringing together researchers from different disciplines and people who live and work in the informal settlements to discuss the issues, raise awareness and consider potential solutions. These solutions will integrate scientific, non-scientific and societal understanding and knowledge to ensure relevance and impact.

 

The network comprises 15 partners from a wide range of disciplines, and community participants (residents of Mukuru, Nairobi) who are using a mixture of methods to discuss, explore and engage with the issue of air pollution, including theatre, visual arts, mobile phones, games, story-telling and music.

During 2018, four mini-projects using different methods are being tried out in Mukuru. These are:

  • Raising Awareness – aiming to raise awareness of air pollution amongst Mukuru residents
  • Mukuru Action Against Air Pollution – aiming to identify potential solutions to air pollution in Mukuru
  • Engaging with industry for Hewa safi, Afya bora (Clean air, Good health) – opening up dialogue between surrounding industry and Mukuru residents
  • Prioritising policies for cleaner air in Mukuru – engaging decision makers to prioritise and implement actions relating to air quality

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From Punk to Planet: Slam Dunk the Junk with Dave Street

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For many years, you could see punk comedian and lyricist at various New York City punk clubs or some of the really authentic stores selling punk lifestyle and clothing…. But how did this punk rock wordsmith go from punk to planet? How did he evolve from smoke filled clubs to educating young school children about valuing the Earth and understanding environmental science? It is time to Slam Dunk the Junk with Dave Street

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If Democracy is in Peril, How do we Reverse Course to fix it?

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The Global State of Democracy Report 2021 –  Building Resilience in a Pandemic Era

International IDEA’s “The Global State of Democracy: Building resilience in a pandemic era” report aims to influence the global debate and analyses current trends and challenges to democracy, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. It offers specific policy recommendations to spark new and innovative thinking for policymakers, governments and civil society organizations supporting democracy.

Visit the GSoD website to read and download the 2021 report.

 

The GLOBAL STATE OF DEMOCRACY Events

International IDEA will host a series of global and regional events in November and December about The Global State of Democracy (global and regional) reports. Join the Global Launch beginning 22 November 2021, 15:00-17:00 CET.  Browse this events page for more details about all event agendas involving notable speakers and supporters of democracy.

Please register to join events online or plan to watch live.

Follow us and engage with us on social media: #GSoD2021, #RenewDemocracy, #GlobalStateofDemocracy

This page is being updated on a daily basis. Please check back often for more information. 

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THE GLOBAL STATE OF DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE

In 2016, International IDEA launched the Global State of Democracy Initiative, to analyze democratic trends and challenges and opportunities impacting on the global democracy landscape. The Global State of Democracy Initiative provides evidence-based and balanced analysis and data on the state and quality of democracy across most countires and all regions of the world. It aims to contribute to the public debate on democracy and inform policy interventions to strengthen democracy.

The Global State of Democracy Initiative is led by the Democracy Assessment team. For contact or queries on the GSoD Initiative or the GSoD Indices, please contact the DA team and GSoD Helpdesk.

 

Event notices: 

  • Individuals noted on any UN sanctions list (United Nations Security Council Consolidated List) or European Union sanctions list are not allowed to participate in any International IDEA events.
  • All events will be recorded.

Event Listing

 

 

Events

 

The global State of Democracy report – global Launch

Date: 22 November 2021, 15:00-17:00 CET

Location: Brussels and online

Opening 

  • H.E. Michael Clauss, Permanent Representative of Germany to the European Union
  •  Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Keynote 

  •  Ms Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships  (pre-recorded message)
  •  Dr Jürgen Zattler, Director-General for  International Development Policy, 2030 Agenda, Climate, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report  

  • Dr Seema Shah, Head of Democracy Assessment Unit, International IDEA
  •  Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Panel Discussion

  • Mr Christophe Deloire, Secretary General,  Reporters Without Borders
  • Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Yiaga Africa
  • Ms Mu Sochua, Democracy activist and former Vice-President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party

Moderator: Massimo Tommasoli, Director of Global Programmes, International IDEA

 

State of Democracy in Asia and the Pacific report Launch

Date: 24 November 2021, 16:00-17:30 AEDT,  6:00-7:30 CET

Location: Canberra (Museum of Australian Democracy (MoADand online

Welcome Message and Opening 

  • Daryl Karp AM, Museum Director at Museum of Australian Democracy
  • Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Special Messages (pre-recorded)

  • Hon. Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan

Presentation of the State of Democracy in Asia and the Pacific Report  

  • Leena Rikkila Tamang, Regional Director, Asia and the Pacific, International IDEA

Panel Discussion

  • Edward Aspinall, PhD , Professor, Coral Bell School of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University
  • Imelda Deinla, PhD , Associate Professor, Ateneo School of Government, Philippines
  • Nematullah Bizhan, PhD, Lecturer in Public Policy, Australian National University, former government official of Afghanistan

Moderator:

Mark Evans, PhD ,Professor, Center for Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra

Host: Adhy Aman, Senior Programme Manager, Asia and the Pacific, International IDEA

 

The Global State of Democracy report – stockholm Presentation

Date: 25 November 2021, 15:00-17:00 CET

Location: Stockholm and online

Opening 

  • Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Keynote 

  •  H.E. Ann Linde, Foreign Affairs Minister, Sweden

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report

  • Dr Seema Shah, Head of Democracy Assessment, International IDEA

Panel Discussion

  • Ms Benedicte Berner, Civil Rights Defenders
  • Mr Erik Halkjaer, Reporters Without Borders
  • Ms Birgitta Ohlsson, National Democratic Institute

Moderator:  Dr Miguel Angel Lara Otaola, Senior Democracy Assessment Specialist, International IDEA

 

State of Democracy report in Asia and the Pacific – melanesia

Date: 7 December 2021

Location: Papua New Guinea

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report

  • Leena Rikkila Tamang, Director for Asia and the Pacific, International IDEA

 

State of Democracy report in Europe – Brussels

Date: 7 December 2021

Location: Bussels

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the State of Democracy in Europe Report

 

 

The Global State of Democracy report  – Washington, dc presentation

Date: 7 December 2021, 9:00-10:30 EST, 15:00-16:30 CET

Location: Washington, DC

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report

 

State of Democracy report in Africa Launch

Date: 10 December 2021, 11:30-13:30 EAT, 09:30-11:30 CET

Location: Ethiopia and online

Welcome and Opening Remarks  

  • Dr Roba Sharamo, Regional Director International IDEA Africa and West Asia
  • Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General, International IDEA

Keynote Speech

  • Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security- African Union Commission

“Continental perspective on the state of democracy and the role of the AU and regional economic bodies”  

Presentations of the State of Democracy Reports 

  • Presentation of the Global Findings: Dr Seema Shah, Head of Democracy Assessments, International IDEA
  • Presentation of Africa Findings, Dr Roba Sharamo, Regional Director International IDEA Africa and West Asia

Panel Discussion

Moderator:  Ms Njeri Kabeberi, Chair, International IDEA Board of Advisors

  • Democratic Recession Amidst a Global Health Pandemic – Re-Emergence of Coups, Extended Presidential Tenures and Infringements of Fundamental Rights –  Dr Andrews Atta Samoah, Programme Head, African Peace and Security Governance – Institute for Security Studies
  • Africa’s youth- Channelling the Opportunities to Address the Challenge of Exclusion –  (TBC)
  • Key Considerations for Addressing Democratic Regression in Africa –   Dr. Khabele Matlosa, Former Director of Department of Political Affairs, African Union Commission

 

The Global State of Democracy report  – New York (UN) presentation

Date: 13 December 2021, 13:30-15:00 EST, 19:30-21:00 CET

Location: New York

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy Report

  • Massimo Tommasoli, Director of Global Programmes, International IDEA

 

 

 

State of Democracy report in the americaS launch

Date: 15 December 2021, 10:00-11:30

Location: Panama City, Panama

More details to come. 

 

Presentation of the Global State of Democracy in the Americas Report

  • Daniel Zovatto, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, International IDEA

 

 

State of Democracy report in THE americaS – santiago presentation

Date: 17 December 2021, 15:00-17:00 CET

Location: Santiago, Chile

More details to come. 

 

 

 

State of Democracy report in europe – the hague presentation

Date: Early 2022

Location: The Hague, Netherlands

More details to come. 

 

 

 

State of Democracy report in THe  americaS – LiMA presentation

Date: Early 2022

Location: Lima, Peru

More details to come. 

 

Source: IDEA International

 

 

 

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The Decisive Role of Conscience: Clues for Non Violence

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“Some clues for nonviolence”: 10 – The decisive role of conscience: “A clue to nonviolence

We transmit to you the study “Some clues for nonviolence” carried out by Philippe Moal, in the form of 12 chapters. The general table of contents is as follows:

1- Where are we going?
2- The difficult transition from violence to nonviolence.
3- Prejudices which perpetuate violence.
4- Is there more or less violence than yesterday?
5- Spirals of violence
6- Disconnection, flight and hyper-connection (a) Disconnection.
7- Disconnection, flight and hyper-connection (b- Flight).
8- Disconnection, flight and hyper-connection (c- hyper-connection).
9- The different ways of rejecting violence.
10- The decisive role of consciousness.
11- Transformation or immobilisation.
12- Integrating and overcoming duality and Conclusion.

In the essay dated September 2021, the author expresses his thanks: : Thanks to their accurate vision of the subject, Martine Sicard, Jean-Luc Guérard, Maria del Carmen Gómez Moreno and Alicia Barrachina have given me precious help in the realisation of this work, both in the precision of terms and ideas, and I thank them warmly.

Here is the tenth chapter:

The Decisive Role of Consciousness

Our inventions and creations, the progress of science and technology, but also our beliefs, our ideological choices, our values, our lifestyle, etc. are the fruit of the intentionality of the consciousness that is shaping the world in its image. If consciousness is altered, the resulting world is altered; a violent consciousness generates a violent world, a consciousness on the run produces a runaway world.

The question of consciousness therefore deserves to be addressed, but let us begin with the concept of the unconscious, which is omnipresent in today’s society.

It is true that psychoanalysis and developments on the unconscious have made it possible to unveil our inner world and reveal its meanderings: fear, anguish, resentment, contradiction, compulsions, the desire for revenge, and so on. We know that these inner contents have implications for life and that they are very active. However, today there is a new tendency to resort to the development of consciousness, as if we decided to move to another stage, to change the level of consciousness.

If psychoanalysis has allowed us to understand that the contents of consciousness are active, phenomenology has also allowed us to discover that consciousness is active. The subject of intentionality is arousing great interest. The image inculcated during education, in which consciousness was shown more as a critical judge than as an ally, is being questioned.

The presentation of the active role of the conscience is moving away from the classical theses on the subject. Indeed, the consciousness does not transmit its vision of the world to us according to the information it receives, like a simple mirror; it does not passively reflect the world, but, on the contrary, it does something with the world it perceives. It does not limit itself to evaluating whether what we do is good or bad, but integrates and interprets the data that reaches it and, above all, structures this data, uses it to elaborate responses in order to transform what it perceives, even to transform itself.

Being active, it is therefore mobile and therefore free in its essence, as it is not subject to determinism. We note that fixation on values, beliefs or prejudices immobilises it in conceptions that can cause it to close in on itself and become violent.

It is easy to notice this active aptitude of the conscience. “I ask myself about a particular situation or a problem to be solved without being able to give an immediate answer; sometimes, after several days and in an unusual situation, the answer suddenly appears to me”. The conscience, silently one might say, has continued to search for an answer during all this time. The questions, doubts, needs and desires that I formulate internally are acts that activate the consciousness to give an answer. Technically, we speak of an act-object operation.

However, the initiated acts are not always completed with an object, that is, they do not always find an answer, which generates a tension that, in a certain way, places the consciousness in a constant dynamic, in a state of permanent search, in order to complete the initiated acts.

It is clear that sometimes these acts of consciousness are not completed in an object, because sometimes it happens that the object is not found. Then there remains a line of tension. Fortunately, on the other hand. It is because consciousness is not complete that consciousness is dynamic. It is because consciousness is not stopped, completed in an object, that consciousness can set its various mechanisms in motion [1].

By showing the active nature of consciousness that expresses itself through intentionality, we approach the thesis of phenomenology, according to which the world is given to consciousness, creating a reciprocal interrelation between consciousness, which exists because it is part of this world, and the world, which exists because I am conscious of it, both forming a consciousness-world structure. However, the Husserlian concept must be completed by specifying that intentionality is expressing itself through the image and that consciousness essentially intends to transform the world.

Moreover, with the issue of human intentionality, we are moving away from today’s dominant reductionist theses, according to which only physics and chemistry would explain the essence of life and its evolution, reducing everything to matter.

The premises and background of the idea of active consciousness are to be found in the philosopher Frantz Brentano [2], who, at the end of the 19th century, introduced the notion of intentionality as a basic universal descriptive concept [3]. 3] One of his students, Edmond Husserl, further developed the concept and created phenomenology, describing intentionality as a fundamental structure of consciousness (and not only as a psychological phenomenon). Another pupil of Brentano’s, Sigmund Freud, developed the concept of the unconscious at the same time as Husserl, which shows the effervescence that reigned around the subject of consciousness at that time and which was heralding the discoveries to be made from this time onwards about the inner world of the human being [4].

Until then, past experiences were considered to have little impact on the present and even less on the future. Freud’s great contribution was to demonstrate that the contents of the psyche are active, and this was a real revolution for the time. However, it was Husserl who contributed the concept of the active role of consciousness: not only are the contents of consciousness active, but consciousness itself is also active.

New currents in the field of psychology were making their appearance… The winds of renewal were blowing in, while one by one our old idols were falling: no more Binet tests, no more Rorschach psychological diagnoses, no more Ribot, Wundt, Weber and Fechner… Experimental psychology had become a statistical or neurophysiological branch. The Gestaltists had landed on these beaches so far from the high psychology debate. Wertheimer, Koffka and Köhler were synthesised with behaviourism thanks to Tolman and Kantor. Behind all this, we saw a gigantic methodology which, moreover, was influencing the fields of logic, gnoseology and even ethics and aesthetics. It was the Husserlian phenomenological method that had long ago produced its critique of psychologism and transcended Heidegger and the psychology of existence. The psychoanalytic pantheon then collapsed with Sartre’s criticisms of the schema of the unconscious based precisely on the application of phenomenology. In particular, we discussed one of Sartre’s least studied essays, his magnificent Outline of a Theory of the Emotions [5].

The two schools of thought mentioned above obviously entail different research methodologies for resolving violence. Broadly speaking, let us say that one looks to the past and the other to the future. “With phenomenology, we free ourselves from the worlds behind us”, said Nietzsche.

In one case I see violence according to what I interpret and in the other I interpret it according to what I see. In the first case, there is a tension linked to the fact that I start from the interpretation. In the second case, I start describing without explaining, without analysing, without a previous reading grid, which allows a more relaxed approach to the problem, although it is necessary to be as exhaustive as possible in the description of the phenomenon. Moreover, I can observe without noise and see without interpreting, allowing intuitions and inspiration to emerge.

Nor do we appeal to the action of a supposed subconscious or unconscious, or some other epochal myth whose scientific premises are incorrectly formulated. We rely on a psychology of consciousness that admits diverse levels of work and operations of different pre-eminence in each psychic phenomenon, always integrated in the action of a global consciousness [6].

Research on consciousness does not use the concept of the unconscious, but considers the concept of co-presences [7] which, although we do not see them, although we are not aware of them – in the sense of not being aware of them and not in the sense of being unconscious – have a strong influence on our everyday life. Jean Gebser illustrates the phenomenon as follows: “We never see what we have in front of our eyes, without thinking that to the visible side corresponds a side that is not perceived because it is not visible, but indispensable for the whole to exist [8]”.

The co-presences can be unresolved background noises of everyday life, permanent preoccupations, subjects of reflection that occupy the mind, more deeply rooted beliefs whose values dictate life and intervene when one moves away from a certain line of conduct. The formative stage is therefore very important, as beliefs and values are formed at this time and can resurface at any time.

The co-presences may be at the surface, linked to the contexts in which I live, but they may also come from my more distant memory and resurface suddenly and unexpectedly, by association with situations that I am experiencing in the present. Their accumulated emotional and affective charge can be the trigger for great violence. In a conflict between two people, memories linked to the conflict come to the surface and act in co-presence.

Every individual representation is part of a more or less copresent system of representation, which varies according to the conditions of the memory data. In other words, a response to the world elicited by a stimulus has been selected by a field of copresence among many other possible representations. Thus, the co-presence system, in more than one sense, determines the overall behaviour of individuals and human ensembles [9].

9] Research on consciousness shows that it is primarily oriented towards the future. This vision conditions present behaviour and positively and gradually counteracts the burden of past traumas. Reconciliation with a lived situation, for example, aims at rehabilitation for tomorrow. I was able to experience a real integration of difficult experiences from my past by being able to elaborate future projects related to those same painful experiences.

No phenomenon is predetermined, including violence, as Ilya Prigogine demonstrated in his thermodynamics experiments [10]; there are multiple options in any situation and our free will allows us to always have the possibility to choose.

“We are condemned to be free [11]”, says Sartre, for whom, once thrown into this world that we have not chosen, we are responsible for everything we do in it. If we do not choose, we cannot speak of freedom. One cannot reply: “If one chooses to be violent, one is therefore free”, because this freedom, which is granted by eliminating that of the other, is at the origin of an enchainment, in which case one cannot speak of freedom.

In 1960, in a public speech as assistant pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta with his father, Martin Luther King also invoked the notion of choice: “It is not a choice between violence and non-violence; it is a choice between non-violence and non-existence”.

Silo poetically refers to the need to choose in the chapter The Guide to the Inner Path in his book The Inner Look: “… On the inner path you can walk darkened or luminous. Attend to the two paths that open before you. If you allow your being to be thrown into dark regions, your body wins the battle and dominates. Then sensations and appearances of spirits, of forces, of memories will arise. There you descend further and further. There is hatred, revenge, strangeness, possession, jealousy, the desire to remain. If you descend further, you will be overcome by frustration, resentment and all those reveries and desires that have brought ruin and death to humanity. If you push your being in the luminous direction, you will meet resistance and fatigue at every step. This fatigue of ascent has its culprits. Your life weighs, your memories weigh, your past actions impede the ascent. This ascent is difficult because of the action of your body which tends to dominate [12].

[1] Foundations of thinking. The pure form from the psychological point of view, Silo Lecture, Corfu, October 1975, Winged Lion Editions, 2019, p. 21.

[2] Franz Brentano (1838-1917), German philosopher, author of the reference work Psychology from the Empirical Point of View, Ediciones Sígueme, 2020.

[3] La phénoménologie et les fondements des sciences (Phenomenology and the foundations of the sciences), Hermann, 2019, Edmund Husserl, “Founding text of phenomenology. Husserl establishes here the principles and methods that make possible a new science, the pure descriptive science of the structures of consciousness, transcendental phenomenology. Revealing the implicit laws of intentional life and the constitutive power of intentionality” Jean-François Lavigne, specialist in contemporary philosophy, ontology and phenomenology.

[4] The influence of Husserlian phenomenology on the psychological sciences has been considerable, as has Heidegger’s philosophy derived from it. Many authors belong to this current. Almost all of them have been influenced by the phenomenological method of Franz Brentano and Husserl. The works of Jaspers, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre and Binswanger are universally known. As a psychiatric trend, the Third Viennese School of Viktor Frankl joins this trend. The psychological work methods of Ludwig Ammann in his Self-Liberation System are also well known.

[5] Self-Liberation, op. cit., p. 11.

[6] Contributions to Thought, Psychology of the Image, op. cit. p. 54.

[7] Self-Liberation, op. cit., p. 111.

[8] La imagen del hombre y la conciencia, lecture given in 1965 by Jean Gebser (1905-1973), German philosopher and poet, phenomenologist of consciousness, author of Origen y Presente, published in Spanish by Atalanta, 2011.

[9] La modificación del trasfundo psicosocial, Silo Conference, 4 January 1982 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Source: Pressenza

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Mobilized TV

Mobilized TV on Free Speech TV  takes a deep look at our world, the consequences of human activity on our planet, and how we can reverse and prevent existing and future crises from occurring. Mobilized reveals life on our planet as a system of systems which all work together for the optimal health of the whole. The show delves into deep conversations with change-makers so people can clearly take concerted actions.

Produced by Steven Jay and hosted by Jeff Van Treese.

Mobilized’s TV series Mobilized TV  premieres on Free Speech TV on Friday, October 15, 2021. All episodes appear:

Fridays 9:30 PM Eastern (USA/Canada)

Saturdays; 6:30 PM (Eastern USA/Canada)

Sundays: 8:30 AM Eastern (USA/Canada)

Nov 26,27,28: Imagination will take you Everywhere: Howard Bloom
Howard Bloom has worn many hats. As an Author, he’s known for “The Global Brain” and “The Lucifer Principle” and many others.  As the head of the Howard Bloom Organization, for many years, he empowered a team of publicists to connect his stable of artists with media, creating successful campaigns for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Amnesty International, The Jacksons Victory Tour, Billy Joel and John Mellencamp. But his real passion is science and discovery, and empowering human soul into the creation of optimal systems that serve all.  Howard claims that “We need a vision for the future that we could reach towards by looking up, the same way JFK encourage us to look into the sky and go to the Moon.”  It is this type of vision that great societies try to attain.”

December 3,4,5: How can we eliminate heart disease featuring Dr. Michael Ozner

How a better understanding of whole system health can bring about more health and well-being. We spend a little quality time with celebrated preventative cardiologist and Author of The Complete Mediterranean Diet, Dr. Michael Ozner.

December 10, 11, 12 Dr. Julie Peller: Plastics Everywhere: What can we do about it?

Dr. Julie Peller is a professor of chemistry at Valparaiso University, where she studies microplastic solution. On today’s show, Dr. Peller discusses the extent of microplastic pollution in our environment and the risks they pose to human health.

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