Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Futuring the Post-2015 UNESCO Agenda

Inaugural Address at 194th session of UNESCO Executive Board, Paris, France
Dr Kris Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago Representative on UNESCO Executive Board 2013-2017 at the 194th Session of the UNESCO Executive, Paris, April 2014


Dr Kris Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago Representative on the  UNESCO 
Executive Board (centre) co-chairs with the UK a joint session of the 
Finance and Administration and Programmes and External Affairs Committee  
during the 194th session of the  UNESCO Executive Board in Paris.  
Photo Courtesy Kris Rampersad. All Rights Reserved
Greetings on behalf of the Government and People of Trinidad and Tobago who welcome, admire, respect and support the Director General’s initiatives to reform and restructure UNESCO and her intensive drive to use soft diplomacy which we believe is crucial to significantly impact the post-2015 agenda as we transition from priorities of the Millennium Development Goals and consolidate the gains of them through more focussed Sustainable Development Goals.
Trinidad and Tobago pledges its commitment to engaging in this process of futuring the operations of UNESCO to remain relevant and responsive to a global environment of dynamic and effervescent change. It is an environment that is demanding greater inclusivity. It is placing increasing pressure for erasure of barriers of geography, age, ethnicity, gender, cultures and other sectoral interests, and in utilising the tools placed at our disposal to access our accumulate knowledge and technologies towards eroding these superficial barriers.
In this context, we believe that the work of UNESCO remains significant and relevant and that UNESCO is indeed the institution best positioned to consolidate the gains of the past towards carving responsive and relevant paths to progress that address the needs of generations to come. Foremost among these seems to be combating the ennui and disenchantment at failed and failing macro political, institutional and bureaucratic formulas, systems and structures in favour of more glocally (global-local) focussed initiatives that emphasis and value empowerment of individuals, communities and civil society to explore their full potential.
Certainly there is much more that needs to be done to particularly better utilise new technologies in making our work here at UNESCO more effective and more relevant.
We reiterate the call made by the Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Education to the Director General at the last General Assembly, that UNESCO, along with its focus on other disadvantaged groups as women and children in general, take a lead role in championing actions throughout the United Nations system that would directly impact and bring in to the mainstream the estimated 30 percent of the global population of special needs children who are still severely marginalised and handicapped by current existing systems in education, culture, science and information.
We support our colleagues speaking on behalf of strengthening the culture initiatives having regard to the direct benefits this is having from the work done in our societies where for many the main sources of income and survival reside in leveraging their talents and skills as the counter to the haemorrhaging of national resources, by exploitative, corrupt and ineffective systems and practices. We endorse  the culture-centred development drive that recognises not just intercultural linkages but also cross sectoral links.
At the same time, we particularly commend the drive to synergise and harmonise sustainable actions in biocultural diversity and acknowledgement of the intrinsic interplay between physical, mental and emotional cultural spaces and the potential to either erode, or energise these through use of scientific understanding and technologies.
In this regard, we believe compilations as the 2013 Creative Economy Report could achieve greater depth were it to more fully explore the cross-sectoral cost-benefit analysis of the co-relation between the creative and cultural sectors and other out-of- the-box-areas - as the economic value of social and culturally inclusive practices on political stability for instance – an area of analysis that is sadly lacking and could provide the data, if not ammunition, needed by UNESCO in pursuit of its motto of building peace in the minds of men and women.
As such, we look forward to deepening of UNESCO’s intersectoral increasing drive to promote multisectoral partnerships, and collaborative mechanisms through cross institutional and cross regional platforms, including with other institutions of the United Nations.
It is in these contemporary areas of UNESCO’s focus, including its now developing perspective on Big Ocean Sustainable States (Boss)  – the informal rebrand of SIDS - Small Island Developing States posited at the last General Conference - that we in the Caribbean believe we can draw the greatest strength, given our evolution from a history of fragmentation, violence, migration and marginalisation.
The Caribbean Sea at once connects and separates us from all the regions of the world. It presents to the UNESCO community beyond the hard politics of power and dominance, a living example for survival and resilience that endures despite and through a history of genocide of indigeneous peoples, slavery, forced indentureship, and migration.
Such resilience is represented in the survival of religious and cultural practices, habits and beliefs: the vibrant celebrations that range from pre-Columbian festivities of the Mayans, Incas, Tainos and others to the evolving festivities of migrated peoples: the Garifuna and Rastafari from oppressed African heritage; and others transposed from the East – the resilient Ramleela, Chinese Dragon festivities, and their evolving fusions in our cuisine, music, dance, drama, our Carnivals and steelpan, reggae, zouk and chutney. All of these present significance to UNESCO ideals of peoples, who beyond conflict and tensions, are finding ways to celebrate their migrations, cultural contact and shared occupation of our natural environment.
Yet, our space is at the same time, severely endangered by the risks of climate change and sea level rise, deforestation, poor land use practices and pollution and other development challenges.
We believe that the UNESCO mechanisms in science, education, information and culture can be more effectively used to bridge these divides, and to help us to further explore, capture and harness these experiences for the benefit of building peace in the minds of men and women
Even as we admire the creative initiatives of the Director General to balance a shrinking budget in challenging financial times, we pledge to work with her for further rationalisation, while we particularly look forward to better engagement and more equitable treatment of the countries of the Caribbean. We form part of the Latin American and Caribbean UNESCO region, and represent almost 40 percent of the votes from this region, but not an equivalent allocation of UNESCO resources. In its programme of restructuring, we would also suggest that UNESCO look at ways of redressing of imbalances in its institutional structure and mechanisms of field and national offices in our region where of 12 offices in the region, only one – located in Kingston - serves the 13 member and four associated members of CARICOM.
We assure you of our commitment and support to the Director General’s goal of making UNESCO more relevant and more effective.
I thank you
Dr Kris Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago Representative UNESCO Executive Board
April 2014




Friday, April 18, 2014

The magic and realism of Marquez RIP Gabriel Garcia Marquez influenced us in more ways than we cared to know. His literary genre of magic realism became a medium for writers and artists of the post colonial world trying to grapple with and articulate the experiences of becoming independent in the post colonial world ... trying to seize the magic of the moment full with hope and longing in being architects of our own destiny yet fighting off the realism of potential failure from inherited weaknesses of colonial mentality and frailty of humans especially in the face of new found power; the failure of the dream of independence that ranged from corruption of the American dream as well as the still birth of our dreaming into being our ideal post colonial societies. His vision has influenced thr writings of the likes of Salman Rushdie, VS Naipaul and a host of painters and filmmakers and others in the artistic world. If only the political world read more they probably have worked harder to shape a better world driven by the conscience of the likes of Marquez. RIP.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez influenced us in more ways than we cared to know. His literary genre of magic realism became a medium for writers and artists of the post colonial world trying to grapple with and articulate the experiences of becoming independent in the post colonial world ... trying to seize the magic of the moment full with hope and longing in being architects of our own destiny yet fighting off the realism of potential failure from inherited weaknesses of colonial mentality and frailty of humans especially in the face of new found power; the failure of the dream of independence that ranged from corruption of the American dream as well as the still birth of our dreaming into being our ideal post colonial societies.
His vision has influenced thr writings of the likes of Salman Rushdie, VS Naipaul and a host of painters and filmmakers and others in the artistic world. If only the political world read more they probably have worked harder to shape a better world driven by the conscience of the likes of Marquez. RIP.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Carnivalising the Constitution People Power Participation and the Pursuit of Happiness



Machel Montano may be the happiest man alive among the happiest people in #happynation which must include significant numbers of happy women, too, (if one is to go on his video in which he seems to be the only man alive!) Yet this national state of being is not reflected in the Happy Planet Index nor the World Happiness Report promoted by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network initiative of United Nations where Trinidad and Tobago ranks somewhere at number 130 among 151 countries assessed – believe it or not!
But then, Bhutan - the country whose development philosophy is based on Gross National Happiness (as opposed to the standard material assessment: Gross National Product) and upholds the need for recognition of mental and emotional wellbeing of citizens as a primary goal of governance – does not even feature in these global assessments whose methods and assignments of value then become questionable.
For Trinidad and Tobago, the carnivalesque assertion of the right to happiness reflected in Machel’s ode to happiness, Happiest Man Alive, (linked here for easy reference, claiming no rights to the video) has always been, it seems, in a tug-of-war, with governance.
In fact, the heritage of disapproving mechanisms of state that seem designed to stampede on the quest for happiness, has established a habitual tug-of-war between them and the national state of being, so evident in the rebellion, rejection of authority and its instruments in not only the creative expressions of Carnival and other aspects of the culture and
creative sectors that form the counter culture to governance reflected in Montano’s song of that name, but which we see in those other areas where we expect order and discipline – in sports, in schools, even in churches (‘if the priest could play, who is me’!) for example.
In the five decades since Independence – not unlike the decades that preceded it - such ingrained challenges to the ideology of governance and the body politic as oppressive to natural and cultural rights have seen recurring manifestations in the cultural arena – the calypso stage, Carnival (Minshall’s annual declarations of ‘banning the Savannah’); in Lord Superior’s epic battle with the State’s approach to media, and in general perceptions of social recalcitrance. Indeed, it is a long list that underpins the pervasive perception that successive governments have no control over the society, and the belief too, that maybe they ought not, as any attempt at what may seem to be  an imposition of order is highly resisted.
The rewrite-the-Constitution process then ought to involve both intensive review that reflect an understanding of the past that have fed the cultures of antagonisms and contentions that have ensnared our society in querulous state of high tension, counter-productive jamming and mash-up mode, so as to allow for re-visioning and refashioning the emperor’s tools that would help shape our future.
That tapping into the past is as important as what I identified in the previous Demokrissy Blog, envisioning outside the island box, that identifies the absence of futuring key elements in the current consultations on constitutional reform, and absence of an overarching vision of the world or region or the country or the society we want or are trying to create that would guide development of a Constitution that is relevant as a key tool in our paths to progress into the next century.
The Honourable President of the Senate in his response to that blog on futuring acknowledged that the increasing importance of our diaspora therein identified may be addressed through rethinking the section n the Constitution on Citizenship (Chapter 2). But the issue is certainly broader and deeper than that. Our expanding metaphysical borders through diaspora, is only one component of the dissolution of borders and the challenge to territorial borders in an expanding global village that has expanded currency in such notions as global citizenship. The notion of citizenship is only one element that is clamouring for reconsideration in the ideologies of governance in the world before us.
The notion of the separation of powers will continue to be challenged in its (ir)relevance to a society with a growing population couched in a limited land space where lines of demarcation and diversity are themselves becoming blurred. It will continue to be questioned as more and more of our children cram into the same buses – at least those who are not cramming the roads and parking spaces with their cars - to get spaces into the same schools and graduate into the same after-work liming spots where it is inevitable to whiff the perfume of one or any who would be a functionary in one of those heavily demarcated borders of the estates of State where never the twain shall meet, or so they say. Wouldn’t a more appropriate principle accept and devise appropriate response-mechanisms that acknowledge our inextricable web of technological, as well as organic, connectivities: Machel's video of himself as a NASA astronaut on Planet Mas with wine-ing command of the sinuous creatures of his happy space-earth-to-ocean paradise, might be full of mixed metaphors that jar on those who prefer seamless imagery, but surely it reflects – pun intended - some contemporary or futuristic social truths.    
The wily, though perhaps not so wild colonial boys who were the architects of our independent society and its Constitution, would have seen pillars of governance as the Executive (cabinet), the Legislature (parliament) and the Judiciary (courts), but do the people see this as well? And that, given that the Constitution opens with the phrase “Whereas The People of Trinidad and Tobago” and continues with five clauses …have affirmed, … respect, …asserted,…recognise… and desire… which form the basis of a debate being termed national among those who can still hear themselves think above louder national kankalang.  
From its preamble, the Constitution goes on to lay down the formations, roles and functions of those pillars of governance: The President, Parliament, Cabinet. Its third dimension is a financing mechanism; and the fourth is a confused selection of administrative, watchdog and appeal instruments set up as checks and balances that include the Judiciary, Director of Public Prosecutions, Ombudsman, and Appeals Board and various commissions. All of these have come under tremendous pressure, moreso in the last decade with constitutional and political deadlocks, tumbling commissions and commissioners etc. All are being exposed as glariningly ineffective and blatantly wanting.
The inability of the tottering Integrity Commission, for instance, to find secure footing on solid ground, is only one of the symptoms of the crises in our institutions and the need for reconfiguration of this operational machinery that are similarly reflected in the challenges facing the other Commissions identified in the Constitution - Police, Teaching and Public Services, Salaries Review, Integrity, Election and Boundaries and the like. It begs the question: In a state in which the centre cannot hold, what may one expect of the periphery? Do these still hold as the core required administrative subsets of governance in our times, or should some other?
Then too, the growing clamour for people and more active civil participation in governance would have been nowhere in the core thinking of the architects of a Constitution 50 years ago, then with only a handful of higher-educated doctors and lawyers, not as now when almost any can be assured of a place in one or other degree mill.
In the current consultations, there is some recognition of the need for reconfiguring the institutional structure in the proposals put forward by Senator Timothy Hamel Smith in his recommendation for a Civil Society Board, expansion of the committee system and engaging broader representation through the Senate, although they are force-fitted into the niched mould of a quasi-Presidential system. The recommendations of the Constitution Reform Committee has most significance in its recognition that the high sounding notes of the preamble to the Constitution is at variance with its body and the instruments it sets up. But there is need for more than a few baby steps to reform if we are tho keep up with the pace of global change.
Proposed measures must recognise that this disconnect mirrors the seemingly anti-happiness, antagonistic relationship that has grown from colonialism through Independence between the instruments of governance and the people they ought to serve. It perpetuates perceptions of the ineffectiveness of our governance systems.  Its needs to be more directly confronted and addressed.
A top-heavy system with a sluggish implementation machinery is enough of a foundation for failed statedom, though the finger for such sluggishness has always instead pointed to the Trini pursuit of happiness – a condition that usually provokes the authoritative frown of disapproval. In fact, it is often considered counter-productive though to date no adequate instrument has been designed or attempted to measure and index the level of energy and value of the creativity emitted and how that factors into National Happiness as opposed to the GDP/GNP assessments that place oil and gas as the prime contributors to national development. Incidentally, the idea of the pursuit of happiness is borrowed from the American Declaration of Independence and is nowhere stated, nor condoned, in national ideology. Addressing that dissonance might bring us closer to the Constitution we want for a society we want.
The blurring of identities and borders, identified in the previous blog, are not just citizenship issues. They have broader governance implications and are core associates with the upsurge in challenges to traditional archetypal notions of separations: of power, of roles, and of functions, as well as of the place of the citizenry and their greater participation in governance.
It is no wonder that the Bill of Rights and the sexual rights lobby has the reformers', and the media’s, knickers in a twist, so it has surfaced as a core issue of the Constitutional review process. On that note, it may be well worth the media’s time to assert its own Fourth Estate rights to be happy and avoid future worry. As the possible First Estate of the Future, the media has yet to do justice to engaging the population in the broad range of rich contributions that have entered the arena of Constitutional Reform discussions and explore proactively (rather than its accustomed reactivity) and proffer its own recommendations on elements of the Constitution that so directly impact its operations. Hopefully, that could be done in measured decibels that would distinguish such discussions and debates from the (accustomed) noise-making.
This, especially, as such traditionally held sanctities as the rights to privacy, notions of freedoms, and of responsibilities are themselves acquiring such textures of flexibility. blurred tones and fluidity as the sensual soundless underwater world of women in which Machel Montano asserts his rights, and ours, to happiness.

Next Blog: Macho? Asexual? Metrosexual?  Constitutional sex appeal to stimulate the body politic. Stay Tuned
 
Click Photo to visit Amazon.com site
  
This Demokrissy series, The Emperor’s New Tools, continues and builds on the analysis of evolution in our governance, begun in the introduction to my book, Through the Political Glass Ceiling (2010): The Clash of Political Cultures – Cultural Diversity and Minority Politics in Trinidad and Tobago.

 Others in this series:
Oct 20, 2013 Choosing the Emperor's New Troops. The dilemma of choice. Voting is supposed to be an exercise in thoughtful, studied choice. Local government is the foundation for good governance so even if one wants to reform the ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Apr 07, 2013 Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Towards Constitutional Reform in T&T. So we've had the rounds of consultations on Constitutional Reform? Are we any wiser? Do we have a sense of direction that will drive ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Apr 30, 2013 Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2....http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
See Also:
Jul 30, 2013 Wherever these breezes have passed, they have left in their wake wide ranging social and political changes: one the one hand toppling long time leaders with rising decibels from previously suppressed peoples demanding a ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 25, 2013 Some 50 percent did not vote. The local government elections results lends further proof of the discussion began in Clash of Political Cultures: Cultural Diversity and Minority Politics in Trinidad and Tobago in Through The ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 14, 2013 They are announcing some political meeting or the other; and begging for my vote, and meh road still aint fix though I hear all parts getting box drains and thing, so I vex. So peeps, you know I am a sceptic so help me decide. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Jun 15, 2010 T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian · T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian. Posted by Kris Rampersad at 8:20 AM · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Related:
Apr 30, 2010 'How we vote is not how we party.' At 'all inclusive' fetes and other forums, we nod in inebriated wisdom to calypsonian David Rudder's elucidation of the paradoxical political vs. social realities of Trinidad and Tobago. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 29, 2013 An indication that unless we devise innovative ways to address representation of our diversity, we will find ourselves in various forms of deadlock at the polls that throw us into a spiral of political tug of war albeit with not just ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 16, 2013 Sheilah was clearly and sharply articulating the deficiencies in governmesaw her: a tinymite elderly woman, gracefully wrinkled, deeply over with concerns about political and institutional stagnation but brimming over with ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 21, 2013 Ain't Trini politics d BEST! Nobody fighting because they lose. All parties claiming victory, all voting citizens won! That's what make we Carnival d best street party in the world. Everyone are winners because we all like ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Jan 09, 2012 New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. Posted by Kris Rampersad ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/



Monday, February 10, 2014

Envisioning outside-the-island-box - #TowardsConstitutionReform: #TheEmperor’sNewTools


The Constitution Reform Committee returns to the public with a package of reform measures it has amalgamated from discussions, recommendations and opinions as well as review of reports of previous Constitutional Reform Commissioners, and previous redesigns on the Constitution including the most recent Ellis Clarke redraft.
It cannot be an easy task for the two ladies and three gentlemen (gender imbalance noted and shelved for later discussions) who are proposing a governance system that is likely to drive the country’s development for perhaps the next half a century. It is in this basic fact that I find the proposed reforms most deficient – in visioning the future.
I could find no where in the document a scan of the environment – local or global - that suggests in this attempt to review, revise and devise the instrument of governance that will take us into our next 50 years, or so, that it is addressing fundamental deficiencies beyond the political system, those constitutional mechanisms that have been imposed on our society and that feed systemised inertia; nor does it adequately address potential challenges that are bound to arise in our continually and rapidly evolving socio-political environment, and build into it such mechanisms that can become absorbers for future-shock.
Indeed, much of the measures proposed are tunnelled into reflection on the flaws of the current and past system, which, though commendable in themselves, remain shortsighted if we are to consider the upheavals around us, globally and at home, that are challenging existing political and governance models to breaking point. This implies that the changes being proposed might perhaps already be obsolete, or are likely to be, by the time they are enacted and begin to seep into the social and political operational psyche – and I say this without attempting in any way to diminish what is clearly a herculean effort of the reform committee.
In this regard, I find the current proposals deficient in the following core areas:
It is inarguable that our current environment is demanding a significantly less top heavy approach, to one in which citizens sit at the centre of participatory governance with systems and structures so designed. To couch a new system somewhere between the cracks of two dominant models – the (UK) West Minster Parliamentary and US Presidential (which incidentally also evolved from the UK model) is really to: a: reinforce and further entrench them; b: deprive ourselves of options in examining engagement of other governance models; c: short sell ourselves and the multicultural nation we like to boast that we have become.
I continue to maintain that we have a unique opportunity in Trinidad and Tobago to propose a new model, a new system of governance, albeit drawn from a range of existing models but which is more relevant to social realities, that suit the range of new knowledge we have at our disposal of a wider range of social, political and economic systems than those from which the UK/US models emerged. It allows us the opportunity to restore respect and give value to the full gamut of our political heritage(s) that have pressured the kind of governance that has existed before our Independence from colonial rule, and which we have perpetuated and entrenched post-Independence.
As a place where - whatever the fates or forces of history - are gathered within this small island space, the main cultural streams of the world of ancient/traditional of Africa and Asia (India/China) and indigeneous America, along with those from Europe, surely we can make this experiences of value to the global village in which we function, and have it reflect within a system of governance we devise for ourselves. Surely we owe some respect to such an advantageous position afforded us, whether by accident or design, to take a step, or two, or three or more as may be required, back, from what is before our noses and cast our gazes more widely, to embrace and engage the bigger, panoramic picture of the globe of which we forma part, although we may be only island-like.
A simple direct example may be drawn from this. Though our systems speak of two, i.e. ‘twin-island state,’ Trinidad and Tobago in fact comprises some 21 or more islands. A geographic revisioning is only one dimension to reconsider. There is also, beyond the geo-physical, the metaphysical space we occupy – the expansive diaspora that includes the societies from which we were forged, along with the new ones which we are helping to create. In the evolution into a borderless world (is there any denying that?) engaging the diaspora in our governance system is an option small islands like ours cannot ignore. Claiming/reclaiming our diasporas and stemming the haemorrhage of talent, skills, visions and ambitions, while embracing our heritage systems that past and our current system have alienated, and facilitating participation and access of our citizens to global opportunities – even those beyond diaspora - are as much a challenge of any new governance system may to hope to devise.
That is the philosophic underpinnings that drive the concept of the global village of which we are a part; which, beyond the national boundaries envisioned by Constitutions as ours, remain the single most challenging element to existing governance structures and which will remain a looming challenge to any kind of governance system we devise.
This makes imperative a rethink and reenvisioning of our reform processes that are much more engaging and embracing than the proposals we have before us.
Next: Reassembling the Body Politic: Power. Politics. People.
Note: This is based on the Report of the Trinidad and Tobago Constititution Reform Commission, 2013. I thank the Honourable President of the Senate Mr Timothy Hamel-Smith for emailing me his proposed recommendations for constitutional reform in his paper entitled Re-Engineering Our Constitution for Participation and Performance and inviting debate so directly and openly (when conditioning of much of our system interprets critiques as criticism). I will attempt a review, next).  
  This Demokrissy series, The Emperor’s New Tools, continues and builds on the analysis of evolution in our governance, begun in the introduction to my book, Through the Political Glass Ceiling (2010): The Clash of Political Cultures – Cultural Diversity and Minority Politics in Trinidad and Tobago.

Others in this series:
Oct 20, 2013 Choosing the Emperor's New Troops. The dilemma of choice. Voting is supposed to be an exercise in thoughtful, studied choice. Local government is the foundation for good governance so even if one wants to reform the ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Apr 07, 2013 Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Towards Constitutional Reform in T&T. So we've had the rounds of consultations on Constitutional Reform? Are we any wiser? Do we have a sense of direction that will drive ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Apr 30, 2013 Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2....http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
See Also:
Jul 30, 2013 Wherever these breezes have passed, they have left in their wake wide ranging social and political changes: one the one hand toppling long time leaders with rising decibels from previously suppressed peoples demanding a ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 25, 2013 Some 50 percent did not vote. The local government elections results lends further proof of the discussion began in Clash of Political Cultures: Cultural Diversity and Minority Politics in Trinidad and Tobago in Through The ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 14, 2013 They are announcing some political meeting or the other; and begging for my vote, and meh road still aint fix though I hear all parts getting box drains and thing, so I vex. So peeps, you know I am a sceptic so help me decide. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Jun 15, 2010 T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian · T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian. Posted by Kris Rampersad at 8:20 AM · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Related:
Apr 30, 2010 'How we vote is not how we party.' At 'all inclusive' fetes and other forums, we nod in inebriated wisdom to calypsonian David Rudder's elucidation of the paradoxical political vs. social realities of Trinidad and Tobago. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 29, 2013 An indication that unless we devise innovative ways to address representation of our diversity, we will find ourselves in various forms of deadlock at the polls that throw us into a spiral of political tug of war albeit with not just ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 16, 2013 Sheilah was clearly and sharply articulating the deficiencies in governmesaw her: a tinymite elderly woman, gracefully wrinkled, deeply over with concerns about political and institutional stagnation but brimming over with ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 21, 2013 Ain't Trini politics d BEST! Nobody fighting because they lose. All parties claiming victory, all voting citizens won! That's what make we Carnival d best street party in the world. Everyone are winners because we all like ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Jan 09, 2012 New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. Posted by Kris Rampersad ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How has this 10 year old changed your life #FacebookTurns10

The #MediaRevolution - Facebook@10, Twitter@6, G+@2 

#HAPPYBIRTHDAYFACEBOOK U R 10!

Challenges to leadership from a toddler's view of the world of tomorrow

Happy Birthday Facebook. In its short ten years, how has Facebook changed your life? Your routine? Your perspectives? Your interactions? Your outlooks?
To answer that, you will recognise the impact of our social networks, new media, virtual technologies on our society; why virtually all development planning for the next decade are already obsolete; and why we seem to be scrambling for answers and solutions to what seem to be unprecedented social convulsions - on the streets, in our homes, schools, communities, and in our institutions.
LinkedIn is 10; #Twitter is just about 6, #Google+ a mere toddler @ 2. Digital divide, generation gap are also already obsolete terms. Recognising this,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Uneasy lies the head .... poor King Richard's bones

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25962879?ocid=socialflow_twitter

Monday, January 20, 2014

Agriculture food security and climate change

Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change





www.cardi.org/wp-content/themes/default/files/cardiupdate/CARDIUpdate2009-2.pdf

Triple whammy to hit energy sector

Triple whammy to hit energy sector | Archives
Triple whammy to hit energy sector
Byline Author: 
Article Date: 
Sunday, April 19, 2009
• Rising resource costs • Rising energy costs • Rising food prices
It’s ‘business unusual’...
For the energy sector, it is not “business as usual,” not only because of supply factors, but also related to focus on more efficient and sustainable uses of energy and climate change-related issues. This is the message from energy researchers, ColinDale Marcelle and Ian Ivey, as heads of governments and policy-makers discuss the global financial crisis at the Fifth Summit of the Americas. “The energy sector does not operate in isolation. The major trends shaping its ‘big picture’ future are coming together for a ‘triple whammy’ effect—rising energy costs, rising food prices and rising resource costs,” said Ivey, of the research group NEXT.
For the energy sector, it is not “business as usual,” not only because of supply factors, but also related to focus on more efficient and sustainable uses of energy and climate change-related issues. This is the message from energy researchers, ColinDale Marcelle and Ian Ivey, as heads of governments and policy-makers discuss the global financial crisis at the Fifth Summit of the Americas. “The energy sector does not operate in isolation. The major trends shaping its ‘big picture’ future are coming together for a ‘triple whammy’ effect—rising energy costs, rising food prices and rising resource costs,” said Ivey, of the research group NEXT.
“T&T needs to become far more focused on the opportunities associated with the entire renewable energy sector, because it has invested heavily in the development of considerable expertise in the energy field. “Once the country’s oil and gas fields enter into a decline phase—which may be little more than a decade away—that investment will have little long-term value to the country, unless it is redirected towards future rapid growth opportunity areas in the ‘new energy’ scene. “It is clearly going to be difficult for a small country such as T&T to be an internationally cost-competitive player in renewable energy sectors, such as bio-ethanol and bio-diesel, as the land areas required are vast and the throughput volumes required to justify the capital investments needed are potentially large.
Along with Marcelle, Ivey is the co-author of the recently released Global Foresight Review on renewable energy and Renewable Energy Best Bets Opportunities for T&T (see Niherst.gov.tt), which focus on opportunities and alternatives for T&T outside the oil and gas sector. They were prepared by NEXT Corporation for the National Institute of Higher Education Research, Science and Education.
Increase by 2030
Foresight and innovation research identified several “best bets” for T&T’s energy sector that would lead to greater efficiency in use of existing energy sources and develop businesses built around alternative energy generated from environment-friendly renewable sources. Nine initial potential “best bets” were identified, including developing alternative energy sources by harnessing the power of wave, wind, solar and volcanic energy and growing business by tapping into existing research and technologies. “The potential ‘best bet’ opportunity areas identified could provide the basis of a significant new energy sector focus in T&T,” the authors say. The top three involved use of bio-gas, solar and energy-efficient technologies.
The Global Review cites trends and issues that have an impact on energy markets that point to higher prices for crude oil and natural gas, post the current slump and a 50 per cent projected increase in global energy demand by 2030. Sources referred to include the Annual Energy Outlook, the Medium-Term Oil Market Report of the International Energy Agency, Facing the Hard Truths About Energy Report of the National Petroleum Council and the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, among others.
The review was prepared to stimulate thinking about how the global sector is likely to evolve over the next ten years, and thus identify associated threats and opportunities for T&T in the long-term, drawn from a big picture view of what the world may look like in the near future, so as to inform decisions that need to be made today with regard to sector opportunities and threats. Among its findings were that the energy sector’s development is being restricted primarily by traditional attitudes and short-term thinking. A lack of understanding of how quickly the “big picture” may change in future years is hindering change to more sustainable alternatives and limiting the amount of investments being made into innovative opportunities.
'Peak oil’
The energy sector is being forced to revise its directions as the result of a growing awareness that current sources of energy are likely to fail to keep up with future demand, as the capacity to supply world demand is almost already at its peak. This was fed by growing pressure for cleaner and more environmentally sustainable energy sources. “People are now starting to realise that ‘peak oil’ is just a few years away, if not already here. This increases the need to speed up moves towards renewable energy alternatives where favourable conditions apply,” say the authors.
Among these favourable conditions are advances in technology, innovators with creative solutions, growing investment into green and sustainable applications (long-term) and decentralisation of the energy sector, down to a point where we may see total sustainable energy solutions in place for communities, or even individual households and businesses. These already exist in European communities, such as Jühnde in Germany and Güssing in Austria. “The global energy scene is now reaching a ‘tipping point.’ It is changing the balance between ‘old energy’ and ‘new energy.’
“It is easy to become blindsided by short-term blips such as the current low prices in fossil fuel prices and reduced investment into renewable energy. But this is unlikely to last long. “Once the world recovers from the current economic downturn, the major underlying trends will be back in play and ‘old energy’ is likely to face a challenging future as the ‘triple whammy’ effect comes back into play and global policy changes adversely affect the competitive position of fossil fuels, particularly in response to climate change and reducing global emissions by up to 80 per cent (eg, the new goal in the USA).”
Dr Kris Rampersad is
a media and literary consultant.
- See more at: http://www.guardian.co.tt/archives/features/life/2009/04/18/triple-whammy-hit-energy-sector#sthash.yBclsR0O.dpuf

http://www.guardian.co.tt/archives/features/life/2009/04/18/triple-whammy-hit-energy-sector