2021 Taught Us That the Time for Global Change is Now

Happy New Year to all, 2022 for all of us creates a turning point. Rory Truell Co-facilitator of the ‘Co-Building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind’ people’s global summit and Secretary-General of the International Federation of Social Workers, shares his reflections:

On top of the years of inability to transform contexts of poverty and violence, the world has learnt a lot in 2021. We have learnt about people’s extraordinary ability to care for one another under lockdown situations. We have also learnt that people wary of vaccines articulate a distrust of their political surroundings that must be addressed. We have witnessed the limitations of governments to work together, in all people’s interests, to ensure everyone has access and support to become vaccinated. We have seen high-level political gatherings fail to act fast enough to right the wrongs of climate change. We learnt that inequality grows even faster under the pandemic, driving over 120 million into extreme poverty, while over the same period, the wealth of the world’s billionaires more than doubled. Nearly everyone agrees the time for change is now.

In 2022, the people’s global summit is bringing together diverse groups from different cultures, religions, regional structures, United Nations agencies, professions, students, unions and rights-based campaigns. Representatives from these global entities, as well as, local communities and interest groups, will co-create new values and principles that can be used as reference points for future development. Reference points that explicitly aim to leave no one behind and give all people and the planet confidence, security and trust.

The outcomes from the summit will be presented to the 2022 UN High-level Political Forum where the world’s leader will be invited to join this worldwide mass movement. The idea is to build beyond past charters, whether from the old religions, philosophies or more recently the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, to make a meaningful contribution in a new age where climate change, globalisation, massive inequality, poverty and pandemics urgently need to be addressed.

The global people’s summit recognises that it is not just governments and businesses that should not return to normal, but all of us need to act differently: Recognising the strength of our diversity and utilising the untapped potential and wisdom that sits within each community. To work together for the world, we seek. The global people’s summit sees the first horizon as co-developing guiding principles and values that operate at the centre of people’s lives. Global principles and values that emerge from tested success stories in local development, as there can be no global unless it is rooted in the local.

Unlike legal rights with ambiguous top-down powers – many of us recognize that rights build from celebrating people’s cultures, reinforcing everyone’s daily responsibilities towards each other – reflecting bottom-up in addition to top-down. Unlike weak systems of democracy where people only get to decide on a limited choice every 3 to 5 years – many promote a world of cooperating communities and societies where everyone is continuously confident and active in decision-making. A world equipping all people with the skills and capacity to act and intervene positively in building understanding and solidarity. Unlike our failing systems to protect the planet and other species, many recognise the balance of rights of earth, water, sky, other species along with humans as key to our sustainability.

Via their representative organisations, already 100s of millions of people are committed to the people’s global summit. Yet all people need to be involved in co-shaping the values, principles and subsequent policies and practices. 2022 will bring more challenges but also the biggest opportunity in our generation to influence and transform our shared futures and our world. To play a part in the people’s global summit click here: https://newecosocialworld.com/

We can do this. The commitment is there across the world. It will be an exciting year, a year of inclusive action and outcome as together we work in this summit for our shared eco-social world. Happy New Year.