The Social Contract on Trial: How can we fix the relationship between citizens and state?

Click here to join LIVE. 30 June, 11.00 UTC:

Live Panel facilitated by The Green Economy Coalition

Around the world, the relationship between governments and their citizens is fraying. Populism and autocracy is rising, institutions are weakened, democracy seems imperilled. Meanwhile, the ongoing COVID, inequality, climate and nature meta-crisis continues to worsen.
Is the social contract that governs us fundamentally broken? Can it be rescued? Or is it time for a new eco-social contract? To answer these questions and more, the Green Economy Coalition is putting the social contract on trial.
Chaired by ex-CNBC financial journalist and global moderator Nozipho Tshabalala, the trial will see three leading experts from the fields of politics, environment and development give us their ‘witness statements’ on the status of the social contract.
A citizen youth jury – made up of representatives from youth networks from around the world including #FridaysForFuture and Global Youth Action Network – will then cross-examine our expert witnesses, and then deliver their verdict on the challenge of repairing our social contract.
The audience will be able to give their verdict on the social contract, based on what they’ve heard, via an online vote.


  • Nozi Tshabalala will moderate the event she is a Managing Director for a Strategy Consultancy and an award winning journalist.
  • Witnesses
    (1) Gillian Marcelle – is a senior leader in economic development and international business with a proven track record in attracting investment to emerging markets. She is also a thought leader in the impact investment space, where her contributions and perspectives on diversity, inclusion, accountability and alignment with the SDGs are becoming influential.
    (2) Kumi Naidoo – A life-long social justice campaigner from South Africa, Kumi Naidoo was the International Executive Director of Greenpeace International (2009-16) and Secretary General of Amnesty International (2018-20).
    (3) Virgilio Viana is one of Brazil’s leading experts on forestry, environment and sustainable development. He served as Brazil’s Secretary of State for Environment and Sustainable Development from 2003-2008 and is currently the Director General of the Amazonas Sustainability Foundation (FAS).
  • And Jury
    (1) Jannis Kruessman – is a law student at University of Bonn, Germany. He started organising protests with Fridays for Future in Konstanz in early 2019 convincing the city council to declare a local climate emergency in May 2019, being the first German city to do so. Since July 2021 he is – together with three other youngsters – suing the state of Northrhine-Westfalia in a constitutional complaint for its insufficient climate action.
    (2) Disha Ravi, Fridays for Future India – is an Indian youth climate change activist and a founder of Fridays For Future India. She was arrested and prosecuted in February 2021 for her work calling international attention to Indian environmental issues and the 2021 Indian farmer’s protests.
    (3) Jack Johnson – is a Co-Founder of Climate a youth-led think tank that educates young people on the systemic drivers of climate chaos and advances the radical solutions necessary to arrest climate breakdown.