Building Consensus on Global Poverty

Building Consensus on Global Poverty

WORKSHOP jointly organised by the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN), Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), and CROP.

3-4 September 2011 | Oslo, Norway

CROP has expressed a firm conviction on and commitment to the need for strengthening links among academic experts and civil society actors. The CROP support to the Academic Stand Against Poverty (ASAP)-Norway launch in Oslo was a good opportunity to reaffirm this engagement.

The Norwegian chapter of ASAP was launched during an intensive two days workshop held on September 3rd and 4th at the University of Oslo. The workshop was co-organized by CROP and devoted to exploring the potential of the ASAP organization for helping academics to have a more direct, significant, and visible impact on global poverty eradication.

Social scientists from different disciplines and areas of knowledge shared their views and experiences on poverty research and activism. Several areas for priority work were identified as were specific initiatives to be further discussed and developed. Health was among the identified areas, and specialists from diverse disciplines explained their line of work and results. The Health Impact Fund (HIF) and other initiatives were presented as examples of how academics can contribute to alleviating poverty-related health problems by helping the global poor gain better access to advanced health care.

ASAP's members presented their Global Poverty Consensus Report (GPCR) project and invited the audience to work in disciplinary and multidisciplinary groups to identify theses and shared conclusions about ways to reduce poverty around the world. Two sets of breakout sessions were held. The first involved dialogue amongst members of the same disciplines and areas of knowledge (Economics, Environment, Health, Philosophy and Political Science), and the second set of sessions was cross-disciplinary activity aiming at building bridges to connect specialized findings with the complexity of multi- and transdisciplinary approaches to the reality of poverty. A number of good ideas, as well as constructive critical feedback, were generated for the GPCR project. Those inputs will be processed by ASAP, an institution that will continue this project through 2012 and beyond.

The GPCR project, for which Oslo served as a 'twin launch' with the New Delhi meeting, will therefore increase its effort to identify consensus on core aspects of poverty alleviation, toward contributions to global public debate about what will come after the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development Goals.

A final public event was organized at the Litteraturhuset in Oslo to present main conclusions of previous work and to promote an open dialogue with the audience. The debate was initiated with presentations by Mads Gilbert (University of Tromsø, Norway), Godelieve Van Heteren (Erasmus University, Rotterdam and former Dutch MP), Ashok Acharya (University of Delhi, India), Thomas Pogge (Yale University, ASAP, and CROP) and Alberto Cimadamore, (CROP / University of Bergen). They all shared their insights and public engagement in this closing event, jointly organized by CROP, ASAP, and the Center for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN) of the University of Oslo, and sparked a lively debate with members of the audience, which included Noam Chomsky.


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