Archive for the ‘social justice’ Category

Radical Monarchs

January 7, 2017

The Radical Monarchs create opportunities for young girls of color to form fierce sisterhood, celebrate their identities and contribute radically to their communities. — Radical Monarchs

A group of girls, they could have joined the Scouts and learnt how to rub two sticks together, instead they formed their own troop the Radical Monarchs and fight for social justice.

A group of very intelligent girls.

The world needs more of them.

Thoughts of what could be for the New Year

December 31, 2016

As one year fades away and another begins, thoughts of Michel Bauwens of what could be.

Fake McDonald’s coffee news story

December 18, 2016

Only a clown would serve coffee heated to 190 degrees(!)

It hit the headlines a few weeks ago, a young woman had a coffee from a McDonald’s takeaway, her boyfriend drove off, took a corner too fast, the hot coffee was spilled in her lap, she suffered third degree burns. She sued McDonald’s.

The trolls crawled out from beneath their stones, attacked her for her stupidity.

Not a word of sympathy that she had suffered third degree burns.

Only one problem, the story was fake, it had been planted by McDonald’s to distract from the real story.

There was no young woman, there was no boyfriend taking a corner too fast.

There was a 79-year-old lady sat in a car in a car park with her grandson.  She accidentally split coffee in her lap. Nothing more serious than wet stained clothes. Only it was, because McDonald’s delivered the coffee way too hot, scalding hot, as result the lady ended up in hospital with third degree burns, life threatening injuries and nearly died. And as this was the US, a hefty medical bill.

The lady admitted, the spilt coffee was an accident, but it was not an accident the coffee was delivered too hot. That was the fault of McDonald’s. And this was not the only case. Several hundred cases of customers burnt due to McDonald’s serving scalding hot coffee. Clearly McDonald’s were negligent and liable for the injuries, the least they could so was pay this lady’s medical bills. They refused. It was with reluctance the lady sued McDonald’s.

The court imposed punitive damages against McDonald’s.

Action Aid

October 15, 2016
Action Aid

Action Aid

Action Aid had an event below The Acropolis. I have no idea why as it was in Greek and no one could  be bothered to speak to me. Why was material not available in English? At a guess demonstrating the obstacles immigrants have to overcome to get into Europe.  I may be wrong.

Horrified they were using balloons. An environmental hazard and they should know better.  Out gassing from the balloons was unpleasant and is toxic.

I thought Action Aid was British.  Surprised  to find in Athens

ReSpacing Conference at The Hive

April 21, 2016

skipping breakfast

skipping breakfast

I arrived half an hour later than I would have wished as I caught two buses from Waterloo, rather than one, but at least arrived, and alighted more or less at the correct bus stop on Kingsland Road in Dalston.

The Hive is an office block just over the canal.

I recognised where I was as the social enterprise café established by Russell Brand is nearby.

Initial impressions, a legalised squat, though they would probably object to my description.

Up a flight of stairs, then a vast open space, but arranged into smaller areas, a kitchen cum café  in one corner, a  little rooftop garden outside. There were upper floors, these I did not explore.

Everything I saw, the chairs the tables, the stage, all had been salvaged and put to use.

Although half an hour late, an hour later than start time, I was still one of the first.

Did I understand Skipping Breakfast? Yes, food from skips.

We are told to recycle. Do we? No.

We waste food, we waste materials, we waste space.

Derelict building are everywhere. The Hive was a derelict building. In Aldershot, a dead shopping centre, with TechStart occupying one large unit, but begging to be used.

The Hive approached a developer, and with reservations, he agreed to let them use. A very short lease, the volunteers provided everything, all of which was salvaged.

The developer Michael has been completely won over, he is now a big cheer leader for ReSpace, putting derelict buildings to use for the community.

What is ReSpace?

ReSpace is a planning designation that any local council or planning authority can use.

Any property that is empty for six months can be designated ReSpace. It is then open to local communities to use, pay a peppercorn rent, the developer pays no businesses rates.

Everyone benefits.

There is now a petition calling for ReSpace to be written into planning law. Everyone is urged to please sign.

We are losing community space. We are losing green space, pubs, libraries.

Who runs these reclaimed spaces?

Volunteers.

How de we found them?

We don’t, they appear.

Nomadic Community Gardens: Two people toiling away at derelict land, bringing back into use. They did not ask for volunteers, the community joined in.

This is what happened at The Hive.

It is not only materials and spaces we need to recycle, we also need to recycle people. Idle hands, idle minds, that can be put to use on behalf of the community.

The Hive is a not for profit. The space is for use by not for profit, even for profit, they have helped set up several business, but they have to contribute to the common good. In other words they have to contribute to the collaborative commons.

The next step, having demonstrated the feasibility of The Hive, not forgetting an enlightened developer who wishes to contribute to the local community and without who The Hive would not be possible, is to establish a network of Hives, Holistic Urban Regeneration in action.

In Revolution, Russell Brand talks of Greys, a town in Essex, boarded-up shops, an air of desolation. Paul Mason mentions a similar town in PostCapitalism. These towns are everywhere.

The question is how do we regenerate them? Top down does not work. It has to be bottom up, small businesses, social enterprises, open coops, collaborative commons, sharing economy.

Aldershot is one such dismal town. Decades of bad planning decisions, a dysfunctional council with no understanding of what constitutes good town centre planning, no understanding of how local economies function, the need to recycle money within the local economy.  The streets are deserted, the shops boarded up, homeless in the shop doorways, the few who are on the street, no money to spend.

In the midst of this deprivation lies a derelict shopping centre. It could be the set for a post-apocalypse movie. There is even the occasional zombie walking through, saving on the need for extras.

The question is, what to do with it? It has been derelict for years. It is likely to remain derelict for the foreseeable future.

The one ray of hope, TechStart opened two years ago. Run by volunteers, they recycle old computers, run a net café, carry out repairs, provide training.

Last Saturday, TechStart closed, their funding had been pulled. The good news is, an outbreak of commons sense, funding for four months. But they have to become self-sufficient.

The empty shopping centre, instead of being seen as a liability, should be seen as an opportunity to showcase that alternatives are possible, that we do not have to be drawn into the addiction  of consumerism.

Look what could be possible:

  • TechStart
  • social enterprise café
  • repair shop
  • tool swap
  • credit union
  • start-ups
  • conferences
  • exhibitions

All it requires is vision.

Replicate across the country, make a difference.

What uses can that derelict building in your community be put to?

Does the local council maintain a list of derelict buildings, is it made public, are they designating as ReSpace?

For the developer, nothing worse than a derelict building, it soon falls into disrepair, becomes vandalised. Added to which the cost of securing the building. Occupation, put to community use, is better than sitting empty.

At the very least there has to be an exploration of what the The Hive in Dalston are doing. Hive started with just £250.

As a showcase building, The Hive in Dalston has demonstrated the feasibility of such a model and in only nine  months has seen over 4000 people, held 17 art exhibitions, numerous performance, environmental, political and cultural events and helped about 50 local charities. Has enabled people to start businesses and even had a skate park. This has all been achieved using a system that is self-sustaining and utilises volunteers, donations, up-cycling, recycling and sharing.

Local councils are almost an irrelevance. If they wish to work with the local community fine, if not bypass and work directly with a property developer.

The Hive are fortunate in not only having an enlightened local council, but also an enlightened property developer, who wishes to work with the local community, put something back into the local community.

Where else other than The Hive would you find activists praising a property developer, and vice a versa the property developer heaping praise on the activists?

Discussion of the London Mayoral Hustings to be held at The Hive the following day. Questions people wished to put. What are they going to do to resolve growing homelessness, we cannot sweep under the carpet or push into neighbouring boroughs. Air pollution, expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick. Encouragement of growing food locally cf Dig for Victory during WWII.

A handful of groups were invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. The ideas in themselves not that interesting. What was of more interest, was the advice given and the constructive criticism that followed. One important piece of advice, have a property lawyer with you to help negotiate and draw up a contract.

The Hive held their ReSpacing Conference on Wednesday 20 April 2016. A second day will be for London Mayoral Hustings.

The Hive is reclaimed space.

The Hive is community space.

The Hive is Holistic Urban Regeneration.

Reposted in Light on a Dark Mountain.

Key difference between the “Age of Me” and the “Age of We”

March 26, 2016
wise woman in the forest

wise woman in the forest

This is the gist of the systemic presentation a sleep deprived introvert (moi) shared at the inaugural FutureMe event on March 25, 2016 at The Float@Marina Bay in Singapore.

The “Age of Me” is Form (appearances based on scarcity) while the “Age of We” is Substance (inside us – knowledge, innate gifts and authenticity based on abundance).

We’re in the exciting paradigm shift between these 2 vastly distinct (business) cultures: The competitive “Age of Me” that valued things for what they produced and the “Age of We” that values the application of knowledge through empowerment.

The “Age of We” doesn’t exist yet because our global default culture is still very much the “Age of Me.”

In the “Age of Me”, businesses operate much like a factory assembly line because knowledge is hoarded. Everything is planned (sometimes blindly) from the top and executed by people in departments (usually working in haphazard silos). As firms create, push and sell stuff, value is produced upstream and consumed downstream. Because very few people benefit financially, owning hard assets is seen as a symbol of success.

While the impact of technology maybe exponential, the “Age of Me” thinking tends to be linear: I was born, go to school, start my career, get married, start a family, etc etc. Factory assembly line thinking.

But what if the next 20 years really changes humanity more than the last 300? Our future is highly unpredictable because the challenges are systemic.

Should you choose to remain in the mega competitive Age of Me (yep, that’s also the choice you make for your children and their children), PLEASE remember it’s  how a person with money hires a person without for the lowest possible wage to make as much profit as possible for the one with money. 

Already, automation, artificial intelligence and robotics are replacing many jobs.  There are also too many reports saying most people globally will be jobless in X number of years.

If very few people have jobs or just do gigs, how do we pay for living expenses like food, shelter, clothing, transportation, etc which keep getting more and more expensive?

Some countries like Finland and New Zealand are looking into universal basic income where everyone will receive an unconditional sum of money regularly.

“All problems are either clocks or clouds.” Karl Popper

To fix a clock, you take it apart. Examine the parts before putting it back together. With a cloud, you can only observe it as a dynamic, shifting, morphing whole. But since taking things apart and “breaking them down” gives us a sense of power and control, too many still use clock thinking to address cloud (systemic) problems. Then they wonder why the problems remain or worsen.

To truly prepare for the “Age of We”, I believe we NEED to completely rethink everything and NOT use the same thinking we used when we created systemic problems like poverty and climate change. To get everyone’s best input, we will first need to co create an “Age of We” culture to empower strangers ANYWHERE to DARE trust one another.

True abundance happens when each of us can openly apply our knowledge and our gifts to empower one another to be our best for everyone’s benefit.

Instead of madly competing against another, the only person we try to be better than is the person we were yesterday.

We’re living in potentially, the most fascinating phase of transformation humanity has ever known.  To be able to truly become the best we can be – not for ourselves or our families but for everyone (including your future generations).

There is no magic formula because everyone can do something in our own unique ways.  To unlearn to relearn by creating opportunities for strangers ANYWHERE to build trust with each other.  To show by doing.  Not just talking.

“Authentic paradigm shifts are rare because they entail an entire restructuring of our understanding, and if a period of letting go does not happen, and if we do not go through an experience of liminality, where nothing seems to make sense any more, we will never be able to enter a new paradigm.”                   Simon Robinson

To go from Scarcity to Abundance, the world has to experience an authentic paradigm shift.

What we have in abundance are the gifts we were born with. By embarking on your voyage of self discovery, you (re)discover what they are.  Once you know, develop and give your innate talents to live a more meaningful life:

“Each of us has the perfect gift to give the world. It’s what we were born with … if we’re able to each give what’s so uniquely ours – won’t we be able to create magic for and with each other?”  Betty Lim, 2001

Dare to self discover.  Dare to experiment.  Dare to unlearn to relearn. Start by openly enabling strangers ANYWHERE in the world to openly build trust with one another.  You’re MOST welcome to build on our social experiment.

As we don’t even have our own central engagement platform, please like our page on Facebook.

With your participation, this is the “For us” maximization movement I hope to start about a new way of thinking, doing and sharing.

May our potentials as an authentic human being become visible very soon.

— Betty Lim

Reposted from Linkedin.

The UNSHARING ON-DEMAND economy. Of giving a new name to an old scam…

December 3, 2015

rickshaw 1.jpgI lived through the 2000s’ “new economy”. It was supposed to be wonderful. Internet sales were to sky rocket and expand with no end in sight, very much like the infinite expansion of the universe. It was the time when you could take a company public with a business plan written on a single sheet of paper (single sided). Ah, the good ole’ days.

And it all came down crashing. The NASDAQ had risen to over 5,000…and plunged to 2,500. So did the NYSE index. Trillions of $$ of wealth were wiped out. What happened?

For starter, Internet commerce did not expand at the speed of light. Funny how basic human behavior can come in the way of even the shrewdest marketing scam. Then, as cunning as investment bankers are, there is only so much junk they can push on the market before folks realize that, well, it is junk. By that time, the Wall Street crowd had had a field day. But, sooner or later, the music had to stop. It did. The saddest part of it all is this: 1 – even perfectly legit companies with great offering got hammered and 2 – millions of people got screwed, having bought into the “the New Economy is going to make us all rich”.

rickshaw 2You would think that having endured a man-made tsunami, we would collectively become wiser. Apparently not, because in 2008, more trillions of $$ (most of them entirely speculative) got wiped out in the span of THREE months and the economies of the western nations came close to the edge. What was then the reason? Easy enough: that the real-estate market would expand forever like the universe or even faster.

For the past few years, a crop of “new” companies have emerged that want you to think they are “disrupting” existing business models. I think that the Wright brothers, when they flew an airplane for the first time, did actually introduce a disruption worth noting. Reserving an apartment or a cab via an iPhone? Disrupting? Really? Asking groceries to be delivered to my door step via an app? Disrupting? Well, we all have our own notion of what “disruptive” means, right!

Now, here comes a new terminology: the “sharing economy”. Sharing what, if I may ask? Or the “on-demand workers economy”. Hummm…not sure if the folks coming up with these “new” terms realize, but, by and large, we have lived for CENTURIES in the realm of “on-demand workers”. The fellow who has been delivering my favorite Indian food for the past 10 years is very much “on-demand” as well. My ancestors in the Middle Age, in France, were very much “on-demand workers”. I tell you what: it is not because you give your “on-demand workers” an iPhone that you 1 – elevate their status, 2 – increase their wage earning potential and 3 – make them less dependent on your whim.

rickshaw 3I have attached various pictures of“rickshaw” to this posting. Why, would you ask? Why indeed. Simply because the so-called “sharing economy” is very much a derivative of the “richshaw economy”. The Uber and their cohorts are now engaged in the justification of the exploitation of the labor they employ. (Yes, very much like “employees” without the benefits). “We provide opportunities for all these folks to earn a decent income with flexible hour”. How do you spell lie. L- I-E. The likes of Uber control the market their drivers operate in so the Uberites can do as they please…and they do. Surge pricing. Heavy discount. There is nothing. As in N-O-T-H-I-N-G that the drivers can do. Nothing. As for “flexible” hour, it is only as flexible as the amount of money you want to make under Uber Alles. Understand that there is NO difference between a Uber driver today and a poor fellow who pulled a tuk-tuk one hundred year ago.

Now where is the “sharing” in the Uber scam? What is being shared? Certainly not the cost of running a regulated taxi business subject to municipal regulations and taxes. Income? Well, Uber takes 20% of the driving fee. For what precisely? Just think about what exactly they get paid for? And you tell me if it is not a racket. The drivers share what…they certainly share their income with their “employer who does not want to be called an employer but an app”…get out of town! The drivers, however, do NOT share into the insane valuation that Uber’s shareholders are claiming they are worth: $50B…basically to break just about every municipal laws on the books, con the customers, exploit the drivers while showing the finger at everybody in the name of the “sharing economy”. Does it sound familiar? For some of us, it does…it sounds like 2000…2008….and for some us old enough, some scam years before…

rickshaw 4Well, Philippe, this is about technology. No it is NOT. It’s just an app that allows a person to send a message to a driver for a lift. All the other things are just gimmicks.Taxi dispatch via the internet is not new. And the Uber app is not unique. That’s just exploiting the technology developed by a whole lot of other people. But Uber, Airbnb and all the “sharing” economy gigs are NOT technology companies: they are B2C companies who are trying to paint themselves as the “cool guys”…most of them would not recognize a technology innovation if they saw one. They are marketers of the worst kind and have created business models with ZERO innovation and ZERO defensible position. Commodity. Thus they need to spend gargantuan amounts of cash to build market share…market share that has no stickiness to it…but what do they care if they can exit fast and cash out their shares and get handsomely rich in the process. Hey, the “sharing economy”…not sure they will do the “sharing” though.

I saw recently a post on Linkedin by some folks who were all “mesmUberized”:no assets, no cars, no employees (hum not sure about that), no insurance, no regulations, no taxes…and lots and lots of cash. What’s not to like? Amazing. What a new concept! Well, not quite. In the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, this used to be called a name: racketeering. And, if convicted, it would send you to jail. Today, they call it the “sharing economy”…

Amazon recently announced that they wanted “people” to carry packages for delivery. How cool is that? Hey, you do not have a job but you have a cell phone? Got a deal for you! Why don’t you deliver this package on 5th Avenue!

rickshaw 5.jpgThe “sharing economy”. The “on-demand workers”. Give me a big f… break! Call it what it is, please. Scam the consumers. Scam the workers. But please, pretty please, with sugar on top, call it what it is: the UNSHARING economy! Make whatever amount of money you can. But do not try to make us believe that you are doing it “to provide flexible hours and income to workers”. Please this is insulting. We know what you are…you predate on gullible people and displaced workers.Same as folks like you who did it a 100 years ago. Nothing has changed. You did not “disrupt” anything…you called it something else….that’s all!

— 

I have had a very fun life so far, and I am not done yetJ. I am helping high-tech businesses get off the ground and turning around faltering businesses. I am the father of a wonderful 23 years old daughter. I am also a passionate dressage rider. By the way, I do not have a book to sell. I do not want to teach you about the 10 ways to be cool under all circumstances…and YES, I wrote this post myself (for better or worse).

Originally published on LinkedIn.


I am pleased to see I am not the only one to recognise, Uber, Airbnb et al are not the sharing economy.

What we have are serfs working for death star apps.

There is nothing innovative about Uber, we have an unregulated taxi sector unfairly competing with a regulated taxi sector.

Uber is not, as often referred, a technological innovation, disruptive technology destroying an old way of working. It is an unregulated outfit, unfairly competing with legitimate, regulated taxi drivers. From the viewpoint of the Uber driver, working all hours for a pittance, take all the risks, put in the capital investment, meanwhile Uber creams off the profit.

We have, as Paul Mason described at PostCapitalism: Envisaging a Sharing Future, silly money chasing silly projects.

The sharing economy, is people working together,  open co-ops,  collaboration, sharing of knowledge and skills.

French Police abuse Emergency Powers to target and attack climate activists

November 29, 2015
Paris COP21 riot police attack peaceful demo

Paris COP21 riot police attack peaceful demo

What I saw today was Parisians ready to take back their city from fear. In multiple ways, people defied attempts to sweep away dissent and insisted on their right to protest, assemble and disagree passionately with their governments. Even if one does not agree with every action that took place, this general atmosphere of defiance is something to celebrate. After all, government response to the climate crisis is wholly inadequate + puts us all in great danger. Obedience in the face of this failure would be tantamount to acquiescence. — Naomi Klein

This is a disgrace and should not be tolerated, French police using tear gas and pepper spray  against peaceful climate protesters.

In the turmoil, there is greater opportunity for a terrorist attack, not less.

Once again, we see Police and the State abusing Emergency Powers.

If the Emergency Powers are to be used for targeting activists and peaceful protesters, then they should be scrapped.

To introduce Emergency Powers during the weekend of the Paris atrocities, was the right thing to do, including closing borders. To extend beyond, for at least 3 months, was not necessary, and as we see, open to abuse.

Climate activists have had their homes raided, computers seized, been subject to house arrest.

Police should be spending their time looking for terrorists, preventing terror plots, protecting citizens, not attacking peaceful protesters.

All climate marches have been banned. Whilst on the surface this appears reasonable, scratch a little and it will be seen not to be. A football match will go ahead, a trade fair will got ahead, a Christmas market.

Large gatherings of people are permitted if there is money to be made.

John McDonnell: The People’s Chancellor

November 24, 2015

John McDonnell, The People’s Chancellor, a breath of fresh air compared with Ed Balls or Alistair Darling. Unlike economic illiterate chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne, John McDonnell has some understanding of economics.

Once upon a time students had free university education (now £9,000 per annum with Tories wishing to hike the fees), and students got a grant, ie they were paid to study and go to university.

Students not wishing to be at university full-time, could do a part-time course or a sandwich course and study over a longer period, and be in employment.

Now students on a full-time course, are having to put in the hours at work as though on a part-time or sandwich course, not only that, it will be dreary, precarious McJobs, on low wages, often on zero hours.

Apple is relocating its factories to the US. These new factories will not employ American workers, they will employ robots.

Robots will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they do not need to be watered and fed, they do not need to be paid.

The price of stuff is tending to zero.

There is a growing mismatch between GDP and percentage going on wages.

Where we once had well-paid skilled workers with money jingling in their pockets to spend on the High Street we now have precarious workers on low wages, often below the minimum wage, robots on no wages.

This creates a downward spiral. Decimated town centres, slum housing estates.

With tax dodging, low corporation tax, corporations are amassing huge cash mountains, money that is not being invested in the economy.

The polices pursued by George Osborne in cutting money to the poor, are not only morally indefensible, they are also economic illiteracy. The poor spend money in the local economy.

Does society benefit by closing libraries, cutting to a bare minimum social services, the NHS, by privatising these public services?

We need investment, in education, in infrastructure, in green technologies.

We need alternative forms of ownership, democratisation of he workplace, open co-ops, collaborative commons.

Apple is not a good model to follow. A high-tech death star, like Uber, like Airbnb, that is creating a monopoly, control of intellectual property rights (to benefit the few not the many), serfs working for apps, where once unions negotiated for better working conditions and pay, we have atomised workers bidding against each other in a negative auction to force wages and working conditions ever downwards on a race to the bottom.

John McDonnell two years ago.

Europe is Kaput

November 17, 2015
Yanis Varoufakis Royal Festival Hall 00

Royal Festival Hall slowly filling up

Yanis Varoufakis Royal Festival Hall 01

introduction by Royal Festival Hall creative director

Yanis Varoufakis Royal Festival Hall 02

Srecko Horvat with Yanis Varoukis and Slavoj Zizek

Yanis Varoufakis Royal Festival Hall 04

surprise fourth guest …

Yanis Varoufakis Royal Festival Hall 05

Julian Assange

A discussion between former Greek finance minister and professor of economics Yanis Varoufakis and philosopher Slavoj Zizek at Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank in London.  Moderated by  philosopher Srecko Horvat. A surprise fourth member, Julian Assange half way through the discussion (such the magic of modern communications).

A discussion overshadowed by the terrorist attacks by ISIS Friday night in Paris.

Yanis Varoufakis was due attend a conference in Paris on Plan B for Europe. This had to be cancelled.

Why one minute silence at 1100 GMT? Why the French colours on buildings across the world?

France was criticised for closing its borders.

No one knew what was happening. It would have been remiss of France had the borders not been sealed.

We need to be wary of a backlash. We must not allow the creation of a repressive state, controlling and monitoring its citizens.

Soviet union ok it just happened to have a democratic deficit.

The same could be said of EU, ok but just happens to have a democratic deficit.

In the UK, democracy was something that grew organically. The barons challenged the King and we had Magna Carta. The merchants challenged the aristocrats. The industrialists the merchants. The proletariat the ruling class. The banks challenge the industrialists. The role of the state to act as a moderator, to stop one group exploiting another.

EU lacks democratic accountability, it is corrupt, autocratic, it takes away national sovereignty.

Proud nations, with a long history, their sovereignty has vanished into a black hole.

The foundation of the EU, iron and steel and coal federation, a cartel to benefit these industries. An administration to help it run. Agriculture added. Fixed exchange rates enabled price fixing. Fluctuating exchange rates led to the creation of the euro.  Prices could again be fixed. The bureaucrats who run the EU have contempt for democracy.

Th European Parliament a gravy train, nothing to do with democracy or accountability.

Technology allows us to communicate, as never before, and yet we are less well informed as never before. Oligarchs distort and filter the information we receive, they do so to further their own interests.

We have to be better at using technology, to network.

Is it possible to make the EU democratic? Probably not, but if we do not believe it to be possible and try, then it never will be democratic.

The ECB (European Central Bank) could write out a cheque for everyone living in poverty. Exact opposite of policies pursued by economic illiterate George Osborne who is cutting money to the poor.

Meetings of the European Finance Minsters could be live streamed over the internet.  Meetings would then be held in secret, where the real business would be discussed. Make a criminal offence. Eventually they would be caught.

Several trillion dollars siting idle. Put that money to work, invest in green infrastructure, would create jobs and benefit everyone.

We must criticise Islam. We should ignore those whose knee-jerk reaction is to scream Islamaphobia.

A Palestine singer sang of honour killings. He was booed in the US for doing so.

Human rights transcends culture and religion. That women have always been bastardised, part of culture, does not make it acceptable.

US, Europe and Russia must come together and cooperate in the fight against ISIS.

Saudi Arabia an exporter of terror.

Two competing ideologies, Islam and the Death Stars of Silicon Valley (high tech companies).

Apple is relocating factories from China to US. US factories will not employ people, they will employ robots. Robots do not spend money in the economy.

We could and should create a Basic Income.

We cannot have people who have never even visited a company, owning that company or a part of that company, speculative investment. We have to have alternative corporate ownership.

One possibility is open co-ops as postulated by Michel Bauwens. Those who work there have a stake, as do those who are effected, and the open co-op would contribute to the global commons.

An example, though not an open co-op, would be Infinity Foods, a worker-owned cooperative in North Laine in Brighton. They contribute to the local community by granting pensioners a 10% discount.

The opposite end of the spectrum, classic Death Star, facebook, information is captured from users, and goes to fill the coffers of facebook.

A Citizen Assembly, no politicians or parties (examples would be in Iceland and The People’s Assembly in England) drawing up a constitution, how they wish to shape the EU.

TTIP (linking North America and Europe), and its equivalent linking North America with Pacific Rim countries, has a geo-political dimension, it is as much about the countries it excludes (Brazil, China, Russia) as to the countries it includes. It has little to do with trade, it is about handing control to global corporations, it is being negotiated in secret. It must be opposed.

Russia and Putin are understandably paranoid. The West, contrary to agreement reached bewteen Ronald Reagan and Mikhail  Gorbachev, has expanded up to the borders of Russia.

If we do not like Putin, we should work with democrats in Russia.

The surveillance state is like God, all knowing. We can pretend it does not exist, but if we accept it exists, what impact on our behaviour?

As Paul Mason details in PostCapitalism, capitalism is dying. What comes next?

TTIP, tax-avoiding global corporations, marauding high-tech death stars, the rich guarded by private militias, mass unemployment, precarious employment competing with robots in sweatshop factories, serfs working for death star apps, intrusive mass surveillance, monitoring, logging, controlling our every thought, movement and social interactions?

A brutal Caliphate controlled by ISIS?

Or a networked, sharing, collaborative society, where wealth is evenly distributed?

On leaving, everyone asked to have their own internal minute of silence for all the victims of violence across the world.

Books for sale in the foyer by Foyles, The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis and several books by the other contributor panellists.

Sadly no book signing, the event overran by 45 minutes and the Royal Festival Hall had to be evacuated by eleven o’clock.

A very special thanks to Cristina Savini Soler who unable to attend kindly gave me her ticket.