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Post your thoughts/ideas/musings on global poverty and climate change for Policywonk - Mumsnet's blogger at the G20 summit...

(188 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Mar-09 17:08:45

Ok so hurrah, Policywonk is to be our Mumsnet representative inside the London Summit as part of G20Voice initiative - a group of 50 bloggers connecting the rest of the world with the G20 world leaders.

There is more information about the project at here but in short G20Voice has been organised by a coalition of non-profit organisations Oxfam GB, Comic Relief, and Save the Children with the support of the Blue State Digital and the UK Government. They have convinced the UK Govt to allow 50 bloggers into the summit with equal access to the mainstream media.

It's a 3 day programme starting April 1st the day before the summit and ending the day after. Day one will be about providing the bloggers with information and helping them get to know each other so that they can understand the issues they and their readers care about. It will be fairly unstructured along Barcamp/Unconference lines. We want the bloggers to decide the priorities and the questions they ask the next day.

The day of the summit will consist of a stream of people from the G20 delegations. They'll be asked to speak with the bloggers either en-masse or at round table discussions. People outside the summit can join in via Skype or phone lines.

The analysis day is about feedback from the bloggers and experts from Govt and NGOs on the decisions and announcements from the Summit.

All three days will be filmed and a video and audio stream will be available.

The main themes are global poverty and climate change/the environment but as they say on the website: 'This is the plan but in reality the event belongs to the bloggers. Everyone attending will have the chance to shape the schedule themselves.'

So anyway, that's the background and here's the thread for discussing your thoughts on global poverty and climate change in particular.

ilovemydogandMrObama Tue 31-Mar-09 21:44:26

this is quite a good website

policywonk Tue 31-Mar-09 21:31:04

I, er, dunno. Haven't actually turned on the telly at all today blush

Excuse me while I post some links to myself:

duncan green poverty to power

I thank you

ilovemydogandMrObama Tue 31-Mar-09 21:25:20

What is Michelle wearing? It's fabulous!

<sorry for being so superficial blush>

policywonk Tue 31-Mar-09 20:16:29

Thank you for that, Hassled. I was thinking about carrying it about prominently at the summit in the hope that it would make me seem more credible grin

I've just received the Media Handbook for the summit. It says there'll be complimentary soup and sandwiches! This is fantastic news. Will post more details when I have them.

Hassled Tue 31-Mar-09 17:30:24

At the risk of lowering the tone, the Guardian has done a handy feature:
Those key G20 questions answered.

mimimyne Mon 30-Mar-09 23:45:58

Hi policywonk,

I may be too late for this, but yes indeed Fair Trade is globally recognised but doesn't cover the eco criteria, only welfare/pay of producers. For some people this may be enough but for me it's not as it doesn't cover issues like the exposure of workers to toxic chemicals and the degradation of the environment through their over use. As organic farming is usually more labour-intensive it does create more jobs for workers but not all organic cotton production (this is what I'm mainly talking about here) is Fair Trade. Ideally all production would be Fair Trade and organic, but that's a long way away.

policywonk Mon 30-Mar-09 23:20:43

Thank you habb, you're a darling. I suppose it could work to my advantage in some ways...

Radio 5 - I just love Simon Mayo's afternoon show (on its way out, it's rumoured sad). I used to spend hours listening to the sports coverage, but that was BC. Also, 100x and I have a childish game in which we try to get on Five Live phone-ins (to make perfectly sensible points, I should say in my own defence). You have to say that your name is Stephanie and that you come from a smallish town (mine is Northampton). (Don't read that bit, Alison.)

Habbibu Mon 30-Mar-09 21:29:37

FWIW, there's a lot to be said for being a generalist in a room full of specialists - means you can listen and look for the bigger picture and connections - that's difficult as a specialist, as you can't help but here what rings bells for your own area.

And you have wonderful clarity of thought and expression - you'll be great.

Habbibu Mon 30-Mar-09 21:26:55

FiveLive? PW, I had you down as a right-thinking R4 woman.

<shakes head, scales fall from eyes>

policywonk Mon 30-Mar-09 17:47:06

Aaaargh! The mothership is calling me home! (Big Five Live fan) Will email you.

gizmo, you are cutting it fine but you make up for it by being fantastic.grin Thanks.

choc14 Mon 30-Mar-09 17:11:27

Hello Policywonk,

I wondered if you would like to come on BBC Radio Five Live to talk about your experiences at the G20 on Thursday. My colleague Jenny (we job share the role of politics producer at Five Live as we're both mums)will be at the summit and will be looking to speak to people with different perspectives. You can contact us direct on Tel 0207 973 6151 or by email Thanks, Alison, BBC Five Live

gizmo Mon 30-Mar-09 17:08:24

Inside voice here?

What am I talking about...sounds like I have a small person in my intestines. I meant inside voice there

gizmo Mon 30-Mar-09 17:01:18

<Gizmo wakes up with guilty snort>

What? eh? Oh, PW, I promised you some bite sized bits of info then vanished without trace. That was not helpful. I'm sorry

Here, then, is a summary of the most well thought out plan for exploiting Africa's solar resource. If you look at the section marked 'status quo' it will give you, for about 10 minutes reading, a working understanding of the policy changes that need to happen.

If you want to go further on the subject of renewables in Africa this presentation is helpful in dividing up the territory by technical and market potential, and The Global energy revolution report has an interesting and specific suggestion in chapter 2 on a model that would support smaller scale, distributed generation in the developing world, while providing a disincentive to produce CO2 for the OECD countries.

And I am sure you will be terrific. I'm mightily excited by the idea of having an inside voice here!

policywonk Mon 30-Mar-09 14:41:02

Thank you for that, Bramshott. Duncan Green (from Oxfam) is one of the other bloggers and he's been publicising that report on the blog site.

There's also a very powerfully-argued (but long grin) speech here about women's empowerment in developing countries - particularly wrt the interplay between education, economic empowerment and sexual/reproductive rights.

Bramshott Mon 30-Mar-09 13:13:17

Interesting article by Ruth Sunderland in yesterday's Observer about how the credit crunch is effecting women and girls in devloping countries: here

Don't worry PW - you will be fine! It is also fablously interesting for the rest of us if you go, and listen, and report back, without feeling you have to shout about loads of things and that you've somehow 'failed' if you haven't shouted about them!

Don't forget to count those comb-overs!

policywonk Mon 30-Mar-09 11:11:29

Good site noopska - thank you

noopska Sun 29-Mar-09 23:47:49

this link illustrates importance of educating girls/women in rural africa

(the least we can do is surf on your behalf!)

policywonk Sun 29-Mar-09 23:03:07

Thank you noopska.

I am genuinely having a small anxiety episode - I just feel I haven't got the time to prepare for this properly.

Will just have to accept that I'm going to be the slightly foolish, capering generalist.

The round tables are only with the other bloggers (there are 50 of us) - but OMG some of them seem really impressive.

I think I will definitely lay most emphasis on the maternal and newborn health issue.

Would like to do something about education of girls, if anyone has anything about that...

I like gizmo's question about the use of sustainable energy sources in Africa

I want to find out what the US plans to do re.Kyoto/Copenhagen climate change treaties

Lots of people are concerned about China, so it will be interesting to see what we can achieve there

Lots of people concerned about the third Heathrow runway

erm... those are the things that I can remember off the top of my head - I will have a proper look through this thread the night before and try to make notes on everything.

Part of the problem is that we won't know who we're meeting (in terms of politicians/delegates) until the day itself, so there's a limit to the preparation we can do.

I'll have to run on here and bark 'MEXICO!' at you all and get you to tell me what to ask.

noopska Sun 29-Mar-09 22:52:13

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and also the European Union

noopska Sun 29-Mar-09 22:50:35

deep breath

You will be brilliant
You are not alone
There is plenty of expertise amongst the mumsnetters i've been very impressed with all the info they've posted on this thread

you have to prioritise the issues you want on the agenda. have you got an idea of what you think you should focus on (as there are so many many issues)?

who is to be on this round table?
B.O. perhaps?

I'm interested in what countries make up the G20 (it may help with getting together some comparable statistics - ie infant mortality).

policywonk Sun 29-Mar-09 22:34:26

They want me to set up RSS feeds and pipetubes. They've all been blogging for hundreds of years in between working for the World Bank and running successful campaigns to address global poverty or carbon capture. HELP

policywonk Sun 29-Mar-09 22:21:13

Thank you for these.

They want each of the bloggers to host a round table discussion on his/her 'area of expertise'. Heck. It seems the freakishly extended breastfeeding will be getting an airing after all.

Jojojoy Sun 29-Mar-09 21:21:20

Hi Policywonk
congratulations on getting this official blogging role - am very pleased that there's going to be a female voice as a blogger at the summit as there's precious few amongst the politicians there

Loads of good ideas about what you should be looking out for already (environment, better consideration of maternity issues etc.) the thing that I'm interested in is what the role for women will be after all the headless-chicken crisis stuff is over.

Seems fairly obvious that the post crisis economy needs to be greener, but what about accepting the reality that happy people work better?
By that I mean work-life balance and realising that more-time-at-work-count-yourself-lucky-to-be-in-a-job approach might not actually be getting the best out of people?
In any case, some of us (with children, with parents that need care etc.) still have brains and skills and would love to use them, but find it hard to do so in traditional work patterns. I know too many mums who were professionals before they had kids but have had to take a much less professional and/or well paid job in order to be around for their kids.
What about more encouragement for business in making this a reality so that employing people with young children is less of a risk and the right to ask to work flexibly is not just answered with "no"?
Oh, and normalising fathers also taking time out to look after children might also make it easier for women and men to fulfil their potential at work, keep families together more, and therefore better for society in general?
Would love to know if anything like that will actually come up - keep us posted!

Anifrangapani Sun 29-Mar-09 17:57:38

I don't know if it has been mentioned.... but farming subsidies screw up the developing economies.

Tinned tomatoes illistrate this point really well. European farmers are paid to produce more tomatoes than the local population need. The excess are shipped to poor countries at a knock down price, undermining the prices of local farmers so the economy stagnates. Food aid has a similar effect - making developing economies reliant on foreign aid hand outs. Several poor countries are now refusing food aid as in the long term it reduces their economic viability - making poverty more prevelent and long term.

However in the present economic climate it would be a very brave polititian who scrapped subsidies as it would harm the farmers who elected them. Much easier to dress it up as doing good and keep your electorate on side than acctually assist the developing world economies.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 29-Mar-09 16:02:51

Do we really need a third runway at HEathrow,in the light of the fact that routes are being cancelled and people are flying less.

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