GLOBALIZATION PART 2: Positive Projects, Trends, and Ideas

June 1, 2007

Globalization Resources from the Carnegie Council

So far, the forces of increasing worldwide economic integration have brought dramatic, but deeply unfair results. On the one hand, millions in certain countries such as China and India have been lifted out of poverty. On the other, untold multitudes remain as poor as ever or have become even worse off than before, and in many developing countries the income gap between rich and poor is widening.

 

Yet there are encouraging signs that as our world gets smaller, awareness is growing that our fortunes are interconnected. We are seeing a movement in more developed countries to address economic imbalances between rich and poor nations, often in new and creative ways. Since bad news always grabs the headlines and positive stories don't get the attention they deserve, this selection of resources features instances of change for the better.

FAIR TRADE IN ACTION

Is Ethical Clothing No Sweat?
Rushaine McKenzie, Carnegie Council
When the 30-year textile quota system ended in 2005, cheap Chinese clothing flooded markets worldwide, forcing many developing countries to downsize their textile industries. However, the growing popularity of "sweatshop-free, ethical clothing" is giving these countries an advantage against their Chinese competitors. (Policy Innovations, November 2006)

The Green Gold Story
Catalina Cock Duque, the Green Gold Initiative
Under the Certified Green Gold Program, first developed in Colombia and now spreading to other parts of the world, certified gold and platinum are sold to local and international fair trade and green markets, and miners receive a bonus on the market value of gold. (Policy Innovations, January 2007)

The Ethical Metalsmiths Story
Jennifer Horning, Ethical Metalsmiths
Ethical Metalsmiths is an organization dedicated to creating a market for metals and gemstones that are sourced and labeled in accordance with broadly-accepted international standards, and connecting independent metal artists and jewelry designers with these "ethical materials." (Policy Innovations, November 2006)

Global Goods Partners Story
Joan Shifrin and Catherine Shimony, Global Goods Partners
Global Goods Partners, a non-profit organization, teams up with women-led groups worldwide and provides them with direct access to new markets in the United States, increasing both their revenue and global awareness of their work. Profits are reinvested in technical assistance and grant support. (Policy Innovations, December 2006)

Mercado Global Story
Ruth DeGolia, Mercado Global
Mercado Global is a non-profit fair trade organization that works with rural community cooperatives in Guatemala. It brings their handcrafted goods to the U.S. market, using a model that provides both fair wages and investments in the communities' long-term development. (Policy Innovations, December 2006)

For more stories like these, go to the Policy Innovations archive.


 

NEW IDEAS IN EDUCATION

The $100 Laptop: The Next Two Billion People to Go Digital
Nicholas Negroponte, MIT Media Lab, One Laptop Per Child
Negroponte, founding chairman of the MIT Media Lab, has started a non-profit organization called One Laptop per Child that manufactures and distributes inexpensive laptops to children worldwide. (Morgenthau Lecture, November 2005)

Oprah's Academy Gets A+
Saul Garlick, Student Movement for Real Change
Oprah's Leadership Academy for Girls is a cutting-edge example in Africa, says Garlick, in response to criticism that it can educate only a privileged few. "She is not only educating leaders, but also fostering within South Africa a sense of leadership among its most underserved population: black girls." (Policy Innovations, March 2007)

The Student Movement for Real Change Story
Saul Garlick, Student Movement for Real Change
Garlick founded the Student Movement for Real Change to empower American students to learn more about the Global South and to improve conditions there. With chapters growing across the country, the Student Movement has helped construct classrooms in South Africa and is raising funds to construct a water pipeline in Kayafungo, Kenya. (Policy Innovations, November 2006)

Building The Village Education Project
Katherine Chamblee, Village Education Project
"After teaching elementary school for ten weeks in a small village in rural Ecuador, I came away from the experience with a lot more than the standard shock at the poverty and conditions in the developing world, says Chamblee. "Instead, I was surprised by how little is really needed to change those conditions." (Policy Innovations, March 2007)


 

BUSINESS AS A FORCE FOR GOOD

Hybrid Value Chains
Valeria Budinich and Olivier Kayser, Ashoka
Hybrid Value Chains, pioneered by Ashoka, is a new approach that combines the capabilities of the business and citizen sectors. An example is a project in rural Mexico where Amanco Corporation is working with farmers and citizen sector organizations to produce and install irrigation systems. (Policy Innovations, May 2007)

Oil, Profits, and Peace: Does Business Have a Role in Peacemaking?
Jill Shankleman, J. Shankleman Ltd., formerly of the United States Institute of Peace
How can and should oil and gas companies work with governments to counteract the destabilizing effects of drilling and international pipelines? (Public Affairs Lecture, April 2007)

Taking Stock of Business and Human Rights: Policies and Practices
Christine Bader, BP; David M. Schilling, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility; Joanne Bauer, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre; and Frank Mantero, GE.
At this conference, Bader describes her experience working on human rights issues and policy development at BP and her work with the UN; Schilling talks about the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility; and Bauer presents the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre's work on human rights policies. (Policy Innovations, March 2007)

Give Bpeace a Chance
Matthew Hennessey, Carnegie Council
The Business Council for Peace helps women build businesses in regions ravaged by war. They believe in a simple, innovative equation: Women + Business = Peace. More than 200 Western business professionals volunteer their time, talent, and accumulated wisdom to mentor budding entrepreneurs in conflict zones. (Policy Innovations, February 2007)

Human Rights, Soccer Balls, and Better Business Practices
Doug Cahn, Reebok
When Reebok looked for suppliers in a Pakistan village that is the world's main producer of quality soccer balls, they found that up to 20 percent of the workers were children. So they came up with a three-part program to ensure that all those making Reebok balls were at least 15, Pakistan's legal working age. (Human Rights Dialogue, Series 1, no. 9, Summer 1997)

Interview with Doug Cahn
What are the motivating factors behind Reebok's Human Rights Production Standards and similar efforts in corporate responsibility? Human Rights Dialogue interviews Doug Cahn about the obstacles and effects of these efforts so far. (Human Rights Dialogue, Series 1, no. 9, Summer 1997)


 

WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE

Building Global Solidarity
Timothy Ryan, American Center for International Labor Solidarity
Ryan discusses how increased global economic integration has led American unions to build stronger links with workers worldwide. While collaboration can be difficult, he shows why the Solidarity Center's work in Cambodia has been particularly successful. (Human Rights Dialogue, Series 2, no. 9, Spring 2003)

 

Cooperation and Conflict
Carolina Quinteros, the Independent Monitoring Group in El Salvador (GMIES)
Acknowledging that the international anti-sweatshop movement has been effective in achieving higher labor standards for workers in Latin America, Quinteros contends that transnational alliances are a mixed bag for activists working at the local level. (Human Rights Dialogue, Series 2, no. 9, Spring 2003)

Beyond Reports and Promises
Terry Collingsworth, International Labor Rights Fund; U Maung Maung, the Federation of Trade Unions, Burma; and Javier Correa, National Union of Food Industry Workers of Colombia (SINALTRAINAL)
The International Labor Rights Fund has formed partnerships with local activists to use the U.S. court system to hold multinational corporations accountable for human rights violations abroad, and unions have confronted UNOCAL in Burma and Coca-Cola in Columbia. (Human Rights Dialogue, Series 2, no. 9, Spring 2003)