This is session is part of the Webinar "Dialogue on Alternatives in the Time of Global Crises".

Dialogue 1: Covid-19 – a potential opening for Just Transitions?

with Patrick Bond (South Africa) and Rehad Desai (South Africa) as Presenters and Ashish Kothari (India) as Moderator

First, in a series exploring the opportunities of promoting and creating systemic alternatives, this dialogue explores the responses emerging from labour movements, workers, social movements and popular organisations in South Africa. How can campaigns like One Million Climate Jobs and People’s Coalition provide pathways out of multiple crises, both in the present and the future?
  • Date: 17th April
  • Time: 13:30 (UTC/GMT)
  • Duration: 60 minutes


Download: [ Video ] (113Mb) | [ Audio only ] (42Mb)

In detail


Patrick Bond

Patrick is Professor at the University of the Western Cape School of Government in Cape Town, having also taught at the two main universities in Johannesburg and Durban from 1997-2019. He began his career at the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank from 1983-85 while studying at the Wharton School of Finance, and then pursued doctoral studies in economic geography at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore under David Harvey’s supervision. There and in Philadelphia and Washington DC, he gained activist experience in anti-apartheid, student, urban community, labour and international solidarity movements. After moving permanently to Southern Africa in 1989, he served township social movements working on financial justice based at the NGO Planact in Johannesburg from 1990-94. In 1994 and 1996, he worked in the Reconstruction and Development Ministry in President Nelson Mandela’s office. His best-known work is Elite Transition: From Apartheid to Neoliberalism in South Africa, and other critical analyses can be found in the books Politics of Climate Justice, BRICS and Resistance in Africa, Against Global Apartheid, Talk Left Walk Right, Looting Africa, The Accumulation of Capital in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s Plunge, Uneven Zimbabwe and Cities of Gold, Townships of Coal. He was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1961.

Rehad Desai

Following his return to South Africa from political exile Rehad worked as a health and safety/media officer for a chemical workers union and the head of a HIV prevention unit. In 1997 he completed a Masters in Social History at the University of the Witwatersrand, he then entered the TV and film industry as a current affairs journalist, and soon after moved on to focus his energy on historical and socio -political documentary film.

Miners Shot Down released in 2014 won local and international critical acclaim garnering 28 prizes including the Taco Keiper award for investigative journalism and an International Emmy for best documentary. Everything Must Fall is the last film in the trilogy, winning awards at home and abroad. He works in the media and strategy circles of XR and in one of the national spokespersons, he formed part of the of the drafting team for the C19 Peoples Coalition Programme of Action and is part of the national coordinating team.


Ashish Kothari

Founder-member of Indian environmental group Kalpavriksh and has coordinated India’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan process, served on Greenpeace International and India Boards, helped initiate the global ICCA Consortium, and chaired an IUCN network dealing with protected areas and communities. He helps in coordinating the Vikalp Sangam, Radical Ecological Democracy and Global TapestryThe weaving of networks of Alternatives of AlternativesAre activities and initiatives, concepts, worldviews, or action proposals by collectives, groups, organizations, communities, or social movements challenging and replacing the dominant system that perpetuates inequality, exploitation, and unsustainabiity. In the GTA we focus primarily on what we call "radical or transformative alternatives", which we define as initiatives that are attempting to break with the dominant system and take paths towards direct and radical forms of political and economic democracy, localised self-reliance, social justice and equity, cultural and knowledge diversity, and ecological resilience. Their locus is neither the State nor the capitalist economy. They are advancing in the process of dismantling most forms of hierarchies, assuming the principles of sufficiency, autonomy, non-violence, justice and equality, solidarity, and the caring of life and the Earth. They do this in an integral way, not limited to a single aspect of life. Although such initiatives may have some kind of link with capitalist markets and the State, they prioritize their autonomy to avoid significant dependency on them and tend to reduce, as much as possible, any relationship with them. in search of alternative well-being pathways to globalized development.

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