On March 3, 2014, Ideagen − a cross sector, collective impact network where the world’s leading organizations convene to innovate and collaborate hosted a summit focused on ‘Empowering Women’, with a focus dedicated to the advancement of women via collective impact.
The Ideagen Empowering Women Summit was held at the Harvard Club of New York on March 3, 2014. European Union Ambassador Ioannis Vrailas, Deputy Head of Delegation to the United Nations in New York, gave the keynote address, highlighting issues of women in education, leadership, workforce, philanthropy and other areas. Additional Ideagen topics included ‘Increasing Post-Secondary Educational Attainment via Collective Impact’ presented by Lumina Foundation and ‘The Business Case for Racial Equity’ presented by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Kyle Zimmer, the president and CEO of First Book, was awarded the Lifetime Collective Impact Award for her dedication to child literacy and collective impact.
“The Ideagen Summit underscored the importance of intentional actions and the value of partnerships and collaborations for improving the conditions for women worldwide,” said Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO of First Book. “It was inspiring to connect with leaders from across sectors who are committed to empowering women. And First Book was honored to be recognized with the Ideagen Lifetime Collective Impact award. We are committed to bringing a world of knowledge to all children growing up in poverty around the world.”
Several member organizations were recognized with awards at the Ideagen summit including, The Ideagen U.S. Collective Impact Award to America’s Charities, and the Founding Member & Collective Impact Award to the following organizations: American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers’, American Red Cross, EdVenture Partners, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the YWCA.
“Our mission is to change the world via zero degree cross-sector collaboration,” said George Sifakis, Ideagen Founder and CEO of Axela. “When organizations and leaders from across sectors commit to solving a specific problem through a collective approach, they can make a collective impact that far exceeds the potential of their individual agendas.”
“We call it zero degree cross-sector collaboration, a necessity for collective impact.” said Adriana Sifakis, Author and Co-Founder of Ideagen.
One Ideagen member summed it up by stating, “Ideagen is like the best of Davos”.
Ideagen is a social good organization serving as the backbone support platform to create and manage collective impact. Our mission is to foster an environment for the world’s leading organizations to collectively innovate and collaborate.
Ideagen membership is by invitation-only with quarterly summits to address large-scale change to meet the unprecedented social, resource, business, political and organizational challenges of today. For more information, visit our website at www.Idea-gen.com or follow our most recent news on Twitter.
New Worldwatch Institute study examines the growth and impact of global agricultural subsidies
Washington, D.C.—In 2012, the most recent year with data, agricultural subsidies totaled an estimated $486 billion in the top 21 food-producing countries in the world. These countries—the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and seven other countries (Brazil, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Russia, South Africa, and Ukraine)—are responsible for almost 80 percent of global agricultural value added in the world, writes Grant Potter in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online trend (www.worldwatch.org).
Agricultural subsidies are not equally distributed around the globe. In fact, Asia spends more than the rest of the world combined. China pays farmers an unparalleled $165 billion. Significant subsidies are also provided by Japan ($65 billion), Indonesia ($28 billion), and South Korea ($20 billion).
Europe also contributes a great deal to agricultural subsidies due in large part to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU). At over $50 billion, CAP subsidies accounted for roughly 44 percent of the entire budget of the EU in 2011. And this figure does not include EU price supports, in which governments keep domestic crop prices artificially high to give farmers a further incentive at the expense of the consumer. Including these price supports, the EU spent over $106 billion on agricultural subsidies in total.
North America provides almost $45 billion in subsidies, with the United States spending just over $30 billion and Canada and Mexico spending $7.5 billion and $7 billion respectively. Of the countries studied by the OECD, 94 percent of subsidies were spent by Asia, Europe, and North America—leaving only 6 percent for the rest of the world.
The term “subsidies” covers a vast number of different policy options, but at the heart of all of them is government intervention in agricultural markets. A common type of subsidy is called direct payments. These are regularly paid to farmers who produce a designated crop and the payments are decoupled from production—which means that farmers can produce as much or as little as they want and still receive this subsidy. Direct payments are the cornerstone of the EU CAP and account for $40 billion of its $50 billion budget.
Subsidies like direct payments and crop insurance are criticized as not being safety nets for poor farmers, as is their stated purpose, but rather a way for wealthy farmers to get richer. The direct payment policy of the EU CAP, called the Single Farm Payment, is distributed by the hectare—so that farmers who own or rent more land receive greater financial benefits. In the United States, the newly expanded crop insurance program receives similar criticism. The Environmental Working Group estimates that in 2011, more than 10,000 farms received between $100,000 and $1 million each in federal crop insurance subsidies, and 26 farms received more than $1 million. In contrast, the bottom 80 percent of farms (389,494 holdings) individually received only $5,000 on average that year.
Price supports are another category of subsidies. They are intended to keep domestic crop prices high enough to encourage farmers to grow crops even during periods of overproduction, when prices would tend to fall due to oversupply. This can be achieved by imposing a tariff or quota on agricultural imports so that potentially cheaper foreign agricultural products cannot drive down domestic prices.
Price supports can cause overproduction and oversupply because they encourage greater production of a specific commodity and less domestic consumption (since consumers tend to buy less as prices rise). Rather than let the oversupply go to waste, it is traded on the international market at artificially low prices. Since subsidized farmers are insulated from the true cost of farming, they can afford to sell at a lower price than their less-subsidized foreign counterparts. Many developing countries have argued that this undermines their own agricultural sectors as they cannot afford to spend billions in subsidies to overcome this handicap.
Further highlights from the report:
- OECD countries alone spent $258.6 billion in subsidies to support farming in their respective countries in 2012. OECD subsidies grew rapidly between 2001 and 2004, rising from $216 billion to over $280 billion.
- Direct payments were a staple of U.S. farm policy from 1996 to 2013, but the $5 billion spent on direct payments was recently struck from the U.S. Farm Bill. In lieu of these payments, the United States expanded the federally subsidized crop insurance program to $9 billion a year.
- Price supports make up almost 70 percent of China's subsidy spending, and the government particularly encourages the growth of staple crops such as rice and wheat.
- According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, least-developed countries turned rapidly from being net exporters to being net importers, and between 2002 and 2008 they saw their food imports jump from $9 billion to $24 billion.
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Notes to Editors:
For more information and to obtain a complimentary copy of “Agricultural Subsidies Remain a Staple in the Industrial World,” please contact Supriya Kumar at email@example.com. Click here to preview the trend.
About the Worldwatch Institute:
Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C. that works on energy, resource, and environmental issues. The Institute’s State of the World report is published annually in more than a dozen languages. For more information, visit www.worldwatch.org.
About Vital Signs Online:
Vital Signs Onlineprovides business leaders, policymakers, and engaged citizens with the latest data and analysis they need to understand critical global trends. It is an interactive, subscription-based tool that provides hard data and research-based insights on the sustainability trends that are shaping our future. All of the trends include clear analysis and are placed in historical perspective, allowing you to see where the trend has come from and where it might be headed. New trends cover emerging hot topics—from global carbon emissions to green jobs—while trend updates provide the latest data and analysis for the fastest changing and most important trends today. Every trend includes full datasets and complete referencing. Click here to subscribe today to Vital Signs Online.
The officials recognized that Virunga is a critical economic driver for eastern DRC, and has the potential to spur further sustainable development in the region. Piebalgs and Labille noted, however, that the site's nature is particularly sensitive, and that oil production would be a major risk.
During their mission, the men met with representatives of civil society organizations who reported that threats have been made against some nearby residents who oppose oil exploitation in Africa's oldest national park.
Soco International PLC may start seismic tests in Virunga's Lake Edward as early as this month, and plans to limit access to fishermen during testing. An independent economic analysis of the park commissioned by WWF found that 50,000 people depend on the lake for jobs, food and freshwater.
In their statement, Piebalgs and Labille triggered an urgent call to action for all relevant authorities and company shareholders to do their utmost to ensure that Soco upholds corporate social responsibility standards and the provisions of international treaties, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
UNESCO maintains that oil exploitation is incompatible with World Heritage Status and has called for the cancellation of all Virunga oil permits. The UK foreign office and the EU, Belgian and German parliaments have previously voiced disapproval of Soco's exploration in Virunga.
TAKE ACTION NOW. TELL SOCO TO LEAVE VIRUNGA.
Reinventing Older Communities: Bridging Growth and Opportunity is a national community development conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia that will be held Monday, May 12, to Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
The sixth biennial conference will examine how communities can promote economic growth in ways that benefit all residents. Hundreds of researchers, business and nonprofit leaders, community development practitioners, funders, and state and local government representatives are expected to attend the conference.
“We’re learning that the strongest communities and regions are those that create opportunities for all residents,” said Theresa Y. Singleton, vice president and Community Affairs officer at the Philadelphia Fed. “This year’s Reinventing Older Communities conference will explore how communities can pursue growth and development in ways that enhance the lives of people across socioeconomic levels.”
Speakers at the conference will include Raj Chetty, William Henry Bloomberg Professor of Economics, Harvard University; Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink; Manuel Pastor, Director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, University of Southern California; and more.
Topics will include:
- How entrepreneurs are reinventing cities
- Changing demographics and the impact on America’s urban renewal
- Connecting hard-to-serve populations and jobs
- Exporting cities in the global economy
- Sustainable and green practices that benefit low-income communities
- Innovative plans that prepare communities for natural disasters …and much more.
Communities flourish when businesses, nonprofits, and governments meet and exchange ideas. Register today to be a part of this conversation.
GreenBiz Group is bringing their annual GreenBiz Forum series to Pheonix, AZ, February 18-20, as part of the Sustainability Solutions Festival and is offering CSRwire members a special discount.
GreenBiz Forum 2014 brings together an unprecedented partnership between GreenBiz Group, The Sustainability Consortium, and the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU to give attendees an unparalleled in-depth look at the key challenges and opportunities facing sustainable business today.
Framed by the seventh annual edition State of Green Business report, the high-wattage stage presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities will make the 2014 GreenBiz Forum an unforgettable event.
This year’s theme is “Getting Further Faster,” reflecting the need to accelerate progress beyond the incremental. Among the key themes will be: Risk and Materiality, Big Data Meets the Supply Chain, the New Corporate Energy Manager, Zero Waste, Net-Positive Buildings, and Integrated Reporting.
Featured speakers include:
- Richard Mattison, CEO, Trucost
- Aron Cramer, President & CEO, BSR
- Tod Arbogast, VP, Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility, Avon Products, Inc.
- Peter Bakker, President, WBCSD
- Francesca DeBiase, VP, Worldwide Supply Chain, McDonald's Corporation
- Aida Greenbury, Managing Director of Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement, Asia Pulp & Paper
- Adam Lowry, Co-founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method