How is it possible to get closer to global balance? This is the central question we are addressing in the AAI educational program in the years 2021 to 2023. In times of crisis, which we are experiencing particularly painfully through the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for global balance has become stronger. Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has got even more important to address health, social, and economic challenges in a sustainable manner and on a global scale.
To address this broad concern, the Afro-Asian Institute Salzburg is focusing on four specific topics:
- Diversity & Gender Equity - Difference and Diversity in the Struggle for Equal Valuation and Opportunities
- When The Chips Are Down! Focus On Basic Needs
- Constraining / Freedoms Of People, Goods And Data
- Holistic Value Change: We Humans Are Part Of The Community Called Nature
One of the special focus lies on Diversity & Gender Equity. It promotes awareness about societal discrimination mechanisms, using intersectional perspectives to seek constructive solutions. The second focal point deals with the borderline experiences that people go through When The Chips Are Down. It provides insight into particular contexts of social as well as global basic needs. Inequalities in human mobility, migration, global trade, and the effects of data and knowledge monopolies are further explored under the theme of Constraining / Freedoms Of People, Goods, and Data. More balanced alternatives are explored. Finally, the examination of a Holistic Value Change reminds us that nature is a resilient system. This holistic paradigm shift stresses to consider humans as an integral part of nature and no longer to classify them as beings above it.
The aforementioned focal points are intended to stimulate necessary as well as radical changes in thinking and handling. The aim is to establish respectful, sustainable and ecological ways of producing, consuming and dealing with, on a global as well as on a glocal scale. For this purpose, concrete possibilities of action are shown, which motivate to actively work for a world in balance.
In addition to the four focal points of the three-year program, the AAI continues its usual intercultural, interreligious and community-supporting work.
Within the education program 2018-2020 of the Afro-Asian Institute Salzburg the topic "Global Justice? Global Responsibility!" is in the centre of attention. Based on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), as well as the current debates on development, flight and migration, we trace the causes of injustice and its consequences. Further, we ask after the responsibilities and ecourage peopel to accept and demand them.
Under the titel "Global Justice? Global Responsibility!", the focus is on four key areas:
Participants acquire knowledge and are encouraged to critically reflect on the background of global developments. They experience possibilities for action and are encouraged to become active themselves.
In 2015, major global events for development politics and cooperation took place such as the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the climate negotiations in Paris, and Pope Francis’ appeal in “Laudato Si” to stop ecological destruction and climate change. Therefore the AAI focus theme 2016 and 2017 concentrates on the future and runs under the title “Another world is possible!?”, with the following focal points:
1) “I create my world”: How to participate in local sustainability and development
2) “Another world is possible – but how?”: Change and resistance to sustainable development
3) “Another world is possible – but which?”: Future perspectives and visions of development
The first focus, “I create my world” shows how to participate in sustainable development locally. Therefore it is a predominantly interactive focus: “How do we want to live?” is a practice project in which the attendees are going to work together on small local projects for six months. The wide subject gives space for creativity and own ideas. In the successful and regular “Fair World Dinner” the guests and speakers cook a delicious meal together and speak about fair trade, food and sustainability, and food sovereignty. The Mini Handbook “What can I do?” offers information, facts, as well as advice for a sustainable daily life and for conscious consumption in and around Salzburg. It is available on- and offline for everyone and is especially well suited for young people from the age of 14. In summer 2016, the Consumption-critical City Walk demonstrates how our consumption and lifestyle patters affect ecological and social drawbacks in other regions of the world, but also how to counteract. At a panel discussion and “Info Market” in fall 2016, former volunteers will share their experiences on their voluntary service in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
“Another world is possible – but how?” is the question of the next focal point. Which resistances and barriers exist to outshine sustainable and solidary development, where are signs of hope? Due to the current refugee situation, the AAI starts the online educational campaign “On the Run” in January 2016 which will accompany all events and offers. In the framework of the topical weeks “Money rules the world!(?)”, issues like “dept and austerity”, “free trade”, “gender budgeting” and “alternative financial systems” are picked up in workshops, street activities and lectures. The theme day “Energy of the Future” combines short lectures, a Do-it-yourself workshop and a solar cooked buffet, and introduces new and simple innovations for renewable energy. Another theme day takes place in November. With “Another world is possible – who is going to build it?” the participants get the chance to act as the protagonists of international development: In a simulation game they get to know different stakeholders and their ability and scope of acting. The interreligious fireside chat “Power. Violence. Religion.” deals sensibly with religious extremism and the power of interreligious dialogue to overcome religious conflictsThe downsides and potential of sustainable tourism are examined at the Global Space “Fair travelling: Tourism develops”. . The exhibition “Values become alive” stems from the revolution in Egypt and is an artistic approach to the basics and basis of value development within communities.
The third focal point “Another world is possible – but which?” attends to the perspectives and weaknesses of future agendas and to the question, how fair and sustainable the future is going to be. A brunch with lecture “Laudato si: The Eco-encyclical” asks which innovations regarding to climate, energy and sustainability can be taken from Pope Francis’ encyclical. The idea factory “Development reloaded: Images of the Future and different Worlds” looks at the chances of a fairer and more sustainable future and creates scenarios for “another” world.
Find all current events here..
The AAI Salzburg sees the current debate on new development concepts as an opportunity and thus, in the context of its education program for 2015, takes a closer look at the theme Growth and development under the title Are we “fully grown”?
This topic highlights correlations between three different levels:
“How do I live? ‘Me’ within the Growth-Society”,
“How do we live? Development and the Limits of Growth” and
“How do we want to live? Post-Growth and a Decent Life for all”.
A diverse program based on these three levels should guide and support a differentiated discourse on the topic “Growth and Development”, make education and criticism possible as well as show which potential for social and ecological sustainable development exists.
Around the first level “How do I live? ‘Me’ within the Growth-Society” three events are planned. The successful “Fair World Dinner” series continued with a regional “Herb Dinner” on June 11 and a bio-fair dinner in fall. During the consumption critical city walk “Endless Consumption”, which took place thrice in May and June, participants undertook an informative round tour through Salzburg and learn more about globalisation and sustainable consumption. In the context of the “World-Village in Salzburg” between October 9th and 11th, a "tent village" will serve as the site for workshops and interactive games at the Domplatz in Salzburg. The goal is to sensitize for different life opportunities and the unequal situation of allocation in the world.
In spring and fall 2015 several events are planned for the level “How do we live? Development and the Limits of Growth”. On the 7th of Mai Franziskus Forster (ATTAC) spoke about “Endless Growth? The Growth-Society’s Game Rules” at the AAI. On the 2nd of June the theme evening “Planet Earth = Planet Trash? The Outcome of Growth” informed about the topic trash and the consequences of plastic pollution with the help of a “Trash-Action”, a panel discussion and a movie. A recipe competition for the best vegan and vegetarian recipes will lead up to the World Dinner "We cook against Climate Change?”, where we will use the best recipes to create a delicious meal without meat. The World Dinner places meat as a wealth symbol in a global context and introduces the different consequences for the environment, cultivated land and the global food situation.
The third level “How do we want to live? Post-Growth and a Decent Life for all” offers an insight in as well as an examination of alternative models of life and economics in several interactive events. The participants of the workshop “The good Life – But HOW? Alternatives for a Post-Growth-Era” took a closer look at approaches like e.g. “Buen Vivir”, “Solidary Ecology”, “Commons”, “Beyond GDP” or “Feministic Ecology” on the 20th of March. An opportunity to try and do in person is offered by the project “How do WE want to live? Democratic Practice for a sustainable Future”, starting in December 2015 and leading up to the new year program in 2016.
In 2014 the AAI Salzburg focused on the theme “Global Working Environments”. For this purpose a diverse educational program including workshops, panel discussions, World Dinner, a movie night and a fashion display was arranged.
The focus lay on three thematic categories:
“The Power of the Powerless: The Workers”
“The Good Life: Lifestyle and Consumption” as well as
“The Lords of the Factories: Business and Responsibility”,
which not only had shown different perspectives and aspects of the globalized working world, but were also aimed at sensitizing connections between individual lifestyles, consumption, production and work, as well as between the Global North and the Global South.
“The Power of the Powerless: The Workers” concentrated on the portrayal and discussion of the living situation of workers from the Global South. Bad working conditions, famine wages, violations against the human rights and violence are part of everyday life for many workers. The Lecture with Brunch “Women’s Power against Wage Slavery” with Arockiasamy Britto, the head of the Indian NGO Vaan Muhil, started the occupation with this thematic category in March 2014. During the brunch Mr. Britto spoke with the visitors about the exploitation of young Indian girls by so called Sumangali Systems. In the Sumangali System the female workers are promised wages of the amount of a dowry after several years of employment; many of them will never receive this money. Bad working conditions, humiliation and physical injuries are part of the agenda. Furthermore, in the context of International Women’s Day, the Movie Night “Women at Work” was organised, in order to show the challenges female migrant workers are confronted with. Whether as a housemaid in Dubai or as a forced prostitute in Europe, the hopes of paid work in foreign countries often turn out to be a trap. Three selected movies granted the visitors an insight in different realities of female workers. Especially the inhumane and precarious labour conditions in the textile industry have sadly become famous through severe grievances like in Bangladesh. These textile factories supply big world wide fashion chains and thus end up in the wardrobe of millions of people, who contribute to the exploitation with their consumption. In order to raise sensitivity in this context the AAI offered the workshop “Clothes make People – And who makes our clothes?” to the theme “Fair Fashion”. The whole production process of everyday clothes from the cotton plantation to the final product was carefully examined. At the Weltladen Gneis’ Fair Fashion Show the participants had the chance to experience fair fashion as a posh consumption alternative to the normal fashion chains.
As the example of our clothes illustrates, the precarious working situations on the global level cannot be viewed isolated from everyday consumption decisions and actions in the global centres. Thus, in the second thematic category “The Good Life: Lifestyle and Consumption” the attention was focused on alternatives to common consumption patterns and ideas on living the good life, which are connected to sustainability and equality. For this purpose the AAI offered the workshop “Good Life around the World” in October in which one could get to know these different perspectives and ideas about a good life as well as discuss these with other participants. The workshop “Have-Want-Need – How much is enough?” helped to reflect on what and how much is needed for a good life and how one’s own personal needs of a good life actually look like. The Bio-fair World Dinner together with the Erdling club from Salzburg laid a focus on fair and sustainable food. Furthermore the Gift Party in December offered a welcome alternative to the pre-Christmas shopping obligation.
As a point of intersection between workers and consumers the role and responsibility of economic players was examined. Under the title of “The Lords of the Factories: Business and Responsibility” the goal was to show the problems and potentials for responsible business trying to join the effort for fair and humane working environments in the Global South. For this reason a group of experts had a discussion about Corporate Social Responsibility at the Panel Discussion “Taking Responsibility” in November.