In an article from James Bernard Quilligan: Beyond State Capitalism The Commons Economy in our Lifetimes, Mr. Quilligan wrote “Our global economic system is now in grave crisis, threatening the entire planet, its institutions and species. A new kind of common wealth is needed to protect the assets of Earth, resolve our private and public debts, and create a global society of justice, sharing and sustainability for everyone”. There is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes global commons. However, in an international report from 1980, backed by several international organizations, global commons are said to include the oceans, the atmosphere, “parts of the earth’s surface beyond national jurisdictions,” and Antarctica. The concept is sometimes broadened to include social, intellectual and cultural resources such as traditions, languages, and scientific knowledge.
James Bernard Quilligan has been an analyst and administrator in the field of international development since 1975. He has served as policy adviser and writer for many international politicians and leaders, including Pierre Trudeau, François Mitterand, Edward Heath, Julius Nyerere, Olof Palme, Willy Brandt, Jimmy Carter, and Tony Blair. He is currently on leave of absence as an international speechwriter for His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan of Jordan.
Mr. Quilligan was a policy adviser and press secretary for the Brandt Commission (1978-1984) and the co-founder and policy development director of the Coalition for the Global Commons (2007-2008). He is presently Managing Director of the Centre for Global Negotiations and Chairman for the Secretariat of Global Commons Trust, which develops innovative means of restoring value—beyond business and government— through people’s social, cultural, intellectual, genetic and natural resource commons. He is also collaborating with Prince El Hassan and many United Nations agencies on global commons issues.
How will this new paradigm of a Global Commons effect the life of the global child? First we need to understand development in a new way. How do we create awareness in order to build relationships and new accountability structures that will create positive social change for children? In part two of our conversation we will discuss development from the perspective of trust communities, the common trust, and the health commons. There is a need for a new narrative told by people as knowledge is held in the community and will transform development in a new way.