Advancements in technology: fighting back
Strategies to Build Resilience:
- Re-shoring of Economic Activity by TNCs:
- Some Transnational Corporations (TNCs) are re-shoring parts of their production processes as a way to reduce environmental impact, improve supply chain resilience, and respond to consumer demands for sustainability.
- CSOs have been advocating for re-shoring by highlighting issues like carbon footprint and workers' rights in supply chains. They encourage TNCs to adopt more sustainable and socially responsible practices.
- The re-shoring also helps in mitigating risks such as those associated with long-distance transportation and geopolitical instability.
- Use of Crowd-sourcing Technologies to Build Resilience by Government and Civil Society:
- Governments and civil society are increasingly using crowd-sourcing technologies to gather data, mobilize resources, and engage communities in resilience-building efforts.
- CSOs have utilized platforms like Ushahidi, which was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya, for various purposes including disaster response and environmental monitoring.
- These technologies enable rapid, real-time responses and a higher level of community engagement in risk management and decision-making processes.
- New Technologies for the Management of Global Flows of Data and People, Including Cybersecurity and E-passports:
- CSOs are leveraging new technologies to ensure the secure and efficient management of data and the movement of people.
- In the realm of cybersecurity, organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation work to protect civil liberties online, raise awareness of digital privacy risks, and advocate for responsible data management practices.
- E-passports, equipped with biometric data, have been promoted as a means to enhance the security of international travel. CSOs in the field of human rights ensure that such technologies are implemented in a way that respects privacy and freedom.
- Digital technologies are also used by CSOs to monitor global environmental changes, track wildlife trafficking, and promote transparent governance.
Effectiveness of Civil Society Actions:
The effectiveness of CSOs in these areas is often determined by their ability to collaborate with other sectors, mobilize public support, influence policy, and adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of global interactions. Through campaigns, research, and advocacy, CSOs have brought crucial issues to the forefront of international agendas, leading to the development of international agreements like the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
However, the impact of CSOs can be limited by various factors, including political resistance, limited resources, and the complex nature of global interactions. Despite these challenges, the persistent efforts of civil society are vital in the ongoing quest to manage environmental and social risks and build a more resilient global system.
Evaluate the success of Green Peace and Amnesty International in attempting to raise
awareness about the social and environmental impacts of globalisation.
Greenpeace - Environmental Action
Greenpeace's success can be seen in its ability to bring environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness. Through high-profile campaigns, direct actions, and engagement with the media, Greenpeace has highlighted the urgency of environmental threats such as climate change, deforestation, overfishing, and pollution.
One of Greenpeace's most impactful campaigns has been against nuclear testing, which led to a United Nations Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in 1996. Furthermore, its campaigns against commercial whaling contributed to the International Whaling Commission's decision to place a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.
In terms of finding solutions, Greenpeace has been effective in driving consumer and corporate behavior change. Their relentless pursuit of accountability has led many companies to adopt more sustainable practices. For example, Greenpeace's campaign against unsustainable palm oil led to the adoption of zero-deforestation commitments from major industry players.
However, the organisation has faced criticism over its confrontational tactics, which some argue alienate potential allies and policymakers. Moreover, solutions promoted by Greenpeace sometimes face practicality and scalability issues, challenging the implementation of their vision on a global scale.
Amnesty International - Social Action
Amnesty International has been a powerful force for social change, focusing on human rights violations. Through detailed research, advocacy, and mobilisation of its extensive network of volunteers, Amnesty has successfully campaigned for the release of political prisoners, fought against the death penalty, and worked to stop torture.
A significant success for Amnesty was its campaign for the establishment of the International Criminal Court, which now plays a crucial role in holding individuals accountable for crimes against humanity. Their efforts in the anti-apartheid movement also demonstrated their capacity to influence global social policy.
Amnesty has been adept at using emerging technologies to collect and disseminate information on human rights abuses, making it harder for such issues to be ignored. Their ability to apply pressure through international mechanisms and to governments is a testament to their effectiveness in finding solutions for social risks.
Despite these successes, Amnesty International faces challenges in countries where governments are hostile to human rights advocacy. In some contexts, their calls for change are met with resistance or outright repression, limiting their ability to operate and achieve their goals.
Both Greenpeace and Amnesty International have shown considerable success in raising awareness about global risks. Their campaigns have led to changes in laws, corporate practices, and public opinion. However, the effectiveness of these organizations is often contingent upon the political, economic, and social contexts in which they operate. While they have secured many victories, the scale and complexity of global risks mean that their work is never truly complete.
In essence, the success of both organisations must be evaluated not only by their accomplishments but also by their ability to adapt and respond to an ever-changing global landscape. Their continued relevance and effectiveness will depend on their capacity to engage constructively with diverse stakeholders, innovate in their tactics, and remain steadfast in their commitment to their core principles in the face of evolving global challenges
To what extent do powerful global technologies cause risks that are suffered by ordinary people?
Privacy and Data Security:
- Data Breaches: As personal data becomes increasingly digitised, there's a heightened risk of data breaches, which can lead to the theft and misuse of sensitive information.
- Surveillance: Advanced technologies such as facial recognition and other digital monitoring tools can lead to invasive surveillance, encroaching on personal freedoms and privacy.
Employment and Economic Impact:
- Job Displacement: Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics can supplant human labour across various sectors, resulting in unemployment and economic uncertainty for those lacking the skills to adapt.
- Income Inequality: The dividends of technological progress may be distributed unevenly, intensifying income inequality as those adept at harnessing technology accrue more benefits than those who are not.
Social and Psychological Impact:
- Social Isolation: The ascendancy of digital communication can diminish face-to-face interactions, potentially fostering isolation and affecting mental health.
- Addiction and Manipulation: Technologies like social media platforms can be engineered to be addictive and may bePowerful global technologies indeed pose various risks that can impact ordinary people significantly. The extent of these risks is determined by multiple factors, including the nature of the technology, its deployment, the entities controlling it, and the presence of regulatory frameworks to prevent potential adverse effects. Here are some areas where global technologies might pose risks:
Privacy and Data Security:
- Data Breaches: As personal data is increasingly digitized, there is a heightened risk of data breaches, which can lead to the theft and misuse of sensitive information.
- Surveillance: Technologies such as facial recognition and other forms of digital monitoring can lead to intrusive surveillance, impacting personal privacy and freedoms.
Employment and Economic Impact:
- Job Displacement: Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics can displace workers in various industries, leading to unemployment and economic insecurity for those without the requisite skills to adapt.
- Income Inequality: The benefits of technological advancements can be unevenly distributed, exacerbating income inequality as those who can leverage technology gain disproportionately more than those who cannot.
Social and Psychological Impact:
- Social Isolation: The proliferation of digital communication can lead to reduced face-to-face interactions, potentially increasing feelings of isolation and impacting mental health.
- Addiction and Manipulation: Technologies like social media can be designed to be addictive and may be used to manipulate public opinion or spread misinformation.
- E-Waste: The disposal of electronic waste can lead to environmental health risks, particularly in countries where e-waste is not properly processed.
- Biotechnology Risks: Advances in biotechnology, such as genetic engineering, carry potential risks if not carefully regulated, ranging from ethical concerns to biosecurity threats.
- Cybersecurity Threats: The increasing interconnectedness of critical infrastructure through the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies raises the stakes of cybersecurity, as breaches can have widespread and catastrophic consequences.
- Weaponization of Technology: Advanced technologies can be weaponized, leading to new forms of warfare and potentially increasing the risk of conflict.
- Resource Consumption: The production and operation of technology consume natural resources and energy, contributing to environmental degradation and climate change.
- Biodiversity Loss: Technologies that enable more efficient exploitation of natural resources can also lead to habitat destruction and biodiversity loss.
The degree to which these risks manifest often comes down to governance and regulation. Well-conceived policies, ethical standards, and international collaboration can help mitigate the risks associated with powerful global technologies, ensuring they are developed and utilised in ways that consider public welfare. Moreover, public awareness and advocacy can influence the implementation and regulation of these technologies.
To balance the risks and benefits of global technologies, it is crucial to have strong frameworks for oversight, responsible innovation, and equitable access to the benefits technology offers. By doing so, the potential harm to ordinary people can be minimised, while maximising the positive impact of technological advancements on society.