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Chapter: Future Developments
Section 1: Sustainable Development Forum
Check these out, too!
Section 2:  Environmental Forum
Section 3:  Energy Forum
Author # Title:  Click to visit article
Martin Kenney
1 Excerpts from 'Value creation in the Late 20th Century: The Rise of the Knowledge Worker' ; in 'Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution', edited by Jim Davis, Thomas Hirsch and Michael Stack, published by Verso, 1997; page 87.
An excellent introduction.
Jonathan King 2 Excerpts from 'The Biotechnology Revolution: Self-Replicating Factories and the Ownership of Life Forms '; in 'Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution', edited by Jim Davis, Thomas Hirsch and Michael Stack, published by Verso, 1997; page 87.
Ajai Malhotra 3 Excerpts from 'The Commission on Sustainable Development' in 'A commentary on the status future generations as a subject of international law'; in 'Future generations & international law'; Earthscan Publications Ltd., London; page 39.
Naresh Singh
& Vangle Titi
4 Excerpts from 'Empowerment for Sustainable Development: An Overview'; in Chapter One; Empowerment: Towards Sustainable Development', edited by Naresh Singh and Vangile Titi; Fernwood Publishing Ltd, 1995; page 6.
  5 Watch this space for new additions!
  6 Pop QUIZ on 'Future Developments Forum'
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Preamble:
Que sera sera ... we can only dream of a world free of want: where the promise of science is fulfilled; where knowledge is unleashed as a social force. We would like to believe that such a future is on the horizon of Bengal. However, to seize this vision, it must be taken up, struggled over, articulated, popularized and made into a material force.

But what can 'Future Vision' do? For too long, the debate about social change has been focussed around old world concepts of a world fast disappearing. We must pose the proper questions, not just towards understanding the world we live in, but towards changing it. New ideas are needed to annihilate the accumulation of exhausted ideas.

Hopefully, 'Future Vision' will contribute to that effort. Join us ... send us your contributions and thoughts: mailto: sankalpatrust@hotmail.com.
Bon voyage!

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CONTRIBUTIONS & ARTICLES:
1. Excerpts from 'Value creation in the Late 20th Century: The Rise of the Knowledge Worker' by Martin Kenney; in 'Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution'; edited by Jim Davis, Thomas Hirsch and Michael Stack, published by Verso, 1997; page 87.
... The expenditure of human energy in physical activity is becoming less important as a source of value, while computers, software and electronics-related technologies continue to grow and emphasize information and knowledge creation.

Knowledge and Value Creation
... It is the ability of human beings to use their intellectual capabilities to create new solutions that is the transformative force of the contemporary period. Such knowledge creation is a profoundly social activity, one that is the result of both - individual effort and social interaction. The inventive event almost by definition is not confined to working hours but rather can occur at any time.

... Management theorists are now preoccupied with trying to understand how organizations must be reorganized to facilitate the accelerated creation of social knowledge and its applications to products (Drucker 1993). ... For the most part, the Left dismisses these developments as ways to assert more control and extract more value from workers - merely postmodern versions of management speed-up strategies. This is, however, a profound underestimation; these new concepts and metaphors are part of attempts to reengineer the role and activities of workers into a new logic of accumulation. In the most fundamental sense, this new logic is no different from earlier ones. However, more than ever, it is based on the power of human beings (as part of social groups) to create value by constantly reconfiguring the work process and/or developing entirely new products to create new needs.

... There are important differences between knowledge value-added and physical-value added goods. For example, pure knowledge goods such as software and databases can be possessed and enjoyed jointly by as many as make use of them; also, knowledge transmission is incomparably less expensive than its creation. The consumption of knowledge is easily collectivised but is difficult to privatise. Capitalists respond by using the political arena to create a monopoly; guarantee its private appropriation of socially produced knowledge.

Knowledge: The Critical Production Factor
The driving force in the economy has become knowledge creation, handling and application as the social process becomes digitalized and brought 'on-line' with the increasing ability to reduce analog materials to a digital form as exponentially more computer power becomes available at essentially constant cost ... The rapidity of price declines in computers has created a situation in which PC and workstation producers often cannot assemble and sell the systems before the system's value has decreased. To cope with this problem, increasing numbers of assemblers are organizing their global production networks. For example, computer logic boards are usually assembled in low-wage countries in Asia. These are then shipped to the US without the CPUs. The assemblers then add the CPUs in the US immediately before shipment to customers. The reason is that CPUs are decreasing in cost so quickly that in the two to three weeks it takes to ship the PC to the US the CPU may already have 5 to 10 percent of its value. As a result, it is less expensive to do final assembly closer to the customer. If the CPU were inserted in Asia, the loss in value could be sufficient to eliminate the assembler's profits ...

The rapidity of this change is dramatically altering the nature of value creation. No longer is it possible to think of commodities simply as physical manifestations of value; it is not their physicality that loses value, but rather the knowledge embedded in the commodity that loses value in the market-place. This rapid devaluation of commodities is spreading from the computer industry to many others as the information revolution / perpetual innovation economy continues to accelerate ...

With knowledge in its various manifestations as the increasing arbiter of value, innovation has become the key to securing favorable location in the global capitalist system. As a result, product life-cycles are becoming shorter ... Technological advances in electronics are incessant and dramatic. In Winchester hard disk drives the areal density of information storage is increasing at 60% per year, and in semiconductors memory capacity doubles every other year, but in both industries prices remain roughly constant or even decline. Thus the price per bit of information is decreasing exponentially ...
 

Software and Value Creation
Software exists, in a general sense, as any set of instructions that directs a machine to undertake a sequence of actions ... This loss of physicality gives software some characteristics of a service, while in other ways it resembles a commodity. Interestingly, software need only be produced once because reproduction is simple. This contrasts sharply with most other goods, which require significant quantities of capital and labor to produce more units and are consumed upon usage ...

The character of software as the driving force in the innovative economy is important because it makes explicit the fact that it is the knowledge embedded in a commodity that creates its value ...

Packaged software is even more unusual in that its value has become completely dephysicalized and is nearly completely contained in the algorithms. The media on which the software is transported accounts for only a tiny portion of the total value. The software itself is merely a tool that can be loaded onto a computer to perform various activites such as setting type or calculating equations ...

... Software is not the only powerful new way to create value. Database creation is also becoming important. The collection and organization of data creates a valuable tool for other users. As an example, a database of addresses of all software companies in the US assembled for scholarly purposes could simultaneously be a valuable marketing tool ... what was formerly a scholarly activity now has a shadow existence as a possible commodity ...
 

The Knowledge Factory
The factory is increasingly being conceptualized and managed as a learning environment. There is increasing evidence that the world's best production facilities operate on such principles. The operation of the factory as more than just a facility for reproducing the blueprints of engineers was systematically developed by Japanese industry to ensure that the factory constantly improved products and processes. It is the understanding that the factory is a laboratory with workers capable of innovation that was the breakthrough. In other words, managers actively develop strategies for harnessing the fundamental human capability to transcend previous solutions and discover new solutions.

Japanese industry also emphasized the social or collective nature of work ... The core of continuous improvement is the harnessing of teams to develop solutions for problems - in striking contrast to Taylorism / Fordism, in which the work process was divided and subdivided into individual efforts. These individuals were isolated and compartmentalized. The new capitalist production system combines the division of production into discrete routinized steps while simultaneously resocializing the workplace and consciously managing the socialness of the production process.

The factory that is to operated like a laboratory requires that the production process must be conducted in a rigourously controlled environment. As in a laboratory, where each step in the experiment must be rigourously characterized so that it is reproducible, the factory's operations require similar documentation. This allows parameters to be changed and the results strictly compared with previous activities. The concept of the factory-as-laboratory continues the argument that production is not only the application of human labor to the object, but more important, the imparting of human knowledge and capabilities to the product ... Whereas the traditional assembly line was built according to plan and then remained static until a new model was introduced, today's assembly line is constantly being improved by employing the intellectual capabilities of workers and technicians ...

... In an environment where knowledge creation and commitment are crucial the nature of the wage relationship must also change. Currently ... the operative principle appears to be that employees are disposable factors of production. The question why workers would be willing to create knowledge for a firm in an environment in which they are expendable is - or should be - an important conundrum for management ... as the production process becomes more automated, workers use ever more capital and any operation downtime becomes extremely costly because both the machines and the components are depreciating. In this situation, somewhat better pay may encourage worker participation in an innovative production process, and this may be less expensive than having undependable workers and rapid turnover.

[Reminder from Essem: This presentation is only an extract. Please read the full article for a more comprehensive understanding of the subject.]

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2. Excerpts from 'The Biotechnology Revolution: Self-Replicating Factories and the Ownership of Life Forms ' by Jonathan King; in 'Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution', edited by Jim Davis, Thomas Hirsch and Michael Stack, published by Verso, 1997; page 145..
A dramatic and revolutionary advance in technology of the past few decades has been the emergence of genetic engineering and biotechnology, providing the capability to transfrom agriculture, food-processing and pharmaceutical production, as well as living organisms themselves, including human beings. A technology that transforms the producers themselves presents both dramatic promises and serious problems. This article explores aspects of the biotechnology revolution with emphasis on the qualitative changes in productivity that arise from harnessing the self-replicating powers of organisms to the production of not just of food but commodities in general. It then explores the inability to realize this potential as a result of new forms of privatization that follow from the industry's effort to gain patents on life forms, representing a qualitatively new form of the private appropriation of social resources.

Transformations in Agricultural Production
The first agricultural revolution represented the harnessing by the human species of the reproductive power of other organisms for food production. It began with the domestication of animals and the invention of agriculture, the ability to grow plants at high density in reliable cycles. The resulting increase in nutrition led to a great increase in the human population and to its geographical expansion. It also sped the further development of culture and other technologies (Braidwood 1979; Kates 1994).

The second leap in agricultural production- the mechanization of agricultural production - was the result of the industrial revolution. In 1820. more than 70% of the US labor force worked directly in agriculture. By 1900, this proportion had fallen to 40%, and by 1980, it was down to 3%. One consequence of the application of machinery to most aspects of agricultural production was a great increase in the size of units that could be planted and harvested. After World War I, mechanization of agriculture was coupled to the introduction of enormous quantities of chemical fertilizers to increase yields, as well as of chemical pesticides and herbicides to limit competing growth or predation.

Concomitant were advances in knowledge of soil conditions and growth requirements and advances in breeding from the application of Mendelian genetics to agricultural crops. In the United States, these sciences emerged from the establishment of the Land Grant Colleges in 1862 and later federal support for agricultural extension services. These advances resulted in further quantitative increases in agricultural production without an increase in agricultural employment. The development of hybrid corn (maize) is often credited with very large increases in production; but recent studies indicate that it also transferred seed production and its profits from farmers to agribusiness (Fitzgerald 1990).

The highly publicized Green Revolution represented the application of advanced breeding techniques coupled with exogenous fertilizer and pesticide usage to rice production and other crops that were key food sources in undeveloped countries. The result has been short-term increases in yields, but it is not clear whether these can be sustained (Bray 1994).

The biotechnology revolution represents another leap in the agricultural revolution, harnessing the enormous self-reproductive powers of organisms for the production of all manner of commodities.
 

Biotechnology: Self-Replicating Production
The productivity of conventional agriculture is often taken for granted. If we plant one kernel of corn in the spring, by the summer there will be a stalk ten feet high with tens of ears of corn and tens of thousands of kernels. This enormous productive capacity is central to the cultures of farmers but is often unappreciated by city dwellers.

Until recently, agriculture as a mans of commodity production has been limited to breeding between unrelated species., The evolution of the extraordinary diversity of living creatures depended on their segregation and separation into species, families, orders and so forth. In the course of their evolution, the genes of pines trees have not mixed with the genes of cows, since these organisms neither mate with each other nor have efficient means of recombining their genetic material. Thus, corn plants produce ears of corn and cows produce milk; prior to the biotechnology revolution it was not possible to tap the capacity of either organism to produce heterologous proteins, food products or materials.

Genetic engineering technology has now made it possible to cross these barriers so that the proteins of animals can be grown in plants and plant proteins in animals. Human insulin is now produced in bacteria. Cows and goats are also being modified to produce a whole variety of human proteins. Harnessing the self-reproducing capacity of organisms is not limited to proteins or other nutritional molecules. Processes for the synthesis of plastic-like fibers and other polymers designed for industrial uses are also under active development.

The development of genetic engineering permits the isolation of genes from almost any organism - humans, clams, oak trees - and their splicing or transfer into genetic apparatus of other organisms. For commercial production technology, the most useful hosts are single-cell organisms which can be grown in a vat, such as bacteria or yeast. These reproduce by the relatively simple fission or budding process. In agribusiness, the hosts of foreign genes are usually crop plants. For some pharmaceutical products, genes of interest may be transferred into goats so as to get production of the foreign protein through the goats udders, milk production and export apparatus.

SORRY! THIS ARTICLE IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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3. Excerpts from 'The Commission on Sustainable Development' by Ajai Malhotra; in 'A commentary on the status future generations as a subject of international law', Future Generations & international law; Earthscan Publications Ltd., London; page 39.
As a result of UNCED (UN Conference on Environment & Development), a 52 member UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNSD) was established and has begun its challenging task in pursuing the implementation of UNCED recommendations and seeing to it that Agenda 21 does not remain a program of action on paper alone ...

The term sustainable development ... is used as the link between environment and development. For example, Principle 4 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development  notes that "in order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it". The essence of the concept of sustainable development lies in the process of improvement of the quality of human life, doing so within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems. Or, as the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development put it, sustainable development is "a strategy of development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." While the prime focus of the concept of sustainable development is on development and thus on a developmental strategy which meets the needs of the present, the qualification sustainable adds an important aspect of also taking into account implications of present policies and actions for future generations.

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4. Excerpts from 'Empowerment for Sustainable Development: An Overview' by Naresh Singh and Vangele Titi; in Chapter One; Empowerment: Towards Sustainable Development', edited by Naresh Singh and Vangile Titi; Fernwood Publishing Ltd, 1995;page 6.
Introduction
The concept of empowerment has been at the center of a reconceptualization of development - a paradigm shift - and the development of strategies for poverty alleviation, particularly in the rural areas. In line with this shift, The Human Development Report states that: Development must be woven around people, not people around development - and it should empower individuals and groups rather than disempower them" (UNDP 1993:1). This rethinking has been brough about by the fact that, despite decades of development assistance accompanied by growth in some instances, the number of people who are in absolute poverty - almost 1.3 billion people (a third of the global population) - continues to increase ...

Empowerment, therefore, is seen as a problematic (need) that arises in a particular historical context characterized by:

  • increased levels of poverty;
  • the failure of modernization and "trickle-down" economics of the 1970s and 1980s;
  • a widespread perception of the state's inability to intervene successfully on the part of the poor;
  • natural resource depletion; and
  • environmental degradation
1. Sustainable Development
The concept of sustainable development reflects both the global threats to humanity as well as opportunities to address the new era of transition towards fundamental global change. It implies a process of change in which the utilization of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological innovation and exchanges, and institutional change reflect both future and present needs. The notion of equity is seen as central to sustainable development and implies less unequal distribution of assets and the enhancement of capabilities and opportunities of the most deprived.

At the more practical, operational level, sustainable development means ensuring:

  1. self-sustaining improvements in productivity and quality of life of communities and societies, including access to basic needs such as education, health, nutrition, shelter and sanitation, as well as employment and food self-sufficiency;
  2. production processes do not over-exploit the carrying and productive capacities of the natural resource base and (thereby) compromise the quality of the environment; and
  3. people have basic human rights and freedoms to particiapte in political, economic, social and environmental spheres of the their communities and societies.
The primary objectives of sustainable development are therefore to overcome poverty and to protect ecosystems, as well as human options. In order to operationalize and measure progress towards sustainable development, the following indicators become relevant:
  • Maintenance of constant natural capital stock such as topsoil, freshwater, clean air, harvestable forests and fisheries, that is, the preservation of the renewal potential of natural resources;
  • Maintainance of environmental sink capacity to assimilate wastes, sewage and emissions;
  • Improvements in the quality of life through entitlements to the means of production such as land, credit, technology; entitlements to political and social organization and to social services; and access to basic needs such as nutrition, shelter, clothing and sanitation; and
  • Economic development which addresses problems of underconsumption and overconsumption.
2. Poverty
A number of definitions of poverty have been arrived at through two processes outlined by Amartya Sen (1981), namely, the identification of the poor through the specification of a set of basic or minimum needs and the inability to meet those needs; and aggregating the characteristics of a set of poor people into an overall image of poverty.
  • Poverty line: Refers to the level of minimum household consumption that is socially acceptable - what Rowntree (1901) calls "primary poverty." It is usually calculated on the basis of an income of which roughly two-thirds would be spent on a "food basket" which provides the least-cost essential calories and proteins.
  • Absolute and Relative Poverty: The phenomenon of absolute poverty is confined mostly to developing countries where the absolute poor are those who fall below the minimum standard of consumption (poverty line). Relative poverty, on the other hand, exists above the poverty line and is perceived as a state of deprivation relative to existing societal norms of income and access to social amenities.
  • Pockets and mass poverty: The phrase 'pockets of poverty' has been applied to localized poor communities in the midst of affluence in the developed countries where the assumption is that the problem is relatively insignificant and can be easily dealt with. On the other hand, 'mass poverty' has been used to describe poverty in the developing countries where the poor constitute a major fraction of the population and where it is becoming increasingly difficult to conceptually isolate the poor.
... Robert Chambers (1983) maintains that the poor are characterised by isolation - due to their peripheral location away from centres of trading, discussions and information, lack of advice from extension workers in agriculture, forestry and health; and in most cases lack of means for travel. The poor experience vulnerability because they have few buffers against contingencies. Small needs are met by drawing on meager reserves of cash, by reduced consumption, by barter or by loans from friends, relatives and traders. They also experience powerlessness as a result of their ignorance of the law, lack of access to legal advice, competition for employment and services with others in similar conditions.

3. Impoverishment
Closely tied to the concept of poverty, impoverishment is an "active process" that leads to diminished access to options and entitlements, and it is not confined only to developing countries. Impoverishment is continuously reproduced and generated by a number of currently active global mechanisms, such as:

  • environmental degradation
  • resource depletion
  • unemployment, and
  • debt.
These mechanisms erode safety nets and widen the gap between rich and poor nations. The processes of impoverishment, which also disempower, are economic, ecological, social, political and cultural. 

In developing countries, the process of impoverishment began with colonization and were exacerbated by subsequent post-colonial attempts to address poverty through modernization approaches. The improvements in infant and maternal mortality rates and in life expectancy, for instance, occurred without concomitant increases in prosperity and greater opportunities for women and has given rise to what has become known as the population explosion (with population growth rates of 2.5% per annum). Southern economies have increasingly become dependent on the North as a consequence of import substitution characterized by a simple transfer of capital intensive technologies and product lines from the developed world.

4. Towards Interlinkages: Sustainable Development, Impoverishment and Empowerment:
A schematic representation of the linkages between impoverishment and unsustainable development is depicted in the figure below.

The path towards sustainable development and the reversal of impoverishment processes lies in the recognition of the existence of mutual and dynamic ineractions between social, political, cultural, economic and ecologcal factors - referred to as "horizontal" linkages. A change in one element or factor "may reverberate through one or various causal chains, eventually trigerring changes in other components". This chain reaction is illustrated in the figure, and is triggered by both external macro conditions such as unfavourable terms of trade and internal macro conditions such as problems with the balance of payments leading to increased borrowing and (enforced) structural reforms.This may in turn lead to new patterns of economic, social, political and ecological activity, ultimately resulting in the disempowerment and impoverishment of communities. The reversal of this process starts with increasing options to the poor by providing them with a true capacity to cope with a changing environment - the capacity to adapt and to be self-reliant - that is, endogenously to define goals, priorities, identity and values.

5. Towards an Operational Concept of Empowerment for Sustainable Development:
Past and current approaches to poverty alleviation and empowerment have included "urban development" strategies premised on modernization and trickle-down paradigms; seeking to improve housing conditions of the poor and to save time in the performance of household work, thus contributing to their well-being and development.

At the "rural development" level, three initiatives have been tried without significant success in poverty alleviation. They include:

  1. The growth pole strategy, which was to introduce industries to locate in chosen cities to set in motion a dynamic process of economic growth and attract the "surplus" rural population to these "poles" of employment generation;
  2. The resettlement strategy; and
  3. The integrated rural development strategy - a multi-sectoral, multi-functional development initiative - with an integrationist approach - in response to the vast array of problems; they were comprised of a package of coordinated responses to health, agricultural extension, credit and technology needs.
The above strategies failed to empower the poor and alleviate poverty on a sustained basis because:
  • they did not have a process in place to learn from the poor about their needs, aspirations and knowledge;
  • the strategies did not identify the national and international structural problems that impact on poverty alleviation processes;
  • the initiatives did not provide the poor with opportunities to solve basic problems for themselves - the problem solving capacity of the poor in the face of adversity was not increased.
6. Empowerment for Sustainable Development:
Empowerment for sustainable development draws its elements from both past and current strategies and integrates them within a socio-ecological framework of analysis. As such, it gives people a true capacity to cope with the changing environment as societies and communities enter the transition towards sustainable development. This transition requires growing social awareness, higher levels of social participation, and the utilization of new insights on ecological processes of change and self-renewal. The thrust of the empowerment for sustainable development approach is "socio-economic, political / educational, technological and cultural / spiritual self-empowerment."
 

7. Empowerment Methodologies and Approaches:
These approaches stress the importance of fact-finding, education and evaluation; with the poor as actors in the processes of development planning and action ... to enable the poor to look critically at their world, to break out of their "culture of silence", and to take control of their own methods of research (they are now actors rather than objects).

a. Research as a tool for empowerment:
"Participatory research" stems from a shift from statist approaches (where the state, policymakers, researchers, etc. provide development solutions to the poor) to people-centered approaches  which recognize the poor people's knowledge base and capacities to initiate changes. The "Participatory research" approach stresses the participants' roles of both - actor and beneficiaries - in the research process and its results. Its success as an empowerment tool, through problem solving techniques and the mobilization of the community's potential for poverty alleviation has been well articulated by the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee's (BRAC's) experiences. At the heart of BRAC's philosophy is the expectation that the villagers will achieve a level of competence which will make BRAC's field workers obsolete.

Another approach closely linked to the "participatory research" approach is the social learning approach, otherwise known as the reversals in learning. Articulated by David Korten (1990) and others, this approach uses the principle of learning directly from the poor by "trying to understand their knowledge systems and eliciting their technical knowledge".
 

b.  Education as a tool for empowerment:
Within the sphere of education, practitioners have grappled with the issue of what type of education is needed to enable and enhance the capabilities of the poor. There is a general agreement that the formal eduation as it is currently practised does not enable and enhance the capabilities of the poor peoples and nations. Rather, it has been a shaky vehicle for the structural changes in the socio-economic and political spheres which are crucial in enabling the poor to participate in their own development. Proponents of an alternative education - known as "education for change", "non-formal adult education", training for transformations" and various other derivatives (Freire 1970; Arnold et al 1991; Hope and Trimmel 1989) have advanced these forms of education to as a vehicle that enables the people to develop skills and capacities which increase their control over decisions, resources and structures affecting their lives; creating the conditions for full and equal participation of the poor people in discussions and decisions, and at the same time empowers all people to act for change - "to see themselves as creators of culture, history and an alternative social vision" (Arnold et al, 1991).
 

c. The Social Analysis Approach:
The social analysis approach, whose well known developer and proponent is the International Grail Movement, has been adopted and adapted by churches, NGOs and international development organizations involved in activities ranging from refugees and displacees to gender and development. It uses a four-tiered approach for change:

  1. the indvidual level, taking into account each individual needs, possibilities, strengths and weaknesses;
  2. the group level, to enhance an understanding of group dynamics and group leadership skills for the purposes of fostering decision-making skills, constructive ways of dealing with conflict, and evaluation methods;
  3. the institutional level, to identify the most significant institutions through which csociety can be transformed (i.e. education, mass media, trade unions, the army, etc.); and
  4. the wider society, which brings in an understanding of the social forces which are operating at any particular moment - either to enhance or thwart efforts for change.
d. Popular Participation:
The notion of popular participation or people's participation in the political, economic and environmental decisions of their countries and communities has been advanced as another tool for empowerment. The extent of its success as a tool for empowerment rests on the understanding of the multiple dimensions that such participation involves (social, cultural,economic) and the development of strategies based on this understanding.
 

8. Significance and Potential of Empowerment  Approaches to Sustainable Development:
The methodologies and approaches discussed above have focussed on social change which encompasses some political, economic and social components of empowerment and have had some success at the local village-community level. The successes of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Organizations for Rural Associations in Progress (ORAP) in Zimbabwe, Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, and others indicate the potential for success of these approaches.

In certain instances, communities which had been unorganized and somewhat inactive have been mobilized to assume initiative for improving their own lives and their communities on a sustainable basis. However, the actual extent of empowerment for poverty alleviation and sustainable development appears to be limited by the fact that gains made have not significantly altered the community's access to internal resources and by the scope of intervention, which is largelt village- or community-based and sectoral in orientation. These limitations can be attributed to the failure to build interlinkages into intervention strategies. At the same time, if empowerment is seen as a means towards the reversal of the impoverishment processes, then the approaches are a starting point in enabling people to engage in identifying the linkages themselves, identifying internal and external sources of their impoverishment, as well as their own strengths and opportunities.

[Reminder from Essem: This presentation is only an extract. Please read the full article for a more comprehensive understanding of the subject.]

DISCUSSIONS:
Comment # 1: Received from:

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Q1. The expenditure of human energy in physical activity is becoming less important as a source of value: (true or false)?
(in words; lowercase)

Q2. The factory is increasingly being conceptualized and managed as a learning environment: (true or false)?
(in words; lowercase)

Q3.A technology that transforms the producers themselves presents no serious problems for humanity: (true or false)?
(in words; lowercase)

Q4. The primary objectives of sustainable development are to overcome poverty and to protect ecosystems, as well as human options: (true or false)?
(in words; lowercase)

Q5. Formal eduation as it is currently practised does not enable and enhance the capabilities of the poor peoples and nations: (true or false)?
(in words; lowercase)



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