Message from Minister Müller
Opening remarks by the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr Gerd Müller.
What do you take responsibility for? Your actions? Your family and friends? Your society? What does taking responsibility for someone or something involve? When people try to act responsibly, can they really know the full impact their actions may have?
The world has become a smaller place as societies and work processes have become increasingly interconnected. Yet the effects of our actions are still far away – often out of sight. When we talk about a new development agenda, about a world without poverty, we need to get a better understanding of what the consequences of our behaviour are.
DDD issue #15 will show you a variety of approaches to the topic of “responsibility”. We want to show courageous individuals who set out to change the world. At the same time, complex problems often cannot be solved by individuals and therefore require a common agenda and regulation on a broader scale. We will present some of these initiatives for shared responsibility. When we consider how we should act today, our behaviour is shaped by experiences we have had in the past. What is true for the individual also applies to society as a whole. That is why we are taking a look at the way countries deal with their – often violent – pasts. Taking responsibility frequently looks to the future. We have devoted an entire chapter to visionary projects that want to influence the future.
We are especially pleased that we had the chance to interview Right Livelihood Award laureate Hans R. Herren. Since nutrition is still one of the most pressing global problems, Herren is demanding a far-reaching transformation of agricultural production. Michael Braungart offers another holistic approach. The professor, chemist, entrepreneur and founder of the Cradle to Cradle design explains why we could have not just one, but five earths at our disposal. Marcos Eguiguren, Executive Director of the Global Initiative for Banking on Values (GABV), rehabilitates the bad image of bankers by detailing how they can act responsibly. From an entrepreneur’s perspective, VAUDE CEO Antje von Dewitz argues that we cannot change the world at once; we need to take it in small steps. For her, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Textile Initiative is a move in the right direction. Gerd Hankel is an expert on international law and has spent a lot of time in East Africa where he observed how the people of Rwanda used their traditional Gacaca courts to deal with the crimes committed during the 1994 genocide. Japanese historian Yuki Tanaka examines how a historical opportunity to ban nuclear weapons was lost after the bombing of Hiroshima and demands a sweeping international ban.
Read about slow food in Egypt, smart phones in Africa, the possibilities of big data, and social entrepreneurs who set out to change the world, along with a variety of other interesting pieces…
Enjoy the read and let us know what you think. Be part of the debates!
Your team of editors,
Frederik Caselitz, Patrick Delaney, Maren Zeidler