Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of FearAvailable Now.
For those that know me well they will know I used to live in San Sebastian in Spain which by the way has the best food in Europe ;-) In June I managed to go back after 7 years for a weekend. This was a new mural which I loved. I managed to go to my favorite restaurant and see old friends.
San Sebastián shows a dynamic cultural scene, where grass-roots initiative based on different parts of the city and the concerted private and public synergy have paved the ground for a rich range of possibilities and events catering to the tastes of a wide and selected public alike. The city was selected as European Capital of Culture for 2016 (shared with Wrocław, Poland) with a basic motto, "Waves of people's energy", summarizing a clear message: people and movements of citizens are the real driving force behind transformations and changes in the world.
Events ranging from traditional city festivals to music, theatre or cinema take place all year round, while they specially thrive in summer. In the last week of July, San Sebastián's Jazz Festival (Jazzaldia), the longest, continuously running Jazz Festival in Europe is held. In different spots of the city gigs are staged, sometimes with free admission. The Musical Fortnight comes next extending for at least fifteen days well into August and featuring classical music concerts. In September, the San Sebastián International Film Festival comes to the spotlight, an event with more than 50 years revolving around the venues of Kursaal and the Victoria Eugenia Theatre. The city is also home to the San Telmo Museoa, a major cultural institution with an ethnographic, artistic and civic vocation.
Sticking to the cinematic language but lacking its echo, Street Zinema is an international audiovisual festival exploring contemporary art and urban cultures. Other rising and popular events include the Horror and Fantasy Festival in October (21st edition in 2010) and the Surfilm Festival, a cinema festival featuring surfing footage, especially shorts. During centuries, the city has been open to many influences that have left a trace, often mingling with the local customs and traditions and eventually resulting in festivals and new customs.
So if you want to plan a great holiday go to San Sebastian
I was on the 28th of May at my old university - the University of Surrey with my good friend and Water Institute outgoing Executive Director Jamie Bartram to celebrate with receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award who has been recognised for his outstanding contribution work to improve the lives of disadvantaged populations through improving water, sanitation and hygiene in developed and developing countries worldwide. Jamie’s decade-long direction at the World Health Organization changed policy and practice. It was a great evening of fun and some amazing other winners such as Mary Dinah winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Society Award. She is founder and MD of M.A.D Hospitality and has a passion for connecting people to their dream jobs, setting up Nigeria’s first job centre and providing support to victims of sexual harassment. Mary has received numerous awards, including The British Council Social Impact Award 2017 and the Governor’s Recognition of Outstanding Impact on Youth Award, 2016. In 2018, Mary won the British Council Future Leaders Award and has joined a United Nations committee for providing support for displaced persons worldwide.
Comments by Felix Dodds for the event Overturning the Credibility Gap in Traditional PPP: the ‘People-First’ approach for national and local governments. This was at the UN Financing for Development Forum Investment Fair (full video of side event available here).
The 2030 Agenda represents one of the most important sets of Global Goals that the international community has committed to. It is an unprecedented effort that embodies universal aspirations for achieving a more just, equitable, peaceful and sustainable future. It is an excellent example of successful multilateralism.
This ambitious and unique exercise represents a paradigm shift in policy-making for sustainable development. It gives a roadmap by which we all, the UN, governments and stakeholders can work together to address the most pressing global challenges. In this context, the rule of law, as well as effective, robust, participatory and accountable institutions are of the utmost importance to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets.
This is the third book that the Group of Friends of the Governance for Sustainable Development has produced in an effort to share widely the papers that have been presented at the workshops for member States to discuss. The Group recognizes that there is an inextricable link between good governance and sustainable development and that, as the 2030 Agenda is implemented, governance challenges will need discussion and action at all levels and by all institutions.
I would also like to thank my co-authors Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, Carolina Duque Chopitea, Minu Hemmati, Susanne Salz, Bernd Lakemeier, Laura Schmitz, and Jana Borkenhagen for their chapters - which are awesome!! While underscoring that my co-authors do not necessarily agree with the chapters written by other people.
The book will be out in July for the High-Level Political Forum where we will be launching the book. Let me share with you the introduction for the book...and a few reviews out already.
“A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.” (Kennedy, 1966) - continued in my blog here.
My Vision for UNEP - why I am standing to be the next Executive Director of UNEP
The quotes below do not indicate an endorsement for me for the position of UNEP Executive Director they were comments made on my work over the past thirty years.
“Felix Dodds has been a close partner of mine with whom we liaised on many issues around the UN environmental governance reform as well as during the entire period of the OWG. His passion for all matter’s environment and his great network particularly with NGOs and all the various experts that work on the Multilateral process around the environmental agenda is extremely impressive. He is one of the most committed professionals that I have had the pleasure to work with.”Macharia Kamau co-facilitator of the 2015 SDG negotiations (2019)
"Felix Dodds is a passionate and articulate campaigner for environmental sustainability. He has in-depth familiarity with the major international negotiations on sustainable development and has helped to shape the critical policy debates which gave rise to, and accompanied, these processes. He also played an important role in mobilising the contribution of multi-stakeholder groups to these negotiations". David Donoghue co-facilitator of the 2015 SDGs negotiations (2019)
UNEP – Vision and the 50th
The next Executive Director will be overseeing the 50th anniversary of UNEP and that offers a great opportunity to promote a global conversation among the public on the inter-woven stories of the Earth’s ecological systems, our collective environmental resources, and their integrated impact on nations, institutions, and every individual human being’s lives. It also provides an opportunity for a conversation among governments and stakeholders on what UNEP should prioritize in the near - and mid-range future as its contribution to the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals and gaps and challenges in relation of the environment. Those are important and complex conversations that require confident and capable facilitation. (continued here)