Global Pluralist Economics Training 2020

Decolonize economics! - Global Pluralist Economics Training 2020

In 2020 the Global Pluralist Economics Training (GPET) was born. With 15 participants from all over the world we started this endeavour succesfully and the programme will run in 2021 again. You can find the 2021 call for applications here. And, you can read more about the GPET 2021 below:

The present global economic relationships are complex and diverse – the answers of mainstream economics education, however, are often one-sided and mono-dimensional. Disappointed by the lack of pluralism and critical thinking in economics teaching, students and young scholars of the Network for Pluralist Economics Germany are organizing this year's Online Summer Academy for Pluralist Economics together with the Protestant Academy of Thuringia.

However, as in mainstream economics, perspectives and academics from the global south are underrepresented in the movement for pluralism in economics so far. Especially when discussing topics like unequal development opportunities due to the long legacy of colonialism or the coronavirus crisis, it is precisely the exchange between young people from the global north and the global south that is indispensable.

In order to be able to learn from and debate with each other on an equal footing, we are striving to further internationalize the pluralist economics movement. We want to diversify the discourse on a sustainable and just global economy by taking into account perspectives from the global south as well as the global north. Therefore, more educational events on these topics should take place locally and online in the global south. We are looking for inspiring people that are motivated to implement such educational events. This is why we established the Global Pluralist Economics Training - in cooperation with Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung e.V. - as an extension to the annual Summer Academy for Pluralist Economics in Germany.

The training consisted of five online training workshops on organizational capacity building from July through October 2020. These workshops were complemented by six online meetings in which the participants shared their expertise and we discussed the program. The meetings also provide an open space for the discussion of any upcoming issues. Besides the workshops and meetings, participation in the Online Summer Academy for Pluralist Economics (Aug 10-16, 2020) was also included. Here you can read more about the Summer Academy.

What were the online workshops about?

They provided capacity building and fostered knowledge exchange with the central goal to strengthen the organization of similar educational formats around the world. Besides the workshops, the participants had the possibility to connect with the Summer Academy organizing team to draw from their experiences and networks.

The Results: A collection of interesting online events by the GPET 2020 participants!

As part of GPET, we encouraged the trainees to organize their own workshops in the second half of the year together with possible partners like universities, political foundations and/or NGOs. This could be the first step towards another Summer Academy of Pluralist Economics or a similar educational event that would take place in the so-called countries of the global south. You can find a collection of the events organized by our great GPET 2020 participants and enjoy the insightful documentation:

 Phillipines

Pambansang Utang (translation: National Debt): Breaking Down the Billions Borrowed on Your Behalf. Two-session webinar, Nov 5 and 8 2020.

Patricia, who is part of the youth-led initiative EKONSEPTO (Economics for Every Juan) organized an online webinar that aims to educate Filipinos on the nature of government debt and the terms and conditions in its negotiation phase to address the general public’s sentiments on the borrowing incurred for the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

549 online delegates with additional viewers via live stream across the country benefitted from this event.

Organisation Name: ‚ÄčEkonsepto Contact Person: Patricia Marcella A. Evite (Founder and Economics Guru) Email: ‚Äčekonsepto[at]gmail.com

 Nigeria 1

Pluralist Economics Workshop. Day-long online workshop on 5.12.2020 at Nile University of Nigeria

Abdulrasheed organized a workshop that aimed to introduce young Nigerian economists to heterodox economics while developing their critical thinking skills through a series of online lectures. The event was interactive to enable students to ask critical questions and engage with the leading scholars and experts. The workshops were targeted at students at different levels of study.

A short introduction to the idea of the workshop:

In Nigeria, economics students are hardly introduced to pluralist economics theories throughout their studies. Particularly, the philosophy and methodology of economics are rarely taught in undergraduate economics courses. When they are, deliberations are shallow, lacking critical engagement with epistemological underpinnings and ontological critique of mainstream economics. In addition, students have little exposure to the works of underrepresented scholars, especially from Africa. As a result, emerging economists are only trained in mainstream economics, which leaves them neither equipped to sufficiently appreciate the rich but contested philosophical origins of economics nor able to understand the real solutions to address the complex social, political, and economic challenges facing the country at the world at large.

A discipline in need of a new foundation? Speaker: Professor Abdul Ganiyu Garba

 

 

Toward economic pluralism: Perspective from the history of economic thought. Speaker: Dr Danielle Guizzo

 

Skillsets for critical thinking and research excellence in economics. Speaker: Dr Muhammad Kabir Salihu

 

Decolonizing economics: Perspectives of young African economists. Speaker: Michelle Groenewald, Bandile Ngidi, Abel Gaiya

You can find the slides of the presentations here. The recordings of each session will be uploaded here soon. Free internet subscription and certificates for selected participants.

 Chile/ Bolivia

A Contra-proposal to Neoclassical Economic Policies. A guide route to Chile from the Bolivian experience. Webinar organized by Katherine and Observatorio de Políticas Económicas (OPES Chile) on 10.12.2020.

The main goal of the event was to discuss the Bolivian experience on the development of pluralist economic policies with an alternative approach, which has been successful and seen as an example for the region. This allowed us to highlight the importance of a pluralistic economy in generating modern and creative economic policies that respond to local and particular problems in Chile.

 

Report

During the webinar, the panelists discussed their own perspectives towards the economic policy path that Bolivia has gone in the last 10 years. Particularly, Beatriz talks about the current necessity that Bolivia has on the integration and combination between the State and the Market in order to create a stable economy in the long term. Raul, explained the crucial role of natural resources in increasing public investment and fiscal spending, especially during the current pandemic where the State should take a more predominant role so it can ensure people’s needs. Lastly, Gabriel made an extensive analysis of the growth path from an equity perspective and explained the different policy decisions that conducted Bolivia to grew at a higher rate than the rest of the region. The total of the participant in the event was 43 people.

 Nigeria 2

Solving the Major Economic Problem in Nigeria. A workshop on unemployment policies and solutions. Online workshop on the 12.12.2020 organized by Seun and Babatunde (RE The Uploaders).

Based on extensive research conducted in October 2020, the biggest economic problem identified by over 500 respondents is Unemployment. Therefore the SMEPN for this year 2020 is tagged: Unemployment: Policy review and Recommendation. The aim of this workshop is to educate students especially on the current government policies and understand their effectiveness, as well as proffer viable solutions to the economic problem. Read more about this and find the extensive description on the RE The Uploaders page here.

 Brazil

Popular and Solidarity Economics in the Current Latin American Crisis. This event took place on the 10th of February 2021

The event “Popular and solidarity economics in the current latin american crisis”, was thought as the final product of the exciting and enriching experience that was the Global Pluralistic Economic Training. The event was organized by the Colmeia Solidária group, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. Following the work and research agenda of the group, the webinar focused on the Popular and Solidarity economy. This theme was discussed in a transnational perspective by three guests: Ruth Muñoz, an argentinian professor and researcher at the National General Sarmiento University (UNGS), Genauto C. França Filho, a brazilian professor at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) and Natalia Sciammarella, the Popular Association of Community Banks director. Ruth and Genauto approached how the Popular and Solidarity Economy is an essential topic when discussing the current latin american crisis, while Natalia shared her experience as the director of a well succeeded solidarity economy organization: The Banco Mumbuca.

English subtitles

 

Spanish subtitles

 Uganda

Who is an Economist? The role of Uganda’s academia in preparing relevant economists to solve Uganda’s development needs.

This event took place on the 25th of March 2021. Around 70 people participated in this panel discussion on the role of Uganda’s academia in moulding critical thinking economists, how students should best prepare for life after school, and how they can contribute to economic policy beyond the academic environment. The panellists (Dr. Fred Muhumuza & Mr. Wilson Asiimwe) also explored how crises like COVID-19 have challenged standard economic thinking in sub-Saharan Africa, with Uganda as a case in point. You can find the slides here.

 

There are further events planned such as a pluralist reading circle in Kenya and a heterodox economics summer school in Sudan, which are still in the planning process.

 Overall Outcome

The tragic pandemic situation was a push to develop educational events and other online formats that use the innovative possibilities of online learning and pluralist economics. We got motivated in our quest to transform the economics curriculum by creating new learning spaces like summer schools, writing workshops, and e-learning platforms. The long-term exchange and networking will surely strengthen the global movement for pluralism in economics.

People from a country of the so-called global south (Africa, Latin America, or Asia) who are students, PhD candidates, or working in any other way in economics or a related discipline. The applicants were seeking a more pluralist, a more sustainable, a more socially oriented stance of economics. Some were involved with local or regional pluralist economics groups or networks like Rethinking Economics or De America Soy already

One of the main goals of our program was to support and strengthen your work in your home country. This is easier in a group. That is why we also encouraged applications as teams. We wanted to make the Global Pluralist Economics Training 2020 as inclusive as possible. Therefore, we highly welcomed applications from women and other less represented voices in academia.

 Were there any costs?

No, there was no participation fee. Since the program was online, participants only needed to have access to a computer and a stable internet connection. If necessary we supported by covering internet usage costs.

Application process

To apply for the Global Pluralist Economic Training, participants had to fill out the form below AND attach a motivational statement (1 page) + CV (without a photo).

The motivational statement should touch upon the following questions:

  • Why do you want to join our training?
  • In which way are you already / do you want to be involved in the global movement for pluralism in economics?
  • How, you think, could you benefit from our training?

Our organizing team reviewed all applications. We had a limited number of places to offer in this program. The deadline for applications was June 7 2020 and is closed.

We developed the final program together with the GPET participants.

Donate

This project is brought to you by the Network for Pluralist Economics (Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik e.V.).  It is committed to diversity and independence and is dependent on donations from people like you. Regular or one-off donations would be greatly appreciated.