On giants' shoulders

19 May 2005
Today openDemocracy publishes the first part of a dialogue between activists in India, China and Brazil on what to do about climate change. Read it here.

Cliff Polycarp from India, Rubens Born and Mark Lutes from Brazil and "Angel Green" from China share some serious thinking on activism in their own countries. The results may surprise you.

Brazil, India and China contain not a long way short of half the world's human population. They are three of the most dynamic economies, two of its most ancient centres of civilisation and three of its most vibrant cultures.

As far as we know, no one has tried a dialogue like this before. If openDemocracy can make any claim to a truly global debate on the politics of climate change, this would be first witness in our defence.

"Angel's" real name and that of her organisation have been withheld. This is because we have "democracy" in the title the debate, and we don't want to risk any trouble for her. In this case, the "open" bit has been put aside.

The second part of the dialogue goes up tomorrow.

But even both parts together hardly begin to scratch the surface of the issues . Even four such remarkable individuals cannot do that in this wee space .

It would be great to see further relevant discussion in the forum of the political challenges for the global South (large countries and small). If you do join the debate please cite verfiable evidence for your argument and, please, use your real name unless to do so threatens your livelihood or security.

Thank you

Caspar Henderson

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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