Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Registration
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM SMT
(6:00 AM - 7:00 AM EST)
Aula Magna - CEINA
Learn more
Welcome remarks
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM SMT
(7:00 AM - 7:30 AM EST)
Aula Magna (CEINA)
Plenary Hybrid

Welcome remarks

  • Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary, Public Services International (PSI)
  • Irací Hassler, Mayor Municipality of Santiago, Chile (tbc)
  • Magdalena Sepúlveda, Executive Director of GI-ESCR, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
Learn more
Panel discussion: Organising towards a Public Future
9:30 AM - 10:50 AM SMT
(7:30 AM - 8:50 AM EST)
Aula Magna (CEINA)
Plenary Hybrid

Keynote speakers

  • Soledad Cisternas, UN Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility 
  • Rodrigo Echecopar, Director of Climate and Economic Justice (GI-ESCR)
  • Radhika Balakrishnan, (virtual) President, International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) and former Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership
  • Crystal Simeoni, Director, Nawi - Afrifem Macroeconomics Collective
  • Armando de Negri Filho, former coordinator of the Executive Committee of the World Social Forum on Health and Social Security
  • Muthoni Wanyeki, former Regional Director of Amnesty International's Regional Office for East Africa and former Executive Director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission 

Question & Answers

  • Reflections from the floor
Learn more
Logistics and announcements
10:50 AM - 11:00 AM SMT
(8:50 AM - 9:00 AM EST)
Aula Magna (CEINA)
Plenary
Learn more
Coffee Break
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM SMT
(9:00 AM - 9:30 AM EST)
Foyer (CEINA)
Social

Moving to venues:

  • CEINA: 10 min walking distance
  • Universidad Chile: 5 min walking distance
  • Hotel Fundador: 5 min walking distance
Learn more
Economic Justice and Social Protection Sector Meeting
11:30 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Room República 2 - hotel Fundador
Sectoral Hybrid

Background

Half a century of neoliberalism has established a paradigm based on continued extraction of wealth and resources from the global South, and on unlimited economic growth. In this context, public services and social protection systems were largely perceived as a burden for governments and their budgets, better to be commercialised, privatised or outsourced. However, after the numerous crises and destruction it has fostered, the neoliberal paradigm is being increasingly questioned and resisted. 

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the failures of austerity policies and the detrimental consequences of the systemic underfunding of public services for people’s lives. It also highlighted how market-based models cannot be relied upon to deliver on human rights. Inequalities within and between countries have been exposed and magnified, while unpaid domestic and care work has once again stepped up to increase the already huge subsidy to the global economy. A complete failure in tackling the environmental and climate emergencies are increasing evidence of the inherent flaws of the current economic model and the urgency of building a different one.

Overcoming global economic injustice is at the very core of any discussion about expanding public services provision, access and sustainable funding/financing. Domestic mobilization of public resources is essential for States to provide financing for universal quality public services and social protection. However, for many countries, efforts to mobilize sufficient resources are undermined by systemic and international issues, including: neocolonial power dynamics in setting global economic policies (for instance, with the dominance of WB/IMF, OECD and G20 in global economic decision-making), unfair trade agreements, unsustainable and illegitimate debt, tax abuse by multinational corporations, tax havens, loan conditionalities and coercive policy advice leading to austerity measures, and a lack of democratic and inclusive decision-making on global economic governance.

Main objectives

  • Strengthening the global movement working on economic justice and its connection with public service movements. 
  • Developing a collective narrative to mobilize civil society action connecting global demands for economic justice to national and local struggles for human-rights based public services and social protection
  • Identifying campaigning, advocacy and research opportunities/gaps at different contexts (national, regional and global level)
  • Advancing on collective analysis, advocacy, communications and campaigning connecting the dots between global economic justice and local/ national  / regional / sectoral public services and social protection agendas 

Proposed themes/angles

  • Expanding fiscal and policy space for public services - this includes International Financial Institutions (IFIs) conditions that constrain public sector wage bills as a key austerity policy, and fiscal space for public services and social protection
  • Debt justice and public services - there are countries that spend more on debt servicing than on education and health. This can be an strategic entry point to call for and accelerate the fight for debt renegotiation / cancellation
  • The myths around private finance for public services - there is a narrative that supports an increasing role of the private sector - through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and other mechanisms, including the privatization of public services - on the basis of the scarce public finance and the efficiency of the private sector. This overlooks the different challenges of the private financing of public services, including its higher costs and fiscal risks, and the fact that they might contribute to increasing inequalities. In practice PPPs often enable the private sector to exploit public finances.
  • International tax and debt architecture and public services - there is a link between ambitious and progressive tax reforms, debt cancellation/international debt resolution, the financing of public services, and the realization of rights. It is important to discuss how ambitious and progressive reforms of the international tax and debt architecture represent the obvious alternative to austerity.
  • Universal social protection as a way to advance economic justice, reducing poverty and inequalities. This discussion could include financing possibilities as well as program and design choices, especially the pitfalls of poverty targeted Social Protection programs, which are promoted by the WB and IMF.
  • Public Services and value creation -  Austerity narratives and neoclassical economic paradigms ignore the role of the State and the public sphere in creating economic value. It is crucial to challenge this view and discuss how public services, like education, health and others, don't create a burden to the economy and the private sector but are also capable of generating value and are essential for the functioning of our societies.
Learn more
Energy Sector Meeting
11:30 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Room Capitanía - Hotel Fundador
Sectoral Hybrid

Context

The global energy system has been expanding instead of transitioning. Private and foreign investors are handsomely profiting from both fossil fuels and renewable energy alike, while the planet has been reaching a boiling point. For too long governments have left the energy sector to “free markets” that are now turning ever more volatile, especially in the context of the war in Ukraine. As a result, investments in renewables have been dropping and many more millions of people are getting exposed to energy poverty. To turn the tide, the entire energy sector needs to be reclaimed from the market and democratised. Market policies and corporate powers need to be replaced with comprehensive, publicly owned energy systems that are democratic, cooperative and equitable. This would finally allow countries and communities to plan and implement energy transitions that truly center social and environmental justice.

For this, we need to strengthen and expand the Energy Democracy alliance and address energy first and foremost as a life source, treating energy as a human right and responsibility. Instead of grabbing lands, labour and resources across the global South that time and again violates the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other rural communities, Northern countries should acknowledge their historic and moral responsibility in causing the climate crisis in the first place as well as recognising their growing climate debt owed to communities in the global South. This requires prioritising energy usage needed for essential goods and services, among other social reproductive work; partnering with trade unions to determine which industries are in dire need of changing, repurposing or winding down; and, cutting the energy-intensive production and consumption that are concentrated in some pockets in the world, and generally servicing the global North. In combination with sufficient and unconditional climate reparations, full-fledged public energy would provide countries across the global South with the means and autonomy to develop low-carbon economies for their own benefit. In parallel, energy utilities that are the backbone of many energy systems, need to be transformed to truly public serving entities that are governed by a diversity of working people. It follows that utility generation should not only have the Free, Prior and Informed consent from those living on site, but co-develop the entire life-cycle of the project with local, nearby communities so that its mission to universally provision sufficient clean energy is aligned with their needs and livelihoods, not at their expense. As such, democratic public energy systems have the power to reverse exploitation and reshape power relations towards solidarity, sufficiency and self-determination.

GOALS

  • Building a bigger and stronger Energy Democracy alliance around public ownership
  • Bringing public energy, energy democracy, ecofeminism and environmental justice groups together to develop a shared analysis and way forward
  • Developing a common narrative and concrete energy programme, that unpacks public ownership as the condition and democratic mechanisms as tools to turn vision around ecofeminism and decolonisation into policy proposals.
  • Identifying strategic opportunities for collective action
Learn more
Education Sector Meeting
11:30 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid

Context 

Public education represents a transformative possibility for both individuals and society at large, with the fundamental purpose of creating more inclusive, socially just, and peaceful societies. The decolonization and participatory democracy offered by and through public education can liberate people from historical disenfranchisement and oppression. Emancipatory public education can prepare people in order to transform society; otherwise, as Freire notes, the oppressed will dream of becoming the oppressors.

Over the past few decades, we as humanity have embarked on an unprecedented trajectory of providing public education to two billion learners in schools and learning centres worldwide. Globally, we have collectively accepted the challenge of managing a large scale, complex, adaptive system of learning. The concept of free, quality education as a human right is in the process of becoming a living right.

However, a multi-generational project of this scale faces many obstacles in ramping up. In particular, the vast expenditure in public education and its potential for profit has attracted “predatory capital” that privileges private interests and profit over people. We cannot treat education simply as an individual good in which providers profit and learners with resources gain greater benefits from inequitable systems. Instead, we need states to deliver on the human right to free, quality public education for all learners. 

In the past decade, our civil society organisations have advanced the understanding and implementation of the human right to free, quality public education, holding governments and institutions to account for delivering it. We have generated examples of public education working; the challenges public education faces (see our statements); and the role of states, aggregated in The Abidjan Principles, as duty bearers for the human right to free, quality, public education.

Much of this work occurred collaboratively through the Privatisation in Education and Human Rights Consortium (PEHRC), an informal network of national, regional and global organisations and individuals who analyse and respond to the challenges posed by the rapid growth of private actors in education from a human rights perspective and propose alternatives. This year, PEHRC brings together its network and affiliated partners working on similar issues of importance across public sectors at the Our Future is Public (OFiP) conference in Santiago, Chile. 

Objectives

  • Build and reinforce alliances and relationships between actors and movements both within and beyond the Privatisation Education and Human Rights Consortium (PEHRC).
  • Develop strategies to continue to strengthen political momentum and advocacy on education as a human right.
  • Connect across sectors at OFiP to collectively amplify our power and roles in decision-making at the global, regional, and local levels.
Learn more
Food and Agriculture Sector Meeting
11:30 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Room Cabildo - Hotel Fundador
Sectoral Hybrid

Democratizing the economy through food systems

Context

Food systems are webs of actors, processes and interactions involved in different ways of producing, consuming and disposing food. Most recently, the food systems lens has particularly helped civil society organizations and social movements to frame how the different processes of producing and consuming food interact with one another and how the ecological, social, political and economic context constantly shape food systems. In a context of climatic and environmental emergency, where increasing hunger and malnutrition persist and inequalities are on the rise, the food systems understanding has been key in the struggle for the agroecological transition towards food sovereignty. Moreover, it has become evident that the way food systems are shaped and the interactions that compose them have direct impact on the human and planetary health. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown how dominant agro-industrial model within food systems is failing to accomplish its claimed function of nourishing people, while at the same time exponentially accelerating the destruction of our ecosystems. On the other hand, agroecological pathways and territorial approaches within food systems have clearly demonstrated how they can contribute equally to the well-being of people and planet.

Services rendered to contribute to such well-being, and hence the public interest therefore become a core part of a vision towards healthy, equitable, just and sustainable food systems. However, more complex dynamics and articulations need to be considered if we are to dare and think more broadly and recognize healthy and sustainable diets as a public interest, as well as a healthy and safe environment as a social common. This involves not only an underpinning of the private versus the public dimensions and interests, but also the importance of the political understanding of commons as a construct that contributes to the public interest, while also depending on autonomous and collective arrangements for resources that are indispensable for the right to food, such as land, water, seeds,… Throughout all regions of the world, people in the territories are expressing the need for enabling environments in order for the commons to flourish and contribute to the public interest. The social solidarity economy model offers a valuable example of how people’s agency can serve food sovereignty for both the welfare of people and planet.

The systemic understanding that unfolds when acknowledging the true value of food in our  lives and environment, directly leads to the recognition of the importance of reclaiming the public interest. However, in the last years defining the public dimension has increasingly become a difficult exercise, due to the concentration of corporate power in the hands of a few, and their push to privatize a range of key public functions. This is notably seen with the proliferation of public-private partnerships. Therefore, the binarial division between public and private is not as clear as it used to be, and hence the need for the food sovereignty movement to undertake a collective exercise of unfolding the demand of reclaiming the public in this profound reconfiguration of the economy.

This sectoral conference aims therefore at understanding and mapping how these different dimensions and dynamics (corporate, private, public, commons) interact with one another and how one might benefit or impact the other. It will try to reflect from the governance perspective of food systems so to respond to the following questions: 

  • Can we also understand public policies for the right to food as central to the public services agenda?
  • What do we mean with reclaiming the public? What is needed today and in the longer term so that the commons, private and public dimensions and interests/needs independently and/or intrinsically can democratize the economy through the strengthening the agroecological transition?

Objectives

  • The “Democratizing the economy through food systems” will adhere to the principles of theFuture is Public Conference based on:
  • Collectivising knowledge: bringing different expertise and experience together to help each other to understand a big picture.
  • Non-extractive participation: promoting collective ownership of the process and achievements.
  • This sectoral conference will aim to reflect among and bring together the different perspectives of actors and movements. It will look at reaching a collective understanding of how public services are part of the broader public dimension of food systems. Finally, the “Democratizing the economy through food systems” conference will aim to contribute substantially to the later cross-sectoral conferences on 1 and 2 December.
Learn more
Health Sector Meeting
11:30 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Room República 1 - Hotel Fundador
Sectoral Hybrid

Public healthcare services are vital to realise the human right to mental and physical health. However, commercial approaches to healthcare delivery, governance and financing are growing throughout the global health policy discourse. Commercialisation in health can be defined as the growth of a phenomenon where market mechanisms to the healthcare sector to gain a private benefit, including health services, to make a profit.

This threatens progress towards implementing the appropriate conditions and infrastructure necessary to realise the right to health. Civil society, unions and researchers advocating for the realisation of the right to health through strong, resilient public healthcare services are acting globally to illustrate the negative impacts of current upward trends leading to marketisation, financialisaton and commercialisation of healthcare and create strategies to invert them wherever possible.  

The problem is of sufficient importance that the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, indicated that she is “considering an examination of the role played by the privatization of health-care services – including public-private partnerships, financial aid and philanthropy – in attaining universal health coverage” in a report setting out “strategic priorities of work” for her mandate. 

The movement for public health services and against commercialization of health has been growing and new evidence has emerged over recent years. Recent research and advocacy in countries such as Uganda, India, Kenya, Nigeria, the U.S. and Italy has shown how privatisation and commercialisation of healthcare provision can create health inequities and undermine human dignity and the right to health.  Sharp inequalities in distribution and allocation of COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines have laid bare the shortcomings of relying on privatised knowledge systems for medical research and development. When linked to private interests and profit-mechanisms, the system of medical knowledge innovation and research can be detrimental to people's lives and communities in most parts of the world and also undermine the enjoyment of the right to health.  

Within the broader public services movement, key milestones have included the first global “Future is Public” conference held in Amsterdam 2019, which brought together over 400 participants to discuss strategies for putting the “public” back into public services and to build democratic public ownership of the economy. A further milestone was the October 2021 launch of the collective civil society Global Manifesto on Public Services, signed by over 195 organisations.  In this context, health activists and advocates also formed a Consortium against the Commercialisation of Healthcare based on the shared values of advancing the right to health for all and strengthening public financing, delivery and governance of healthcare.  

It is now time to further strengthen and solidify this global movement in support of strong public healthcare services, both within the arena of global health and reaching out across sectors to other constituencies and movements, such as food, environment, education, housing, and transport. We are all aware that, as stated in the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration and grounded in international human rights law, the right to health is closely intertwined with all other human rights and planetary rights. These two dimensions can no longer remain separated. To this end, civil society actors, trade unions, health activists and researchers will meet in Chile for this global conference and gathering, The Future is Public 2022, to participate in four days of sectoral and cross-sectoral convenings.

Learn more
Housing Sector Meeting
11:30 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Multimedia room #1- CEINA
Sectoral Hybrid

The housing and global crisis, exposed by the COVID 19 pandemic and exacerbated by ongoing wars, has made clear the failure of neoliberal policies of privatization and especially, the financialization of the housing sector, implemented by the ruling social classes, most governments, financial institutions,  and supranational and international bodies.

A core element of neo-liberalism has been the erosion of public and housing provision by central and local governments and, as a result, affordable public housing is increasingly unavailable.

Housing as a right can only exist if there is a public service

We must remove the housing sector from the commercial market in order to achieve adequate, secure, and sustainable housing for all. If we are to move forward, it is essential that we strengthen our networks to promote alternative strategies, together with social organizations, trade unions, iinternational networks, universities, progressive local authorities and governments.

After the stage of the World Zero Evictions Days in October, the mobilization of inhabitants will be enriched by the International Conference Our Future is Public: From Global Inequalities to Social, Economic and Climate Justice (Santiago, Chile, 29/11-02/12/2022).This is an exciting and strategic opportunity to implement the Inhabitants' Solidarity Agenda, for re-existing in an alternative to the neoliberal, crisis and war agenda, together with many organizations and networks around the world committed to defending public services (water, energy, health, transportation,among others) in support of The Future is Public: Global Manifesto for Public Services.

Objectives

The strategic goal is to get the housing sector out of the market to achieve good, adequate, secure and sustainable housing for all, in urban settlements in harmony with the countryside and nature, not exploiters. 
Moreover mobilization against wars and for peace is essential.

Our objectives are based on the concept note Going out of the market to conquer good housing for all and everyone, adequate, secure and sustainable for pockets and nature.

To involve the inhabitants' leaders in the articulation of the different aspects of the activities: thematic and inter-sectoral sessions, meetings and exchanges between the different inhabitants' organizations and with the organizations, trade unions and networks of the other sectors to give continuity to the joint mobilization for the defense and development of the public housing sector and the other sectors linked to the right to the city.

Encourage exchange, reflection and international solidarity with the grassroots organizations that have supported the introduction of the right to housing in Chile's new Constitution.

Learn more
Transport Sector Meeting
11:30 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Exhibition room #2 - CEINA
Sectoral Hybrid

The Future is Public Transport Campaign is a campaign demanding urgent investments in public transport to deliver safe, reliable and affordable services for the millions of residents living in our cities. Workers, mayors, union leaders and city residents across the globe are standing together to call on world leaders to make the transformative investments we need to drive a green and just economic recovery, create millions of jobs and confront the climate crisis.

Note on the Future is Public Transport (https://thefutureispublictransport.org/)

Aim

The transport sectoral meetings will have two aims: 

  • to connect metro unions from Latin America with the campaign to defend public metro systems, with quality jobs, strong trade unions and democratic participation in the operation of public transport systems. 
  • to discuss the role of publicly-owned public transport systems in promoting decent work and equity, tackling climate change and connecting our cities based on the existing campaign The Future is Public Transport (jointly organised by ITF and C40 together with global trade union organisations such as PSI, social and environmental movements); 

These two aims are interrelated: the existing campaign helps us put the issue of publicly owned public transport front and centre, while metro systems are essential to making it a reality in Latin America’s largest cities. The meetings will discuss existing organising campaigns and examples of nationalisation/re-municipalisation of public transport around the world, as well as alternative proposals for a sustainable and socially just model of public transport from the unions and social movements involved.

Learn more
Water Sector Meeting
11:30 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Multimedia room #2 - CEINA
Sectoral Hybrid

Background 

At the end of the past century and at the beginning of the new one, organized movements and communities rallied against the forces of the privatization of water management and the commodification and commercialization of its access and supply.

Cochabamba, Bolivia, was the first place where privatization was reverted and where the privatized company returned to public hands. Uruguay was one the first countries where a constitutional amendment was done in order to protect water from privatization. However, over time, social movements learned that return to public hands was not enough and started to talk about the democratization of the public services, such as water.  

Movements from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia came together in existing or new spaces and networks, creating an international water movement that has made possible the UN convention on the rights to water and sanitation and taken a step towards the remunicipalisation of water utilities and the construction of alternative visions and mechanisms contributing to resistance and struggles to defend water.

On the other hand, the peoples, the peasant communities and later the popular urban communities, built organizations and infrastructures to access water. This ancestral heritage is present and is expressed in thousands of organizations that provide water to millions of people in the region. Local self-governing of water and sanitation systems constitute another form of public management.

Objectives

  • Build and reinforce alliances and relationships between actors and movements.
  • Raise consciousness and strengthen political momentum regarding the importance of democratic public services.
  • Revisit the notion of public by exploring other ways of management of water.

Key issues

Faced with the trajectory of the organization of the water sector and others in progress in different countries, we propose to start the sectoral meeting with a panel on the Chilean Water Context in which different views about the political moment in Chile are discussed, placing emphasis on “What are the challenges that are posed for the de-privatization of water in the country?” It is also our intention to dialogue about the constituent process that took place in the country and the issues that emerged in that process. Consistent with our proposal that focuses on the Global South, we are interested in making visible the views of community water systems in the political context in Chile and the region. 

After this first moment, we propose the following thematic issues: 

  • New privatization strategies and remunicipalisation (return to public ownership): 
    • Financialization, corporatization and public private partnerships.
    • Strategies and obstacles for remunicipalisation (how to democratize public water systems: role of the unions and citizens).
    • Collective strategies and mutual support.
    • Strategies to face climate emergency 
  • Community water systems:
    • Main features and threats.
    • Strategies for the defense and strengthening of organizations.
    • How to further democratize community water systems.
    • Community & public partnerships 
    • Strategies to face climate emergency 
  • The right to water and legislations and a broader view of the right to water
    • Experiences from Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, among others.
    • Main proposals.
    • Lobbying strategies, obstacles in the implementation.
    • How can we go beyond the individual right to water? collective rights, biocultural rights, indigenous rights. Right to self-management of water
    • Strategies to face climate emergency 
  • Power in organizations, feminism and gender relations
Learn more
Care Sector Meeting
1:00 PM - 3:30 PM SMT
(11:00 AM - 1:30 PM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid

How current systems of care are pushing workers and service users to the brink and why we need a new vision for care.

Current systems of care are fundamentally unbalanced, unequal and ultimately unsustainable. Care workers are burnt out and still recovering from the traumatic impact of the pandemic. Now the rising global cost of living is forcing care workers to use charities and food banks just to get by.

Around the world care work is shouldered disproportionately by women, both paid and unpaid, inside the household and out in the workplace. In the Global North, care workers are forced into increasingly precarious conditions by the fragmented and privatised care system. In the Global South, care workers fight for recognition and formalisation as their vital contribution to health and care systems remains invisible, marginalised and underpaid.

This event will examine how fragmented, privatised, informal and underfunded systems of care impact workers, service users and wider society. We will hear from trade unions from around the world who represent care workers, leading activists and academics.

COVID has exposed the failings of care in many countries and raised the visibility of the essential workers who provide it. Without fundamental reform to systems of care workers and service users will continue to endure poor conditions. This session will explore what these reforms will look like and how unions and civil society groups can work together to advocate, organise and campaign for a public system of care that values service users and workers.

Learn more
Group cocktail
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM SMT
(4:00 PM - 6:00 PM EST)
Terrace CEINA
Social

The venue, Terrace CEINA, is a 5mn walk from Hotel Fundado.

Learn more
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Water sector meeting
8:30 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(6:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid

Background

At the end of the past century and at the beginning of the new one, organized movements and communities rallied against the forces of the privatization of water management and the commodification and commercialization of its access and supply.

Cochabamba, Bolivia, was the first place where privatization was reverted and where the privatized company returned to public hands. Uruguay was one the first countries where a constitutional amendment was done in order to protect water from privatization. However, over time, social movements learned that return to public hands was not enough and started to talk about the democratization of the public services, such as water.

Movements from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia came together in existing or new spaces and networks, creating an international water movement that has made possible the UN convention on the rights to water and sanitation and taken a step towards the remunicipalisation of water utilities and the construction of alternative visions and mechanisms contributing to resistance and struggles to defend water.

On the other hand, the peoples, the peasant communities and later the popular urban communities, built organizations and infrastructures to access water. This ancestral heritage is present and is expressed in thousands of organizations that provide water to millions of people in the region. Local self-governing of water and sanitation systems constitute another form of public management.

Objectives

  • Build and reinforce alliances and relationships between actors and movements.
  • Raise consciousness and strengthen political momentum regarding the importance of democratic public services.
  • Revisit the notion of public by exploring other ways of management of water.

Key issues

Faced with the trajectory of the organization of the water sector and others in progress in different countries, we propose to start the sectoral meeting with a panel on the Chilean Water Context in which different views about the political moment in Chile are discussed, placing emphasis on “What are the challenges that are posed for the de-privatization of water in the country?” It is also our intention to dialogue about the constituent process that took place in the country and the issues that emerged in that process. Consistent with our proposal that focuses on the Global South, we are interested in making visible the views of community water systems in the political context in Chile and the region. 

After this first moment, we propose the following thematic issues:

  • New privatization strategies and remunicipalisation (return to public ownership):
    • Financialization, corporatization and public private partnerships.
    • Strategies and obstacles for remunicipalisation (how to democratize public water systems: role of the unions and citizens).
    • Collective strategies and mutual support.
    • Strategies to face climate emergency
  • Community water systems:Main features and threats.
    • Strategies for the defense and strengthening of organizations.
    • How to further democratize community water systems.
    • Community & public partnerships
    • Strategies to face climate emergency
  • The right to water and legislations and a broader view of the right to water
    • Experiences from Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, among others.
    • Main proposals.
    • Lobbying strategies, obstacles in the implementation.
    • How can we go beyond the individual right to water? collective rights, biocultural rights, indigenous rights. Right to self-management of water
    • Strategies to face climate emergency
  • Power in organizations, feminism and gender relations
Learn more
Food and Agriculture Sector Meeting
8:30 AM - 1:30 PM SMT
(6:30 AM - 11:30 AM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid

Food systems are webs of actors, processes and interactions involved in different ways of producing, consuming and disposing food. Most recently, the food systems lens has particularly helped civil society organizations and social movements to frame how the different processes of producing and consuming food interact with one another and how the ecological, social, political and economic context constantly shape food systems. In a context of climatic and environmental emergency, where increasing hunger and malnutrition persist and inequalities are on the rise, the food systems understanding has been key in the struggle for the agroecological transition towards food sovereignty. Moreover, it has become evident that the way food systems are shaped and the interactions that compose them have direct impact on the human and planetary health. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown how dominant agro-industrial model within food systems is failing to accomplish its claimed function of nourishing people, while at the same time exponentially accelerating the destruction of our ecosystems. On the other hand, agroecological pathways and territorial approaches within food systems have clearly demonstrated how they can contribute equally to the well-being of people and planet.

Services rendered to contribute to such well-being, and hence the public interest therefore become a core part of a vision towards healthy, equitable, just and sustainable food systems. However, more complex dynamics and articulations need to be considered if we are to dare and think more broadly and recognize healthy and sustainable diets as a public interest, as well as a healthy and safe environment as a social common. This involves not only an underpinning of the private versus the public dimensions and interests, but also the importance of the political understanding of commons as a construct that contributes to the public interest, while also depending on autonomous and collective arrangements for resources that are indispensable for the right to food, such as land, water, seeds,… Throughout all regions of the world, people in the territories are expressing the need for enabling environments in order for the commons to flourish and contribute to the public interest. The social solidarity economy model offers a valuable example of how people’s agency can serve food sovereignty for both the welfare of people and planet.  

The systemic understanding that unfolds when acknowledging the true value of food in our lives and environment, directly leads to the recognition of the importance of reclaiming the public interest. However, in the last years defining the public dimension has increasingly become a difficult exercise, due to the concentration of corporate power in the hands of a few, and their push to privatize a range of key public functions. This is notably seen with the proliferation of public-private partnerships. Therefore, the binarial division between public and private is not as clear as it used to be, and hence the need for the food sovereignty movement to undertake a collective exercise of unfolding the demand of reclaiming the public in this profound reconfiguration of the economy.

This sectoral conference aims therefore at understanding and mapping how these different dimensions and dynamics (corporate, private, public, commons) interact with one another and how one might benefit or impact the other. It will try to reflect from the governance perspective of food systems so to respond to the following questions:

  • Can we also understand public policies for the right to food as central to the public services agenda?
  • What do we mean with reclaiming the public? What is needed today and in the longer term so that the commons, private and public dimensions and interests/needs independently and/or intrinsically can democratize the economy through the strengthening the agroecological transition?
Learn more
Health Sector Meeting
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM SMT
(7:00 AM - 3:00 PM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid
Learn more
Energy Sector Meeting
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM SMT
(7:00 AM - 3:00 PM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid

The global energy system has been expanding instead of transitioning. Private and foreign investors are handsomely profiting from both fossil fuels and renewable energy alike, while the planet has been reaching a boiling point. For too long governments have left the energy sector to “free markets” that are now turning ever more volatile, especially in the context of the war in Ukraine. As a result, investments in renewables have been dropping and many more millions of people are getting exposed to energy poverty. To turn the tide, the entire energy sector needs to be reclaimed from the market and democratised. Market policies and corporate powers need to be replaced with comprehensive, publicly owned energy systems that are democratic, cooperative and equitable. This would finally allow countries and communities to plan and implement energy transitions that truly center social and environmental justice.For this, we need to strengthen and expand the Energy Democracy alliance and address energy first and foremost as a life source, treating energy as a human right and responsibility. Instead of grabbing lands, labour and resources across the global South that time and again violates the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other rural communities, Northern countries should acknowledge their historic and moral responsibility in causing the climate crisis in the first place as well as recognising their growing climate debt owed to communities in the global South. This requires prioritising energy usage needed for essential goods and services, among other social reproductive work; partnering with trade unions to determine which industries are in dire need of changing, repurposing or winding down; and, cutting the energy-intensive production and consumption that are concentrated in some pockets in the world, and generally servicing the global North. In combination with sufficient and unconditional climate reparations, full-fledged public energy would provide countries across the global South with the means and autonomy to develop low-carbon economies for their own benefit. In parallel, energy utilities that are the backbone of many energy systems, need to be transformed to truly public serving entities that are governed by a diversity of working people. It follows that utility generation should not only have the Free, Prior and Informed consent from those living on site, but co-develop the entire life-cycle of the project with local, nearby communities so that its mission to universally provision sufficient clean energy is aligned with their needs and livelihoods, not at their expense. As such, democratic public energy systems have the power to reverse exploitation and reshape power relations towards solidarity, sufficiency and self-determination.

Goals

  • Building a bigger and stronger Energy Democracy alliance around public ownership
  • Bringing public energy, energy democracy, ecofeminism and environmental justice groups together to develop a shared analysis and way forward
  • Developing a common narrative and concrete energy programme, that unpacks public ownership as the condition and democratic mechanisms as tools to turn vision around ecofeminism and decolonisation into policy proposals.
  • Identifying strategic opportunities for collective action
Learn more
Transport Sector Meeting
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM SMT
(7:00 AM - 3:00 PM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid
Learn more
Education Sector Meeting
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM SMT
(7:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid

Context

Public education represents a transformative possibility for both individuals and society at large, with the fundamental purpose of creating more inclusive, socially just, and peaceful societies. The decolonization and participatory democracy offered by and through public education can liberate people from historical disenfranchisement and oppression. Emancipatory public education can prepare people in order to transform society; otherwise, as Freire notes, the oppressed will dream of becoming the oppressors.

Over the past few decades, we as humanity have embarked on an unprecedented trajectory of providing public education to two billion learners in schools and learning centres worldwide. Globally, we have collectively accepted the challenge of managing a large scale, complex, adaptive system of learning. The concept of free, quality education as a human right is in the process of becoming a living right.

However, a multi-generational project of this scale faces many obstacles in ramping up. In particular, the vast expenditure in public education and its potential for profit has attracted “predatory capital” that privileges private interests and profit over people. We cannot treat education simply as an individual good in which providers profit and learners with resources gain greater benefits from inequitable systems. Instead, we need states to deliver on the human right to free, quality public education for all learners.

In the past decade, our civil society organisations have advanced the understanding and implementation of the human right to free, quality public education, holding governments and institutions to account for delivering it. We have generated examples of public education working; the challenges public education faces (see our statements); and the role of states, aggregated in The Abidjan Principles, as duty bearers for the human right to free, quality, public education.

Much of this work occurred collaboratively through the Privatisation in Education and Human Rights Consortium (PEHRC), an informal network of national, regional and global organisations and individuals who analyse and respond to the challenges posed by the rapid growth of private actors in education from a human rights perspective and propose alternatives. This year, PEHRC brings together its network and affiliated partners working on similar issues of importance across public sectors at the Our Future is Public (OFiP) conference in Santiago, Chile.

Objectives

  • Build and reinforce alliances and relationships between actors and movements both within and beyond the Privatisation Education and Human Rights Consortium (PEHRC).
  • Develop strategies to continue to strengthen political momentum and advocacy on education as a human right.
  • Connect across sectors at OFiP to collectively amplify our power and roles in decision-making at the global, regional, and local levels.
Learn more
Economic Justice and Social Protection Sector Meeting
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM SMT
(7:00 AM - 3:00 PM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid
Learn more
Housing Sector Meeting
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM SMT
(8:00 AM - 11:00 AM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid
Learn more
Care Sector Meeting
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM SMT
(8:00 AM - 10:00 AM EST)
Sectoral Hybrid

The study of care policies has its origins in the feminist movement from the 60s and 70s regarding women’s activities in the household. Through these studies, it became clear that the work women do is vital for a productive society, and yet, this work has not been recognized as such. This has created situations of abuse and gender-based discrimination, because most care providers within the household are women who need to devote all their time to care activities, at the expense of their own personal development. Speaking about care is not a simple task, however; according to many scholars, the development of care characteristics in many societies constitutes the core of patriarchal societies, in which there is an unfair division of labour. Contemporary feminism has been very critical of this and has made care an important object of analysis.

Many populations are in need of quality support services that take into account many situations in which care will be needed, including children, migrants and refugees, LGBTQI+ persons, the homeless and housing insecure, as well as women and children experiencing violence. The legitimacy of feminist pledges focusing on the need to have a new social protection framework to develop policies of care that are not discriminatory against women are indisputable, however there needs to be further examination of these policies to construct this new social protection pillar considering agency of people who require support, including the rights of people with disabilities and older persons as well, foremost their right to decide the type of support that would enable them to develop their autonomy. On this same trend of ideas there should be reflections on the progressive autonomy of children and how the development of care policies needs to include mechanisms to consult them and get their point of view. According to international human rights law, people with disabilities and older persons have the right to live independently and be included in the community, and any policies that have an impact on their rights need to be consistent with the general principles that govern personal autonomy and the right to decide how, where and with whom to live.

Ongoing discussions on the development of the social protection systems of care need to incorporate the disability rights perspective of autonomy and support. There is a growing awareness of the need to consider all subjects intervening in care relations to maximize personal agency and choice. Social protection systems of care need to include the principle of autonomy as one of the core elements to effectively comply with international human rights law, including the rights of people with disabilities and older persons.[1]

Learn more
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Plenary Panel on Economic Justice
9:00 AM - 10:25 AM SMT
(7:00 AM - 8:25 AM EST)
Hall Central - Centro Cultural La Moneda (CCLM)
Plenary Hybrid

Swimming against the current: economic policies, ideologies and structures for people-centred public services

The daily struggles of peoples around the world — for food, housing, healthcare, employment — are completely tied to the rules that govern the global economy. And if we want to confront deep injustices and asymmetries, global systemic solutions are urgently needed.

This panel will discuss how the entrenchment of neoliberal ideology, policies and economic governance frameworks has shaped the discursive and material possibilities for public services around the world. It will interrogate the advance of privatised and commodified models of public service provision vis-a-vis the systemic constraints for sustainable mobilisation of domestic resources to comply with human rights and meet social demands, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the debt crises, the climate emergency.

The conversation will also explore the levers for the global feminist, climate and economic justice movements to rebuild a rights-based and progressive agenda for public services grounded on wellbeing for people and the planet.

Keynote speakers:

  • Emilia Reyes, Programme Director of Policies and Budgets for Equality and Sustainable Development, Equidad de Género
  • Laura Carvalho, Co-founder of the Research Center on Macroeconomics of Inequality at the University of São Paulo
  • Jayati Ghosh (online), Co-Chair Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation

Moderator

  • Âurea Mouzinho, Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ)
Learn more
Break
10:25 AM - 10:45 AM SMT
(8:25 AM - 8:45 AM EST)
Centro Cultural
Social
Learn more
Plenary panel: Democratic Public Ownership
10:45 AM - 12:10 PM SMT
(8:45 AM - 10:10 AM EST)
Hall Central - Centro Cultural La Moneda (CCLM)
Plenary Hybrid

Democratic public ownership, community collaborations and reimagining the role of government

Counter narratives to the evolving forces of neoliberalism and authoritarianism require imagining, proposing and developing new forms of public ownership and accountability, opening the door towards worker and resident participation and community-led initiatives and innovation within local, regional, and national governments. We need to question and transform the role of “the State” by organising for local to internationalist mass movements that call for democratic and participatory governments that genuinely share and co-create wealth and economic decisionmaking powers with working people and other rights-holders. At the same time, we need to fight both privatisation and growing repression and authoritarianism by strengthening and expanding public services as well as by building equitable public-community, public-public, and public-worker collaborations to ensure that all public services, enterprises, and assets are owned, organised and governed in the most democratic fashion.

  • What have we learned about democratic public ownership and services since 2019, especially with regards to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • What can we learn from (Chilean and other) history as well as contemporary experiences with regards to democratising public ownership and services? What is the current status of key examples and cases from around the world? Which new or ongoing challenges should we be ready for?
  • How can we force governments to share decision-making powers with communities and working people to jointly own, control and govern public services, assets and enterprises?
  • What experiences of democratic public ownership (including public-community, public-public, and public-worker collaborations) are challenging neoliberal paradigms? Are there any new / exciting practices and proposals that have not received much attention so far?

Keynote speakers:

  • Aderonke Ige, Associate Director, Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa
  • Anita Gurumurthy, Executive Director, IT for Change
  • Javier Marquez, Corporation Penca de Sábil
  • Alexander Panez Pinto, Assistant Professor at the University of Bio-Bio in Chile

Moderator

  • Lavinia Steinfort, TNI
Learn more
Workshops
12:10 PM - 4:30 PM SMT
(10:10 AM - 2:30 PM EST)
Workshop Hybrid

Two parallel cross-thematic workshops will be held in person as follows:

  • Democratic public ownership, community collaborations and reimagining government.
  • Economic, tax and debt justice and financing universal public services.

There is limited capacity for workshop. Participants will need to register in advance to participate and will be determined on a first come first served basis.

You can register through the e-mail that was sent to you from "Our Future is Public" - look for the registration button at the bottom of the e-mail.

Learn more
Workshop 1 : Democratic Public Ownership
12:10 PM - 4:30 PM SMT
(10:10 AM - 2:30 PM EST)
Sala Enrique Sazié - Universidad de Chile
Workshop Hybrid

Democratic Public Ownership: How Do We Bring Services and Resources Back Into Public Hands? 
12.10 – 13.30 (first part)

The first part of this workshop explores recent developments in public ownership around the world, and unpacks the opportunities and challenges in realising the democratic goals of organisers and activists seeking to transform structures of governance. 

Specifically, this workshop will address the tension between more centralised ideas on public ownership and more grass roots/decentralised initiatives. The opportunities and pitfalls of the different approaches of public ownership will be contextualised and critically evaluated.

Speakers

  • David Hall, PSIRU (online)
  • Laura Stegemann - Public Futures Database
  • Katia Valenzuela, University of Concepcion.

Moderator

  • Rosie Collington, UCL Institue for Innovation and Public Purpose

Workshop: Remunicipalisation, commoning and a politics of care: shifting narratives
15.00 – 16.30 (second part)

Daria Cibrario will kick off the second part of the Democratic Public Ownership workshop by showcasing how remunicipalisation is increasingly recognized as an effective strategy to deprivatise and democratise local public services. After that 5-min pitches and interactive break-out groups will follow. Vera Weghmann of PSIRU will unpack which steps local councillors can take bring local public services back into collective hands and talk about the new Shifting Narratives network to brings academics, trade unionists and activists together to build new narratives and power for better and more social public spending, services and production. Sophie Bloemen of the Commons Network will share how a politics of care work and municipalist processes can inform and advance democratic public service provision. Katia Valenzuela will discuss how democratic public ownership of services and resources could facilitate, interact and defend autonomous responses of communities and practices of commoning. One or two more pitches and break-out groups might be added.

In the last half hour, we come back together for a round table conversation about how we can build a more powerful social movement(s) for public services and resources to be in public, collective and democratic hands.

Which strategies, practices and/or campaigns in your community/you are aware of that effectively returning public services into public ownership and control / de-privatiszing them while advancing expanded access & quality for users? What could be good practices to look at in your view?

Public services 2.0 - How does can the democratic ownership of public services work concretely? Which governance systems / public policies / ownership models , participatory mechanisms, workplace democracy and public-community collaborations concretely increase democratic decision-making, improve public service provision and contribute to social, economic and climate justice?

How can we build a collective vision and reality of democratic, accountable State belonging to the people, not to authoritarian rulers, vested and corporate interests? What is the role of public services in this form of State 2.0 in the making?

How can citizens/workers/users individually and collectively work and act towards universal quality public service provision and democratisation ?

Speakers

  • Vera Weghmann, PSIRU
  • Sophie Bloemen, Commons Network
  • Katia Valenzuela, University of Concepcion

Moderator

  • Daria Cibrario, PSI 
Learn more
Workshop 2 : Economic, tax and debt justice
12:10 PM - 4:30 PM SMT
(10:10 AM - 2:30 PM EST)
Hall Central - Centro Cultural La Moneda (CCLM)
Workshop Hybrid

The daily struggles of peoples around the world — for food, housing, healthcare, employment — are completely tied to the rules that govern the global economy. And if we want to confront deep injustices and asymmetries, global systemic solutions are urgently needed.

The perfect storm created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate emergency lays bare the incompatibility of our current economic systems with the safeguarding of life itself. People the world over, especially in the Global South, continuously struggled with limited access to healthcare and vaccines, loss of jobs, unpaid care work, and mounting debt burdens. Meanwhile, countries in the Global North hoarded vaccines, corporations reaped massive profits and billionaires saw their wealth increase.

The purpose of this conference is to connect different movements and organizations, to build stronger alliances and collective campaigning capabilities to help achieve our common goals. Along these lines, this workshop will focus on discussing how campaigning and fighting for economic justice is essential to the fight for universal public services in every sector.

Following two days of sectoral discussions and a panel on Economic Justice, this open workshop will be a moment to expand on the connections between economic justice, other cross-cutting themes and different public services movements.

By dividing participants in multiple groups, we will discuss key topics defined during the first two days of meetings as crucial entry points for further alliance building and collective action across economic justice groups and the other movements present in Chile. These topics will include key political spaces/moments for joint action (e.g. 4th UN Financing for Development Conference and/or Tax Convention process, CSW, COP), current issues/sticky subjects we need to address (e.g. economic justice and climate) and potential campaigns where economic justice demands can intersect with the public services agenda.

Session structure

  • Short intervention sharing some of the main outcomes of the first two days of Economic Justice debates (10 min)
  • Explanation on how the workshop will function (5 min)
  • World cafe: participants will join different discussion groups, each group on a different topic, and moderators will rotate between groups to allow for multiple topics of discussion to be addressed. This will include groups in English, Spanish and French (based on participants’ needs) and also the possibility of one group that will discuss all topics while being online. (45 min)
  • Lunch
  • World cafe continues (1 hour)
  • Moderated plenary discussion (30 mins)
Learn more
Lunch break
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM SMT
(11:30 AM - 1:00 PM EST)
Social
Learn more
Workshops (cont'd)
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM SMT
(1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST)
Workshop

Two parallel cross-thematic workshops will be held in person as follows:

  • Democratic public ownership, community collaborations and reimagining government.
  • Economic, tax and debt justice and financing universal public services.

There is limited capacity for workshop. Participants will need to register in advance to participate and will be determined on a first come first served basis.

Learn more
Open sessions
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM SMT
(2:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST)
Open session

Six parallel sessions are organised by participants. There is limited capacity for each session. Participants will need to register in advance to participate and will be determined on a first come first served basis. Please register through the personal link in the e-mail you received from Our Future is Public.

  • Open Session 1: How Can We Work Together? Developing Collaborative Strategies (in person)
  • Open Session 2: Weaving our Fabric : Framing and African feminist public services agenda (in person)
  • Open Session 3: Towards an Independent Commission on Public Services (Hybrid)
  • Open Session 4: Tax cooperation and human rights- How to mobilize resources for a green and gender-inclusive transition in Latin America? (Hybrid)
  • Open Session 5: What is an Indigenous Future? A plurinational debate 
  • Open Session 6: Global Energy Transition and Transformational policies


Learn more
Open Session 1: How Can We Work Together? Developing Collaborative Strategies
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM SMT
(2:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST)
Sala Multimedia 1 - CEINA
Open session

In person - English only.

Learn more
Open Session 2: Weaving our Fabric: Framing an African feminist public services agenda
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM SMT
(2:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST)
Sala Multimedia 2 - CEINA
Open session

In person. English only.

For too long, issues related to Africa’s macro - level economics polices - especially related to feminist narratives have been developed externally. With Africa being case studies that prove externally forumated theories. African feminist movements continue to fight to ensure there is a reclaimin of knowledge space to rebalance this knowledge asymmetry.

It is in light of this that Nawi and FEMNET have developed a conceptual framework for Public Services for Africa. The framework provides an ideological underpinning and support for a robust empirical analysis of public service provision in Africa. The framework will guide the collection, collation, storage and analysis of public service quality, provision and utilisation in Africa. Through this framework we will empower womens rights and feminist organizations to conduct a feminist analysis of public service delivery in Africa with a view to advancing a progressive narrative that highlights their value and nullifies the supremacy of neoliberal economical systems that promote extractive capitalism. Secondly, the framework aims to support advocacy for African Governments to enhance, protect and nurture public service investments that were made during COVID-19 pandemic. The analytical framework provides an empirical analysis on public service provision in Africa that is contextualised to the continent, the continent's women and reflects its realities.

Specifically, the framework:

  • Provides guidance on the elements in which data is collected and by extension what data is collected when conducting an African feminist analysis of public service provision in Africa.
  • Supports a common analysis framework that will allow for comparison between and association within country case studies.
  • Identifies what information will be useful for data collection and analysis and indicate what will need to be prioritised during the analysis.

By way of this panel, we would like to centre Pan African Femnist thought leadership in the public services space. This will work towards ensuring that narratives must be contextual and nuanced and Africa is indeed providing thought leadership around public services as defined by actual African Feminists.

Learn more
Open Session 3: Towards an Independent Commission on Public Services
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM SMT
(2:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST)
Hall Central - Centro Cultural La Moneda (CCLM)
Open session Hybrid

Hybrid. English - French - Spanish interpretation.

Introduction

There is an urgent need to revisit the role of public goods and services, after 50 years of neoliberal policies to transform them into market commodities. Given the existential threat of the climate crisis (not to mention the threats of inequalities, discriminations, etc.) and the continued erosion of democratic and public spaces, we need bold propositions for the future.

The idea of establishing an independent body, or commission to promote and defend public services was discussed at a global civil society workshop held in November 2021 following the ‘Enough is Enough’ event which convened UN Special Rapporteurs working on different human rights portfolios to discuss the challenges of weakened public services. This recognised the crucial role of public services in advancing economic, social and cultural rights. An Independent Commission on Public Services could provide a sustained space to advance and refresh the case for public services.

The proposed purpose of the Independent Commission on Public Services is to expose the myth of private finance (and those who benefit from it) that has blocked progress on the fulfilment of human rights and undermined the achievement of both the MDGs and the SDGs. The Commission will re-make the case for sustainable public financing and public control of public services - with particular urgency for doing this coming from the climate crisis.

We propose to discuss the potential of such a Commission in the Open Session, based on a draft concept note. This outlines some initial learning and ideas for how a Commission on Public Services could work. We hope that the conference can put in motion a process to set up such a commission.

Objectives

To share the initial concept note for a possible Independent Commission on Public Services and to work towards consensus about:

  • How to frame the work of the Commission – especially tightening the focus
  • How to structure and support such a Commission
  • The steps necessary to set up such a Commission
  • Key people to approach as possible Chairs / Commissioners
Learn more
Open Session 4: Tax justice and human rights: how to mobilize resources for a green and gender transition
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM SMT
(2:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST)
Sala Eloísa Díaz - Universidad de Chile
Open session Hybrid

Hybrid. English - Spanish interpretation.

Context

The COVID-19 pandemic started a global crisis that has particularly affected developing countries and their most vulnerable populations. Millions of people have fallen into poverty, widening inequalities around the world, while the richest have become even more richer.

At the same time, climate change is producing devastating effects on hundreds of populations and their human rights, with irreparable loss and damages to the people who have been affected. Some estimates have projected that the economic cost of loss and damage by 2030 for developing countries would be between USD $290-590 billion yearly. The recent floods in Pakistan have shown the myriad costs of inaction in the face of this global phenomenon, and how the loss and damages are centered in global south and LMI countries.

These economic, social and climatic crises have also affected women rights to a greater extent, who are overrepresented in marginalized populations. Women often suffer disproportionate harm from environmental hazards due to social inequality, with effects particularly gendered in physical and mental health. Existing social inequities also made women the most affected by the covid crisis, where labor participation, income and the overload of unpaid and care work worsened in a greater extent for women than for men.

Given this scenario, governments around the world must strengthen policies to contain the impacts of the current crises, to address climate change’s devastating damage on the most vulnerable, whilst undertaking a resilient recovery that considers structural inequalities that intensify the negative impacts on historically marginalized populations.

These policies, however, require a great fiscal effort. But these resources are not currently available, especially for countries in the global south, which struggle with a very narrow fiscal space, low tax collection and high levels of debt.

Although the task of progressive fiscal reforms must be carried out at the domestic level, there must also be reforms to the international tax and financial system, which currently facilitate transnational tax evasion and avoidance, considerably reducing fiscal revenues. Estimates show that low-income countries currently loose about 5% of yearly tax revenues due to profit-shifting by multi-national corporations to lower-tax jurisdictions. In 2021, countries around the world lost a total of USD $483 billion in tax a year to global tax abuse committed by multinational corporations and wealthy individuals.

In the face of this enormous challenge, international human rights law could offer normative developments, principles and standards that can guide fiscal reforms that finance the responses required to reduce current inequalities and compensate for the loss and damage caused by environmental devastation, while respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights.

Learn more
Open Session 5: What is an Indigenous Future? A plurinational debate
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM SMT
(2:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST)
Sala Enrique Sazié - Universidad de Chile
Open session

Hybrid. English - Spanish interpretation.

The context of the session is the representation of indigenous people in international forums, particularly in the context of climate justice, human rights and social movements. Indigenous peoples are often stereotyped in the international community and media to fit a global system of political representation. International forums tend to be underpinned by the imposition of colonial languages, values, terms of reference, and Western forms of political representation that marginalise and can undermine minorities and indigenous communities. We seek to facilitate a space where members of indigenous communities from across South America/Abya Yala can debate the idea of ancestral future in a way that is context-, language- and culture-specific. In other words, we want to debate what an indigenous public future means as defined by indigenous participants themselves. Why is indigenous futurism such a potent idea behind current social movements? What does this idea involve? To what extent is it necessary to dismantle historical colonial systems of representation and allow for open spaces for the transmission of indigenous wisdoms in their own terms? How can meaningful engagement with ancestral knowledges be curated in the context of an international conference?

Learn more
Open Session 6: Global Energy Transition and Transformational policies
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM SMT
(2:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST)
Sala Domeyko - Universidad de Chile
Open session

Spanish only.

Open Session 6: Global Energy Transition and Transformational policies (hybrid). 

Learn more
Friday, December 2, 2022
Plenary Panel: Feminist alternatives and gender-transformative public services
9:00 AM - 10:25 AM SMT
(7:00 AM - 8:25 AM EST)
Hall Central - Centro Cultural La Moneda (CCLM)
Plenary Hybrid

The COVID pandemic has brutally confirmed how the sexual division of labour in the private and public domains endures and produces systematically uneven gender power relations. This division continues to obstruct women, feminised gender identities and gender non-conforming people from enjoying equal conditions and opportunities in life.

Multiple crises have converged. The care crisis, in particular, has confirmed that care is gendered and has highlighted some profound contradictions:

  • Women’s “traditional” labour in unpaid care work intensification.
  • Women’s “traditional” labour in paid care work extraction, commodification, precarity and exploitation, including in the global care chains.
  • A broken or inexistent global care system with major gaps in funding provisions that have fallen prey to outsourcing and privatisation.
  • Overexposure to domestic violence, femicide, and violence in the world of work
  • The intersecting structures of discrimination that confront women to the worst forms of living and working conditions.

We have seen the huge gender impacts of this period on the provision and access to public services, including:

  • How women’s “traditional” work carries the first responsibility of filling the gaps that privatised or inexistent public services leave. This situation increases poverty and feminises it.
  • Women’s sexual and reproductive rights advances and setbacks, which are also a matter for public services.
  • Weakening of the ability of public services to respond to women’s rights demands
  • The contradictions between public services making inequality more bearable, or really transforming unequal gender power relations.
  • The postponement of gender budgeting due to the shortage of public financing for public services impacted by debt, trade agreements in public services and uneven fiscal policies.

Lack of political power and democratic participation has been the rule in accordance with insufficient women’s representation in decision-making processes at all levels.

However, one victory we need to claim is the rise of the feminist movement globally fighting for rights and body integrity, but also combating the economic system, patriarchy and coloniality.

One expression of this movement and thinking will join the Our Future is Public Conference in Santiago de Chile, to debate feminist alternatives for gender-transformative public services as the core of gender justice.

Keynote speakers

  • Magdalena Sepúlveda, Executive Director of GI-ESCR, Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
  • Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of Public Services International (PSI)
  • Wangari Kinoti, Global Lead for Women's Rights and Feminist Alternatives at ActionAid International
  • Âurea Mouzinho, Global Policy Advocacy and Campaigns Coordinator, Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ)
  • Liz Nelson, Director Tax Justice and Human Rights, Tax Justice Network

Moderator

  • Camila Miranda, Fundación Nodo XXI
Learn more
Break
10:25 AM - 10:45 AM SMT
(8:25 AM - 8:45 AM EST)
Social
Learn more
Plenary Panel on Climate Justice
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM SMT
(8:45 AM - 10:00 AM EST)
Centro Cultural la Moneda (CCLM)
Plenary Hybrid

Decolonisation, Indigenous Peoples Rights, Just and Equitable Transitions

Overview

This conference arises from the increasing awareness of the importance of strong democratic institutions to resolve many of the interconnected global crises: covid, climate and biodiversity, inequality, persistent poverty, discrimination, and more.

By the realisation that our past 50 years consisted of shrinking governments, of outsourcing, privatising and commercialising public services and ceding control of our common institutions to increasingly powerful corporations. And that these crises are largely extensions and evolutions of imperial, colonial and military power struggles to dominate peoples, workers and nature in the pursuit of capital concentration.

It is the willingness of activists from civil society, trade unions, indigenous groups, academia and others to work together, to strengthen our movements and to strengthen our democratic institutions, able to reclaim our lost Commons. The purpose of the conference is to connect different movements and organisations, to build stronger campaigning capabilities to help achieve our common goals.

The climate crisis is accelerating, and the changes are faster than IPCC scientists predicted. Yet the UN climate negotiations plod along, seemingly oblivious to the chaos around the world. The climate crisis is yet one more example of the corporate power that dictates what is possible.

As the planet will inevitably shoot past the 1.5C threshold, how to organise and mobilise?

Objectives of the meeting

  • Link climate crisis to ongoing campaigns and issues
  • Indigenous peoples and public services – unpack some of the issues, e.g., land rights
  • Workers and communities in high-carbon industries, how to transition
  • Which adaptations are essential for the new climate reality

Keynote speakers

  • Sebastian Berger, President of the Global Student Forum
  • Ndivile Mokoena, project Coordinator, Gender CC South Africa
  • Ericka Ñanco, Mapuche Congressperson Chile
  • Maisa Rojas, Minister of Environment of Chile (tbc)
  • Rodrigo Uprimny, member of the International Commission of Jurists and former member of the United Nations ESCR Committee
Learn more
Workshops
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM SMT
(10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EST)
Workshop Hybrid

Two parallel cross-thematic workshops will be held in person as follows:

  • Feminist alternatives and gender-transformative care services
  • Climate justice, decolonisation, Indigenous Peoples Rights and just transitions

There is limited capacity for workshop. Participants will need to register in advance to participate and will be determined on a first come first served basis.

You can register through the e-mail that was sent to you from "Our Future is Public" - look for the registration button at the bottom of the e-mail.

Learn more
Workshop 1 : Feminist alternatives
12:00 PM - 4:30 PM SMT
(10:00 AM - 2:30 PM EST)
Sala Enrique Sazié - Universidad de Chile
Workshop Hybrid

Feminist alternatives and gender-transformative public services

The workshop will start with a plenary session that will explain the methodology, the main tasks for the working groups, and a summary of the main conclusions of the panel and the sectoral groups’ inputs.

  • Verónica Montúfar: methodology and tasks
  • Nasheli Noriega: summary of the panel conclusions
  • Ana Clara Cathalat: inputs from the sectoral groups

The groups will be organised by language EN and ES and will work for 1h30 followed by a plenary for another 1h30.

The number of participants in each group and the languages for each theme will differ depending on the participants’ number and interests.

Groups´ thematic organisation and facilitators by language:

  • Feminist approaches to the linkages of gender-transformative public services and climate justice
    Ashina Mtsumi (EN) and Blanca Bayas (ES) 
  • Feminist approaches to the linkages of gender-transformative public services and tax justice.
    Liz Nelson (EN)and Âurea Mouzinho (ES)
  • Feminist approaches to the linkages of gender-transformative public services and wage justice
    Huma Haq (EN)and Verónica Montúfar (ES)
  • Feminist approaches to the role of gender-transformative public services in tackling gender-based violence and feminicide.
    Susana Barria (EN) and Nayareth Quevedo (ES)
  • Feminist and decolonial approaches to gender-transformative public services
    Roos Saalbrink (EN) and Nasheli Noriega (ES)

Plenary: Group reports and build upon common pathways.

Moderation of the plenary and final wrap-up:

  • Ashina Mitsumi
Learn more
Workshop 2 : Climate Justice
12:00 PM - 4:30 PM SMT
(10:00 AM - 2:30 PM EST)
Hall Central - Centro Cultural La Moneda (CCLM)
Workshop Hybrid

Decolonisation, Indigenous Peoples Rights, Just and Equitable Transitions

Overview

This conference arises from the increasing awareness of the importance of strong democratic institutions to resolve many of the interconnected global crises: covid, climate and biodiversity, inequality, persistent poverty, discrimination, and more.

By the realisation that our past 50 years consisted of shrinking governments, of outsourcing, privatising and commercialising public services and ceding control of our common institutions to increasingly powerful corporations. And that these crises are largely extensions and evolutions of imperial, colonial and military power struggles to dominate peoples, workers and nature in the pursuit of capital concentration.

It is the willingness of activists from civil society, trade unions, indigenous groups, academia and others to work together, to strengthen our movements and to strengthen our democratic institutions, able to reclaim our lost Commons. The purpose of the conference is to connect different movements and organisations, to build stronger campaigning capabilities to help achieve our common goals.

The climate crisis is accelerating, and the changes are faster than IPCC scientists predicted. Yet the UN climate negotiations plod along, seemingly oblivious to the chaos around the world. The climate crisis is yet one more example of the corporate power that dictates what is possible.

As the planet will inevitably shoot past the 1.5C threshold, how to organise and mobilise?

Objectives of the meeting

  • Link climate crisis to ongoing campaigns and issues
  • Indigenous peoples and public services – unpack some of the issues, e.g., land rights
  • Workers and communities in high-carbon industries, how to transition
  • Which adaptations are essential for the new climate reality

Discussion options

  • Critique, engagement and/or alternatives to the COP process
  • Influencing govts on COP commitments
  • Influencing governments for projects/programmes. Sub-national governments may be easiest to work with i.e., cities, provinces/states. Mitigation in key sectors, adaptation needs.
  • Economic justice and the climate movement – dangers of climate finance (debt burdens, privatisation)
  • How to use Just Transition to strengthen our public services, our economies and our rights and our campaigning
  • How to connect different groups in climate campaigns back home


Learn more
Lunch break
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM SMT
(11:30 AM - 1:00 PM EST)
Social
Learn more
Workshops (cont'd)
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM SMT
(1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST)
Workshop Hybrid

Two parallel cross-thematic workshops will be held in person as follows:

  • Feminist alternatives and gender-transformative care services
  • Climate justice, decolonisation, Indigenous Peoples Rights and just transitions

There is limited capacity for workshop. Participants will need to register in advance to participate and will be determined on a first come first served basis.

Learn more
Synthesis of sessions
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM SMT
(3:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST)
Hotel Fundador
Plenary

Synthesis of sessions and work on pledge / open sessions

Learn more
Closing ceremony
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM SMT
(4:30 PM - 5:30 PM EST)
Terraza Caupolican, Cerro Santa Lucía
Plenary
  • Closing remarks and final cocktail
  • Representatives of organisations from Core Group
  • Other participating organisations
Learn more