Earlier in September, IOPS London hosted two events with guest speaker Robin Hahnel. Robin Hahnel is an economist at Portland State University and long time activist. He has written numerous books on political economy, traveled extensively advising on economic matters all over the world and is best known for his work on participatory economics with ZNet editor Michael Albert.
We held both events at a newly opened progressive left cafe/social centre called Firebox near Kings Cross.
The first talk was titled: Confronting the Ecological Crisis. Robin spoke about the root causes of the ecological crisis, how they also related to the financial crisis, and presented a solution which he calls a ‘Green New Deal’.
On the second night, the talk was on Participatory Economics, which is a model for an economy proposed as an alternative to free market capitalism and authoritarian planning. Robin focussed on the democratic cooperative planning aspect of the model which enables self-managed consumer and worker councils, in nested federations, to make a series of self-activity proposals based on receiving updated information, which leads to a feasible and efficient plan for the whole economy. The talk was recorded by Occupy London (I’m afraid the Audio quality of the recording is not very good.) The talk starts 10 mins into the video, so please skip ahead:
Video streaming by Ustream
IOPS London Members prepared IOPS Flyers, IOPS bookmarks and printed out the ‘IOS open invitation letter’ signed by ICC members including Chomsky, Pilger, Shiva and others, which we handed out to everyone at the events. We had a mailing list which we passed round and collected contact details. We also had a book stall where we were selling Robin Hahnels books and others relevant to participatory society.
Robin Hahnel also has a new book coming out called: ‘Of the people, By the people: a case for a Participatory Economy’. You can order the book online from AK Press here.
Each talk was followed by an IOPS London Social Event at a nearby pub, where we mingled, spoke about IOPS and got to know other IOPS London members better.
We also organised a few interviews for Robin Hahnel. Here is an interview with Occupy London Radio. The first part of the interview is on Participatory Economics:
Audio Interview with Robin Hahnel on Occupy London Radio
I though the events went very well. As well as being an important outreach activity for IOPS, It brought those of us involved with IOPS London closer together. If anyone attended the talk has any further feedback, please could they post their comments below the blog.