Dialogue for awareness, responsibility and justice
After three days of plenary
talks, track sessions with many different presentations on conceptual
and foundational research, education, journalism and business, Jesper Garsdal, Fred Dallmayr and
Hans Köchler restated the main value
of the Global Dialogue Conference ’09 as a means to
With regards to the issue of climate change, Professor Dallmayr of Notre Dame University remarked that ‘we have to talk about climate change from many different perspectives,
especially any different cultural perspectives’.
In fact, in his view,
sharing values among different cultures is a priority in order to raise
awareness about climate change and its global repercussions.
Jesper Garsdal, one of the conference's main organisers, added that
interaction is what is needed to find a common understanding and to
take personal responsibility for climate change. And this interactivity
in the climate debate opens new opportunities to come out with something
That is actually what happened during the past few days. From Mike Hulme’s
question ‘What can climate change do for us?’, the topic shifted
to the several and disparate presentations within the conceptual, educational,
journalistic and business tracks. The presentations aimed to share the ‘state of the
art’ and research in the different fields of knowledge
and consciousness production.
The ending to the conference was put in the hands of keynote speaker Hans Köchler,
Professor of Philosophy at the University of Innsbruck.
He firmly believes
in the importance of the Global Dialogue initiative and he recalls the
international justice aspect of climate change and global warming.
Professor argues that ‘dialogue about values is concerned because
we have to be able to reach a kind of common ground, in order to solve
the problem on an equitable basis, in a way that no one nation and no
one community feels that it has to pay the price for the convenience
But probably climate change
has been the big absent of this conference. Everybody was talking about
it but it didn’t show up. There has not been a common definition of
the problem and of the major responsibilities: sometimes the responsibility seemed to lie with consumers, other times with politicians, and companies actually have
had a smart image in tackling the issue.
So, the key point of the Global
Dialogue looks really like what Mike Hulme stated in the first talk,
also if contested: we cannot stop climate change it-self but we can
use it to reconnect creatively the world.
In this perspective the conference
has reached its purpose and created a communication among a widely diverse group.
Of course, in this context
diversity is a quality while in December in Copenhagen the hope is that
the differences will be put aside to reach an agreement. And about
the upcoming UN COP-15 conference, Köchler seems less passionate: ‘we
should have not illusions about the still diverging political interests’
and he concludes ‘but at least it is a conference that it will put
the issue on the world-wide agenda’.