Activities and Events 2017

RLC Bonn PhD student graduates on ‘The Migrant Labourers in Penang’

In October 2017, RLC Bonn PhD student Lai Wan Teng (Malaysia) successfully defended her doctoral thesis on the topic: “We come. We work. We relate. The migrant labourers in Penang”, done in cooperation with TENAGANITA, a Malaysian human rights organization founded by Laureate Irene Fernandez in 1991. After her graduation at RLC Campus Bonn, Wan Teng gained a position at the Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA) of the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang.

RLC at UN World Climate Change Conference (COP23)

The Right Livelihood College presented its work at the UN World Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn on November 6-17, 2017. Read more!

RLC PhD student and co-authors publish article on organic agriculture in Kenya

RLC PhD student Juliet Wanjiku Kamau published an article on “Organic and conventional agriculture in Kenya: A typology of smallholder farms in Kajiado and Murang’a counties” together with RLC Campus Bonn coordinator Till Stellmacher, Lisa Biber-Freudenberger and Christian Borgemeister in the Journal of Rural Studies. In this study, smallholder farmers in Kenya are characterised and classified into five distinct types dependent on factors such as resource endowment, social networks or cropping practices. Among other results, the authors find that farmers practicing certified organic agriculture were wealthier, but not necessarily better educated than those who did not. While the study does not determine causal relationships, the authors find a positive correlation between organic farming and strong social networks, a large number of household members and highly diverse diets. The typology developed in this research paper might help to develop effective policy strategies seeking to improve productivity and welfare of smallholder farmers. Download the article here.

Research exchange between RLC Chile and RLC Germany

Professor Dr. Felix Fuders, Director of the Economic Institute of the Universidad Austral de Chile, finished his research term at the RLC Campus Bonn with a presentation at the ZEF Colloquium, in which he discussed and challenged the idea that private property rights of natural resources in combination with perfect competition leads to the most desirable outcome from a sustainable development point of view. His research during the two-month stay in Bonn focused the effects of privatisation of natural resources on economic efficiency and natural environment. Find further information on his research here and a list of publications here.

2017 Right Livelihood Award Laureates announced

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation announced the 2017 Laureates Robert Bilott from the USA (Honorary Award), Colin Gonsalves from India, Khadija Ismayilova from Azerbaijan, and Yetnebersh Nigussie from Ethiopia.

The Ceremony will take place in Stockholm in December. More information on the Laureates here.

Public Panel Discussion - Human Rights and Environmental Governance: From Marginalization to Empowerment

On September 5, the RLC Campus Bonn and the Association of German Development Services (AGdD) organised a public panel discussion on Human Rights and Environmental Governance jointly with the Adult Education Center Bonn.

Juan Pablo Orrego, Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate (1998) and founder of the Chilean NGO Ecosistemas, discussed with the Deputy Director of the German Development Institute (DIE), Dr. Imme Scholz, the importance of community involvement in the decision making process of large scale “development” projects that affect the social and ecological livelihoods of people. A special emphasis was put on collaborations and on information spreading between the affected people, activists and policy advisors. Additionally, two participants of the RLC/AGdD workshop spoke on the panel; Ms. Sandhya Kumar presented research findings on how people’s action are established practically in local communities, using the example of “Right to Food” in India. Wolfang Dörner, peace consultant for the “Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst”, gave insight into challenges in creating grassroot organisations and networks in the conflict-ridden and mineral-rich southern Philippines. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Merjam Wakili (Deutsche Welle) and supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

RLC Workshop on “Mobilization for Change: Human Rights, Governance and the Empowerment of the Marginalized”

From September 2 to 7, 2017, 24 scientists, practitioners and PhD students from 17 different countries came together at the RLC Campus Bonn to discuss and analyse research and practice concerned with human rights, governance and marginalized people in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The transdisciplinary workshop, jointly organised with the Association of German Development Services (AGdD), focused on the nexus between economic development, ecological balance, and on rural livelihoods of marginalised people. Right Livelihood Award Laureate Juan Pablo Orrego (1998) participated and gave insights into his lifelong work and engagement against large-scale dam projects and for the protection of Chilean ecological and social systems.

On September 5th 2017, RLC Bonn organized a public panel discussion with Juan Pablo Orrego and the Deputy Director of the German Development Institute (DIE), Dr. Imme Scholz at the Adult Education Center Bonn. Read more!

RLC PhD student Amit Kumar conducts fieldwork in Mumbai

Amit Kumar, PhD student at RLC Bonn, is currently conducting one year of fieldwork in the slums of Mumbai. In collaboration with Medha Patkar’s (Right Livelihood Award winner 1991) “Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Aandolan” movement Amit is investigating the collective resistance against demolitions of slum dwellers in Mumbai . His research aims at the alternative imagination to the existing urban structures in relation to globalization. Read more!

RLC Campus Bonn graduate publishes article in The Journal of Modern African Studies

Dr. Willis Okumu, RLC Bonn graduate of 2017, has published an article in The Journal of Modern African Studies on livestock raids and pastoralist's competition over water and pastures in north-western Kenya. He argues that manifestation of local ethnic political conetests and rivalries can be found in Samburu, Turkan, Pokot, Borana, Gabra and Rendille communities which have changed the culture of raiding in the past 40 years.

The recent published article can be found here.

RLC workshop-alumnus Dr. Abdallah Possi appointed as Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania in Berlin, Germany

Tanzanian President John Magufuli appointed RLC alumnus Dr. Abdallah Possi the new Tanzanian ambassador in Germany. After being the deputy minister of Tanzania (Policy, Parliament, Labour, Youth, Employment and Disabled) since 2015, his new position brings Abdallah Possi back to Germany: Possi participated in the RLC Bonn workshop “Mobilization for Change: Participatory research and the empowerment of the marginalized” in May 2014, when he was pursuing a doctoral programme at University of Erlangen, focusing on “Persons with Disabilities rights to work in Africa: A comparative study of Tanzania and selected African States”. Download his complete thesis here. Dr. Possi is a qualified lawyer actively involved in the attempt to achieve equality for persons with physical disabilities in East-Africa.

Evelyn Ewere - RLC Bonn PhD student

Evelyn Ewerefrom Nigeria joined the RLC Bonn in August 2017 to work on her PhDresearch on 'Bioeconomic Transformation in Nigeria: its impacts and sustainability'. She will collaborate with RLA Laureate Nnimmo Bassey and the RLC Campus Port Harocurt in Nigeria. Her research interest is driven primarily by the need for reducing Nigeria's dependence on fossil fuels with its attendant price shocks and environmental challenges.

RLC PhD student attends summer school

From 25 June to 7 July 2017 RLC student Alejandro Mora Motta participated at a Summer School on “Transformations that sustain life: Degrowth and Environmental Justice” held in Barcelona (Spain) and Cerbère (France). The event was organized by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona/ICTA in collaboration with the Research & Degrowth association. During a poster session he presented his ongoing PhD research on the topic “Looking for a way out: tree plantation extractivism and emerging resistances in La Union”. In this presentation Alejandro shared the strategies that the mapuche and non-mapuche communities (in southern Chile) employ in the search for alternatives to the tree plantation extractivist model.

In the framework of this international workshop, the RLC and the City of Bonn organised a public panel discussion on:

“Sustainable Food – Local Solutions to Global Problems?”

- Helmy Abouleish, SEKEM, Egypt (“Alternative Nobel Prize” 2003) 
- Markus Arbenz, IFOAM - Organics International, and 
- Gerhard Weber, Chamber of Industry and Commerce Bonn/Rhine-Sieg.

The panelists talked about sustainable food production and organic agriculture as one competitive solution for the environmental, social and food security challenges of the 21st century. They shared their vast expertise and experiences and elaborated on how to successfully integrate local sustainable food production into globalised markets, on challenges and obstacles as well as their personal motivation.

RLC workshop on “Sustainable agriculture and rural transformation: meeting farmers’ needs in socio-ecological systems”

From June 10 to 15, scientists, practitioners and PhD students from 18 different countries came together at the RLC Campus Bonn to present their work on sustainable agriculture in rural areas of the Global South. Among others, Dr. Lee HeHaan from the Right Livelihood awarded Land Institute, USA  and Prof. Lennart Olsson from Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, Sweden presented different pathways of sustainable agriculture and its actual and potential contributions.

In the framework of the workshop, the RLC Bonn and the City of Bonn also organised a public panel discussion with Helmy Abouleish of the Right Livelihood awarded SEKEM holding in Egypt in the Old Town Hall of the City of Bonn. 

RLC/BICC Panel Discussion: Academic Freedom and International Cooperation at Risk: Turkey and Beyond

Academic freedom and international cooperation have been increasingly at risk in Turkey in the last years. University Deans, Professors and other scientists were forced to step down, a travel ban was imposed on many academics, and Turkish scientists working abroad were pressured to return to Turkey. Many journalists and newspaper editors have been detained and harassed, particularly since the coup attempt last year.

Dr. Özgür Mumcu, journalist with the "Alternative Nobel Prize"-awarded Cumhuriyet newspaper discussed with Antje Schlamm, Head of Section Scholarship Programmes East Central Europe, South East Europe, Turkeyat the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), how Universities, editors and journalists deal with these restrictions on and hindrance of their work. 

RLC PhD student presents research proposal

RLC Bonn PhD student Amit Kumar from India presented his research proposal titled "Contested Urban Development: Resistance, Negotiations and Daily Life Struggles of Slum Dwellers in Mumbai, India" at Department of Political and Cultural Change (ZEFa) on Thursday, 9 March 2017.

The central focus of his research is to understand how forms of individual and collective resistance by slum dwellers influence the process of urbanisation in India. The work of Medha Patkar’s (RLA 1991) Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Aandolan – a right to the city movement – is an important case to his studies on the collective resistance of slum dwellers in Mumbai. Amit Kumar’s research aims at the alternative imagination to the existing urban structures in relation to globalization.

RLC student Willis Okumu completes his PhD

In January 2017, RLC Bonn PhD student Willis Okumu from Kenya successfully defended his PhD on the topic "Meaning of Violence and Its Impacts on the Socio-Political Relations among the Samburu and Turkana of Baragoi, Northern Kenya". Directly thereafter Willis started working for a NGO on the peace process in Northern Kenya. His thesis can be read here.

Further information on his research can be found in this interview which was conducted by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) in Bonn.



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