Susan George is a social science writer and thinker on issues such as world poverty and inequality as well as ecological issues. She is President of the Board of TNI. Below is highlights from the speech.
"There is no such thing as neutrality in social sciences; we should take sides with the poor and the powerless"
"Study the rich and powerful not the poor and powerless: the poor already know what is wrong with their lives. If you really want to help you should give them a better idea of who is keeping them where they are"
"No amount of human suffering, in and of itself, is going to cause policy to change"
"I meet a lot of well-meaning people who genuinely want social and ecological justice, but seem to believe it is possible to have good ideas and good blueprints for policy and you are home free, but that has never been the truth. It is a huge mistake to forget that there are forces out there, adversaries out there who have no intention to allow anyone to do anything that affects their interests"
"Those blocking change are the 1%, the TNCs, Finance Markets, Politicians governing on their behalf - what I call the Davos Class. To do anything concrete we must deal with those adversaries."
Key lists for change 1. Banks back under control 2. Close down tax havens and invest that money in services 3. Binding regulations for TNCs 4. Debt workouts
"I believe with a social system that is growing more stressed, I and you might be that unpredictable element that can provoke the system to break down and reconfigure in a way that could be more just and sustainable."