New Virtual Dialogue: "Inclusive Development" with Professor Joyeeta Gupta, 11 November, 14.00 CET

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11 Nov 2020

Much analysis of inclusive development focuses on social elements. But this virtual dialogue with Professor Joyeeta Gupta will demonstrate that we can no longer address development without taking environmental issues into account.

The virtual dialogue will look at the following key points: First, since economic issues tend to be measured in monetary terms, making trade-offs between social, ecological and economic issues within the concept of sustainable development almost always leads to a trade-off in favour of economic issues. Hence, the term inclusive development is preferable.

Second, inclusive development is about social, ecological and relational inclusiveness. Prof Gupta will argue that social inclusiveness is not possible without taking into account the ecological dimensions – not least because 70% of the world’s poor depend directly on the environment for their livelihoods and because the impacts of ecological disasters, whether creeping or sudden, affects them the most. Furthermore, social inclusiveness is not just about pro-poor policies as such pro-poor policies often hide pro-rich strategies. So social inclusiveness is also about questioning the concentration of wealth, resources, and power. This requires relational inclusiveness.

Prof Gupta  will operationalise the concept of inclusive development into elements that need to be analysed.

She will also recommend using the inclusive development lens to analyse the economic system or the economic issues that are relevant in a specific problem.

Finally, she will discuss that “inclusive” is not an adjective to development; inclusiveness redefines the content of development. In other words, if social inclusion requires a different kind of society, if ecological inclusion requires living within local to planetary boundaries, and if relational inclusion requires questioning those aspects of power from local to global level that promote socio-ecological exclusion or externalisation, all this will have an implication on what development is and how it needs to be governed.

Joyeeta Gupta is professor of environment and development in the global south at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in Delft. She was and continues to be lead author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which won the Zaved Second Prize. She has published extensively and is on the editorial boards of many journals. She is on the scientific steering committees of many different international programmes including the Global Water Systems Project and Earth System Governance.

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