‘Another Development is people-centred, geared to the satisfaction of basic human needs – both material and, in its broadest sense, political; it is self-reliant, endogenous, ecologically sound and based on democratic, political, social and economic transformations, which alone will make possible the attainment of the other goals. Another Development also encompasses the search for societies overcoming discrimination of any kind – whether social, sexual, ethnic or economic. It is a participatory process.’
Between continuity and innovation
The Foundation’s original projects were seminars of a training character and lasted several weeks. Young civil servants from newly independent countries participated. Since the early 1970s, however, the seminars have become more policy-oriented, shorter and with more experienced participants. In 1975, an extensive project was carried out which resulted in the report What Now: Another Development, an independent contribution to the Seventh Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The report, which was printed in over 100,000 copies in six languages, argued convincingly for the necessity of alternative and innovative development policies so as to tackle more effectively the problems that governments and people encounter, particularly in the South.
Linking ideas to action
Since then, ‘Another Development’ has been at the core of the Foundation’s activities. Aiming to be at the cutting edge of the development debate, the Foundation is always searching for new issues of crucial importance for the South and the whole world. The idea is to arrange seminars around such burning issues, across disciplines and borders, and with a mix of experiences and different points of view – and then look for common ground as a starting-point for action.
‘Meetings may seem frail weapons to use against poverty,
ignorance, and injustice, but properly done they have
power to clarify issues and mobilize people.’