Water (In)Security Panel at European Forum Alpbach

The session on “Water (In)Security” at European Forum Alpbach in 2020 was organised in the form of a panel discussion between four panelists: Leena Koni Hoffmann, Tom Middendorp, Chitra Nagarajan, Stefan Rahmstorf. This was promising to be an interesting discussion, unfortunately the conversation was rather dull and had almost no insights to offer for anyone involved in water governance beyond an amateur level. Mediation of Leena Koni Hoffmann was aspirational, but too zealous and resulted in rather mundane questions posed to the panelists whose expertise did not cover the issues asked. Continue reading

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The Rise of Global Hydro-hubs in the Times of Climate Crisis

On 29 August, dr. Farhad Mukhtarov delivered a lecture followed by a discussion at the European Forum Alpbach. His lecture, known in the context of the forum as a “working group”, was titled “The Rise of Global Hydro-hubs in the Times of Climate Crisis” and lasted for 1 hour 15 minutes; between 60 and 90 participants attended the lecture with the number growing by the time of the discussion. It was hosted by the Azerbaijani Chapter of the Forum and moderated by Ms. Abutab Abbasova. Continue reading

Posted in Education, Policy Translation, Water policy | 1 Comment

Behavioural Public Policy or Nudging: Good or Bad?

I have been reading and thinking about nudging for over four years now and the debate around it never stops to amaze me. Many of the readers of this blog will be familiar with the well-known book by Thaler and Sunstein released in 2009 and winning Richard Thaler a Nobel prize in economics later (of course the prize was given to his oeuvre not limited to just one book). The wave of behaviouralism, a branch of social sciences mostly rooted in economics and psychology that focuses on human behaviour as not just conditioned by rational thinking, has become only greater in the last years with prominent economists, psychologists and political scientists embracing it. Continue reading

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Discovering Suriname

Suriname is a country that is well-known in The Netherlands because it was a Dutch colony and there are many Surinamese who live in The Netherlands, mostly people with Hindustani background, but also creoles (people of African and European descent) and Surinamese with Indonesian roots. I taught at a public administration programme, and the composition of students was such that ministry workers prevailed, as well as those in middle age — between 35 and 45 years old. The setting of teaching is rather curious, I stayed in a posh hotel Torarica Royal where presidents stay when they travel to Suriname, during my stay Evo Moralez came to spend one day in the hotel, and Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister stayed there on his visit in late July. I flew business class with the Surinam Airways and there was a driver to take me to and from the institute. An experience of a privileged foreigner landing in a colonial/post-colonial country would be one way to describe it. Continue reading

Posted in Education, Global change, LifeStyle | 4 Comments

How organisations learn: lessons from flood risk management in England

What is a learning organisation? It is one that adapts to challenges, that has an internal structure that allows communication and reflection, and that hosts individuals that trust each other enough to experiment and work together. A new open access article published in the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, one of the highest ranked journals in the field of Development Studies and Environmental studies, looks into Continue reading

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