A few new concepts: Global public goods, private sector diplomacy and glocalism


Global Public Goods


The concept of GPGs is a recent concept and it is still in the developing stage by academics, researchers and policy analysts, so an agreed and precise definition has been lacking.

In general terms Global Public Goods are commodities, services or resources with shared benefits. UNDP tried to give the following definition: a global public good is a public good with benefits that are strongly universal in terms of countries (covering more than one group of countries), people (accruing to several, preferably all, population groups), and generations (extending to both current and future generations, or at least meeting the needs of the current generation without foreclosing development options for future generations).

The term global public goods is however based on the traditional notion of public goods, in other words those goods and services essential for survival and that should be available for people without charge.
GPGs have two important properties: a non-rival and a non-excludable nature. Non-rivalry goods are those, where any personal consumption has no effect on the amount available for others. Non-excludable means that it is not possible to exclude those who do not pay for the good from consuming it.
However GPGs are often impure, in the sense that its consumption is not always truly non-excludable, non-rivalry and global. Exclusion often happens as a result of a lack of access, as in the example of a government internet site (no access to a computer or language barrier), meeting (can be difficult/expensive to get to the venue in terms of time and place), etc. Similarly, the consumption can reduce its availability to others, for exemple in the case of free publications (because only a limited number is available). In order to have some real example of global public goods we can take notice of the five GPG priorities of the World Bank Development Committee [1] :

1) Health: Reduction of Communicable diseases
2) Environmental commons: give access to advanced technologies to developing countries; protecting environment from global warming; share the burden of environment protection funding
3) Development information and knowledge: definition of a new intellectual property regime
4) International financial architecture: ensure macroeconomic stability
5) Trade: discuss and define global standards

Therefore some GPGs are largely associated with reducing risk (environment, communicable diseases management, peace and security, and financial stability) while other ones are primarily associated with improving skills (knowledge). [2]

Glocalism

The concept of "glocalism" was created for the first time by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman[3] in order to stress the relations between the globalization with local entities. This word derives from the fusion of two other terms: global and local. We can see this as a sort of medal with two faces.
"Glocal" can be referred to:
  • products realized according to the local culture, but distributed in the entire world;
  • the new technologies, which are able to connect every single local realty to a global virtual platform;
  • multinationals,companies and organizations that operate on different local basis.
The communities should be able to "think globally and act locally"[4] . This means that all the local groups of individuals should work for their small realities, keeping in mind the existence of a network of relationship that nowadays is connecting the entire world.

The difference between "glocal" and "global", lies on the fact that while in the second one it is considered only one system in which individuals interact, in the first there are more levels, more systems that must interact between themselves. The concept of "glocal" is often confused with the idea of a no-global movement. There is actually a big difference between the two concepts because "glocal" is not opposing to a globalized world, it is only stressing the importance of local realties while recognizing the existence of another level of interaction.


Private Sector Diplomacy




Richard Edelman explores the new landscape of corporate reputation and trust. According to his opinion "private sector diplomacy" is the range of actions and behavior that companies can use to engage the widening network of consumers, organizations, communities, and governments that make up stakeholder groups.
He sees opportunities for improvement along the entire spectrum, from innovative corporate responsibility initiatives to increased use of social media.
The financial crisis pushed the companies to rebuild themselves, their reputation and their relationships.This means business working with NGOs, with communities, with labor unions even, to come forward with appropriate, new regulatory schemes to government. The revolution stands in the fact that consumers are willing to pay a bit more for products that are ethically sourced or that have a good story. But the important thing is that they want to be sure that the companies they are doing business with have the right supply chain, have the right kind of process for environment.

  1. ^





    The Development Committee is a forum of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that deals with development issues, in this case it has defined five GPGs aimed to reduce poverty
  2. ^





    http://web.worldbank.org
    http://ec.europa.eu/
  3. ^





    http://www.sociology.leeds.ac.uk/bauman/conference/speakers/bauman.php
  4. ^





    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/scott-spicer/blog/2010/04/02/think-globally-act-locally