Mr. Putin is the only winner in the showdown over allowing Sweden and Finland to join NATO, “The Washington post” notes sadly. Sweden and Finland are modest-sized countries — together they would add less than 2 percent to NATO’s collective population of roughly 950 million — but they would pack an outsize punch. Their entry would represent a grievous strategic defeat for Russia, vastly expanding the Western alliance territory along the Russian border.
Short of Russia’s defeat on the battlefield, the war in Ukraine offers little immediate prospect of long-term strategic gain for the West. A critical exception is NATO’s expansion to include Sweden and Finland, a prospect tantalizingly close at hand but blocked for now by one key member of the 30-member alliance – Turkey.
That impasse is bound up in a matrix of problems, not least Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s domestic political challenges, a mess largely of his own making. Mr. Erdogan is a tireless haggler and certain to use the leverage he has to extract concessions from his NATO allies and excite his nationalist base ahead of Turkey’s elections, scheduled for June 2023.
Mr. Erdogan has taken advantage of NATO rules that give any member a veto on expansion — to amplify Turkey’s grievances with the two Nordic candidates and the alliance generally, including the United States. Some of those grievances are rooted in Turkey’s own security concerns. Others reflect the disconnect between the intolerant and increasingly despotic state Mr. Erdogan has built and the robust democracies buttressed by vibrant civil societies in other NATO member states, as well as Sweden and Finland.
Turkey’s loudest complaint is the toughest to satisfy. Mr. Erdogan has been adamant that Sweden, whose Kurdish population is around 100,000, crack down on alleged activists and sympathizers linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has carried out terrorist attacks in Turkey; Ankara as well as the United States and European Union regard it as a terrorist organization.
A much larger arms issue is Turkey’s $20 billion request to expand and modernize its existing fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets. Despite support from the Biden administration, the sale has been blocked on Capitol Hill, apparently over human rights concerns in Turkey and at the behest of lawmakers sympathetic to Greece, which opposes the deal. The congressional roadblock is myopic, and the rationale for it pales against a big-picture consideration of Turkey’s vital role in NATO and its expansion.
There’s no question Turkey, which joined NATO in 1952, just three years after the alliance’s birth, has been at times an awkward partner for its allies. Mr. Erdogan has compounded those challenges since coming to power in 2014, forging closer ties with Russia. In 2019, over heated objections from the Trump administration, Turkey deployed S-400 missiles, a Russian air defense system that the United States feared could compromise the crown jewel of NATO’s own arsenal, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Mr. Erdogan’s insistence on that move was rightly seen in Washington as a betrayal.
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Bold and urgent collective action is required not only to restore peace and security in Europe but also for the world, leaders told participants at the 53rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
Andrzej Duda, President of Poland, warned that Russia is likely preparing itself for a new offensive in the next few months. “We must urgently send additional military support to Ukraine, especially modern tanks and missile systems to stop the Russian offensive,” he said. Europe should listen to the voice of Ukraine – they want to be part of Europe and they want to be part of NATO. “The next few months will be crucial to decide the outcome of the war,” he added.
The importance of acting now was also stressed by Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of NATO. Russia is planning new offensive attacks and is conscripting more soldiers and restocking ammunition, he said. There is an urgent need for more advanced support including air defence systems. “We must fight for our democratic values – we have to prove that freedom wins over tyranny.”
Avril Haines, US Director of National Intelligence, said fighting continues along the frontlines but the tempo of the war has materially decreased. “It’s a not a stalemate, but a grinding conflict at this stage.”
The Canadian government has said it will donate 200 more armoured vehicles, which is part of the additional $500 million in military aid for Ukraine. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Canada, said: “Supplying Ukraine with weapons and money to win the war is in our own self-interest.”
Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, described how Ukraine’s ability to function despite the war is improving over time. “In the 329 days of the war so far, we have gained unique experience in how to keep the economy and essential services running,” she said. “No one doubts that Ukraine will win this war, but every day brings more death and damage. Assistance now will significantly speed up Ukraine’s success.”
Developed countries should walk the talk on transforming food systems by helping smallholder farmers in developing countries with cheaper access to irrigation, fertilizers and markets, said Raj Kumar Singh, India’s Minister for New and Renewable Energy, in a session on “Interplay of Food, Energy and Water” at the 53rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
India is providing millions of solar water pumps to farmers, and will soon produce enough green ammonia to stop imports of ammonia-based fertilizers, which form a big chunk of its import bills, the minister said. Asked why India is continuing to import cheap Russian gas despite international opprobrium, Singh said India imports less gas from Russia in a month than Europe does in a day, adding: “India had a conflict with its northern neighbour; did the West do anything about it? Stop importing from it?”
Speaking of his experience as a Goodwill Ambassador for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the actor Idris Elba said IFAD’s interventions show the systems that work and are replicable but more public-private partnerships (PPPs) are needed. “Countries need a food systems ministry, not just an agriculture ministry. One that relies on people-centric policies, incentivizes the private sector for early adoption of new systems, has multifaceted goals.”
Viet Nam has already operationalized such PPPs, said Tran Hong Ha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam. “Farmers in developing countries are usually not wealthy and need partnership among all stakeholders – producers, consumers and others along the value chain – in order to contribute knowledge and share profits.” He added that there is inevitably friction, too, and governments can play a balancing role to ensure that each sector can develop fully.
Proclaiming PepsiCo to be “mainly an agricultural company”, Ramon Laguarta, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, USA, said his company is striving to make agriculture regenerative, sustainable and positive for the planet. As the owner of the largest private fleet of vehicles in the US, PepsiCo is makings its vehicles low-emission. “We have beautiful brands that have the power to educate consumers on sustainability,” he said.
Calling for an international agreement whereby every country would become accountable for transforming its food system, he said it is imperative to put the farmer at the centre, and make sure the farmer makes good money while using fewer resources and producing fewer carbon emissions. Emphasizing the need to “make farming sexy”, Laguarta said there will be no next generation of farmers unless farmers love their profession, earn an living and continue to invest in farming. “We must help with technology, training, funding,” he said. “It’s happening; it is the future of our company.”
Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development of Norway, said it was absurd that “the very people who go hungry are food producers”, adding that “now, with increasing cost of inputs, it will get worse.” Speaking of the US Department of Agriculture’s Global Fertilizer Challenge, she made a case for precision agriculture that maps soils to enable optimum fertilizer and water use.
Agreeing with Indian minister Singh that derisking should be a key element of financial support to farmers in developing countries, Tvinnereim said Norway has been able to use its taxpayers’ money to crowd in private money. “We have the technologies, we know what to do, but we need investment to create a virtuous cycle of investment.”
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship announced today 16 awardees for social innovation in 2023.
The 2023 Social Innovators of the Year includes a list of outstanding founders and chief executive officers, multinational and regional business leaders, government leaders and recognized experts.
The list includes a Nigerian entrepreneur supporting smallholder farmers increase profits and turning at-risk young people into entrepreneurs; a New York-based pioneer of “open hiring” that helps individuals facing barriers to meaningful employment by offering work with no interviews, no background checks and no resumés; and a Brazilian collective network of more than 70 organizations in 14 countries that monitors land use and change to promote the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and fight climate change.
The awardees were selected in recognition of their innovative approach and potential for global impact by Schwab Foundation Board members. The selection committee includes Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark (2011-2015), and social innovation expert Johanna Mair, Professor of Organization, Strategy and Leadership at the Hertie School of Governance in Germany, and H.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Honorary Board Member.
“The Social Innovators of the Year 2023 represent a generation of social and environmental change leaders who demonstrate that innovative models of cooperation and action across sectors are critical to making progress on the complex challenges we face,” said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
This year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting marks the 25th anniversary of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. In 1998 Hilde Schwab, together with her husband Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, created the foundation to support new models for social change, combining values and dedication with the best business principles to create a more just, sustainable and equitable world.
Today, the foundation has a thriving community of over 450 global social entrepreneurs that has impacted the lives of nearly 1 billion people in 190 countries. The entrepreneurs offer access to healthcare, education, housing, finance, digital skills and advocacy networks resulting in job creation economic opportunity, improved health and stability.
“Complex problems cannot be tackled by single organizations, and this year’s Schwab Foundation awardees show new models of collaborating across sectors using innovative technology, human networks and shared resources and knowledge. Many social innovators have a long history of working in collaboration with others. The ambition now is in creating systemic change through collective efforts,” said François Bonnici, Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
The 2023 Schwab Foundation Awards are hosted in a long-term partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, founded on the philosophy of “Ubuntu”, the African concept of giving and caring for your neighbour and other members of your community.
“Social entrepreneurs act as a bridge that connects ethics and values to our business principles. I believe these entrepreneurs are designing a blueprint for meaningful economies by re-imagining progress during these uncertain times,” said Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-Chair, Motsepe Foundation and Chancellor of the University of Cape Town.
The 2023 awardees are awarded across four categories:
Pioneering systemic solutions for social and environmental challenges ranging from refugee family reunification and human rights to water infrastructure and financial inclusion.
Ady Beitler, CEO, Nilus (Argentina) – leads the Argentinian social enterprise that uses technology and sharing economy models to reduce food loss and waste. His organization’s mission is to alleviate hunger by lowering the cost of healthy food for those on low incomes – a goal it achieves by rescuing food that would otherwise be wasted and distributing it at discounted prices.
Aniket Doegar, CEO, Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Private Limited (India) –has led the Indian social impact organization working on easing access to welfare for seven years. It digitized welfare schemes and provided application support to more than 120,000 people in low-income rural and urban communities.
Aref Husseini, CEO, Al Nayzak Foundation for Extra Curricular Education and Scientific Innovation (Palestine Territories) – challenging traditional teaching methods in the Palestinian education system to produce more students who are critical thinkers and who approach problem solving through research, analysis and scientific thinking.
Celina de Sola, President, Glasswing International (El Salvador) – empowers individuals and communities to address the root causes of poverty and violence through education and health programmes. Glasswing has expanded from its El Salvador base to 10 other countries and has impacted more than 1.5 million lives since 2007.
Joseph Kenner, CEO, Greyston (USA) – the New York-based pioneer of “open hiring” that helps individuals facing barriers to meaningful employment by offering work with no interviews, no background checks and no resumés. Best known for its bakery, Greyston is now expanding its reach and aims to provide open-hiring employment opportunities to 40,000 Americans by 2030.
Kola Masha, Managing Director, Babban Gona (Nigeria) – helps smallholder farmers increase profits and turns at-risk young people into entrepreneurs. Babban Gona’s unique technology platform helps farmers increase yields and aims to create millions of youth jobs, breaking a cycle of poverty and violence in rural communities.
Säbeen Haque, Executive Director, doctHERS (Pakistan) – connects female doctors to millions of under-served patients using digital technology through the innovative healthcare platform doctHERS. The online marketplace helps reintegrate women medical practitioners into the workforce and empowers marginalized communities by circumventing sociocultural barriers that can restrict access to healthcare.
Corporate Social Intrapreneurs:
Leaders within multinational or regional companies who drive the development of new products, initiatives, services, or business models that address societal and environmental challenges.
Benoît Bonello, Social Innovation Director, SUEZ Group (France) –leading the company’s inclusive business approach with the goal of delivering a positive impact on society and the environment.
Kanika Pal, South Asia Sustainability Head, Hindustan Unilever (India) –an award-winning CSR and sustainability professional with over 17 years of experience, Pal quit the corporate sector from 2015 to 2017 and founded the Solutions for Clean and Healthy Environment Foundation to influence behaviour change for a cleaner planet.
Public Social Intrapreneurs:
Leaders in the public sector, be it local or national governments or representatives of international organizations, who harness the power of social innovation and social entrepreneurship to create public good through policy, regulation, or public initiatives. The Schwab Foundation is the first of its kind to recognize public sector changemakers.
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor, Freetown City Council (Sierra Leone) – committed to transforming the city’s services, infrastructure and environment using an inclusive data-driven approach. The mayor’s three-year Transform Freetown plan details 19 concrete targets in 11 sectors covering issues ranging from waste management to improving urban planning and tackling environmental degradation.
Bushra Al Mulla, Director General, Family Care Authority of Abu Dhabi (UAE) – has been a serial intrapreneur in the Abu Dhabi government and has transformed the lives of families, children and people with disabilities through integration of public services to establish a holistic approach to families, allowing them to live as empowered citizens in the emirate.
Collective Social Innovation:
Organizations coming together to address complex problems that cannot be tackled by individual actors, leveraging pooled assets such as knowledge, innovative solutions, human capital, access to networks and communication channels.
MapBiomas (Brazil), co-led by Tasso Azevedo, Founder and General Coordinator, Julia Shimbo, Scientific Coordinator, and Marcos Rosa, Technical Coordinator – a collaborative network of more than 70 organizations in 14 countries that monitors land use and land use change to promote the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and fight climate change.
ProjectTogether (Germany), co-led by Philipp von der Wippel, Founder and Co-CEO, and Henrike Schlottmann, Co-CEO – an innovation platform based in Germany that supports the next generation in developing ground-breaking ideas from circular economy projects to climate-positive agriculture. to supporting refugees. It has supported more than 1,000 social pioneers and built a network of over 500 volunteer coaches and 400 experts.
Punjab Education Collective (India), co-led by Khushboo Awasthi, Chief Operating Officer of ShikshaLokam, Rucha Pande, Chief Operating Officer at Mantra4Change, and Simranpreet Oberoi, Co-Founder and Leader of Sanjhi Sikhiya – a collective of four organizations working to transform the public education system of the state of Punjab and improve educational standards against global benchmarks, impacting 2.3 million students across 19,000 government schools in Punjab.
Tamarack Institute (Canada), co-led by Liz Weaver and Danya Pastuszek, Co-CEOs – develops and supports collaborative strategies to fight poverty and solve major community issues mainly in Canada. The network has grown to more than 90 regional members, local non-profit or community associations, whose work impacts 22 million Canadians, equivalent to 58% of the country’s population.
WIEGO (Global), co-led by Sally Roever, International Coordinator (UK/US), Janhavi Dave, International Coordinator of HomeNet International (India), and Lorraine Sibanda, President of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (Zimbabwe) – a global network dedicated to improving the working conditions, rights, protection, economic opportunities and voice of all the working poor, particularly women, in the informal economy.
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