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Allies Speaking
From the Alliance to “oeconomia”

The work of the Alliance, the findings of the World Citizens Assembly, and the Agenda for the Twenty-first Century that came out of it are my main sources of inspiration. The Agenda for the Twenty-first Century staked out three imperatives: to make the Charter of Human Responsibilities the third pillar of the international community; to start, from the local to the global, a revolution of governance to make the management of our societies respond to the needs of the twenty-first century; to transform our forms of production and of consumption so that sustainable development is more than just wishful thinking, a way of moving in the right direction but in a train travelling ten times faster in the opposite direction, in order to really go toward sustainable societies.

For each of these three imperatives, and in particular the latter two, there have been many innovations, and I believe that the Alliance has played a historical role in bridging them all together. What I feel has been missing most of all is a new framework of thought that can be a reference for collective action. Faithful to the ethical line that together, we have set for ourselves, which is to never stop at analyzing and voicing but to risk formulating proposals, I decided to take the plunge.

Rules for managing the Common House

For governance, this was the subject of my book La démocratie en miettes, pour une révolution de la gouvernance, also published in Spanish and in Chinese. This left the third imperative: a new framework of thought for the economy. The Alliance Workgroup on Solidarity Socio-Economy (WSSE) had collected much thinking in this area. It seemed to me that it was still not enough for proposing an overall alternative to dominant thinking.

I therefore started out in 2005 with an explorer’s, a trailblazer’s approach. The two attached texts offer a small window on this exploratory approach.

To say the truth, it was blood, sweat, and tears, as summertime was all I had to put my work back on the loom. It was all the more difficult that in 2007, organization of the second biennial meetings of the China-Europa Forum cut into my momentum. But the global crisis was also a powerful incentive to finish what I’d begun. My vital lead was to start from the etymology of "oeconomia," "the rules for managing the Common House," to understand that oeconomia is simply a branch of governance to which we need to apply the general principles of governance I had described in La Démocratie en miettes. Essai sur l’oeconomie was published in French in February 2009. There are excerpts in English and in Spanish. Here is the path to get there.

De l’économie à l’oeconomie : une réforme radicale de la pensée
Pierre Calame
Introduction to the essay on oeconomia for the Mendès France Center summer university in October 2009

A la recherche d’un modèle alternatif pour l’économie : journal d’une exploration
Pierre Calame
Conference in Marseilles on September 25, 2009 for the AGIR yearly meetings


Pierre Calame
Chairman, Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for (...)
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