Just Transition Collaborative: #EDGETalk Framing the System Change Debate

Do you share a future vision of global equity and justice, guided by ecological principles, rooted in place, culture and community self-determination?
Do you work on concepts like Just Transition, Commons, Agroecology, Degrowth, Ecofeminism, or Buen Vivir?
Do you wonder how they overlap and reinforce one another?

EDGE Funders Alliance is launching its Just Transition Collaborative, exploring frameworks for funders interested in supporting systemic alternatives to the crises we face.

In December 2015, “just transition” achieved its most mainstream platform yet when signatories to the Paris Accord included it in the preamble. While some celebrated this mainstreaming, others bristled at the potential co-opting of a concept they feared would lose its essence when pulled from community roots, and reframed primarily as a development tool. And still others flipped through their notes and ran google searches to figure out what “just transition” actually meant, and where it came from.

While philanthropy is still relatively new to the just transition concept, its origins can be traced to the North American trade union movement in the early 1990s. “Just transition” has since evolved in relatively distinct ways, in somewhat top-down fashion within the international and European trade union movements as a policy instrument to push for a more labour-centered approach to sustainable development and to mainstream environmental concerns within the trade union movement; in the US in a more bottom-up manner beyond the union movement, taken up by various grassroots and community groups to include principles of gender, racial and environmental justice. Related notions ranging from commoning and food sovereignty, to rights of nature and indigenous ways of knowing and being are contributing to the discussions as well.

Through the Just Transition Collaborative over the coming months, EDGE will work to bridge borders, sectors, political orientations and vocabularies, exploring the potential complementarity of these and multiple other approaches, and sharing ways in which funders are engaging with each other, civil society and social movement leaders in the US, in Europe and around the world.

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