28 May: Joint STS & GTD Colloquium “Light on Development. A Post-MDG Agenda” by Henk Molenaar (NWO-WOTRO)

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Date(s) - 28/05/14
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Grote Gracht 80-82 (Soiron Building). Room: Attic


Light on Development. A Post-MDG Agenda

By  Henk Molenaar (NWO-WOTRO)

Abstract: The presentation contributes to the debate on the post 2015 development agenda. It criticizes the growth paradigm of development thinking by pointing at adverse effects of the relentless pursuit of growth: senseless consumerism, growing inequalities, and environmental degradation. Molenaar sketches the outlines of an alternative theory of development that departs from a different ontology and is based on a different concept of selfhood. Recognizing trust as the basic substance of society, and situating trust in the social relation rather than in the individual, he argues for the enhancement of trust as an alternative to growth. He explains the crucial role of trust in the forging of society and the pursuit of well-being. As the argument unfolds, a radically different global social agenda is presented that moves beyond the MDGs. It comprises of three complementary and mutually reinforcing development goals: reducing global inequalities, abandoning economic growth, and enhancing trust.

Henk Molenaar is currently executive director of WOTRO Science for Global Development, which is the division of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research that focuses on research for development. He holds a Doctors degree of Leiden University in social sciences. An anthropologist by training, specialised in economic anthropology, structuralism and knowledge systems, he has worked for over 25 years on international development issues and development cooperation. Molenaar has worked in various African countries (Mali, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania) in a variety of functions (researcher, technical and policy adviser, programme coordinator and country programme manager) and in such diverging fields as farmers associations, agricultural policy, indigenous peoples, pastoralism, gender, human rights and urban development. At head office level he has worked both for SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on policy and strategy development and in various managerial functions. Over the last ten years Molenaar has worked in the field of research policy, programming, and funding, both for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for WOTRO Science for Global Development.

Upcoming GTD colloquia:

– June 18: Leen Sterckx (The Netherlands Institute for Social Research)