Green Deal Nigeria vs Success [sic] Summit

On 10 November, I attended a highly stimulating meeting organised by Jean Lambert MEP and Heinrich Boll Stiftung. Green Deal Nigeria is an inspiring sustainable development project that came out of the Occupy movement in Nigeria. There was a felt need to develop the critique of the Nigerian oil industry – and the strikes in that country against fuel price hikes – into a workable programme for meaningful change and promotion of clean energy alternatives.

Jean Lambert opening the meeting on Green Deal Nigeria

Christine K (pictured to right of Jean), succinctly summed up the work of her organisation, Heinrich Boll Siftung, as an NGO with close ties to the German Green Party: “How societies can live on this planet without destroying it. That, in a nutshell, is what turns out to be a really big job.” Three members of the Nigerian Occupy movement then presented, in turn, a multi-media presentation, focussing on the plundering of oil wealth, the growth in sustainable agriculture and the advancement of energy from waste. One speaker summed this up nicely, “Small scale farmers are part of Nigerian history and they should be part of the Nigerian future.”

Tea reception at Green Deal Nigeria

The event took place in the Friends House, Euston, and during an interval I discovered another meeting promoting the puruit of wealth. The speaker was making a proselytising pitch for how to get rich quick, with slides to match. I was struck by the thought that people in the same building were pursuing parallel universes, their goals and values seemingly flatly at odds with one another. What I would have given to see the size of the halls and their respective auidences reversed!

“Success Summit” – Way to Go! Not.

“Yes! You can have it all.” Slogan emblazoned on the banner advertising the event

As in You can have your cake and eat it. Sigh. A little research into the Success Summit revealed the following associations:

How to Generate More Income
How to Analyse a Business Opportunity
Paying your Taxes without Tears
Pursue your Dreams

Their definition of “holism”: “Many seminars bring you information about how to make lots of money or how to live a healthy lifestyle.” To the contrary, these pursuits, far from being intrinsically bound up with one another correlate negatively, especially the negative impact of overconsumption on the planet.

The Green Deal Nigeria reports are available here.

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