Empathy and development in the UK

Following on from the discussion about empathy in A Famine Buffet I’ve also been thinking about empathy in relation to development in the UK.  I campaign on development issues in the UK with a local group of interested and committed people. A lot of our campaigning involves setting up stalls on the local high street, talking to passers-by about the issues we work on and asking them to support our campaigns through signing petitions or letters to their local MPs. Learning the tricks of the trade – how to attract people’s attention, how to engage them and how to get a positive response all within about thirty seconds – is what has got me thinking about empathy. Continue reading


What’s not to like about ‘development’? Gustavo Esteva

Surely wanting to help people is a good thing? Not necessarily so according to Mexican thinker and activist Gustavo Esteva. He is an advocate of post-development; an academic movement which calls for the dismantling of ‘development’ from the World Bank to international NGOs.

What does Esteva write about?

Esteva’s essay Development  asks “what does development actually mean?” He traces the history of the word to illustrate that ‘development’ is not something that has always existed. Rather it is an idea, something that has been invented. Continue reading