Universidade de Brasília

Visions of Sustainable Development: Theory and Action

Florida, USA, May 20-22, 2015


The XII International Colloquium took place in Gainesville, Florida, USA at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, from May 20-22, 2015. The selected theme was: Visions of Sustainable Development: Theory and Action. This meeting was organized by the University of Florida (UF), the University of Brasilia (UnB), and the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS).

The recent global financial and economic crisis has underscored the fact that despite significant increases in income and other “development” indicators in many parts of the world in the last fifty years, or so, the appropriate paths to development require serious rethinking. The rapid growth of the financial sector in the global economy has made economies fragile. Increases in inequality seem to be making societies more unjust and unstable. The problem of global warming continues to be major threat for the future.

At the XI International Colloquium in Brasilia last May, a widely shared consensus emerged that incremental changes in economic theory and policy will not be sufficient to address the pressing problems confronting humanity today and to leverage our collective economic potential for the welfare of all humanity. A new paradigm, that includes a conceptual framework in economic theory akin to the transition which occurred in Physics early in the 20th century, is needed.

This colloquium encouraged contributions about alternative visions of sustainable development and explored alternative economic theories that more effectively translate economic activity into sustainable models of economic security and equitable development for humanity as a whole. It examined current concepts and premises in the light of the rapid and radical changes that have transformed economic activity. It looked at the changes since the period in which most prevalent concepts were formulated to assess their relevance to the knowledge based globalized service economy emerging in the 21 century. Additionally, it examined the need for formulation of value-based trans-disciplinary science of society that effectively integrates economics with politics, law, society, culture and ecology. Special emphasis were placed on the challenges confronted by States in Transition.

The Colloquium included presentations on the inter-relationship of economic development and the problems of democracy and global power. It also generated specific contexts where the challenges of transition and sustainable development are explored. Papers projected appropriate dimensions of decision and policy for policy intervention at all levels including the global, national, community and personal levels, for an improved human prospect. For general orientation see Towards a Global Comprehensive Context-driven and Decision-focused Theory and Method for a New Political Economy, Winston P. Nagan and Valeen Arena in CADMUS Volume 2, Number 2, May 2014 [paper delivered at the XI International Colloquium].


The successful experience of the first International Colloquium, in 1997, was on “Money, Growth, Distribution and Structural Change: Contemporaneous Analysis”, that coincided with the foundation of PhD Program in Economics at the University of Brasilia (UnB). It was an outstanding meeting with the presence of many fine scholars from Brazil and the larger world community.

The 1999 International Colloquium on “Economic Dynamics and Economic Policy” which was the result of the consolidation of efforts to stimulate and sustain a critical dialogue, continued to develop these critical themes leading to a series of colloquia that followed. These include the 2001 International Colloquium on “Structural Change, Growth and Redistribution” and the 2003 International Colloquium on “Globalization, New Technologies and Economic Relations,” both held in Brasilia, with the support of the UnB and other institutions and had the presence of scholars from various countries around the world.

Subsequent to this initial effort at UnB, the event took on its intercontinental projection with the organization of the 2005 Colloquium in Treviso, Italy. This was a joint effort of the University of Brasilia and the PRINT-PROJECT, which included several Italian universities, on the theme “Dynamic Capabilities between Firm Organization and Systems of Production.” A selection of papers from this Colloquium were later published by Routledge International Publishers in January 2008. The VI International Colloquium was organized in 2007, once again by the University of Brasilia. The theme was “Macrodynamic Capability and Economic Development”. The emphasis of the colloquium was on socioeconomic policies towards growth and distribution, dubbed in the literature as “Development with a Human Face”. In 2010 the VII International Colloquium was successfully organized under the theme of “Getting out of the Current Economic Crisis: In the Light of Alternative Development Paradigms” by CEPN of the University of Paris 13 and the Department of Economics of the University of Brasilia. It took place at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, at the University of Paris Nord and attracted worldwide attention. The VIII International Colloquium, held in Ireland in May 2011, entitled “Economic Growth, Structural Change and Institutions” was organized jointly by the Department of Economics of the University of Brasilia and J. E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics of the National University of Ireland, in Galway. It attracted an excellent group of scholars and dealt with important contemporary economic policy issues.

In 2012, the IX International Colloquium took place at the Schumpeter Centre of the University of Graz, Austria, in collaboration with the University of Brasilia. The event produced contributions towards better understanding of “Inequality and its Persistence”. The main objective of the meeting was to provide a platform for productive exchanges of analysis and research results focusing on the theoretical and policy aspects of the inequality theme. The colloquium also aimed to stimulate an exchange of ideas across fields of inquiry from within the discipline of economic science, as well as in related disciplines. It reinforced a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of political economy.

In May, 2013, the X International Colloquium took place in the Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão (ISEG) in Lisbon, Portugal, in collaboration with the University of Brasilia (UnB). The theme was “Power Distribution in The World Economy: New Challenges”. It was concerned with new challenges of the world economy, the distribution of power between different groups in the national and global economies and throughout different countries of the world. Changes in the distribution of power have arguably had a major impact on the economic performance worldwide in recent years. The event was very successful with the presence of several fine scholars, from both academic and public sector administrators.

In May, 2014, the XI International Colloquium again took take place in Brasília. It was a return to its origin after a long period abroad. The selected theme was “Global Crisis and Changes of Paradigms: Current Issues”. Growth, distribution, inflation, trade and employment, have been some of the main concerns of macroeconomic theories, yet few economists foresaw the scale of the financial and economic crisis from 2008, and few have been able to propose alternative economic paradigms to respond to it. The main objective of the Colloquium was to provide a platform for a productive exchange of ideas, theories and policies in order to identify such paradigm shifts and better inform policies for both national and global governance. The main conclusions of the meeting were that more than a single event creates a stimulating international research network focusing on effective timely contributions to shape new thinking so that humanity can escape the multiple crises that currently affects society. The event had as sponsors the University of Brasilia (UnB), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS), the Rio Branco Institute (Ministry of External Relations), and the International Celso Furtado Center for Development Policies. Backgrounds articles outlining salient features of the event have been published in the WAAS’s Cadmus Journal and a selected number of papers presented in the Colloquium was published in the January 2015 issue of Review of Keynesian Economics.


The Members of the Organizing Committee were:

  1. Winston P. Nagan , University of Florida (President)
  2. Ricardo Azevedo Araújo, University of Brasilia (Vice President)
  3. Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, President, World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS)
  4. Garry Jacobs, Managing Editor of CADMUS
  5. Ivo Šlaus, Honorary President, World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS)
  6. Orio Giarini, Honorary Member of the Club of Rome
  7. Amitava Dutt – Notre-Dame University
  8. Thomas Palley – AFL – CIO and Editor of the Review of Keynesian Economics
  9. Joanílio Rodolpho Teixeira – Emeritus Professor, University of Brasília (Honorary Member)
  10. Maria de Lourdes Rollemberg Mollo, Member, World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS)
  11. Jon Mills, Director, Center for Governmental Responsibility (CGR), Dean Emeritus, UF Levin College of Law
  12. Abe Goldman, Director of African Studies, University of Florida
  13. Leonardo Villalon, Dean of International Programs, University of Florida
  14. Bob Berg, Former Trustee and currently Advisor to the Board of Trustees (WAAS)
  15. António Mendonça, Professor, University of Lisbon, Portugal

The University of Florida was founded in 1853 and its distinguished law school was founded in 1909.  It is an American Public Land-Grant, Sea-Grant and Space-Grant research University and the State of Florida’s flagship university.  The University of Florida is highly ranked among the best universities nationally and globally.   It is one of the largest research universities in the United States.  The University of Florida is one of the only 17 public universities elected into the Association of American Universities (AAU) because of its prominence as a research university, and is also classified as a major research university.  The University administers 123 masters programs and 76 doctoral programs.  In 2013, the Washington Monthly ranked the University of Florida as 24th among national universities, based inter alia on its research output.  One of the university’s most recent educational advances has been its Innovation Academy Program.  This program is the first United States initiative dealing with live-learn entrepreneurial based education.  The Levin College of Law is a state of the art institution in innovations in modern legal education and a top-tier law school.  The Colloquium is co-sponsored by the Levin College of Law and the Center for Governmental Responsibility of the University of Florida. For more information on UF and the Levin College of Law, please look at: www.law.ufl.edu
The World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) is composed of inpidual Fellows from perse cultures, nationalities, and intellectual disciplines, chosen for eminence in art, the natural and social sciences, and the humanities. Established in 1960 by distinguished inpiduals concerned by the impact of the explosive growth of knowledge, its activities seek to address global issues related to the social consequences and policy implications of knowledge. The Academy serves as a forum for reflective scientists, artists, and scholars to discuss the vital problems of humankind independent of political boundaries. It is a forum where these problems can be discussed objectively, scientifically, globally, and free from vested interests or regional attachments. The WAAS was founded on faith in the power of original and creative ideas to change the world. Its motto is “Leadership in thought that leads to action.” The aim of the Academy’s founders was to function as “an informal WORLD UNIVERSITY at the highest scientific and ethical level, in which deep human understanding and the fullest sense of responsibility will meet.” For more information on WAAS, please look at: www.worldacademy.org
The University of Brasilia (UnB) was created on April 21,1962 following the ideas of its founders, educator Anísio Teixeira and anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro. The latter became its first president (Rector). The architect Oscar Niemeyer designed its main building, the Central Institute of Sciences (ICC), also known as the “Minhocão”.   The undergraduate course in Economics was started in 1963, the MSc degree in 1973 and the PhD program in 1997. Over the years the Department of Economics has been committed to teaching and research at the frontier of the discipline. One main characteristic has been its plural vision in its approach to economic theory, and its respect for the different branches that the evolutions of economic ideas have taken. The Department of Economics at UnB has always been classified among the top Institutions in the country by the federal Ministry of Education, and has a national reputation for excellence in teaching and research. For more information on UnB, please look at: www.economia.unb.br 


As in previous events of the Colloquium, there will be presentations of papers selected by a Special Committee and panels presented by invited participants. We advise the authors to present the works in no more than 30 minutes. Questions will be presented by the audience not by the specific debaters. Each plenary session has a chairperson. The same occurs with the panels.

May 19 –   Tuesday
Arrival of participants. Welcoming and reception to be held at the home of Professor Nagan and the reception will start at 6:30 p.m.. The address is 8966 SW 44th Lane, Haile Plantation, Gainesville, FL 32608. Participants may wish to take a taxi to Nagan’s residence. Alternatively, Professor Nagan will be providing transportation with the assistance of his students for those who request it. Please email Professor Nagan (nagan@law.ufl.edu)  to indicate whether you intend to come to the reception.
May 20 – Wednesday
08:30 – 09:00  Registration
09:00 – 09:30 Opening session: Professor Winston P. Nagan (President of the Organizing Committee, University of Florida), Professor Heitor Gurgulino de Souza (President of the WAAS), Professor Joanilio R. Teixeira (Honorary Member of the Organizing Committee, University of Brasilia).
09:30 – 10:50 Plenary session: Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, Chairperson
Paper 1: Winston P. Nagan (Univ. of Florida/USA), Gadija Kahn ( Former acting Supreme Court Justice/ South Africa) and Craig Hammer (World Bank/USA). Title: “Towards a Theory of Sustainable Development: Drawing on Insights from Development in Modern Legal Theory”
Paper 2: Garry Jacobs (Editor of Cadmus Journal/India). Title: “Contours of New Economic Theory”
10:50 – 11:10 Coffee break
11:10 – 12:30 Plenary session: Jorge Thompson Araujo,  Chairperson
Paper 3: Amitava Dutt (Notre Dame University/USA). Title: “The division of labor in knowledge and action: Some general issues and the case of consumption.”
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:40 Plenary session: Michael Marien, Chairperson
Paper 4: Joanilio R. Teixeira (University of Brasilia/Brazil), Danielle Sandi Pinheiro (University of Brasilia/Brazil) and Anna Eloyr Vilasboas (University of Brasilia/Brazil). Title: “Socioeconomic and Environmental Performance: A Composite Index Approach and Comparative Application to the USA and China in the New Millennium”
Paper 5: Emilson Silva (University of Alberta/Canada) and Chikara Yamaguchi (Hiroshima Shado University/Japan). Title: “Overlapping International Green R&D Agreement”
15:40 – 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 – 16:20 Plenary session: Antonio Mendonça. Chairperson
Paper 6: Maria de Lourdes R. Mollo (University of Brasilia/Brazil). Title: “Changing the Dominant Paradigm in Economics: How to Understand and Confront Critical Aspects of Economic Globalization”
16:20 – 16:50 Chairperson Joanilio Teixeira, presentor Gus Speth [topic to be announced]
16:50 – 17:40 Panel A: Heitor Gurgulino de Souza (Chairperson/ Brazil). Title: “Politics of the Solar Age: 34 Years Later”. Hazel Henderson (WAAS Fellow/USA) and Michael Marien (WAAS/USA).
 May 21, Thursday 
09:00 – 10:40 Plenary session: Chandana Chakrabarti, Chairperson
Paper 7: Neantro Saavedra Rivano (University of Tsukuba/Japan). Title: “Towards an Understanding of Global Crisis.”
Paper 8: Miguel R. Fonseca (University of Porto/ Portugal), Antônio Mendonça (University of Lisbon/Portugal) and José Passos (University of Lisbon/ Portugal). Title: “Outward FDI and Sustainable Trade Balance: Evidence from Portuguese Economy, 1996-2011”.
10:40 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:50 Plenary session: Robert J. Berg, ChairpersonPaper 9: Michael Marien (Fellow of WAAS/USA). Title: “Sustainability Past and Future: Ten Propositions on the Emerging Organizational Macro-System.”
11:50 – 12:40 Panel B: Garry Jacobs (Chairperson/ India), Amitava Dutt (Notre Dame University/USA), Louis-Philippe Rochon (Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics/Canada). Title: “Converting Crises into Opportunities.”
12:40 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:40 Plenary session: Emilson Silva, Chairperson
Paper 10: Robert J. Berg (Board of Trustees, WAAS/USA). Title: “Is a Real Global Agreement on Sustainability Possible.”
Paper 11: Maria Rosa Borges.  (University of Lisbon/ Portugal). Title: “Financial System and      Economic Growth.”
15:40 – 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 – 16:50 Plenary session: Joanilio R. Teixeira, Chairperson
Paper 12: Leopoldo Costa (Ministry of Planning/Brazil), Fernando Soares (Ministry of  Planning/Brazil), Alexandre Souza (Central Bank/Brazil) and Edson Toledo (Ministry of Finance)/Brazil). Title: “Ethics and Sustainability: An Alternative Approach to Evaluate the Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in Brazil.”
16:50 – 17:30 Plenary session: Winston Nagan, Chairperson
Paper 13: Chandana Chakrabarti (WAAS Board of Trustees/ India). Title: “Poverty, Agriculture and Sustainable Development in India.”
Paper 14: Pierre-Antoine Barraille & Philip Koenig, Title (tentative): “Multi-National Corporate Business and the Crisis of Sustainability.”
17:40 – 18:30 Plenary session: Bob Berg, Board of Trustees
Yehuda Kahane (President and Co-Founder, YK Center) Title of presentation to be announced
May 22, Friday
09:00 – 10:40 Special Sessions
Panel C: Jon  Mills (Chairperson, University of Florida/USA), Jorge Thompson Araujo   (World Bank/USA) and Craig Hammer (World Bank/USA). Title: “Institutional Frameworks Supporting Government Programes.”
Panel D: Garry Jacobs (Chairperson/Moderator). Title: “Public Debate on Sustainable Development and New Human Centered Paradigm” (Michael Marien (Fellow of WAAS/USA) and Hazel Henderson (WAAS Fellow/USA).
10:40– 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 – 11:50 Closing session (Members to be indicated)