6 Billion Ways - 1,500 discuss global meltdown
Whenever a new crisis hits the globe, be it financial markets in turmoil, food riots, environmental disasters or violent conflicts, the result is always the same: the poor and marginalised are the ones who suffer the most.
6 Billion Ways set out to discuss these issues, how they interlink and to create a dialogue of change. The event, organised by JDC, War on Want, World Development Movement, Friends of the Earth, People & Planet, Rich Mix and City Circle, was a mixture of discussion seminars, films, music and workshops.
The session topics ranged from the global financial crisis, racism, the war on terror, feminism, Gaza and the Middle East and fair trade with all the strands of the day pulled together in the final plenary, ‘Global Meltdown: is another world really possible?’.
Speakers from all over the world came to take part in these discussions and were genuinely excited by the thought behind 6 Billion Ways and the day itself. Rich Mix, the main host for the day, played several thought provoking films including: 'With or Without Fidel'; 'Palestinian Blue'; 'The War on Democracy' and 'In Prison my Whole Life' with Colin Firth (the producer) taking part in a Q&A session afterwards.
Much of the action took place in Rich Mix, an innovative and exciting venue, and the site was packed. Amnesty International and Shoreditch Town Hall also played host for the day. Many of the seminars quickly reached capacity, with people eager to hear about the issues and to discuss them with the panels. Plenty of people also took the opportunity to hold discussions with other attendees in specially designated self-organising rooms.
A huge mixture of people attended, from school students to long term activists. Many of these people passed by the JDC stand to show their support for our organisation, to learn more about the campaigns or to simply hear about debt relief for the first time. The support for JDC and its campaigns, from both new and old activists was amazing.
The positive feedback for 6 Billion Ways has been huge with people leaving the event feeling empowered and motivated to affect real change. Two of the major next steps were the Put People First march on 28 March and Financial Fools Day on 1 April.