...the global beverages giant [Coca Cola] was given a platform to present itself as ecologically progressive by one of the European Union’s (EU) most powerful bodies.
Friends of Europe, the event organiser, was founded in 1999 and relies heavily on corporate funding for its work. Describing itself as the "most dynamic think tank" in Brussels, it is led by Giles Merritt who doubles up as a journalist and corporate lobbyist.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up