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  • Helmut Lemke

Introducing Paul Strikker

We speak to Paul, He is in his flat in Berlin.

It’s hot there / in Paul’s’ Flat in Berlin.

Paul is a rethinking economist.

We invited Paul to enter into a discourse with us and to share thoughts because we believe that his insight into contemporary economics and his experience of the Corona virus Covid19 measures in Germany will add an aspect to our endeavour that we, otherwise would not have access to.

He is currently working for the German Advisory Board on Global Change. Here he is focusing on the question if and if how to value nature and the drivers of zoonotic diseases as for example and motivated by Covid-19. His own economic research has been about the altruistic motivation of remittances (payments of migrants to their countries of origin) and how they can be channelled and supported by countries of the global north for the development of the global south.

Berlins social distances measures are completely relaxed, now – however there are regional, very serious outbreaks of Covid 19 in Germany. One of the worst happens just now in a meat-processing factory in East Westphalia (the region where Paul and I - Helmut are from). There, 1600 employees out of 7000 are infected and the whole city is closed down.

Latest news in one of the UK tabloids is that ‘the R factor’ in Germany has risen to above 2. Of course, that’s nonsense, just as in any other country there are very strong regional differences.

Bars are open, so are pubs and restaurants – but

Bars aren’t fun – nobody is excited of being there.

Our first skype meeting meanders.

Who is expecting what from whom for the benefit of the Call centre.

We immediately gain insight from Paul’s different knowledge to ours:

He introduces us to innovative models that cities worldwide introduce to tackle issues evolving from the corona virus pandemic. One example is the 'doughnut economy’ model that Amsterdam will introduce.

Another, the effort that cities make in creating more bicycle friendly urban areas

Globally this is the first time in decades that human health is the reason for economical measures, as was mentioned by Dr. Maria Neira who Paul just came across in the ‘COVID-19 Forestry Webinar Week’.

Background noises interfere with our conversation - either someone is listening in or one of Paul’s flatmates is making a bench in his underpants – it is hot in Berlin.

The conversations shifts to Bubbles, Paul is interested to tap into other bubbles than those he is part of. He is not aware of the topical implications of “BUBBLES’ in the UK.

in search of a label what we and our contact are we agree “WE ARE A BUBBLE” ;

the Chumpon, Helmut, Kerry. Paul & Suzi Bubble

Connections and similarities become evident between Chumpon, us, Paul and Suzi.

We will investigate further

How exciting!

We will speak maybe every week – maybe the whole bubble should have a zoom call – Paul will send links, all the economic stuff he tells us is too much to comprehend in one short afternoon Skype meeting.

It is still hot in Berlin - Paul is off to the Ploetzensee now for a swim.

we look out / rain pouring down


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