Public-Private Partnerships at the UN?

This week, Dr. Harris Gleckman, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Governance and Sustainability, spoke with openDemocracy’s Lynn Fries (an independent video producer based in Geneva) about a growing corporate influence in the United Nations, such as the World Economic Forum, and the present and future impact on sectors ranging from agriculture to clean water access.

Gleckman’s draws on his expertise in multi-stakeholder governance to warn of the revenue interests of these private-public partnerships, such as the World Economic Forum. In Gleckman’s analysis, public-private partnerships necessitate a profit margin for some actors in the system, incentivizing behavior that cuts corners and hurts ordinary people. As an alternative, Gleckman proposes granting more access to the UN by civil society groups in order to have a stronger democratic voice within the UN processes.

Gleckman earned his Ph.D. from Brandeis University and serves as Director of Benchmark Environmental Consulting. He gained firsthand experience at the United Nations from his work as a staff member of the UN Centre on Transnational Corporations, head of the NY office of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and with the 2002 Monterey Conference on Financing for Development.

As an outlet, openDemocracy describes itself as, "an independent global media platform covering world affairs, ideas and culture which seeks to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world". They operate with the support of individual listeners, trusts, and private foundations.

Watch the full interview here.

To see Gleckman’s book on “Multistakeholder Governance and Democracy” click here.

3 views0 comments

Vision Statement

Our vision is to establish a leading intellectual hub that connects scholars and practitioners worldwide, linking analytical rigor and policy action on issues of environment, development, and sustainability governance.


Center for Governance & Sustainability

UMass Boston

Wheatley Hall, 4th Floor, Room 126
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.

Boston, MA 02125 USA


  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • LinkedIn - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • Vimeo - Black Circle

Home Page Video Credit: Emily Moothart