The Big Downturn? Nanogeopolitics, ETC Group’s new 68-page report on global governance of nanoscale technologies, is an update of our 2005 Nanogeopolitics survey. In the intervening five years, policymakers – some kicking and screaming – have begun to acknowledge that fast-tracking nanotech has come at a price and that some sort of regulation is needed to deal with at least some of the risks nanoscale technologies pose.
Concentration in corporate power is the defining feature of today's global economy, with profound implications for livelihoods, well-being, the environment and human rights. ETC Group has long monitored the "Gene Giants" (who aggregate control over seeds, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, genomics and food processing and retailing). Today many of the same large corporations are touting the use of new technologies - including genomics, nanotechnology and synthetic biology - to transform biomass into high-value products or to manufacture materials "from the bottom up." They are moving from being - 'gene giants' to 'biomass-ters' or even 'matter moguls.'