Dr. Thomas Marois
Senior Lecturer in Development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the UK.
I take a critical approach to Development Studies, looking at finance and development, with a particular focus on public banks. I am increasingly focused on investigating existing public sector services and cooperative alternatives to neoliberalism.
Back in 2014, I was introduced to TNI’s Municipal Services Project. I attended a conference with the Municipal Services Project in Cape Town where I met people from TNI. I gave a talk about Public Banks. From there I was invited to the next TNI Fellows’ Meeting to talk about public banking.
If I were to describe TNI with just one word I would choose ‘uplifting’. I find I have plenty of connections, both ideologically and morally, in our mutual concerns for justice and meaningful alternatives. I found TNI very welcoming and generous with their time and support. Their connections and networks around the world, especially in Latin America and Africa, have been invaluable. This has impacted in a positive way my research and dissemination opportunities. TNI takes a practical and inspiring approach to meaningful alternatives.
Working with TNI in general – not only the scholars but the Fellows, interns and permanent staff – I really appreciate that everyone seems to be on equal terms. Conversations are open for everyone to contribute to. There’s a real lack of hierarchy.
In my own research trajectory I found myself moving away from looking mainly at a critique of finance and development and broadening my focus to proposing real alternatives, in part because of the perspectives I was exposed to through TNI.
I think TNI can play a role in developing meaningful alternatives for a sustainable, just, climate-friendly future, with social movements at the centre.