15 June 2023 | Hardly anyone knows about the Global Listening Project. Those responsible seem to like it this way. A project that pretends to be emphatically interested in the concerns of people all over the world, has many traits that speak of a desire to manipulate populations into accepting the policies and goals of a technocratic elite.
The Global Listening Project has been active since at least October 2022. Public relations have been fairly low-key, however. Between at least 15 February and 30 March 2023, there was a webpage for the project. On those dates, the Web Archive archived the page for the first and last time. In response to my inquiry of 23 May, project founder Prof. Heide Larson replied on on 26 May that the webpage had moved to https://global-listening.org and it had taken a few days to list it on Google.
The still somewhat rudimentary webpage still says, “Stay tuned for our full website, coming soon.”
In October 2022, founder Heidi Larson had said in a podcast interview with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., that a report on the project’s findings would be released in spring 2023. In answer to my question, she now says the report will be released in spring 2024, and that until then, there might be occassional podcasts or postings, as appropriate.
On CSIS’s “Pandemic Planet” podcast, Larson said she was interested in finding trust in governments can be restored. She referred to a World Economic Forum report on that found social cohesion severely compromised. She wanted to capture “emotions, moods and insights” of people around the world, she proclaimed.
The Pandemic Planet podcast, by its own description, is about “how the U.S. can best lead health security efforts abroad.”
The Global Listening Project has held focus groups in New York, Paris, Delhi, Bangkok, Sao Paulo, and Abuja. From these, the project’s organizers hope to identify “key themes” that resonate globally. On this basis, they plan to design a global survey from which a “Societal Preparedness Index” will be derived for individual countries.
I read from this: By means of a regular global survey, which is validated in advance by the focus groups, the globalists behind this project want to determine on an ongoing basis to what extent the society of various countries is prepared to submit to the dictates of a central organization, i.e. the WHO, in the event of the next alleged or actual health crisis. In this way, countries whose populations still need to be worked on, can be identified in advance.
To communicate the lessons learned from the project, roundtables with policymakers at the regional or global level will be organized, according to Larsons explanation.
Heidi Larson is a senior associate at CSIS. The institute has been awarded the title of Best Defense and National Security Think Tank. She is also a professor in Seattle and Antwerp. But mainly, she is director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She is married to Peter Piot, Director of LSHTM and Corona Advisor to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Before moving to London, Larson was head of global immunization promotion at Unicef and at Gavi, an immunization alliance largely funded by the Gates Foundation. In a portrait in the New Yorker, she is called a vaccine anthropologist. Anthropology is her learned subject. So she is not so expert in vaccins as in how to get a message across in different cultures.
For the Vaccine Conficence Project that she founded in 2010, a large team of experts in digital media, political science, artificial intelligence, psychology, statistics epidemiology, and computer science monitor news and social media in over 100 languages. Sponsors are the usual suspects, i.e. pharmaceutical companies, World Economic Forum, Gates Foundation, UK-AID, Meta, Youtube, Edelman Trust Institute.
The is a link to the Robert-Koch-Insitute (RKI), which is responsible for infection suveillance and prevention in Germany. Johanna Hanefeld, the head of the RKI’s Center for International Health Protection, also came to Berlin from the London LSHTM with Gates grants in her luggage. She was deputy to Larson’s husband Piot in London. She is associated with Larson’s Global Listening project as a member of the International Advisory Board, along with Charbel El Bcheraoui, who is manager one level down from her at the RKI Center, which Hanefeld leads.
So far, the website only mentions “founding sponsors. These are the MacArthur Foundation and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSk). A look at the list of advisory board members suggests that the project is now also receiving money from other usual suspects, or at least would like to. The advisory board includes representatives of the pharmaceutical companies and foundations Novartis Foundation, Novo Nordisk Foundation; Moderna (2x), GSK (5x).
Other deep-pocketed potential sponsors with an advisory board are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Prof. Larson has not answered my folow-up question regarding sponsors beyond the founding-sponsors.
Also of interest are a few other organizations with representatives on the advisory board, such as the Edelman Trust Institute, which is known not only from the Vaccine Confidence Initiative, but also from pandemic exercises such as Event 201 organized by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which is also represented on the advisory board of the Listening Project.
Edelman is one of the leading public relations firm globally.
Also represented on the advisory board, the Council of Foreign Relations, and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), the latter with two representatives.
The GIFCT is a consortium of companies that maintains a censorship database of terrorist-related content. Members include Microsoft, Meta (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp), YouTube, Twitter, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Amazon, Tumblr, WordPress.com, and Zoom.
How benign is that project?
To try and find out what people’s concerns are, beyond election results and surveys, can be a laudable undertaking. However, if this is done at the global level, it suggests that it is not about making policies that are close to the people and oriented toward their wishes.That is hardly possible at the global level; it would have to be done at the national or even more decentralized level. At the global level, warrants the suspicion that a global policy is to be sold in a regionally adapted way, or that a central body wants to know where there are problems and where it has to intervene, e.g. by hiring trusted “embassadors” (surreptitious advertising) or by censorship.
The presence of two representatives of the censorship consortium GIFCT points in the latter direction. This consortium deals with technical issues of how to delete content to be censored across platforms and prevent its republication. It is difficult to see what contribution this consortium could make in advising a project that is only concerned with finding out how people think and feel and has nothing to do with terrorism. The association of the project’s leader with CSIS, a U.S. defense and national security think tank, points in the same direction.
Prof. Larson has not respondet to my request to comment on this.
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