Humanity has made immense progress over the last decades. The starting point for setting a future’s agenda can be anchored in a healthier, better educated, more prosperous, and better informed and connected world than ever.
Humanity finds itself at an evolutionary crossroad. The choice is between a perfect storm of progressively deepening crises and expanding perspectives of unprecedented opportunities.
Viewed from the perspective of the past, the current crises predict a gloomy future. Viewed as an evolutionary opportunity to break with outmoded ideas, values and institutions, they provide the essential conditions for the rapid transition to a more peaceful, prosperous, equitable and sustainable future.
The recent failure of collective action to address international financial instability, climate change, unemployment and food insecurity seem to justify pessimism. But this failure has been the result of a piecemeal, fragmentary approach to both understanding and addressing the issues.
The root causes of the crises we are witnessing rest on outmoded theoretical concepts, values and institutions. The remedy lies in the formulation of a new theory appropriate to the radically different conditions of the 21st century, commitment to progressive values that integrate individual freedom and equitable cooperation to maximize the welfare and well-being of all, and establishment of more effective national and global institutions.
There is a growing understanding and an increasing consensus of the kind of world we want to live in. A global society which has moved beyond hunger and suppression, a world that manages to live off the resources which the finite planet and the infinite human ingenuity provide, an equitable society which lives sustainably and is a lot better off and happier than today. The vision of the Club of Rome is one of an enlightened world guided by values of cooperation.
The world in 2052 can be a much safer and resilient place than it is today. Humanity has the opportunities, the tools, the science, technology and the insight to overcome the systemic crisis and to move into a better world. Whether we manage to do so will depend on each one of us.