A phrase that has about as many meanings as people who use it —Dr. Paul Raskin.
Add to this the disconnect I may feel with a subject that seems to stymie highly resourced intergovernmental organisations, transnational corporations and civil society at large! And yet only within me lies the answer to the challenges of my own life, family, tribe and community, and country. (Ed.)
Nationalism weakens the capacity of multilateral bodies to redirect development toward a sustainable and just future; the profit motive dominates private sector choices; and organisational and philosophical fragmentation limits civil society. With efforts dispersed and small scale, systemic deterioration overwhelms painstaking progress won here and there. Still, awakening public concern opens the way for a new force, already nascent, on the global stage: a global citizens movement (GCM). As a systemic movement, the GCM would connect issues and places in a common project to mute dangers and advance an affirmative vision of planetary civilisation, embodying in its means the norms of its end: trust, transparency, and tolerance. Although such a cultural and political rising is by no means inevitable, it remains possible. The antidote to cynicism and despair is nurturing vision and hope through deepening our understanding of the challenge and building modalities for collective action.
A vision of civilisation rooted in a new suite of values—quality-of-life, human solidarity, and reverence for nature—for the twenty-first century. Its premise is that the interdependence of the Planetary Phase can nourish a new consciousness, building an objective basis for the ancient cosmopolitan dream of global civilisation. Our huge economies have created, in principle, the conditions for a post-scarcity society where attention can turn to quality-of-life: human fulfilment rather than material wealth as the measure of success and well-being. A sense of connectedness and solidarity can extend beyond nation and tribe to people in distant places, the unborn in distant futures, and other creatures of Earth. A sense of wonder and appreciation of the natural world can flow from an appreciation of our place in the web of life and dependence on Earth’s bounty.
Yale University interview with Global Transitions Initiative Director Paul Raskin; a 10m discussion of the consciousness shift and global movement that can forge a path to a just and resilient future:
A 6m introductory overview of the GT framework and vision: