In 1972, the Club of Rome published its first report, „The Limits to Growth“. The report warned that if growth rates seen between 1900 and 1972 were to continue, humanity would overstep planetary boundaries sometime between 2000 and 2100. 40 years later, there is no doubt that the world has been crossing and continues to cross planetary limits. The consequence is a series of crises faced by our global society.
Within the first decade of this Millennium, humanity already finds itself in at least five major ecological and social crises. Each of them is a warning sign, that something is going wrong: An unemployment crisis, a food crisis, a global financial crisis, an economic crisis and a global ecological crisis.
These individual crises are, in fact, driven by many of the same root causes: Values not aligned with the crises we are facing and an antiquated belief system, an outdated economy, outdated institutions and inadequate delivery mechanisms.
We are faced with the necessity to evolve towards new and higher social systems, that are needed to effectively manage higher levels of technological capability, globalization of society, greater human mobility, etc. We should not focus on what seems to have been lost, but on what humanity has until now never possessed. Society is evolving. Understanding the present in the light of the past, we see only the problems resulting in gloom. Understanding the present in the light of the future it compels us to evolve, we see the opportunities it points to.
An emerging movement and opportunities as never seen before
Entire sets of beliefs and behaviour have become outdated and counter-productive and need to be replaced by new thinking and new approaches. The good news is that this change is effectively beginning to take place, despite the stiff resistance it faces.
A groundswell of a global movement seems to be building up as millions of people are actively engaged in building a global society, which is sustainable, just and equitable. What unites them is a vision for a better world, one where humanity lives in peace with nature and itself, a world which can be called „sustainable and equitable”, a world which would be much more secure, stable and habitable than the one we are living in today.
This groundswell is aided by an unprecedented array of tools and resources such as innovations in technology and communications, higher levels of education, greater democratic freedom, greater tolerance and international understanding, increasing capacity for organization and progress of all types of social institutions.