The planetary phase of history has begun, but its ultimate shape is profoundly uncertain. Will global development veer toward a world of impoverished people, cultures and nature? Or will there be a Great Transition toward a future of enriched lives, human solidarity and environmental sustainability? These questions are addressed in the path-breaking essay Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead. Paul Raskin, Tellus President, is lead author of this examination of the possibilities for a sustainable and desirable world.
The essay describes the historic roots, current dynamics, future perils, and alternative pathways for world development. It advances one of these paths, Great Transition, as the preferred route, identifying strategies, agents of change, and values for a new global agenda. The essay's appraisal of the current global crossroads is disquieting. Conventional development is perilous, while the reform path to a sustainable future is problematic and uncertain.
Yet, it shows that a fundamental change of direction is still possible. Progressive elements of civil society, government, international organizations, and business can forge a new sustainability paradigm, an alternative vision of globalization centered on the quality of life, human solidarity, environmental resilience, and an informed and engaged citizenry.
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