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Global Leadership in the 21st century

What will it take to fill the global leadership vacuum that presently prevents humanity from addressing pressing existential challenges and emerging opportunities?

What can we learn from radical transitions in the past about effective strategies for accelerating global social evolution?

What is the role of international agencies, governments, businesses, universities, academies, research institutes and youth groups in overcoming ignorance, vested interests, political and bureaucratic obstacles to unleashing global social movements to support transition to a new paradigm for human development?

These and similar questions are the subject of the project jointly launched by WAAS and the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) in June 2019 to accelerate progress on pressing challenges and emerging opportunities, and accelerate implementation of the SDGs. This multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral project will culminate in a major conference at UNOG on October 27-28, 2020 on the occasion of the UN’s 75th anniversary celebration, followed by a final report to the UN, development of university level courses and media outreach strategies.

In November 2019 WAAS conducted two executive briefings at UNOG for UN agencies, UN member states and leading international NGOs. In December the Academy launched an online survey of these agencies and other collaborating partners in order to identify fundamental principles and effective strategies that can be applied to consciously accelerate the process of global social transformation.

WAAS is collaborating with a host of partner organizations committed to accelerating social transformation at the global level. On March 5-7, 2020, it participated in the 2nd World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDF) at Durango, Mexico and announced partnership with WSDF and the Protect Our Planet (POP) Movement. A meeting with 35 representatives of international youth groups, including Fridays for the Future, enabled WAAS to enlist the active participation of youth groups in GL-21.


United Nations Headquarters, New York
The World Bank, Washington DC
Inter-University Center, Dubrovnik

The World between Yesterday & Tomorrow, Podgorica
Online: Consciousness, the Corporate World & Conflict
Online: Global Issues & Future of Humankind

On March 9, WAAS and Club of Rome conducted a five hour online teleconference with participants from four continents on the Catalytic Strategies for Social Transformation, after the physical meeting at Dubrovnik was cancelled due to the Coronavirus threat. WAAS’ role in the Global Baku Forum scheduled for March 12-15 is being rescheduled to later in the year.

In the coming months, WAAS will be partnering with other organizations to conduct other preparatory conferences:

  • Globalistics 2020 Online Conference: Global Issues and Future of Humankind, Moscow, May 20, 2020 (TBC) in collaboration with UNESCO, Moscow State University, The Russian Academy of Sciences, and Club of Rome
  • The World between Yesterday & Tomorrow, Podgorica, in collaboration with the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts (date TBC)
  • ISACCL Conference, Bucharest, June 2020 (date TBC)
  • Future Capital Initiative, UN New York, September 10-11, 2020 in collaboration with UN Office for Partnerships and UNCTAD
  • Global Leadership, New York, September 21-22, 2020 in collaboration with Nizami Ganjavi International Centre.

Thus far more than 20 leading organizations have joined as partners in the GL-21 Project, including:

  • Art for the World, Switzerland and Italy
  • Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Family Foundation, Ukraine
  • Club of Rome
  • Complexity Education Project, University of Perugia, Italy
  • Ethical Markets Media, USA
  • Fire Drill Fridays, USA
  • Foundation for a Culture of Peace, Spain
  • Future Capital Initiative
  • Global Education Futures, Russia
  • International Association of University Presidents
  • Interparliamentary Coalition for Ethics and Peace
  • Montenegrin Academy of Sciences & Arts, Montenegro
  • Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Azerbaijan
  • Person-Centred Approach Institute, Italy
  • Protect Our Planet Movement
  • Serbian Association of Economists
  • The Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization, Romania
  • The Millennium Project
  • The Mother’s Service Society, India
  • We The World
  • We Your Children Movement
  • World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations
  • World Sustainable Development Forum
  • World University Consortium

In late January 2020, WAAS constituted 14 expert working groups to conduct research and prepare position papers on the major themes of the GL-21 project, including both WAAS Fellows and distinguished members of partner organizations. The groups are intended to explore the potential for applying innovative transformational strategies to accelerate progress at the local, national and global level. The working groups will conduct research and prepare reports for preparatory conferences, the main UNOG conference, the report to the UN and other follow up actions. One set of groups relates to major global challenges, another set relates to some crosscutting strategies and resources that can be harnessed to accelerate progress on the issues.

Issues Groups

Cross-Cutting Agency Groups

  1. Governance, Law & Human Rights
  2. Peace, Security & Disarmament
  3. Economy
  4. Education
  5. Energy, Ecology & Climate
  6. Science, Engineering & Technology
  7. Business & Finance
  8. Wellbeing & Welfare
  1. Academies
  2. Information & Media
  3. Civil Society & Youth
  4. Cultural Diplomacy
  5. Art, Humanities & Culture
  6. Social Transformation Movements

Detailed information regarding the GL-21 project can be found on the WAAS website along with videos of the executive briefings, concept notes, discussion papers, and information on the GL-21 working groups. Those interested in contributing to the working groups are invited to write to

Garry Jacobs, Donato Kiniger-Passigli & Mila Popovich
GL-21 Project Team Leaders

As part of WAAS’ initiative in the field of money, finance and economics, it is partnering with the Future Capital Initiative (FCI), a group of global thought and action leaders drawn from business and finance, arts and sciences, academia, and world wisdom traditions.

FCI seeks to activate the power at the nexus of human values, consciousness and capital to mobilize investment capital

as a creative force to accelerate global social transformation that promotes human wellbeing.

A principal objective of FCI is to support and accelerate existing transformation initiatives while also identifying and promoting new and emergent initiatives aimed at improving the quality and speed of implementation of the UN SDGs.

Future Capital Inaugural Meeting: UN Headquarters, New York

The inaugural gathering of 50 founding members of the Future Capital Initiative was held at the United Nations in New York, September 12–13, 2019, in collaboration with WAAS, the UN Office for Partnerships, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The inaugural meeting was convened by the Chairman of FCI, Lawrence Ford, recently nominated as Fellow of WAAS, and 13 other members of the FCI Design Team, which includes Garry Jacobs, Frank Dixon and Mila Popovich. The Founder’s Report contains a statement of objectives, principles and a list of Design Team and founding FCI members.

The New York conference was quickly followed by two WAAS-organized events at World Bank in Washington the following week and Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik in November 2019, the Global Leaders Forum at Seoul later that month and the World Sustainable Development Forum in Mexico in early March 2020.

These meetings are preparatory to an FCI summit at the UN

in New York on September 10-11, 2020, in which 200 financial experts, socially-conscious investment advisers, and others strongly committed to conscious use of capital for human wellbeing. The aim of the summit will be to expand the network of participating individuals and organizations and build momentum for a social movement to redirect the world’s financial resources to implement the SDGs and accelerate change toward an inclusive, equitable and sustainable global financial system.

FCI is also one of more than 20 WAAS partners on the Academy’s project with the UN in Geneva on Global Leadership in the 21st century. FCI will present findings, conclusions and recommendations on global financial transformation at the Geneva Conference scheduled for October 27-28, 2020.

In order to capitalize on the insights drawn from these meetings and the vast experience of its founding members, FCI has also created a number of working groups in which WAAS is actively collaborating on core issues related to development investing and impact measurement, support and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs, raise the level of consciousness of business and political leaders, and transform global education.

WAAS’ partnership with FCI and other catalytic initiatives to follow are part of its on-going effort to promote integrated, value-based, human-centered new economic theory and policy at the global level.

The Value, Purpose and Future of Money

Money is an instrument for social networking like language and the internet. It is capable of facilitating mutually-beneficial human relationships over vast distances in space and time. Its power arises from the fact that it connects people and activities in society.

Money is an essential instrument for promoting sustainable development and wellbeing at the global level. Understanding of money is mired in obscurity,

subject to misapplication and widespread abuse. The consciousness with which it is applied threatens and undermines the wellbeing of humanity.

In order to liberate money to serve its true social purpose and make our use of it fully conscious and constructive, clarity of knowledge and a consciousness founded on universal human values are essential. That is the premise and purpose of the Future Capital Initiative.

Roundtable on Financing Global Development at the World Bank

On September 16-17, 2019, WAAS and FCI co-organized a roundtable at the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C., to explore ideas and practical strategies to enhance the effective use of money, financial markets and other forms of capital to address the climate crisis, the implementation of the SDGs and to achieve other objectives that promote the equitable improvement of human well-being at a global level.

The meeting was hosted by Craig Hammer, WAAS Associate Fellow and Program Manager and Secretary of Development Data Council, The World Bank, USA.

The participants focused on the need for large scale system change initiatives that can have impact at the community, national and global level, and on strategies to generate widespread public support for a self-multiplying movement for conscious capital. Xiye Bastida, a US leader of the Fridays for Future global youth movement led by Greta Thunberg, addressed the meeting to present the views of the next generation on the urgent importance of action.

Money is a form and symbol of social power. Money has human, psychological and social roots in society. The exchange rates, purchasing power parity, taxation rates and the GDP are superficial metrics of the economy. The roots go deeper. There is something more fundamental underlying our financial system, economy, and society. During the

heydays of the Roaring 20s leading up to the Great Crash and Great Depression, the power of money was hijacked for speculative gain, leading to unprecedented levels of inequality. The New Deal fundamentally altered the foundations of the financial system to reorient it to support the broader well-being of the American population.

Once again today, we find an economy serving the few driven by financialization and globalization and fostering unsustainable levels of inequality and economic insecurity.

A clear understanding of the nature of money is needed to empower this unique human invention for global welfare and wellbeing.

The world possesses all the financial resources needed to meet our material needs and foster wellbeing. But the global monetary and financial system misconstrues its fundamental purpose and role in society and is underperforming and mis-performing its intended role. A new financial paradigm is needed based on a fundamental change in consciousness and values.

Money is a fundamental social force. It is too complex to be fully understood as a specialized topic in Economics.

Over the past two decades WAAS has conducted numerous events examining money as a social institution from the perspective of social value systems, the evolution of social power, human accomplishment and wellbeing.

The World Bank roundtable brought together a multidisciplinary group of thinkers to explore fundamental questions regarding the foundations and creation of money, financing the implementation of the 17 SDGs, and practical strategies to enhance the effective use of money, financial markets and other forms of capital to promote equitable development and wellbeing for all.

The World Bank event was part of a series of conferences and roundtables to look at the nature of money and identify ways to transform the global financial system to better serve human needs. Collaboration with FCI is an attempt to translate the knowledge gained into an effective instrument for action with real social impact.

Initiating Social Transformation

Global transformation requires cooperation across numerous socio-cultural and political boundaries. Money or capital is concentrated social power, and how it is used is of vital importance for the success or failure of a society. It is possible to initiate systemic change from the finance sector, because of its outstanding influence on human affairs. The phenomenal expansion of the sustainable investment market and growing realisation that a shift to sustainable investment is imperative for survival are encouraging trends. They illustrate the power of new models for driving socially and ecologically positive sustainable development.

Thomas Reuter
Professor, University of Melbourne; Trustee, WAAS

Financing Human Capital Formation

In today’s world where ideas create most value, the knowledge and abilities embedded in people are indispensable to generate development.

The human capital deficit of developing countries is a consequence of the inability of most families to provide for the basic needs of their offspring. These countries are thus deprived of a large portion of their potential for development. This situation can be dealt with by the innovative use of financial markets and financial instruments to support human capital formation.

Neantro Saavedra-Rivano
Professor Emeritus, University of Tsukuba, Japan;
Associate Fellow, WAAS

Presentations at the Roundtable on Financing Global Development

Roundtable on the Social Foundations of Money: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Continuing its collaboration with Future Capital Initiative, WAAS hosted a roundtable discussion at the Inter- University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 18-20, 2019 to explore the psychological and social foundations of money, the financial linkage between economic and political equality, and the utilization of money as an instrument for either concentration of power or the wellbeing of all.

Money as a Social Institution

Money is a social institution founded on human relations and a networking device like language and the internet designed to increase the speed, reach and quantity of mutually beneficial exchanges. Trust constitutes the social and psychological foundation without which a financial system cannot exist. The ultimate measure of money’s value is its human value which represents the contribution of money to promoting human welfare and wellbeing.

Money is a symbolic power that readily enables it to be converted from one form of power into another, making it the most powerful of all. The relative distribution of power in society determines the overall power of the society. The evolution of society has resulted in a progressive increase in the equitable distribution of all forms of social power, e.g. transportation, communication, education, human rights.

The wider and more equitable the distribution of power, the greater the overall power of the society to promote human welfare and wellbeing. The increasingly inequitable distribution of social power is the major source of threats to the environment, democracy, social stability and sustainability.

Economy for production, distribution and survival is the original and most primary social power. Economics began as the science of scarcity because society lacked the capacity to produce sufficiently for everyone. Now production is in surplus and its excess leads to destruction of the environment. Economy must be reoriented from production to economic equality, prosperity and abundance for the benefit of all—not for its own sake or the mere accumulation of wealth. When economics is rightly reoriented from excessive accumulation to wellbeing, environmental problems will subside.

The roundtable generated some important insights:

  1. The combination of economic globalization, financialization and neoliberalism poses severe threats to global peace and security, democracy, environmental and social stability, sustainable development, social justice and wellbeing.
  2. National level regulation is no longer adequate. These negative impacts can be effectively addressed within the framework of democratic market economies granted that a suitable regulatory environment is put in place at both the national and global level.
  1. Economy and business are social activities sanctioned, supported and developed for the sole purpose of promoting the welfare and wellbeing of people and the society. They cannot be allowed to act solely for the benefit of a few, while monopolizing wealth and power or exhausting precious resources that belong to all humanity.
  2. History confirms that the widest and most equitable distribution of social power generates the most stable and successful societies. The wider the dissemination of all forms of power, the greater the benefits. That is the rationale for the extension of fundamental human rights, education, and healthcare to all citizens. The recent reversal of this democratizing movement must be reversed.
  3. The dominance of political systems by money and economic power is undermining democracy, polarizing society and promoting a very dangerous variety of divisive populism.

Actionable Recommendations

The roundtable also explored some practical measures to address and reverse these recent trends, including:

  1. The essential need to adopt new metrics in place of GDP that measure the real impact of economic activity on society, individual wellbeing and the environment.
  2. Tax on fossil fuels and elimination of all hidden incentives for unsustainable energy sources.
  3. Basic minimum income programs
  4. Implementing a comprehensive global Green New Deal program to rapidly transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
  5. Taxation on short-term investments to redirect money from financial speculation to the real economy and job creation.
  6. Reducing the role of money in politics by the elimination of corporate election funding, limiting individual contributions and matching public funding.
  7. Increasing transparency and regulation to reduce rent-seeking economic policies that benefit particular industries, companies and individuals, including banning the rotation of officials between business, lobbying and government.
  8. Reducing or eliminating the tax on labor and the depreciation incentives on capital investment to reflect the real social value of labor and energy-intensive technology.
  9. Affirming employment as a fundamental human right and reducing working hours to distribute work more equitably.
  10. Universal access to higher education and healthcare.

– Garry Jacobs
President & CEO, WAAS; CEO, WUC
Vice-President, The Mother’s Service Society, India

Transforming the Future of Money

There are enough resources to meet all human needs. But inequitable distribution leaves billions of people unable to meet basic needs. The functioning of the monetary system is a primary driver of inequality and unsustainability. To achieve sustainability and achieve the SDGs, the structured purpose of the monetary system must be to maximize the long-term well-being of humanity.

No major part of the economic/financial system can be changed in isolation. All major aspects of society are connected, and therefore must be addressed through whole system approaches.

Frank Dixon
Sustainability & System Change Consultant, USA; Associate Fellow, WAAS

Technology for Effective
Stakeholder Engagement

Global social transformation requires the emergence of global social consciousness. This in turn requires creation of an effective system for global humanity to express its aspirations, values and attitudes directly rather than through the distorted lens of national governments and international political institutions. DG Agora is a novel, cost-effective communication system that makes it possible to apply liquid democracy for a much more fluid and transparent governance of global society. This technology can be utilized to create a global system of direct opinion polls and public referendums on issues of critical importance to all humanity. For the first time, humanity as a whole can have a voice in human affairs.

Mariana Todorova
Co-Chair, The Bulgarian Node of the
Millennium Project; Fellow, WAAS

Dragan Đuričin
Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Need for Universal Regulation

The coming crisis is an opportunity to overcome the limits of the previous system and introduce universal regulation to create compatible national and global systems. We must change the paradigm of our financial and monetary systems fundamentally to a values-based one that supports a circular economy and inclusive growth.

Lotta Björklund Larsen
Research Fellow, University of Exeter, UK

Anthropology of Taxation

Taxation is a means to allocate resources, redistribute income and provide economic stability. It creates an explicit economic relationship between a citizen, the state and other citizens. Paying tax creates expectations as tax-payers demand something in return for their contribution. Rethinking taxes and the way we pay taxes is essential for a more sustainable world and greater human well-being.

Radmilo Pešić
Professor of Economics, University of Belgrade, Serbia; Associate Fellow, WAAS

Myths & Mysteries about Money

Money is a social construct. It is a catalyst for socio-economic communications.

Money enables specialization and division of labour.

It is an instrument for social networking.

Money extends human relations over space and time.

A Global Currency

How can we create new forms of global money connected to real social capital? The world needs new ideas about global money. The virtual currency Nimses, made in Ukraine is one such idea. Nimses allows one to create, record, save and accumulate one’s time in its digital equivalent. There are 7.7 billion people living on earth today. The average life expectancy of a person is 587 thousand hours. If 1 hour is 1 = nim, then the world GDP is about 4,500 trillion nims. Human life time is an asset that is not subject to devaluation. The idea of Nimses currency is literal and clear to every inhabitant of the Earth: time is money!

Andriy Nikolayenko
Politician, Diplomat and Head, political party “Osnova”, Ukraine

Transforming the Future of Money

Hazel Henderson is the founder of Ethical Markets Media, and a futurist, evolutionary economist, author, and consultant on sustainable development. She participated in the WAAS roundtables via webinar. View her presentation on ‘Transforming the Future of Money’.

Ethical Markets Media is an independent media company promoting the emergence of a sustainable, green, more ethical and just economy worldwide. Visit ‘’ for more articles and videos on the subject. One such video is the feature-length documentary ‘The Money Fix’. It explores our society’s relationship with the dollar and examines economic patterning in both the human and the natural worlds. It documents alternative money systems which help solve economic problems for the communities in which they operate.

Presentations at the Roundtable on Future of Money

Frank Dixon


Garry Jacobs


Stefan Brunnhuber


Dragan Đuričin


Thomas Reuter


Erich Hoedl


Ketan Patel


Alberto Zucconi


Radmilo Pešić


Rodolfo Fiorini


Tibor Toth


G. Theodoropoulos


Elif Çepni


Pascal Petit


Mariana Bozesan


Jean-Louis Weber


Lotta Björklund Larsen


Symbiotic System Science with Emphasis on
Ethical, Legal & Societal implications

WAAS is facilitating the development of a new field of Symbiotic System Science to promote the development and application of advanced technologies in a harmonious manner that supports human-centric economic and social growth and wellbeing. It is based on the premise that this objective can best be achieved by reconceptualization of human-machine relations and a reconsideration of the appropriate role of regulation in the development and application of technologies.

Technology is an instrument of human invention designed to enhance rather than marginalize or replace human functioning. Its proper role is as a supplement and complement to the development of human capacities and enhance the exercise of humanity’s unique abilities for value judgement, innovation, and creativity. Optimal results can

only be achieved when the rightful role and contribution of both human and machine ‘intelligence’ are fully understood and the central role of human beings in value-based judgments and decisions is respected rather than supplanted by purely mechanical and mathematical processes.

The impact which technological innovation and adoption can have on society is too great to be left purely to the forces of technological innovation or commercial motive, any more than in professions such as medicine and law. The project will examine the role of regulatory quality across government, adopting key tools of regulatory policy, such as stakeholder engagement processes and regulatory impact assessment. The aim is to develop fundamental concepts of a Human-Centered Symbiotic System Science.

Cognition, Society, Wellbeing

With this aim, WAAS participated in the 18th International Conference on Cognitive Informatics and Cognitive Computing (IEEE ICCI*CC 2019) held at Politecnico di Milano University, Italy on July 23-25, 2019, a conference series mainly devoted to Cognitive Informatics (CI) and Cognitive Computing (CC). CI and CC are transdisciplinary fields which synergize theories of modern information science, computer science, communication theories, AI, cybernetics, computational intelligence, cognitive science, intelligence science, neuropsychology, brain science, systems science, software science, knowledge science, cognitive robots, cognitive linguistics, and life science. They also promote novel applications in cognitive computers, cognitive communications, computational intelligence, cognitive robots, cognitive systems, and the AI, IT, and software industries. IEEE ICCI*CC 2019 focused on the theme of Cognitive Learning Systems, Brain-Inspired Systems, Cognitive Robotics, and, for the first time, on Art & Science. The conference hosted the WAAS CSW (Cognition-Society-Wellbeing) Workshop on Symbiotic Sciences and Arts.

WAAS Fellows comprised a third of the total conference participants and presenters, extending the scope of the conference to examine the economic, educational, social, legal, political, cultural, epistemological and psychological implications of rapid advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

This stream combined with the Cyber-Physical-Technical track of IEEE resulted in fruitful, reciprocal knowledge and cognitive cross-fertilization from the two complementary lines of human thinking. WAAS’ contributions to the conference focused on topics such as AI and man-machine symbiotic societies; evolution of machine learning & social transformation; education in the era of intelligent machines; thinking, creativity & symbiotic systems; and cognitive technologies & social responsibility.

IEEE ICCI*CC 2019 exposed participants to new ideas and concepts from highly talented, technically and socially-oriented professionals and academicians for a better mutual understanding of transformative changes that will impact global society in the near future. It was a successful opportunity for WAAS to develop strong links with IEEE representatives and position itself to better understand and equip itself to cope with the mutually strengthening and overlapping trends of the “computerization” of the world and its “digital transformation”.

For further information and a full list of WAAS papers, click here.

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics

Industry 4.0 was the theme of the flagship conference of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (IEEE SMC 2019) Society organized by the Politecnico di Bari University, Bari, Italy, on October 6-9, 2019.

The conference offered an international forum for researchers and practitioners to report on updated innovations and developments, summarize state-of-the-art technology, and exchange ideas and advances in all aspects of systems science and engineering, human-machine systems, cybernetics, information and communication technologies, the IoT, big data, and cloud computing.

The Joint INCOSE-SMCS Panel on the “Future of Systems Engineering” built on the evolving relationship between the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society (SMCS). It addressed new trends of automation and systems sciences by inviting insights on the future of systems engineering from both development and research points of view. Panelists included Garry Jacobs, President & CEO of WAAS; Garry Roedler, President of INCOSE; Kerry Lunney, President-Elect of INCOSE; William Miller, Chair of FuSE Initiative, INCOSE;

Adrian Stoica, Vice President of SMCS; Eddie Tunstel, President, SMCS; and Rodney Roberts, former Vice President, SMCS.

Garry Jacobs introduced WAAS and offered the Academy’s perspective on the future of man-machine, system science and symbiotic science relationships in his presentation on “Cognition—Society—Wellbeing”. He also presented a paper on “Social Consequences and Policy Implications of Emerging Symbiotic Systems.” These provided opportunities for drawing attention to WAAS from senior IEEE and INCOSE professionals and opened up possibilities for further discussion to develop joint projects.

Rodolfo Fiorini and Roberto Saracco, responsible for the IEEE Future Directions Initiative and EIT DIGITAL, EU professional school, offered a one-day tutorial titled “Symbiotic Autonomous Systems in Smart-Cities and Industry 4.0.” Rodolfo Fiorini also presented his work titled “Advanced Ontological Uncertainty Management for In Vivo Neural Interface Research” at the Standard Working Group meeting on Reporting Standard for In Vivo Neural Interface Research.

Further, Garry Jacobs and Rodolfo Fiorini had several meetings with Eddie Tunstel, Imre Rudas (Incoming SMCS President), Ljiljana Trajkovic (IEEE Board of Directors), Michael Smith (Past President of SMCS and Senior Advisor for IEEE Brain Initiative), Ferial El-Hawary (IEEE Canada Director R-7) and other senior IEEE representatives to discuss future joint WAAS-IEEE initiatives, such as the UN-WAAS Initiative on “Global Leadership in the 21st Century”.

– Rodolfo Fiorini
Politecnico di Milano, Italy; WAAS Trustee

Engaging Youth in our Efforts to Tackle Climate Change

The World Academy continues its successful partnership with World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDF) and honors the service and legacy of its Founder,
Rajendra K. Pachauri, former IPCC Chairman and our distinguished Fellow and Trustee until his sudden demise in mid-February 2020. WAAS and the world will miss his dedicated and dynamic leadership, but his work will continue through WSDF and PoP (Protect Our Planet).

At the WSDF 2020 held in Durango, Mexico on March 5-7, 2020, WAAS presented its project on “Global Leadership in the 21st Century” (GL21) and invited WSDF and its youth movement counterpart PoP (Protect Our Planet) to continue our collaboration on the UNOG-WAAS project and initiative. The presentation on GL21 generated great interest among the participants in an unequivocal confirmation of the need for new leadership and resulted in many inquiries about ways in which individual experts, leaders, activists and their organization can contribute and become partners.

WSDF 2020 was hosted by the government of Durango and supported by the officials of the government of Mexico. It featured 25 present and former heads of states and governments, participation from 27 world countries and over 700 adult delegates and over 1200 youth. It was Rajendra K. Pachauri who first recognized, honored and nurtured leadership of youth ever since the first WSDF in 2018 by featuring young leaders and their initiatives, dedicating entire plenaries and panels to showcasing youth, and reserving a whole day of conferencing solely for and with youth.

WSDF 2020 reaffirmed their serious commitment to supporting youth and their leadership by having the program of the Forum led and facilitated by two accomplished teenage leaders. The Forum showcased true integration of inter-sectoral, inter-generational, and cross-regional leadership by

having every plenary panel include at least two young leaders.

With focus on the voices of youth and supporting their initiatives, WSDF 2020 hosted a special GL21 consultative meeting with the youth: “WAAS–WSDF–POP Movement Special Meeting on Youth Leadership” on March 5th. The special meeting involved 35 participants including WAAS Fellow Peta Milan and was facilitated by Mila Popovich, GL21 Head of Research and Development, and Ash Pachauri, Founder of the PoP Movement. At the insightful meeting, youth organizations and their leaders shared their practices, challenges and strategies, and visions for the future. The meeting was so engaging that the participants asked to continue the deep exploration of proposed solutions and possibilities for supportive collaborations. WAAS is planning a follow-up online meeting to keep the group engaged and get them connected to the larger network of partners organized by the GL21 Youth Working Group.

We want to take this opportunity to remember and honor the life work of Rajendra K. Pachauri and to express our support for the leadership of Ash Pachauri who will continue to lead and develop WSDF and PoP and our productive partnership.

– Mila Popovich
Founder, EVOLving Leadership USA; WAAS Fellow


Global Leadership Survey

We seek to learn from successful leadership initiatives of the past in order to devise and refine more effective strategies for the global community to advance on humanity’s urgent priorities. Please share your valuable experiences so that all can benefit. Click here to access the survey form.

Turning Swords into Ploughshares
Through National Education on the Culture of Peace and SDGs

Goal 16 of the UN SDGs, which calls for the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, is the precondition for the accomplishment of all the other goals set forth in the SDGs. Education for a culture of peace is the basis for promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.

The Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics (IPCGE), and its partners, including WAAS, have launched a major initiative to create a global steering committee of parliamentarians, religious, education and cultural representatives to lead the efforts to harness cultural

and religious ethics to promote legislation and social action to implement these goals. It has encouraged the Levant Initiative for Global Peace to promote mandatory education for a culture of peace and SDGs as a security issue which constitutes the first line of defence to combat violent extremism, racism, xenophobia, hate speech, anti- semitism and terrorism.

– Alberto Zucconi, Trustee, WAAS; President, Person-Centered Approach Institute (IACP)

Shoshana Nicole Bekerman, Director, IPCGE

Developing a Culture of Peace and Implementing
the SDGs through National Legislation

United Nations Headquarters, New York, September 5, 2019

The first event in IPCGE’s efforts to promote mandatory education on a culture of peace and the SDGs took place at the UN Headquarters under the patronage of Federico Mayor, former UNESCO Director General and WAAS Fellow.

Participants were invited to sign and publicize the petition on the website of Fundación Cultura de Paz, founded and directed by Federico Mayor.

The event hosted by the mission of Bulgaria to the UN included a session on “The Multi Track Partnership of Religious Leaders, Educators and the Media in Putting the

Legislation into Action” which was co-chaired by Alberto Zucconi.

The conclusion of the event featured the goal for implementation of SDG 16 by the end of the International Decade for Rapprochement of Cultures ending in 2022.

WAAS and the World University Consortium (WUC) support their partnership with IPCGE to reach this goal through the compilation of a model curriculum proposal which will be at the disposal of parliamentarians, government officials, educators and private citizens around the globe.

IPCGE and WAAS at the Council of Europe
Strasbourg, France – October 3, 2019

IPCGE, with the participation of Emil Constantinescu and Alberto Zucconi representing WAAS and the WUC, organized a High Level Roundtable Forum at the Council of Europe’s headquarters in Strasbourg as a follow-up to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Written Declaration issued in June 2019.

The written declaration called on the Council of Europe Assembly to support the initiative of IPCGE as a strategic partner to promote implementation of the UN resolutions on the culture of peace and SDGs through national legislation for mandatory education on these subjects.

Emil Constantinescu was the keynote speaker in the Roundtable session “The Call for National Legislation to Implement the Culture of Peace and SDGs to Combat Violent Extremism,” which was initiated by Shoshana Bekerman, Director, IPCGE. Alberto Zucconi was keynote speaker in the session on “The Role of Educators, Religious and Civic Leaders.”

The TAO of Finance Initiative of WAAS:
A Mechanism that can Change the World

In 2015, world leaders signed up in New York for a future road map with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve Humanity, the Planet, Wealth, Peace and Partnerships. Most of these SDGs focus on common goods such as clean air, universal access to health care, education and maintaining biodiversity. These goods are not exclusive and should be accessible to and enjoyed by everyone.

Each of these goals has enough scientific evidence, technological know-how and political consensus to be achieved, and is valid for the entire planet. But these goals are expensive to achieve and require a financial investment of approximately 5 trillion USD/year over the next 15-20 years.

Such development needs have primarily been financed through private sector financing, conventional public sector funding and philanthropic commitment. These sources are

not sufficient in scale and speed to meet the pressing financial needs. The world community is too busy repairing, stabilizing, and refunding the system to maintain the stability of the existing system. The introduction of a parallel electronic currency specifically designed to finance global commons, and a human-centred economy would provide the necessary resources to achieve the UN SDGs while stabilizing the existing monetary system.

The development of cryptocurrencies based on blockchain distributed ledger technologies has prompted leading central banks around the world to study the potential application of this approach to directly inject purchasing power without dependence on the banking system. Proposals are now being studied by an international expert group on how this approach can be utilized to finance the huge multi-trillion dollar annual investment requirements for achieving the SDGs, with special emphasis on investments in human resources and environmental protection. A report of the WAAS expert group will be published in mid-2020.

Click the links to watch the video recordings on How to Finance SDGs and Blockchain for a Sustainable Future.

Stefan Brunnhuber
WAAS Trustee & Medical Director, University of Applied Sciences, Mittweida, Germany

WAAS collaborates with Millennium Project on Global Futures Literacy

The World Academy partnered with the Millennium Project again this year for the marking of the World Future Day on March 1st. 24-Hour Round-the-World Conversation to celebrate World Future Day was hosted by Jerome Glenn, WAAS Fellow and Co-Founder and CEO of the Millennium Project, a global foresight participatory think thank represented by nodes in 66 countries worldwide.

Joining the Millennium Project and the World Academy were renowned futures-focused organizations: The Association of Professional Futurists, Humanity+, UNESCO’s Global Futures Literacy Network, and the World Futures Studies Federation.

For the past six years, global thought leaders have shared their views about governing artificial intelligence, inventing future employment, building space elevators to orbital cities, reducing climate change, guaranteeing safe water and energy, fighting transnational organized crime, developing future forms of democracy, countering information warfare, incorporating global ethics in decision-making,

enforcing safety standards for synthetic biology, and the future of humanity.

This was the seventh year that futurists and the general public gathered online to discuss possible worlds of tomorrow in an open conversation. Futures research was shared, collaborations were created, and new friendships were made. World Future Day 2020 engaged many great minds on future challenges, foresight, and shared futures around the world beginning at 12 noon in New Zealand time and ending March 1st 12 noon in Hawaii time zone.

World Future Day 2020 was joined by Vint Cerf, Internet Pioneer, who described the experience as thoroughly enjoyable. The most significant new feature of the World Future Day 2020 was the special round-the-world conversation with youth—new, parallel 24-hour track on discussing futures literacy, future preparedness and future-making with the youth.

– Mila Popovich
Founder, EVOLving Leadership USA; WAAS Fellow

Organizing Society for the 21st Century

On October 4-6, 2019, the 6th Altius Conference gathered eminent scientists, politicians, social thinkers and students at the Oxford Union under the title “Organizing Society for the 21st Century”. After the initiative of Carlos Blanco and Alexandre Pérez Casares, co-founders of The Altius Society at Oxford, the event sought to analyze the future of the current systems of democratic participation through an interdisciplinary approach involving the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. One of the key elements in the discussion was the importance of empowering citizens and enhancing critical thinking as tools for examining

potential reformulations of the models of democratic participation and the redesign of the economic social contract. Among this year’s speakers were David Gross (Nobel laureate in Physics), Alain Touraine (eminent French sociologist), Sheldon Glashow (Nobel laureate in Physics), and WAAS Fellows Carlos Blanco, Piero Dominici, Garry Jacobs, and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker.

– Carlos Blanco
Professor, Comillas Pontifical University, Spain;
Co-Founder, The Altius Society, UK; Fellow, WAAS

International Conference

The World between Yesterday and Tomorrow

Podgorica, Montenegro (DATE TBC)

Organized by the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts in collaboration with WAAS, European Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Global Round Table

Looking back at history can be seen as being stuck in the past, an activity that can be detrimental. Can we and should we forget all that has happened earlier? In truth, looking back to see forward is desirable and necessary. What is holding us from moving forward? Is it our tendency to understand life in hindsight? Should we not be prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they arise?

While the past can provide a sense of security, it does not define the future. The future welcomes us with an incredible variety of choices. New knowledge accompanied by technology, mobility, climate change, globalization, and high

urbanization results in great changes in human behaviour and environment, resulting in unpredictable changes in the future.

In a constantly changing world, it is not possible to move forward by mostly looking back and considering the past.

At the same time, when we move forward, we step into the unknown. Do humans have the power to move forward without appreciating history? “The World between Yesterday and Tomorrow” will explore this subject.

Visit the WAAS website for more details.

LII CICA International Scientific Online Conference

Consciousness, the Corporate World and Conflict:

Towards a Deeper Understanding and Finding Solutions

7-8 April 2020

Organized by CICA International Foundation in collaboration with WAAS, Centre for Conscious Awareness Global, and Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

The corporate world is a sink of infinite possibilities where the challenge lies in making the right choices based on the right values and intentions. CICA International and its collaborators will address the topic of Consciousness and the Corporate World and attempt to understand the type of spiritual conflicts people have when joining the corporate world, unmask ethical issues and dilemmas involved in corporate undertakings, and suggest ways spirituality might help the corporate world find a new way forward. This encompasses understanding how different cultures and traditions make decisions and influence current thinking in various fields and how the transformation of consciousness is being realized in individuals and communities across the

globe. Through these explorations, we hope to effectively reconcile the apparent conflict between the pursuit of profit and human and planetary wellbeing. Those interested in submitting a paper on the subject for publication in a journal are invited to write to

President: J. Martin Ramirez (Nebrija University, Madrid, Spain); Scientific Organizer: Tina Lindhard (IUPS University, Hawaii, USA)

For details about the program, please contact: and

Globalistics 2020: Global Issues & Future of Humankind

Special Online Session, Lomonosov Moscow State University in collaboration with UNESCO, WAAS and the Club of Rome

WAAS has been invited to organize a special session at Globalistics 2020 on the Process of Global Social Transformation in collaboration with Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), UNESCO and the Club of Rome (CoR). Globalistics 2020: Global Issues and Future of Humankind, the 6th International Scientific Congress that was scheduled to be held on May 18-23, 2020 at the University has been rescheduled to later in the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the special session that was to be part of the Congress will be held online.

The session topics will include:

  • Transformative pathways towards a regenerative civilization
  • Pathways of the past: Historical experiences of consciously accelerating systems transformation
  • Pathways of the present: Ongoing initiatives for transformative change
  • Catalytic instruments for accelerating social transformation: from individual to global social movements
  • The processes of social evolution and social transformation: making evolution conscious
  • Global leadership challenges and opportunities in the 21st century
  • Pathways to the future I: Catalytic leadership strategies for global social transformation
  • Pathways of the future II: Envisioning social transformation toward regenerative civilizations
  • Collective Practice: How can CoR, WAAS and other collaborating organizations contribute to accelerating transformative pathways?

The joint project is expected to initiate a rich discussion among the participants from UNESCO, UNOG, WAAS, CoR, UNESCO Intergovernmental Council on Global Social Transformations and the scientific community. The online session, apart from facilitating an exchange of views, will also be an important act of solidarity in our effort to overcome current global threats. The session is tentatively scheduled for May 20th, the exact date will be confirmed shortly. The remaining sessions of the Congress will be held at Lomonosov Moscow State University when the global situation permits travel and the resumption of regular work.

Those interested in participating in the online meeting are requested to register here.

We have lived to see enormous social upheavals and developments in the course of the last few generations. Now is the time ripe that the main call should be: Scientists of all countries, unite! Create a forum which can be looked upon by mankind with trust, and which is able and willing to give advice, in all the most vital questions with objectivity and from the highest ethical level.

I am deeply convinced that we may achieve by the combined effort of strong single forces, which are all of them pulling in the same direction, a resultant multiplied force of great effect and most valuable consequence.

Hugo Boyko, Science and the Future of Mankind, 1961