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Effective Learning in an Age of Increasing Speed, Complexity & Uncertainty

A new paradigm in education is essential for effectively addressing the challenges confronting humanity today. The people of the world need more education, much more, but more of the same is bound to aggravate existing problems. A major qualitative change is needed in purpose, pedagogy and content in order to better attune the global educational system to the needs of students, companies, democracies and multicultural societies and humanity at large. This is the central purpose and message of the International Conference on Future Education: Effective Learning in an Age of Increasing Speed, Complexity & Uncertainty being organized by The World Academy of Art & Science (WAAS) and The World University Consortium (WUC) in collaboration with Roma Tre University on November 16-18, 2017.

Already more than 90 applications for presentations have been received, including 34 by WAAS Fellows. A large gathering of students and student groups will be present to voice the aspirations and expectations of the next generation. Leaders of prominent groups representing teachers, workers, business and other stakeholders are also participating.

The growing list of confirmed speakers includes Edgar Morin, the eminent French philosopher-sociologist; Federico Mayor, former Director General of UNESCO; Kakha Shengelia, President-elect of International Association of University Presidents; Inwon Choue, Rector, Kyung-Hee University (KHU), South Korea; award-winning filmmaker Nora Bateson; Elizabet Paunovic, Head of WHO European Centre for Environment and Health; and Claudio Franchi, Head of International Affairs, FLC CGIL.

The conference will focus on about twenty major themes designed to examine and identify ways to promote a shift in higher education from subject-centered to student and person-centered, from passive to active learning, from memorization of information to understanding and independent thinking, from conformity to creativity and individuality, from value-free to value-based knowledge, from an exclusive focus on mental skills to development of social and leadership skills and personality, from competitive to cooperative learning, from narrow discipline-specific to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives, and from abstract to contextualized, life-centered knowledge.




The Challenge

Society is changing more rapidly than ever before, generating unprecedented opportunities and challenges in its wake. Anticipating and addressing the consequences of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, environmental pressures, rising levels of youth unemployment and inequality, globalization and virtualization of business models, the explosive growth of online communications and education, the globalization of education, increasing intercultural contacts and migration will place enormous pressure on educational institutions, students, teachers and researchers.

A multi-disciplinary, inter-generational dialogue

The Solution

Education is humanity’s most effective instrument for consciously steering social evolution to maximize the benefits and minimize the disruption and trauma associated with it. There is a need for expanding the reach, accessibility, affordability and quality of education at all levels. But multiplying the existing model is likely to aggravate rather than alleviate many problems due to the time warp and gap between the education offered today and that which is needed. We not only need more education but education that is qualitatively different—a new paradigm. Updating course content is not enough. We need an education that equips youth to adapt to future innovations and challenges that cannot be anticipated now.

Person-Centered Education

Core themes of the upcoming Rome Conference were explored at a conference convened at Roma Tre University on May 26, 2017 organized by the Person-Centered Approach Institute (IACP), an official center of WAAS and Charter Member of WUC, co-founded by Carl Rogers, Charles Devonshire and Alberto Zucconi who is heading it and serving as WAAS Treasurer and WUC Secretary-General. IACP is also a partner and principal organizer of the

upcoming Rome Conference. Participants included approximately 300 professionals providing education, training, therapy, counseling and consulting based on Carl Rogers’ Person-Centered Approach.

Garry Jacobs explained the central purpose of the Rome Conference, summarized key conclusions from research conducted by WUC since its establishment in 2014, including the findings from earlier post-graduate seminars on Future Education and Mind, Thinking and Creativity.

The Agenda

The conference will be organized into streams focusing on the following themes:

  • Learning in a Time of Increasing Uncertainty
  • Closing the Time Warp in Higher Education
  • Education for Full Employment & Human Welfare
  • Distributing Social Power through Education
  • Transdisciplinary Education
  • Person-centered Learning
  • Mind, Thinking & Creativity
  • Developing Individuality through Education
  • Learning as a Way of Life
  • Value-based vs. Value-free Education
  • Social Construction of Knowledge
  • Network-based Education, Learning Spaces and Learning Communities
  • Online and Hybrid Learning
  • Disruptive Educational Technologies
  • Technological Enhancements, Automation and Digitization
  • Storming the Ivory Tower
  • Ways of Thinking and Knowing
  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Education Beyond the University
  • Navigating Transitions in Education and Society
  • Multi-stakeholder Perspectives
  • What Students Want from Higher Education
  • Teaching in a Time of Instant Information and Rapid Change
  • Politics and Economics of Education
  • Business and Employer Needs
  • Workers’ Perspectives

The Format

This conference is designed to serve as an open, active platform for participants to share, collaborate and co-create new ideas, approaches, methodologies and best practices. The multi-stakeholder approach and structure of the conference will make it possible for participants to organize or participate in special sessions dedicated to in-depth exploration of specific topics ranging from subject content, pedagogy and learning technologies to social and economic impact on issues such as employment, skills development, business development, innovation, social power, citizenship, cultural diversity, personal development and individuality.


WHEN: November 16-18, 2017
WHERE: Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy

The Objectives

  • Implement student-centered, person-centered, active, participative learning pedagogies;
  • Harness the potential of emerging learning technologies and delivery systems;
  • Foster synthetic, integrated modes of thinking;
  • Make conscious and explicit the central role of values in human development;
  • Shift toward multi- and trans-disciplinary approaches to knowledge;
  • Develop mental capacities for independent thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship & leadership;
  • Extend the scope of learning outcomes from information and mental skills to encompass development of social capabilities, personality, values and individuality.

The idea of a New Economic Theory is as ambitious as it is essential. What will the future of the Social Sciences be? How will Economics evolve? Questions that can no longer be addressed by existing theories and principles of Economics are growing in number and complexity. Can there be a theory that explains the global rise of GDP, boom and bust cycles, and the impact of Information Technology? How does Economics integrate with the pressing global problems of today? Do we know the assumptions and limits of our economic conceptual systems? How can we reconcile the fact that while on the one hand we have unmet needs, on the other, we are not utilising our potentials to the fullest? To frame a foundation that can accommodate and reflect more validly on such issues that we face today, and come up with practical constructs, WAAS and WUC co-organized a Roundtable on Human-centered Economics.

The Roundtable, consisting of a series of lectures followed by discussions, was held from Feb 1-3, 2017 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The partner organizations were Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations and Diplomacy, Croatia; Inter-University Centre, Croatia; Person-Centered Approach Institute, Italy and The Mother’s Service Society, India. The program directors were Garry Jacobs, Winston Nagan, Ivo Šlaus and Alberto Zucconi. An Krumberger conducted the program. The roundtable discussed the neo-classical economic theory vis a vis the

global challenges of the 21st century, and explored alternative approaches for achieving ecologically sustainable, human-centered development and welfare for all.

The economy is a social institution based on human relationships. Its fundamental purpose is to serve the broader interests of society. A true understanding of the economy can come from a true conception of society. Society is like a complex, conscious living organism. It exists at the local, national, and now increasingly global levels, and continuously evolves. It is not independent of human attitudes and aspirations. Therefore, a true science of Economics cannot be divorced from people, it has to be human-centered. We need to remove the compartmentalization that has found its way into Economics (as it has in every other subject) and reconnect it to the real economy, society, and every individual. We need to integrate all aspects of Economics, link Economic theory to human welfare, and have a conception that sees the economy linked to all other social fields.

Many of the problems we face today are a result of the absence of these links. The WAAS-WUC Roundtable recognized the growing demand worldwide for such reconnections. It recommended a trans-disciplinary, person-centred, values-based theory that places maximizing human welfare and well-being as the fundamental purpose.

All human activity revolves around achieving some set goals, and consists of processes that release, direct, and organize their energy for accomplishment. But in Economics or any other social science, there is no conception of a comprehensive theory of personal accomplishment or social development. We need such a theory, with its conceptual systems, values and limitations made explicit. Age-old notions and systems of competition, wealth accumulation, consumption and concentration of power need to give way to progressive, mutually beneficial models based on cooperation and sharing.

The subjective aspect of any science complements objective knowledge and makes it whole. Economics today tends to be treated objectively like Physics or Chemistry. But former WAAS President Harlan Cleveland, while attributing the economic growth of many developing countries to the “revolution of rising expectations”, showed the role of subjective factors. A real understanding of Economics

therefore includes an understanding of the psychology of the human being, the power of the collective and the subjective dimension of reality.

The human being is the key driver of economic growth and development. The lecture series discussed the ways to create an academic, corporate and social environment that releases and harnesses human aspirations, appreciates individuality and fosters creativity. Featuring international experts and WAAS Fellows, the Roundtable presented the findings of a five year research program of WAAS and the on-going work of the New Economic Theory working group. It harnessed the best available ideas and practices on a human-centred, sustainable economy to create informative, authoritative and compelling educational and communication tools with the power to complement university level education in Economics, public policy, business decisions, media coverage and general public opinion regarding how the world economy should and can work for the betterment of all humanity.

To view the entire playlist, please click here.

Human-Centered Sustainable Economic & Social System for the 21st Century

On May 10-12, WAAS and WUC collaborated with Sustainability Institute of Stellenbosch University and the University of Brasilia to conduct the 14th International Colloquium in Cape Town, South Africa. Mark Swilling, Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Development and co-founder of the Institute, hosted the meeting. WAAS and WUC previously were co-organizers of earlier colloquia of this series in Brasilia (2014), Gainesville (2015), and Lisbon (2016). WAAS President Heitor Gurgulino de Souza gave the opening talk.

The Cape Town Colloquium held last month was among the most memorable and important conducted by WAAS in collaboration with partner organizations in recent times. It enabled the Academy to build on an emerging consensus regarding the cornerstones of New Economic Theory. It also

strengthened the linkage between our work on economic theory, social power and democracy that emerged from earlier meetings, which is preparatory to our plans for a conference on democracy in USA next year.

The highlight of the conference was a series of presentations by WAAS Fellow Mark Swilling and by Mcebisi Jonas, until two months ago Deputy Finance Minister of South Africa and a leader of the mass movement of civil society, businesses, and all the leading church groups in South Africa. The focus of their presentations was on the political economic quagmire in South Africa today which deeply reflects the role of money and economy in politics and the take-over of state institutions—State Capture—by personally and financially motivated business interests and corrupt government officials. Jonas spoke about the threats to

Call for Impartial Investigation of Developments in South Africa

Resolution of the Board of Trustees of the World Academy

Following the Cape Town conference, the challenge to democracy and development was discussed by the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of WAAS, leading to a unanimous resolution calling for safeguards to democracy in South Africa.

Around the world democracy is under siege. The development and sustenance of representative democratic forms of government founded on the values of freedom, equality, inclusiveness, tolerance and transparency are threatened by forces that seek to seize and utilize the powers of government for the benefit of a small élite, a popular minority or monied class. This growing phenomenon is variously described in terms such as oligarchy, plutocracy, and state capture. WAAS recognizes the need for concerted efforts of the international community to expose and combat this trend.

It is in this context that WAAS views with deepest concern recent events in South Africa where a recent study by internationally renowned academics who describe themselves as the State Capacity Research Project convened by Mark Swilling presents evidence of a gross

misappropriation of state power for political and private purposes. The Academy calls on the government of South Africa and the international community to impartially examine this report and further investigate the evidence and charges it contains in order to arrive at unimpeachable conclusions regarding what is taking place and to take whatever steps are needed to address the challenges. In the meantime WAAS will support the mobilization of national and international community for action if the evidence warrants it.

We, the members of the Board of Trustees of WAAS, appeal to the leadership in South Africa to aid in an impartial investigation of the evidence now coming to the surface and to respect and uphold the highest principles of freedom of speech, transparency and social justice in supporting efforts to achieve and maintain democratic governance in their country. To this end we appeal that the autonomy and rights of academics are respected so that they can continue to fulfill the traditional role of the academic, which is to speak truth to power.

Board of Trustees, WAAS

democracy in South Africa resulting from collusion between high officials and business interests in the country and announced the launching of a national movement of academics, church groups, businesses and civil society organizations protesting against the seizure of the political system for private gain. Swilling analyzed the process of state capture in South Africa, based on extensive research by a group of eight academics from four leading universities, which he heads. Their findings document that more than 12,000 non-existent or defunct private companies are presently bidding for public procurement contracts in the country in order to give the appearance of a competitive system and more than 14,000 public officials are listed as board members on companies competing for public contracts.

Other presentations during the conference supported the view that the incestuous relationship between politics and economy is certainly not unique to South Africa. In her presentation on Regulation and Regulatory Capture, Maria Rosa Borges, Professor of Economics, ISEG (Lisbon School of Economics and Management) of the University of Lisbon, described the many different ways in which private commercial interests in different countries bend or control government activities for private gain through both legal and illegal means. Apart from illegal corruption, she highlighted the forms of regulatory captures, such as the inordinate influence of corporations on the drafting of legislation, revolving door between government and businesses by which business executives assume public office & then return to

New Economic Theory Working Group

Immediately prior to and following the conclusion of the conference, additional meetings were held to plan and report on progress of the WAAS led New Economic Theory Working Group. Garry Jacobs outlined the central elements of human-centered economic theory to a special gathering of Stellenbosch University Students based on a just released article in Cadmus co-authored with Mark Swilling, Winston Nagan and other members of the group entitled “Quest for a New Paradigm in Economics: A Synthesis of Views of the New Economics Working Group”.

firms or represent them as lobbyists, a common practice in USA and other countries. These and other presentations made it evident that new theory must break the artificial boundary separating economic and political theory.

These perspectives were reinforced by the panel discussion chaired by Winston Nagan which explored the crucial role of different forms of social power in the development of society and the ways in which that power is distributed or controlled for the benefit of special interest groups. Garry Jacobs presented arguments and evidence supporting the view that the widest possible dissemination of all forms of social power—including access to information, education, employment, healthcare, communication, transportation and credit—was essential for the optimal welfare and well-being of all citizens.

Presentations by WAAS Fellow and founder of the international colloquium series Joanílio Teixeira examined the important elements of new economic theory to be drawn from the dozens of heterodox theories that are presently ignored or marginalized by mainstream economics. Martin Ramirez and Juan Cayon focused on the central role of science and knowledge. Neantro Saavedra-Rivano emphasized the central place of human capital in new theory. Panel discussions on human capital, the role of values in economic theory, and the role of money highlighted other important dimensions of new theory. Robert Hoffman stressed the need for making sustainability a central value of the new theory.

2018 International Colloquium in Paris

At the conclusion of the Cape Town conference, participants unanimously endorsed the proposal of Pascal Petit, Professor, University of Paris 13, to conduct the 15th International Colloquium in Paris in collaboration with his university on the role and impact of international institutions on economic theory and policy.

For more information, please click here.

The World Academy’s work on Fundamental Ideas for a New Paradigm in Economics was presented to a distinguished audience of economists and other experts in Belgrade on June 1. The meeting was conducted under the auspices of the Serbian Chapter of the Club of Rome and the Association of Corporate Directors and organized by Nebojša Nešković, Secretary General of WAAS and President of COR Serbia.

The event was opened by Dragan Đjuričin, President of the Association. Nešković then briefly described the origins and work of the Academy, the Club of Rome and the Serbian Chapter. Introductory remarks were made by Dušan Vujović, Minister of Finance in the Government of Serbia.

The main lecture was delivered by Garry Jacobs, WAAS CEO and co-chair of the Working Group on New Economic Theory, who presented the major conclusions of the series of meetings on the Academy’s research and conference deliberations over the past several years. These conclusions have led to formulation of a transdisciplinary framework for a human-centered and ecologically sustainable development founded on knowledge of the underlying processes that govern human acomplishment and social evolution. This approach challenges major assumptions on which prevailing mainstream economic theory and practice are based. Jacobs said that the global economic and political challenges and

paradoxes confronting humanity in the 21st century are indicative of a widening gap between theory, policy and social reality. Then, he analyzed in detail the five-fold divorce of mainstream economics from finance, employment, rule of law, human welfare and ecology, and clearly extracted its limitations. This divorce has created a huge gap between economic behavior and global social potential which is not being tapped indicative of the insufficiency of the current theoretical framework and conventional economics policies. That was followed by a presentation of the required paradigm shift in economic theory, which should make it value-based, human-centered, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary, and applicable to entire society and the whole world. He also mentioned that the new paradigm should recognize the importance of roles of individuals and the necessity of equitable distribution of social power.

In the final part of the lecture, Jacobs explained how the new economic theory should be applied to create strategies for increasing employment and suggested that Serbia’s impressive economic gains in recent times would make it an ideal location for a model project to demonstrate the feasibility of achieving a full employment economy.

Nebojša Nešković
Secretary General, WAAS;
President, Serbian Chapter of the Club of Rome

Elected by the Board of Trustees at the meeting held on April 7-8, 2017

Ellen Gracie Northfleet is an attorney in private practice and arbitrator in Rio de Janeiro. She is the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Brazil and the Court’s first female president. Her previous professional activities include periods when she acted as Federal Attorney (1973-1989), as Judge of the Federal Court of Appeals (1989-2000) and Chief Judge of the same Court (1997-1999). She was then appointed as Justice of the Federal Supreme Court (2000-2011) and Chief-Justice of the

same Court (2006-2008). She was also Presiding Judge of the National Justice Council. She is the author of an extensive range of decisions of national impact. Justice Ellen Gracie has received some of the highest decorations and distinguished awards for her public service. She is described as a major reformer of the Brazilian Judiciary System, having worked in the adoption of computerized models for case filing and management; in the introduction of the Stare Decisis system in Civil Law jurisdiction and the increased use of ADR. She serves as a Member of many Boards, including the Board of Directors of the World Justice Project, the World Bank Sanctions Board, the International Council of Arbitration for Sport and the Inter-American Dialogue.

Intellectual Foundations of Political Economy: Divorce and Reconciliation

A Brief Retrospective

The link between economy, social power and democracy is little recognized, but is a powerful force behind the recent rise of inequality, unemployment, popularism, resurgent nationalism and illiberal democracy.

This essay sketches the history of the conflict between political freedom and economic equality. It is intended to promote discussion within the Academy in preparation for upcoming conferences on economy and democracy in 2018. Comments and contributions on this theme are invited for upcoming issues of WAAS Publications.

The actual relationship between economy and politics has always been fraught with bitter controversy from early times when governments assumed authority over property rights, taxation and minting of currency. But at no time in modern history have the two functioned independently of one another.

Governments have always regarded economy as the principal source of revenues and economy has always depended on government to frame laws and policies conducive to economic development, at least for a privileged class. But in recent times Economics and Politics have been widely perceived as two separate spheres of activity, knowledge and expertise, whose independence is fortified by intellectual theory and academic divisions.

The modern concept of Economics as a body of knowledge began in the time of Adam Smith as Political Economy, exploring the appropriate role of the state in the governance of the economy. Smith’s concern was with the adverse effects of mercantilist state policies on the welfare of society. During the previous period the industrial economy was largely considered a province for exploitation by the monarch to sell licenses, assess taxes and even dapple in enterprise. The regulation of trade at the time was heavily skewed to favor exports and limit imports, benefiting large trading companies with higher prices in the domestic market and freely encouraging exploitation of overseas markets. Domestic consumers were doubly taxed with higher domestic prices and restricted access to competitive imports. Smith was motivated not by an unshakeable faith in the wisdom of the market but rather by a clear understanding of how powerful domestic forces could procure, capture, and utilize political power for private benefit.

Economic thought developed in Britain during heydays of the Industrial Revolution with emphasis on adoption of methods to rapidly increase productivity and lower costs by the adoption of industrial technologies and forms of organization coupled with the development of financial markets, generating benefit to consumers in the form of an increasing variety of inexpensive goods, most dramatically illustrated by the 99% fall in the price of cotton textiles following the mechanization of cotton processing & weaving. It is noteworthy that the British Raj in India, founded on the efforts of private entrepreneurs in search of profit, was transformed two centuries later into a political entity governed by the British Government to promote both economic & political objectives of its expanding colonial empire.

Concern regarding the role and responsibilities of government for economy were restored with the spread of Marxian thought. Marx did not question the efficacy of the industrial model of production. But he did vehemently question how the benefits of that model would impact on the population at large, elevating a few capitalists to the status of a new aristocracy while reducing the teeming human masses to a mere factor of production measured solely in terms of horse power and profitability. The result he rightly envisioned was an enormous growth and development of economic power coupled with an increasing concentration of wealth and privilege in European society. He concluded that nothing short of political revolution could transform the prevailing economic system into one that truly promotes the welfare of the masses. Nineteenth century America escaped from the extremes of this syndrome due to extreme paucity and high wages paid of labor to support rapid economic growth and the abundance of fertile land supporting entrepreneurial farming.

Repeated financial and banking crises during the 1890s and early 1900s revealed the extreme vulnerability of unregulated markets, compelling governments to establish institutions and a legal framework for regulation. One result was the establishment of the US Federal Reserve following the banking crisis of 1907. Another was the introduction of anti-trust legislation to prevent the unbridled growth of monopolies. At the same time perceptive politicians such as Churchill foresaw the threat and strongly advocated the popularization of insurance as a means to foster economic security for the masses.

At the same time, rapid industrialization vastly increased the collective power of the state to exert influence at home and abroad. Rising nationalism coupled with industrialization and colonial imperialism led to the First World War as younger nation states resorted to war as a means to catch up with the earlier colonial powers. Fascist and Communist governments seized control of the instruments of production to promote political objectives.

The threat of unregulated markets became undeniable when the Great Crash and Great Depression forcefully thrust the relationship between economy and politics into the foreground. On the one side, growing concern in industrializing societies over rising levels of urban poverty and unemployment and increasing assertiveness of organized labor provided fertile ground for the rapid spread of communist sympathies. On the other side, it led to Roosevelt’s New Deal, which represented a massive effort to humanize capitalism by erecting a legal and political safety net authorizing the government to intrude into all areas of the economy in order to protect the masses from the challenges posed by rising levels of poverty and unemployment.

The Second World War pitted an alliance of capitalist and communist countries against opponents united by their common reliance on the power of government and state apparatus to advance the economic and political power and interests of the nation state. Their aim was concentration of collective power rather than individual welfare. Following the conclusion of World War II, the world powers divided into two camps characterized as democratic market economies and authoritarian communist states. Communist intellectuals developed theories supporting the nationalization of all economic activities, which led even the market economies of Western Europe to lean heavily toward nationalization and political power to create the modern social welfare state.

The reaction to this trend was symbolized by the founding of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947 by leading European and American intellectuals advocating rule of law, freedom of expression, free market economic policies, and the political values of an open society as the only effective remedy to the continued extension of the arbitrary exercise of power.

Among the tenets they affirmed and still hold to, is the diffused power and initiative associated with the institutions of market economies, without which it is difficult to imagine a society in which freedom may be effectively preserved. Powerfully influenced by the rise of fascisms and authoritarian communism, they perceived free markets as an essential condition to limit the power of the state and support democratic freedoms. The confrontation between these mutually exclusive intellectual positions was embodied in the political division of the world into competing economic and military blocs during the Cold War.

The end of the Cold War led to the rapid spread of democracy in Eastern Europe and developing countries and an equally rapid transition of formerly communist countries to market economies. This presented an opportunity to synthesize a conceptual and institutional framework to reconcile the competing truths of the rival camps into a new paradigm that embraced the truths recognized by both sides. Instead, Western intellectuals seized the opportunity to proclaim final victory in the struggle to reconcile political and economic freedom with social justice and equality. Instead of merging the insights of both systems, it revived a virulent and extreme neoliberal doctrine that justified a reversal of the legal and political structures established since the 1930s to govern economy for the welfare of all citizens.

Rapid economic globalization during the 1990s spurred by the founding of the World Trade Organization accentuated this tendency. For the first time since the dissolution of colonial empires a half century earlier, business enterprises were presented with a huge unsettled and uncivilized economic frontier, a Wild West for commercial and financial expansion, unhindered by government regulation. Pitting one nation against the other competitively for their own benefit, the global market also enabled businesses to escape for the first time from oversight, taxation and regulation by their own national governments. The new environment was exploited to reverse a century old effort of governments to combat and restrict the monopolization of markets. The explosive growth of mergers and acquisitions nationally and internationally over the past 20 years has led to a concentration of market power that has not been witnessed since the 1920s.

Agenda 2030: Economics in a Changing World

WAAS Fellows are exempted from payment of conference registration fees. To register, click here

For full information about for the conference, click here

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Globalism vs. Nationalism


Abstract submission (not >300 words): 30 June, 2017
Confirmation of acceptance: 15 July, 2017
Full paper: 20 November, 2017
For more details contact

By an irony of Nature, the intellectual consequence of resurgent neoliberalism has led to precisely the end which the founders of Mont Pelerin Society aspired to prevent. Rather than fortifying liberal democracy by ensuring economic freedom, economic power has grown to become the greatest threat to political freedom. Around the world, the power of money and commercial interests has penetrated, infiltrated and taken increasing control of the powers of governance. Instead of fascist dictatorship or communist authoritarianism, democracies have morphed by various routes and means into oligarchies and plutocracies serving a narrow exclusive economic elite and that power is being used to reinforce and increase the concentration of wealth and social power that free markets were intended to forestall. The means of this capitalist counter-revolution assume various forms, both illegal and legal—from corrupt democratically elected governments in developing countries leading in the extreme to state capture, rule by oligarchs in former Soviet Republics on the take, and the hijacking of secular democratic institutions by religious groups to the take-over of the independent media by corporate interests, democratic elections largely determined by money power, regulatory capture of government policy dictated by private interest, and a revolving door of the elite between business and government.

By another twist of irony, it is precipitating a revival of nationalism and retreat from the very principles of international cooperation and mutuality by which global markets and international institutions have been nurtured.

Today we are starkly confronted by the inseparability of economic and political power and the total unwillingness and failure of prevailing theories to address the fundamental relationship between them and to address the most

fundamental question facing global society today. There is pressing need for social theory that recognizes the fact that forms of social power—economic, military, political, technological, educational and cultural—are interrelated and interchangeable. That theory must also explicitly address the fundamental question of to whom does that power belong and whom should it serve. The prevailing intellectual framework disregards millennia of human civilization and culture by justifying in veiled form a return to the law of the jungle and struggle of the fittest on a global scale. All the lessons of history and progress of humanity to date justify a different answer to the question.

The evolution from monarchy and authoritarianism to democracy clearly demonstrates that the widest and most equitable distribution of political power, social rights, education, access to information and technology to all citizens is the most just, viable, productive, prosperous, vibrant and creative system of government yet envisioned. So too, the equitable distribution of economic power is a compelling necessity both to fulfill the ideas of democracy as well as to preserve it from dissolution into its illiberal perversions and namesakes. These truths compel us to formulate both a theory and practice that freely and equitably distribute all forms of social power to all human beings everywhere. No other possible answer will enable humanity to successfully cope with the multidimensional global challenges confronting society today. Marx was right, humanity does need a revolution and it must start with an intellectual revolution that rejects half of the truth proclaiming the exclusive validity of a limited partial formula and embraces an integrated perspective that reconciles individual freedom with social equality and justice for all.

Garry Jacobs
CEO, WAAS; Chairman of the Board, WUC

Mind, Thinking and Creativity

IUC, Dubrovnik, Croatia
November 6-9, 2017
Call for Faculty Members

An understanding of the human mind and its nature is important if we are to rightly understand and address the challenges we face today, convert them into opportunities and usher in a new paradigm of human development. The second roundtable aims to broaden the range and enhance the quality of our thinking by making conscious the implicit assumptions and barriers that confine it within narrow boundaries and the characteristic types of errors and omissions they give rise to.
For more details contact

XV International Colloquium

Paris, France
May 2-4, 2018
Call for Papers

The International institutions have for decades influenced national policies and the developing processes of internationalization in trade, financial transactions and other areas, with varying impact depending on the region and issues involved. The 2018 Colloquium will focus on the role of international institutions in the reformulation of both economic theory and policy to promote the economic security, welfare and well-being of all nations and all people.
Submissions to be made to

The First International Conference on Anticipation co-organized by University of Trento, UNESCO, WAAS, WUC and the Advanced Design Network at Trento in November 2015 succeeded beyond expectations. As a follow up, WAAS and WUC teamed up with the Department of Sociology and Social Research of the University of Trento, and the UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems to run an International Workshop on Anticipation, Agency and Complexity.

The Workshop took place in Trento from 6 to 8 April 2017 at the Department of Sociology and Social Research of the University of Trento. Among the fifty participants, various prominent personalities of academia, business sector and international institutions contributed to the workshop, including Elizabet Paunovic (Head of WHO European Centre for Environment and Health), Riel Miller (Specialist – Anticipation and Foresight, Social and Human Sciences Sector, UNESCO), Donato Kiniger-Passigli (Head of the Fragile States and Disaster Response Group at the ILO) and Emil Constantinescu (Former President of Romania), sharing their common interest in Futures Studies and particulary in Anticipation and Social Foresight, two relatively new branches of social sciences that face issues of utmost priority and importance, such as environmental safety, social inclusion, education, health and ageing.

Anticipation is a widespread phenomenon present in and characterizing all types of systems, forcing a re-evaluation of the very idea of science. The present interplay between science and institutions is becoming a major impediment to a further development of science. The traditional bureaucratic structure adopted by organizations and institutions (e.g. governments) derives from an understanding of systems that precedes the discovery of both complexity and anticipation. These structures work as if problems could be addressed individually and in a piecemeal way, with outputs systematically proportionate to relevant inputs, and without any thorough exploration of possible futures. Agency and power are central to how we construct choices and take decisions in complex, anticipatory systems.

Social Foresight aims to identify the social priorities of the next few decades through the analysis of continuities and

changes, in order to provide useful elements to address present strategic decisions, despite the increasing complexity and uncertainty that seem to pervade the current world. As Garry Jacobs, CEO of WAAS, pointed out, the future “is a compelling force that pull us in a specific direction”, which is able to free us from social determinism rooted in the past.

On the other hand, Roberto Poli, UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems, suggested that “the future is becoming a common topic in every scientific and political speech, as well in debates on current issues such as the economic crisis, food security and climate change. Communities tend to rely less on traditional perspectives to solve those problems, as their effectiveness to address the emerging challenges seems limited. Anticipation is becoming a necessary practice for companies, institutions, communities and individuals. However, scientific research has not been able to keep up with our society’s needs”.

The event also provided the moment to gather national futures experts and practitioniers in order to create the first network of Italian futurists. Human and social foresight experts working in Italy presented their activities and contributed to shape a national professional network. The University of Trento represents a landmark for Social Foresight in Italy and hosts the UNESCO Chair on anticipatory systems. The local research environment offers numerous initiatives, including the unique master’s degree in Social Foresight and a start-up company called skopìa, which focuses on strategic intelligence and consulting services for the development of anticipation-based skills.

Roberto Poli, Associate Professor in
Philosophy of Science, University of Trento (Italy);
Fellow, WAAS

The Second International CongressNikola Tesla – Disruptive Innovation” was organized from 2-4 June, 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia. The Congress focused on the challenge of resurrecting Tesla’s vision of science and technology in the service of humanity, freed from domination by financial and commercial interests. WAAS was invited to the Congress, for a special session focused on Tesla inspired vision of the future education. WAAS’s commitment to the social responsibility of science, the holistic and inspired vision for collective evolution, and democratic human development is closely aligned with Tesla’s vision.

The congress gathered distinguished professors, international experts, technological and social innovators and admirers of Nikola Tesla to discuss the genius and legacy of the visionary inventor and expound on the topic of disruptive innovation on the scale of personal development to social transformation from the multidisciplinary and holistic perspective. Adding to the central scientific, philosophical and innovation focus, key themes of the congress were: Tesla-inspired holistic questions of creativity and education; holistic questions of psychosomatics and spirituality; and re-making Tesla – practices that make a genius.

Garry Jacobs presented a vision of the future education that could liberate and nourish the ingenious individual potential of the kind Tesla exhibited and lead to unprecedented collective evolution. Mila Popovich focused on Tesla’s anticipation of the future of scientific and social probing and called for the redefinition of scientific pursuit toward spiritual contribution of science. Starting from Tesla’s call for the study of non-physical phenomena for the radical advances in sciences, Rodolfo Fiorini explored the implications of such scientific orientation for a cultural revival in future education. Nebojša Nešković presented the special project of the Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences in Serbia—Tesla Accelerator Installation —and the educational aspects of this innovative design of a research reactor. Click here to view the recording of the live stream of the WAAS panel.

Mila Popovich,Chair,
Membership Communications Committee, WAAS

The Future of Democracy: Survey of WAAS Fellows

The WAAS Board of Trustees proposes to launch an inquiry into this critically important issue by conducting a series of meetings on this subject beginning with a major national conference or set of regional seminars in North America in 2018. We are first seeking the views of WAAS Fellows on this proposal so that we can evaluate the level of interest and support from our membership. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey on the proposal of WAAS Board to conduct a major national conference or set of regional seminars in North America in 2018 on the future of democracy.

Following Cape Town WAAS was also represented at an international conference on New Paradigm in Politics and Economics organized by the Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research (LINPR) in Tuscany, Italy. LINPR was recently established by WAAS Fellow Ervin Laszlo to conduct pioneering research on the need for a new paradigm encompassing all major fields of social life. In his inaugural address, Laszlo emphasized the need for new thinking to replace the mechanistic, deterministic thinking inherited by social thinkers from early developments in the natural sciences which have long ago been superseded.

Ivo Šlaus presented an overview of the Academy’s work on need for a new human-centered paradigm, focusing on the central role of politics in a transforming world, citing Aristotle’s statement that ‘politics is the master science of good’ and Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz’ assertion that ‘inequality and unearned income kill the economy.’ Garry Jacobs examined the linkage between economy, social power and democracy.

The British business leader Lawrence Bloom stressed the central importance of person-centered education for evolution to a new paradigm and highlighted the recent efforts of the world’s largest asset management companies to raise the environmental consciousness and accountability of the major corporations in which they invest.

John Bunzl, another British entrepreneur and co-founder of SIMPOL, analyzed the global governance gap arising from the fact that national level governments are inadequate instruments for addressing global issues such as climate change, financial crises, rising inequality, and corporate power. Instead we live in pseudo democracies with only an illusion of choice which are engaged in destructive global competition supported by neoliberal policies that undermine international cooperation.

Bunzl’s innovation was to call on voters to elect candidates committed to collaboration across national boundaries on critical global issues. Simpol, which stands for Simultaneous Policy, was established to fill the gap and foster the election of national level parliamentarians committed to international cooperation. In the just completed UK elections, 65 new parliamentarians adopted the Simpol platform.

Based on insights from this and other LINPR conferences in the series, Laszlo is in the process of developing a handbook outlining the basic premises and principles for formulation of new paradigm perspectives in the fields of fundamental sciences of life, health, education, economics, politics, business, society, the evolution of mind and the reconciliation of science and spirituality.

Alison Goldwyn, founder & creative director of the Synchronistory project, pointed out that the physical challenges to earth’s climate are a reflection of the emotional conflicts characterizing global human relations today and an essential step toward effectively resolving environmental challenges is a change of mind and heart about our life together on planet earth. Peace, international cooperation, economic security and multiculturalism are essential components of sustainability. The 17 SDGs included in the UN’s 2030 program are all noble, but they are missing an imperative 18th Goal. We need to infuse a confused planet with purpose and meaning. And it needs to filter down from thinking to feeling. Toxic thoughts produce toxic environments, perpetuating the destructive cycles we think we’re fixing. From economic to environmental to political breakdown and beyond, it’s become a world of tech-connect and disconnect, discovery and disenchantment… a Global Identity Crisis. We need to go deeper this time to the very roots that seed the problematic perceptions.

Goldwyn had conceived of a massive international edutainment project designed to promote a sense of common global identity and a deep appreciation of the multicultural bonds that unify the diverse strands of human civilization. Synchronistory: Humanity’s Global Moment seeks to relate a compelling story that replaces divisions and conquest with unity and diversity as expressions of a unique global community. She intends synchronistory to be an epic message-in-a-bottle cast into the waters of modern times like a prayer for Humankind.

Garry Jacobs
CEO, WAAS; Chairman of the Board, WUC

The XIV International Symposium of University Professors titled The Third mission of University in Europe for a Human and Global Development was held in Rome on June 22-24, 2017 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Treaties of Rome. This initiative, supported by Pope Francis, was promoted by the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Office for the Pastoral Office of the Vicariate of Rome led by Bishop Lorenzo Leuzzi (Auxiliary Bishop of Rome), the Italian Ministry of Education–MIUR, the Regional Committee of Rectors’ University of Lazio-CRUL, and the Rectors’ Committee of Pontifical University of Rome–CRUPR, with the Patronage of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

The result of this initiative was the Rome Charter that promotes commitment of the academic world to:

strengthening the third mission of the university; commitment to the environment and society; promoting research and investment in the new generations; sharing the results of research; promoting social and environmental responsibility; harboring respect for life at every stage of development and supporting intercultural dialogue.

Among the important attendees at the Symposium were the Italian Minister of Education Valeria Fedeli of The Atlas Foundation. The event was chaired by Ambassador Antonio Gazzanti Pugliese of Crotone and by Renato Loiero, Francesco Saverio, and Emmanuele Profiti (members of its Board of Directors).

Prominent representatives of the academic world invited to the event of the Faith & Action Foundation chaired by Francesco Augurusa include Fellows of WAAS Ivo Šlaus, Alberto Zucconi, Momir Đurović, Zbigniew Bochniarz, Donato Kiniger-Passigli and Erich Hoedl and Maurizio Cattaneo representing the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lorenzo Berra representing Harvard University, Max Arella from the University of Quebec (Canada) and Elizabet Paunovic from the World Health Organization.

The participation of lecturers and rectors from over 60 countries in the 2017 World Summit highlights the relevance of the promotion of human, global, sustainable and responsible development for academia.

“How can a system of law be developed to take the place of war in the settling of disputes between nations and to permit (in the words of Jan Tinbergen) a true global economy to be organized to maximize world welfare, undisturbed by national frontiers or national policies detrimental to the rest of the world? We must provide every person not only with adequate food and shelter, but also with education to the extent that he can benefit by it, with the opportunity to develop himself to the fullest extent, to exercise his creativity, to express his personality.”

Linus Pauling (1901-1994), WAAS Fellow;
Nobel laureate in Chemistry and in Peace

“Scientists in Politics” in The Place of Value in a World of Facts Eds Arne Tiselius and Sam Nilsson, 1970

“Collective cognitive power is more a function of the society as a whole than it is of its individual members. Intelligence, as manifest in such things as new technologies, and complex ways of life, is largely a product of a collective system that coordinates the intellectual resources of an entire society.

The collective cognitive system even exerts influence on gene expression during development. By means of this kind of influence, social systems can profoundly influence the way individual brains develop, and the way growing minds allocate their inborn resources.”

Merlin Donald
The Digital Era: Challenges for the Modern Mind,” Cadmus 2, no.2 (2014): 68-79

WAAS has been invited to collaborate with Experimental Economic Lab (eXEL) to conduct an international conference on Agenda 2030: Economics in a Changing World at Umag, Croatia, on August 27-28, 2017. This high level conference will explore the interface between economic and political factors in the functioning of economy and democracy.

In the past decade, we have witnessed how different sets of events can trigger global economic changes. From the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis to today’s increasing number of political and conflict-related shocks, no nation’s economy has proven resistant to these changes. The complexity of interactions between economic and political factors has increased and these elements ought to be incorporated into future policies. A new development agenda should carry forward the spirit of active response to changes, seeking an answer to the questions of what should and can be done to anticipate changes and transform economies for the better. The focus of the Conference will be on theoretical and practical approaches to address issues related to migration, national security, poverty, education, economic growth and healthcare to fulfil our vision of promoting sustainable development worldwide.

Keynote speakers will include three leading American economists.

Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and Vice-President of American Economic Association;

Joshua Angrist, Professor of Economics at MIT and Research Associate at National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); and

Henry Farber, Director of Industrial Relations at Princeton University and President of the Society of Labor Economists.

WAAS Fellows are exempted from payment of conference registration fees. To register, click here

For full information about for the conference, click here

For other queries, contact

Globalization is often associated with neo-liberalism, free flows of capitals, goods, services and workers. It has resulted in tremendous changes at the political and the cultural levels. It has also been criticized for benefiting only the elite and undermining the lives of many others, for devastating economic and social consequences on the majority of the world population. We see a struggle of nationalism against globalism, and it will be fought out, not only among nations, but within nations.

As the world becomes interdependent, the fate of one state is linked to the fate of another state. The question you have to ask yourself is, do you want Globalization? One dictating power of the world, the goal of one religion and the loss of own individual rights. Is Nationalism just the first step for fighting back against capitalism and globalization? Are we all going to live in a globalised, borderless world in which nation states have been abolished, or continue with a world that remains partitioned into separate states? Will it be Globalism or will it be Nationalism? We’ve reached the crossroads. Time has come to choose a side.

Topics to be discussed at the conference

  • Open-borders/ Closed border
  • Unfettered consumerism/ Protectionism
  • Feminism and matriarchy
  • Multiculturalism, diversity, and egalitarianism
  • Cultural, artistic, intellectual, religious heritage
  • Paganism or atheism
  • Global/Local solutions for local problems
  • Empire building
  • Centralization/Decentralization
  • Secularism/Monotheism
  • Collectivization/Patriarchy/Homogeneous population
  • Unarmed populace/Armed populace
  • War as self-defense
  • Individual rights/Human rights

Abstract submission (not >300 words): 30 June, 2017
Confirmation of acceptance: 15 July, 2017
Full paper: 20 November, 2017
For more details contact

An understanding of the human mind and its nature is important if we are to rightly understand and address the challenges we face today, convert them into opportunities and usher in a new paradigm of human development. WAAS in its continuous pursuit of understanding all challenges from their first principles and finding permanent, comprehensive, sustainable solutions, is organizing a Roundtable on Mind, Thinking & Creativity at the Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia, from November 6-9, 2017. The program, a collaboration with WUC and other partners, is part of a ground breaking WAAS project on the theme of Mind.

As a first step in the project, WAAS, along with partnering organizations IACP, IUC, DHUC, MSS and WUC organized a four day conference on Mind, Thinking and Creativity in April 2016 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The conference was attended by renowned experts in the subjects of human psychology, neuroscience, sociology and philosophy among others, and the conference papers presented and the recordings of the discussions are available on the WAAS website.

The second roundtable in the series is an endeavour to rediscover the marvellous capacities of mind as humanity has originally discovered, developed and applied them. It aims to broaden the range and enhance the quality of our

thinking by making conscious the implicit assumptions and barriers that confine it within narrow boundaries and the characteristic types of errors and omissions they give rise to. The following are the topics covered:

  • Evolution of mind
  • Consciousness and mind
  • Limits to rationality
  • Thinking
  • Symbolic thinking
  • Reason and logical thinking
  • Analytical thinking
  • Systems, holistic, synthetic thinking
  • Conceptual systems
  • Subjectivity and objectivity
  • Analogy and metaphor
  • Integral thinking
  • Creativity and original thinking
  • Insight, intuitive knowledge and genius
  • Future evolution of mind

In keeping with its motto of leadership in thought that leads to action, WAAS has launched this vital and exciting project, and invites all Fellows to participate in this journey of self-discovery.

For more details contact

The International institutions have for decades influenced national policies and the developing processes of internationalization in trade, financial transactions and other areas, with varying impact depending on the region and issues involved. They play an important role in promoting structural change and socioeconomic dynamics in different stages of the development process. Their role in the coordination of climate actions policies was an important determinant leading to the COP21 in Paris and the calendar of conferences established to monitor the implementation of increasingly ambitious climate actions. Their influence has been less in some other fields, especially the regulation of financial globalization. At a time when some countries are trying to reduce the influence of international institutions, it

is relevant to assess how these institutions function, formulate policies, arbitrate and reconcile the interests of nation-states with those of global civil society, and exert influence at the national and international level. The 2018 Colloquium will focus on the role international institutions played in recent decades and can play in the near future in the reformulation of both economic theory and policy to promote the economic security, welfare and well-being of all nations and all people.

Last date for Abstract submission: January 16, 2018 (Maximum 400 words)
Submissions to be made to

Climate Change – Biopolicy & Development by Agni Vlavianos Arvanitis, President & Founder of the Biopolitics International Organisation

Climate Change – Biopolicy and Development is a must-read for all those who want to become informed and sensitized about possibly the greatest challenge facing humanity today. This impressive work addresses such crucial questions as: “How is climate change different from global warming?” “How can we be so confident that humans are the primary cause of recent climate change?” “Which extreme weather events are posing serious threats to public health and well-being?” “How will water resources, land and biodiversity be impacted in the coming decades?” “What is the role of agriculture and forestry in climate change mitigation?” “What is the outlook for the world economy, jobs and education?” and “How has the international community been responding to these growing challenges?”

The book features nine chapters which outline the complex risks posed by climate change, look into mitigation and adaptation strategies in a variety of sectors, and present key paradigms for global policy with a view to the future. The aim is to contribute to the mobilization and inspiration of every individual on our planet, in every dimension of human endeavor, in order to lead to the timely transformation of policy into action.

The Role of Biopolicy: The final chapter examines how biopolicy—policy with bios=life, at the heart of decision-making—can offer insight and motivation for a climate-resilient future. The cooperation of technology and the arts, a re-assessment of the concept of profit, cities with zero pollution, green employment schemes, and initiatives for a greater appreciation of the microcosmos —the world of cells and molecules—can help society to revise energy intensive sectors, improve the quality of the environment, support life, and enhance international cooperation in climate change mitigation. The most essential part of this responsibility, however, remains the parameter of time. As repeatedly affirmed by Agni Vlavianos Arvanitis, “If we do not hear the ticking clock, then we are ethically accountable for the damages and problems we delegate to future generations.”

e-Learning Program: The material in this publication is also used in B.I.O.’s extensive e-learning program, which is offered through the Organisation’s e-learning platform. Courses cover a variety of topics and focus on new thinking about ways to integrate sustainability principles in all academic disciplines and professional initiatives so as to provide increasing insights into global strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

To order copies of the book and/or to receive more information about the e-learning program, please contact

Food Scarcity Unavoidable by 2100? Impact of Demography & Climate Change by Raoul A. Weiler & Kris Demuynck

The “Food Scarcity Unavoidable by 2100?” report is a scientifically innovative, creative and timely reminder of the danger that unrestrained climate change poses for agriculture, food production, and human survival ability as a consequence of the destruction of the agricultural basis of food production. Agriculture is not generally accorded the most fashionable space in the context of higher education. However, this report demonstrates just how important agricultural resources are to the survival of humanity when it confronts the dangers posed by climate warming and climate change. Raoul Weiler and his co-author apply to the new science of networks—an innovative investigation technique of a unique climate classification system—the Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification System (KGCCS). The system facilitates a holistic approach to climate classification which transcends nation/state boundaries.

The approach is a system of classification that works on functional geographic and geological properties. This particular system has been modernized and updated by satellite observation systems. The new network’s approach permits the integration of statistical information from a wide range of sources that integrates climate zones, contents and sovereign states. The approach permits the simultaneous integration of climate zones, agricultural production and demography and subjects these issues to the challenges posed by dangerous climate change.

An incredibly complex and convoluted range of forces is clarified and specified using advanced quantitative scientific techniques. This gives us the clearest picture to date of what we might anticipate in the near future as a consequence of the challenge of climate change. There are innumerable insights that the studies underscore and these factors include the physical space available for agricultural production, the availability of fresh water, and additionally, the issue of human demography.

The strength of this report lies in the excellence of its process in the quantification of a wide range of interdependent factors crucial to the sustainability of agriculture and food production. This report provides scientific innovation with social responsibility and produces an extraordinary level of clarity concerning the threat to humanity posed by unrestrained climate change and the possibility of food scarcity. This is a profoundly good study and is worthy of the widest distribution in public policy circles as well as public opinion fora. A presentation of this book took place at FAO, Rome in March 2017. The book is now available on and in color on A5 format.

Cadmus is a journal for fresh thinking and new perspectives that integrate knowledge from all fields of science, art and humanities to address real-life issues, inform policy and decision-making, and enhance our collective response to the challenges and opportunities facing the world today.

Contents of the latest Cadmus Issue – May 2017

Eruditio, the e-journal of WAAS, complements and enhances the academy’s focus on global perspectives in the generation of knowledge from all fields of legitimate inquiry. It also mirrors the academy’s specific focus and mandate which is to consider the social consequences and policy implications of knowledge in the broadest sense.

Contents of the latest Eruditio Issue – April-May 2017