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Global Leadership in the 21st century

In Spring 2019 WAAS and the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) agreed to collaborate on a one-year project to fill the global leadership vacuum. The initiative seeks to promote the emergence of the dynamic leadership needed at the global level to successfully address the major environmental, social and economic challenges facing humanity. The project has been designed in collaboration with Michael Møller, Director-General of The UN in Geneva. It is being coordinated by Garry Jacobs, WAAS CEO; Donato Kiniger-Passigli, WAAS Special Representative to the UN; and David Chikvaidze, Chief of Staff for the Director-General of UNOG and WAAS Fellow.

The project will be undertaken by the WAAS-UNOG project team in collaboration with partner organizations. The research phase of the project will involve a series of expert consultations, workshops and conferences with UN agencies, national governments, national academies, scientific

research institutions, business and financial organizations, universities, NGOs and youth representatives to identify effective leadership strategies and success stories. The research findings will be presented at a major international conference at Palais des Nations, Geneva in 2020 and in a written report to the UN.

The project will seek to develop a positive vision of the future of humanity, assess critical leadership qualities, identify untapped resources, and develop strategies to generate widespread public awareness and a global social movement in support for implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A detailed background paper for the project has been published in the May 2019 issue of Cadmus Journal available for download here.

Project Overview: Global Leadership in the 21st Century

There is an urgent need to fill the global leadership vacuum in order to address the complex challenges confronting humanity today. Leadership is needed at all levels in all fields. It must be inspired by higher values, visionary ideas, and awareness of untapped opportunities. It has to be energized by courageous individuals, innovative organizations and the rising aspirations of global society. This multidisciplinary, multisectoral, multi-stakeholder project is an initiative of WAAS in collaboration with UNOG and a coalition of partner organizations to accelerate the emergence of dynamic leadership for global development.

Leadership is characterized by the vision, values and goals to be realized. Development is a social process, not a program. Governments and international institutions alone cannot provide the leadership required to achieve

these goals. Effective strategies are required to mobilize, engage and coordinate the efforts of different stakeholders and levels of the global community. Inspiring ideas, individuals, innovative organizations and dynamic initiatives all have essential roles to play. A broad-based social movement is also needed to fill the vacuum.

The project will draw insights from successful leadership initiatives of different types, at different levels and in different fields that have been effective catalysts for rapid social progress. It will seek to make more conscious the underlying movement of social evolution to meet the urgent demands of the world today. It will involve dialog with leaders of international organizations, government, business, academia and civil society to prepare for a major international conference at UNOG and publication of a vision statement, report and action plan.


Global Leadership in the 21st century, Baku
Creative Solutions for Global Education: WAAS Partnership with UNESCO
4th Intl. Conference on Future Education, Serbia
Future of Capital Forum, UN HQ, New York
Roundtable on the Future of Money, Dubrovnik
Emerging New Civilization Initiative, Dubrovnik
The Role of Cultural Diplomacy, Bucharest

The Levant Initiative for World Peace, Rome
Approaching 20?? Year, Podgorica
Topical Issues in the Globalizing World, Moscow
The Kopaonik Business Forum, Serbia
Reimagining Higher Education, Lisbon
Enabling Human Development & Harmony
Cognitive Computing, Society & Well-being, Milano
Human-Centered Computer Systems, Bari

Collaborating Organizations: The project will be undertaken in association with WAAS partner institutions and other leading organizations representing important stakeholder groups:

  • International Organizations
  • National Governments
  • Universities and other Educational Institutions
  • Scientific Academies and Research Institutions
  • Business and Financial Institutions
  • Non-governmental Organizations
  • Youth Organizations

Timeline: The project was launched at a 1-day meeting in Baku on 17 March 2019 and will culminate in a 2-day conference at the UNOG and the submission of a final report to the UN in 2020, followed by development of educational and training courses on global leadership for delivery.

For further information, contact
Donato Kiniger-Passigli
WAAS Special Representative to UN Geneva

Official Launch of GL21 at the VII Global Baku Forum

Global Leadership in the 21st Century (GL21) was officially launched in Baku, Azerbaijan on March 17th 2019 during the VII Global Baku Forum organized by WAAS partner Nizami Ganjavi International Centre (NGIC). Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, Garry Jacobs, and NGIC co-chairs Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of Latvia (1999-2007), and Ismail Serageldin, former Vice-President of World Bank (1992-2000), introduced the project in the joint inaugural session with the Black Sea University Network (BSUN).

In his keynote address, economist Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, stressed that the SDGs are playing a critical leadership role in global society today and that they are an embodiment of and attempt to realize the lofty ideals set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago. The SDGs represent an important shift in emphasis from wealth to well-being—from producing things to developing people. Sachs stressed that having the right goals is essential, but possessing the knowledge of social processes is equally so. It is not enough to know what needs to be done. It is also essential to know the best way to do it. This requires the capacity to conceive and design creative processes that specify the optimal pathways for a sustainable future. Interdisciplinary knowledge of social processes and theory of change are essential to address the critical challenges confronting global society today. Universities need to be reconfigured to play a central role in addressing global challenges.

The inaugural meeting was designed to foster open discussion on critical global issues with the goal of being better able to address the many challenges confronting planetary well-being. Efforts were made to identify new and better ways and means of governing, leading and educating, with particular attention to strengthening the performance of existing institutions and processes. Participants explored five interconnected governance and leadership themes.

Emil Constantinescu and Tibor Tóth explored from a historical perspective on important leadership achievements and failures; critical leadership challenges and initiatives in the world today; compelling ideas, values and goals driving global social evolution and aligning leadership and social power.

Zlatko Lagumdžija and Hikmet Çetin concentrated on qualities of leadership needed to effectively address global challenges; impact of the chaotic transition to multipolarity on global leadership and strategies to fill the global leadership gap.

Rajendra Pachauri and Rosalía Arteaga Serrano moderated the discussion on the need for multi-stakeholder concept of leadership that takes into account the role of international organizations, national governments, business, scientific and educational research institutions and NGOs; coordinating leadership horizontally between parallel initiatives and integrating leadership vertically at the local, national and global levels. The discussion stressed the need for a wider conception of leadership that is not confined by traditional stereotypes of the dynamic individual.

Donato Kiniger-Passigli described the WAAS-UN project as a multi-phased, multi-dimensional, multi-stakeholder, human-centered initiative intended to generate transformative ideas and innovative strategies which lead to actions that can generate awareness, release energy, and build support for cooperative global action. Jonathan Granoff focussed on a non-hierarchical, cross-generational approach for effective implementation based on shared goals and values. Pericles Mitkas, President of BSUN, discussed essential qualities, roles, strategies and initiatives needed for effective leadership by universities to address the critical challenges confronting humanity today, with special emphasis on the implementation of the SDGs.

David Chikvaidze and Garry Jacobs emphasized that global change can only be practically realized by leadership initiatives that mobilize public opinion, elicit public participation and unleash a global social movement. The recent stirring of environmental youth activists is an encouraging first sign that such a movement can be unleashed as it was by students in the 1960s to protest against war and support human rights and environmental protection, and by European citizens on both sides of the Iron Curtain to end the Cold War.

– David Harries, Associate Executive Director, Foresight Canada; WAAS Fellow; &
Goran Bandov, Associate Professor & Vice Dean, Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations and Diplomacy, Croatia; WAAS Associate Fellow

Participants’ Insights on the Baku Inaugural Event

Whole System Leadership

Leadership studies often focus on the qualities of effective leaders. GL21 defines leadership more broadly as the processes by which society addresses challenges and achieves a positive future. Aspects of broadly defined leadership include inspiring ideas and visions, effective individual leaders, the collective desire of citizens to resolve problems and succeed, strategies to achieve goals, effective organizational and institutional focus, and actions needed to achieve goals.

GL21 uses a whole system approach. The main emphasis is raising awareness, consciousness and levels of thinking.

Effective leadership includes raising awareness about the causes and solutions to major challenges and encouraging whole system thinking. Currently, we break society into parts and develop solutions that ignore relevant factors. This produces unintended consequences, such as environmental and social degradation. In reality, all physical and non-physical aspects of society are parts of one interconnected global system. We can resolve major challenges only by using this reality-based thinking.

Whole system thinking and effective leadership are essential for achieving the SDGs. There is broad

agreement that we should achieve the goals, but no agreement about how to achieve them. Efforts to achieve the goals largely are focused on symptoms, not root causes. This will produce benefits, but not come close to achieving the goals.

Whole system thinking and effective leadership are needed to shift the focus of SDG achievement efforts from symptoms (problems) to root causes (reductionistic thinking and the flawed systems that result from it).

Effective leadership will use new paradigm approaches to coordinate and mobilize all segments of society. Working with thought leaders, GL21 will define and catalyze the global leadership needed to achieve the SDGs and widespread, long-term prosperity for humanity.

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

Grassroots Leadership to Awaken Youth and Mobilize Society

Given the various developments at the global level, leadership needs to go beyond issues related to the nation-state. It is necessary to ensure that the global community evolves in a coordinated manner since every component of the global stakeholder system must understand that we are all in it together. Every stakeholder group must appreciate and sense the real goals and aspirations of every other stakeholder group, because only from that would be created a sense of harmony across various elements of the system.

Leadership, particularly in democratic societies, has to necessarily reflect the needs and demands of people at large. The SDGs are unique in that they apply to all humanity and not merely to some countries or sections of the world population. Unless there is an articulation of needs and priorities at the grassroots level, leaders may remain unaware of what people really want.

Hence, while the development of leaders at various levels is an important task, what is even more crucial is an effort at the grassroots level by which leaders are subjected to an expression of what the people really want from their leadership. This becomes particularly important with grassroots efforts involving the youth across different societies, because it is for them to come up with a set of universal perceptions of global leadership that would meet the needs of the future.

There is substantial inertia which creates resistance to change, particularly when transformative change is the need of the hour. It is necessary to spread knowledge and awareness among the people on the directions in which the world is going and the changes that are required so that an understanding of movement in the right direction and the breaking down of inertia becomes a priority for action by people and, therefore, of the leadership that they create.

– Rajendra K. Pachauri,
Former DG, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI); Former Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), India; WAAS Trustee

Leadership of Trans-Institutions

Things often turn out to be more complex than expected, and competing interests get worked out by complexity. Taking this into account, we should assume that future global leadership will be more complex than we conceive today. A trans-institutional concept of global leadership is now emerging from those in the UN, nation-states, universities or corporations. A Trans-Institution (TI) can be for anything—for addressing global warming, future forms of Artificial Intelligence, etc. TI has no “legal personhood” at the moment. It is a new kind of institution. TI cuts across other institutions attracting those most interested in the issue it addresses. Its governing body would have some from government, corporations, universities, NGOs, and international organizations, but not a majority of any one. The people who do the work would come from all these institutions, but not a majority of any one body. The money would come from all these

institutions but not a majority of any one. The value added by the TI should go to all organizations as demonstrated by an annual report.

A TI can act through all these institutional categories, and be acted on by all these categories. Action by a TI has to make sense politically since government is there; has to address the “bottom line” since business is there; has to be based on knowledge since universities are there; has to reflect values since NGOs are there; and has to make sense internationally since international organizations are there. A TI could provide global leadership (on a particular issue) by generating coherence among its institutional elements. How business would act would be different than how universities would act, NGOs would act differently than how governments would act, etc. but they would all act in shared agreement providing strategic coherence and hopefully synergies.

– Jerome C. Glenn
Co-founder & CEO, The Millennium Project on Global Futures Research, USA; WAAS Fellow

The Role of WAAS in Global Leadership

We live in a world of uncertainty in which a multipolar and diverse leadership is implemented in important issues such as education. In this context, an institution such as WAAS has an important role because it brings experiences and knowledge that together can be empowered in this interconnected world with endless possibilities. It is also important that our discussions are always in a context of values, since ethics is current and present in the great religions, and values are the base for all forms of power.

– Rosalía Arteaga Serrano,
Former President of Ecuador; WAAS Fellow

WAAS’ Partnership with UNESCO

WAAS has just received a letter from Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, confirming that The World Academy of Art & Science has been recognized as an official partner of UNESCO with consultative status. This recognition with enable us to further broaden the Academy’s relationship with UN agencies as a complement to our special consultative status with UN ECOSOC, our active on-going collaboration with the UN Office in Geneva on Global Leadership in the 21st century, and our participation in the Future of Capital project in collaboration with the UN Office

of Partnerships in New York.

The Academy’s objective will be to actively collaborate with UNESCO to broaden and enhance the effectiveness of several WAAS programs, including consultations with scientific and educational institutions for the UN-WAAS Global Leadership Project; participation in the WAAS-WUC Future of Education international conference series in partnership with leading universities; development of the transdisciplinary, multistakeholder, multisectoral Masters Program on Leadership and Human Accomplishment; development of courses and training programs on Mind, Thinking & Creativity; and the PG knowledge roundtable series at Inter-University Centre, Dubronik.

4th International Conference on Future Education

There is an ever widening gap between the education the world needs and the education our present pedagogies and learning technologies are able to offer to students. The gap is also widening between society and individuals that are able to adapt quickly to the demands for educational leadership, innovation and creativity, and those that lag behind. Education has become a critical competitive factor for both the individual and the society.

A new type of education—a new paradigm—is urgently needed to address the challenges and paradoxes of the coming age, capitalize on the emerging potentials, and transform possible threats into opportunities. This new paradigm must enable the shift to contextual, relational, human-centered and collaborative education that encourages critical thinking, creativity and technological entrepreneurship. WAAS and WUC are working in partnership with universities and other organizations around the world with this objective. The 4th International Conference on Future Education is being organized in Belgrade, Serbia from November 11-13, 2019 in order to accomplish this goal. The Fourth International Conference on Future Education will examine effective strategies and policies required to accelerate this paradigm change in education. It will draw lessons, insights and practical approaches from successful innovations in education taking

place around the world. It will examine ways to overcome disciplinary barriers in order to provide the integrated knowledge needed for achievement in our increasingly complex world. The Conference will explore methods to shift the focus from subjects to students and from academic to contextual knowledge. It will investigate emerging technologies and pedagogies that can shift the emphasis from teaching to active learning, from competitive to cooperative interaction, and from teacher-student to peer-peer learning environments. It will explore ways to promote development of the capacities for creative thinking, personality and individuality, which will prepare the next generation for high accomplishment in the years to come. This conference is held in collaboration with the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the University of Belgrade, the Serbian Association of Economists, and the Serbian Chapter of the Club of Rome.

The following are some areas the conference will explore:

  • Strategic Audit of New Education Challenges and Opportunities
  • Digital Opportunities at All Educational Levels
  • Entrepreneurship: From Leadership in Thought to Effective Action
  • Impact of research and innovation on education
  • Education for sustainability and inclusiveness for people and nature
  • Education for Full Employment
  • Person-Centered Education

September 12-13, 2019: United Nations Headquarters, New York

Preparations are underway for the Future of Capital forum to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 12-13, 2019, preparatory to convening a summit at the UN next Spring. The aim of the project is to promote initiatives to redirect global financial resources to resolve major challenges facing humanity and promote rapid implementation of the SDGs.

The organizing committee consists of individuals and organizations invited by the UN Office of Partnerships to develop the agenda and convene a group of experts across disciplines, sectors, and regions. The project is the initiative of Will Kennedy of UNOP and Lawrence Ford, CEO of Conscious Capital Wealth Management. WAAS is represented on the committee by Garry Jacobs, Mila Popovich and Frank Dixon.

The aim of the initiative is to raise the consciousness that defines our worldview and the values that drive our socio-economic system, and to redirect investment of collectively generated capital toward greater collective good.

The goal is to mobilize the global business community to put conscious capital into action and to demonstrate that organizations which adopt a conscious capital business model can achieve their business objectives in a manner that supports achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals. Conscious business and conscientious investing can generate solutions for the

challenges of the 21st century—solutions worthy of the new humanity.

The forum intends to integrate government, academia, NGOs, the private sector and civil society with a common purpose. The SDGs represent an unprecedented consensus of the global civil society on humanity’s priorities.

The project will provide an opportunity to project innovative strategies being developed by WAAS to generate new sources of financing for the SDGs and to effect major changes to the financial system to promote human wellbeing and sustainable development.

The September forum is a preliminary event designed to prepare for a major summit conference on the future of capital and finance at the UN in 2020. WAAS will play the role as a co-organizer and co-convener engaging the Academy’s ECOSOC special consultative status.

Furthermore, we hope that the future summit in 2020 will provide an opportunity for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of WAAS and an occasion not only to commemorate its illustrious past but also to inaugurate the next stage of its future. We look forward to updating the members on the developments that the forum will bring and to getting a broader involvement of the members in the future summit.

– Mila Popovich, WAAS Associate Fellow;
Founder, EVOLving Leadership, USA

UN Project: Future of Capital Summit: How do we develop more Conscious Capital?

“The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a guide for the social evolution of humankind. Consciousness is what drives our actions; how we allocate capital fuels those actions. Our task is to integrate these dynamics with integrity to achieve a better outcome for humanity.”

— Lawrence Ford

The Future of Capital Summit will convene selected global leaders to address a central question: How do we develop more conscious capital? The summit is designed to showcase, inspire, co-create, and encourage a commitment to action to resolve major challenges facing humanity.

Our consciousness determines the values and perspectives through which we view the world.

Widening the perception and raising the values reveal opportunities where once we perceived only limitations. New perspectives can radically accelerate progress toward a new paradigm for human development.

The Future of Capital Summit is being organized at the UN in New York in 2020 by the United Nations Office of Partnerships in collaboration with WAAS and other partner organizations. A preparatory meeting of the program committee and other core contributors will be hosted by the UN Office of Partnerships on September 12-13, 2019. The Summit will bring together an extraordinary and selected blend of global leaders carefully chosen for their expertise and demonstrated actions, including investment and financial professionals, political leaders and policy-makers, businessmen and women, researchers, thought-leaders, social entrepreneurs, activists, community leaders and philanthropists. The format of the event is interactive, co-creative, and focused on action.

Our goal is to mobilize the global business community to put conscious capital into action for the common good. Our strategy is to demonstrate that organizations which adopt a conscious capital business model can achieve their business objectives in a manner that can exceed their organizational goals and support achievement of the SDGs—the two accomplishments being related by a causal link.

Collectively, we will ask and address the following questions:

  • What are the values that drive our investments?
  • What are the implicit and explicit values underpinning the current economic and business model?
  • What are the emerging value drivers in the economy for the future?
  • What are the perceptual frames that define our vision of social opportunities?
  • What does it mean to be a conscious and conscientious investor?
  • How can we better realign social systems to promote real wealth creation and sustainable human development?
  • How can the creative power of money be multiplied and leveraged to achieve the SDGs and promote the well-being of all humanity?
  • What is the true basis for wealth creation?

Some of the themes will include:

  • The Power of Conscious Business
  • Conscious Investing for Positive Impact
  • System Change for a Truly Sustainable Future
  • Achieving the Global Sustainable Development Goals
  • Collaborating for the Common Good
  • Achieving Positive Change Through Alternative Currencies
  • Conscious Management for Sustained Corporate Success

UPCOMING EVENT: Roundtable on the Future of Money

Money is one of humanity’s most resourceful and significant social inventions. It is a networking tool which, like language and the internet, enables human beings to relate to each other more effectively over great expanses of Space and Time.

Money is also a primary vehicle for the exercise and interconversion of different forms of Social Power, which extends its influence far beyond the boundaries of economy into every aspect of social life.

Over the past two decades the Academy has made significant efforts to study the role of money as a social institution and a vehicle for social evolution. Today, more than ever, fresh perspectives are needed to understand the fundamental nature of money, its role in society, the social

factors and processes governing its creation, distribution, multiplication and self-multiplication.

WAAS will conduct a roundtable on the Future of Money from November 19-21, 2019 at the Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia to explore the nature, myths, mysteries and untapped potentials of money in preparation for the Future of Capital Summit at the UN in New York next Spring. Participation will be limited to 40 persons representing a wide range of different fields and perspectives, including economics, business, political science, law, ecology, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and the humanities.

Those interested in participating are requested to contact

IUC, Dubrovnik: WAAS-Club of Rome Joint Roundtable

On March 21-22, 2019 WAAS partnered with the Club of Rome (COR) to conduct a two-day interdisciplinary roundtable at the Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik to explore profound questions and catalytic ideas regarding the evolution of global society and strategies to accelerate the transition to a human-centered, inclusive and sustainable development paradigm for humanity. Forty scientists and sustainability practitioners from WAAS and COR exchanged views in a highly interactive roundtable format designed by Carlos-Alvarez Pereira, which included two Warm Data Labs facilitated by Nora Bateson.

The roundtable was framed within the context of three major threats confronting humanity today: Climate Change, the Nuclear Threat, and the Cognitive Technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The search for effective, comprehensive, lasting solutions highlighted the need for a fundamental shift away from the dominant world views based on a reductionist, materialist, mechanistic viewpoint to a synthetic, integrated perspective that recognized the interdependence and complexity of phenomena; the identification of blind spots which prevent us from discovering solutions to persistent problems; the affirmation of a value-based, human-centered perspective on which alone an inclusive and sustainable global society can be founded; the need for a whole system approach that recognizes the complex interdependence which makes piecemeal strategies ineffective; the need for a theory of change that describes the driving forces and processes that drive social evolution; and the need to draw on insights from many different cultural perspectives founded on the unity in diversity of humanity’s rich evolutionary experience. Participants agreed on the need for a fundamental shift in thinking and values as essential conditions for an effective transition. The remainder of this report consists of comments by individual participants.

Excerpts from the Report titled

Emerging New Civilization Initiative (ENCI): Emergence from Emergency

In October 2018, the Club of Rome adopted the “Emerging New Civilization Initiative (ENCI)” as one of its core themes. The “New Paradigm Project” of WAAS, launched at the UN in Geneva in 2013, is being developed in parallel. They seek to explore a paradigm shift towards seeing the world as an interconnected whole and bring such a view into the mainstream discourse of global sustainability transformation. It will substantially contribute to overcoming the current value crisis and work towards making humankind a collectively responsible actor in the era of the Anthropocene. It is about overcoming together our many high-speed gridlocks and frustrations, because we have to rethink our problems in frameworks different from those which created them.

This endeavor is all about accepting the reality of complexity and the need for system change. Cognitive processes are themselves complex: reality is not fully accessible to our conscious understanding. Ignoring complexity would mean dismissing life, which can only bring tragedies. How can we purposefully change a complex living system of which we are part? Can we be reliable observers of our interdependencies and ourselves? Can we be external observers of a system, which we aspire to transform as if it were a mechanism that we can tune? We have here a double bind, two contradictory injunctions at the same time: recognize complexity around us and create change as if complexity were reducible. We like to say we are systemic in our thinking and a second later, we look for linear solutions.

The unique role of ENCI is to create new conversations among many different perspectives, it allows new and better questions to be asked and opens the space for new possibilities to be considered. It talks not only about complexity, it holds complexity, so that the shape of the responses matches the shape of the issues.

Rethinking economic and financial processes is mandatory. Economics must be freed from incumbent dogmas. If we put

the label “capital” on something, we take for granted it has a natural right to reproduce itself because it helps to create value. The issue arises when capital disconnects from any productive process and from reality itself, when it becomes pure abstraction, where it reproduces itself in a fictitious way without the backing of any human activity.

In an increasingly financialized world, the demands of rentism do not leave room for taking care of human wellbeing and the health of the biosphere. The transformation of economic processes cannot happen without a shift in our behaviour as consumers. This is one of the many reasons to address Inner Transformation as another perspective of systemic change. It is a call to individuals to move from awareness and the anxiety it brings towards higher levels of consciousness about our relationships with others and with nature as a whole.

Conversations on truly new paradigm(s) are actually just starting. They have to include unheard voices and angles, avoid confrontations leading to binary dilemmas, absorb from all wisdoms and contribute to making sense of the world in a different way. Complex systems do not change in alignment with purposeful planning, they get unstuck through mutual learning. By connecting and supporting those who are at the forefront of stimulating and shaping them, ENCI reinforces a shared commitment and interest in forming long term alliances with each other. This is our unique contribution to the reconciliation of humanity with life as a whole.

For the full paper, please click here.

– Carlos Alvarez-Pereira & Other Contributors

A New Conceptual System for Humanity

The Dubrovnik roundtable involved a conscious effort by a diverse group to challenge the existing worldviews that serve as the intellectual foundation for the institutions, policies, strategies and actions which pose existential threats to the future of global civilization and the biosphere. Becoming conscious of implicit assumptions helped remove barriers to creative thinking and action. The degree of agreement among participants on the changes needed in thinking, values and institutions was quite remarkable. It represents an important step in the right direction which needs to be followed by more in-depth, systematic exploration of the alternatives and ultimately to a new consensus on comprehensive solutions to the human dilemma.

History confirms that the evolution of human consciousness lies along a path from lesser to greater

recognition of the fundamental value and rights of each human being. It sketches a pathway toward the wider and more equitable distribution of freedom, knowledge, rights and social power. Humanity has already progressed far on this trajectory from the time when the law of the jungle, slavery, colonial imperialism, authoritarianism, war and genocide were considered natural and inevitable. But we have much further to go.

Envisioning in detail a future based on values that affirm the dignity of every individual can help us identify the core principles and institutional changes needed for a sustainable, human-centered development paradigm. In practice this means concretely imagining how life will flourish in a world in which the 17 SDGs have been fully realized for all humanity. That will indeed constitute a new paradigm and the emergence of the first truly global civilization.

– Garry Jacobs
Chief Executive Officer,

WAAS & World University Consortium (WUC)

Sustainable System Change

All actions begin in the mind. Modern society, and its extensive environmental, social and economic problems reflect our limited, reductionistic thinking and consciousness. Higher-level, whole system thinking is needed to resolve major problems and achieve true, long-term prosperity. The Emerging New Civilization Initiative (ENCI) seeks to manifest in human society the immense vitality, cooperation and widespread prosperity already present in nature. Predicting existential crises, projecting abstract theories of change and identifying specialized practical strategies are not sufficient. Attaining a new civilization before current systems collapse requires a clear vision and strong emphasis on practical action. Inspiring and mobilizing citizens to unleash a global social movement will also be essential to bring about the needed transformation.

Engaging the corporate and financial sectors through new paradigm system change focused investing is one of the most practical short-term strategies for achieving sustainable society. Uniting and empowering citizens to work together on their many common interests is another high leverage option. Working with allies, the ENCI will develop and help to implement these and other new civilization concepts and strategies.

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

New Civilization with Heart

Dubrovnik’s aesthetic beauty; the blending of nature and human settlements; the sea, mountains and plains; history, present and the future we aspire to are all intermingled. Provocations and tenderness in walking together enabled this diverse group of people with a diversity of world views to go to places we might not have been ready to get to during our reflections on Emerging New Civilization(s).

The Warm Data Lab exposed some openings into the world of feelings and sense-making as we dared to love, trust and express our emotions about what and how we care for self, others and our biosphere. The dominance of the mind over heart was clearly in evidence as the discomfort with raw vulnerabilities got the better of some of us some of the time.

The appropriateness of our subject was a hot topic. Is it possible and/or desirable to dare to speak of a New civilization? Is it possible to speak of a singular Civilization? Is it not arrogant of us to imagine that we can tackle this huge complex subject? Is everything about the current civilization wrong? How do we give credit to the benefits of the current civilization?

The above questions exposed the risks of assuming that we can all see the same thing at the same time. Trans-contextual and context-specific views are critical to acknowledging that a multiplicity of views is possible and desirable. The dominant narrative of “Western culture”

is not only creating blind spots about “most of the world” views, but it is the product of the erasure of a multiplicity of complex civilizations that have evolved from the Mother Continent of Africa. Africa’s centrality in the evolution of the human story has been underplayed and in some cases obliterated.

Blind spots also obscure the destruction that the dominant narrative has visited on the original culture that enabled humans to evolve as inextricably interconnected, interdependent whilst also living in harmony with nature. Indigenous societies that have managed to hold on to the essence of our humanity are to be found in most parts of the world.

We could learn more about these cultures in a Warm Lab situation so we can distil the essence of values, sense making and vulnerabilities that are at the heart of our humanity. Understanding the interconnectedness and richness of what makes us human might open more windows to the feeling, intuitive and non-verbal communications within and between us. It would also help us feel and get closer to nature in a sensual way that makes us better attuned to living in harmony with it.

There is already an Emergence of a New Civilization that transcends locality and reaches deep into our hearts, spirits and minds. Science is helping us understand the heart/mind connections better to admit to complexities and push us into accepting our vulnerabilities and to celebrate them in loving, trusting and caring relationships.

– Mamphela Ramphele, Co-President,
Club of Rome; WAAS Fellow, South Africa

Change in Worldviews

Prevailing worldviews are the main source of the existential threats posed by global society today and the principal obstacle to a transition into an equitable and sustainable world civilization. Such a transition requires a new consciousness and mutual learning on projects based on a social and ecological orientation and a shift from competition to cooperation.

Science and technology must be reoriented to serve human well-being. Human-centered education has a key role to play in integrating the biosphere and society.

– Erich Hoedl
Vice-President, European Academy for
Sciences and Arts, Austria; WAAS Trustee

Pathways Towards a New Civilization

How can we help the new paradigm emerge that reshapes our role as humans within the greater Earth Community? What is the new operating system for humankind that is built on human dignity, respect for nature and protection of the commons? These questions together with others regarding transformations, climate emergency and biodiversity loss need to be examined in order to begin a thinking process and foster a narrative of possibilities, a future civilization—or even future civilizations— which operate according to principles that enhance planetary aliveness and humankind’s vitality.

– Petra Künkel, Executive Director,
Collective Leadership Institute,
Executive Committee Member, COR

Trans-disciplinary, Trans-ideological Approach

The major challenges confronting humanity in the 21st century are income inequality, unemployment, economic, political and military interventions, forced migrations, intercultural conflicts, depletion of natural resources, and climate change. Discussions on these problems should lead to an inclusive and coherent new paradigm of human development which provides sustainable development of mankind. The model should have a multiple disciplinary and trans-ideological character. It should represent a unity of global, regional and national views. In this endeavor, one should start from the Sustainable Development Goals.

The new paradigm of human development requires a trans-ideological approach in which the two predominant ideologies of our times—neoliberalism and Chinese socialism—and also other relevant ideologies will be analyzed in detail

in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary way to provide the basis for a transdisciplinary synthesis.

The framework of the task should be determined by the major problems confronting humanity today. The result would not be a new ideology, but a general model that would be able to take various special forms, each defined by starting from a certain ideology and going beyond it.

– Nebojša Nešković, WAAS Secretary-General; Former Head of TESLA Project,
Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Serbia

What Transformation(s)?

The question of transformation is relevant to WAAS and COR insofar as we share an agenda for bringing about a global transformation towards a more just and fully sustainable way of life for humanity, to ensure our survival in the face of the current crisis of inequality and rapid environmental collapse. Our hope is to provide leadership as agents of transformation. Our individual inner growth and character is an important prerequisite. Another is our ability to bond as a group around not only a shared intellectual understanding of what needs to be done, but also a strong, heartfelt commitment to this cause and a sense of mutual trust and support, building on respect for our diverse skills and experiences.

Art and science both have roles to play. They are both techniques or methods, and are essentially value- neutral. Their benefit depends on the way in which art or science is used. Scientists can be intuitive in their approach to finding answers and likewise, artists may rationally analyze contemporary conditions in order to portray them accurately with the help of an artistic medium. Science is particularly useful in finding facts and technological solutions. The arts are more effec- tive at communicating insights and mobilizing people for action through appeals to the emotions. Arts tend to emphasize intuition more than sciences, and hence there is a complementarity, as was recognized by the founders of WAAS.

– Thomas Reuter
Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia; WAAS Fellow

Obstacles to Transformation

Some of the biggest obstacles to the emerging new civilization are our own mindset and the existing structures including regulations, financial systems, businesses, economies and education systems. These systems are still modelled after archaic and dysfunctional 20th century systems and the prevailing mindset does not provide the necessary leadership to bring about transformation. ENCI provides an invitation, know-how, and a framework to awakened individuals, investors, entrepreneurs, business people, and other agents of transformation to collaborate to bypass outdated and destructive systems and lead us into the future. This initiative provides hope, direction and encouragement to use our passion, resources, intelligence and creativity to transform the global civilizations toward holistic sustainability.

– Mariana Bozesan
Member, COR; Founder, AQAL AG,
AQAL Capital, AQAL Foundation, Germany

Defining Civilization and Finding a Common Ground

Civilization refers to the overall technological, spiritual, political and social development of humanity.

In a narrower sense, a civilization comprises the states that existed on the same territory in a longer period and produced specific cultural goods of universal value.

– Vesna Vučinić,
Professor, University of Belgrade, Serbia; WAAS Fellow

The meeting facilitated the engagement between members of WAAS and the Club of Rome seeking common ground for collaborative initiatives.

– Fadwa El Guindi,
Retiree Professor, University of California, USA; WAAS Fellow

Trying to define the idea of civilization and its different interpretations was a challenging task and one of the main points of discussion. The magnitude of the task of identifying the main features of the New Emerging Civilization was such that it is not easy to see what kind of tangible outcome will come out of the seminar. In any case, it has been an enriching, intellectually challenging and interesting experience.

– Cristina Manzano,
Editor-in-chief, esglobal, Spain; Associate Member, COR

30 Years Since the Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe

On the 30th anniversary of the end of the Cold War, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization (ISACCL), a WAAS Centre of Excellence, in partnership with the Romanian Foundation for Democracy and with the support of the Romanian Government and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized the International Conference on “30 years since the Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe: The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Approaching Protracted Conflicts”, in Bucharest on April 1-2, 2019.

The aim of the conference was to create a space for discussion and debate between former heads of state, government officials, academicians, researchers, and representatives of civil society from countries across Eastern Europe and the Balkans, as well as spiritual leaders from a wide variety of religious denominations and geographic areas (Western and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Republic of Korea, India, Syria, Morocco).

The conference topics included: Interfaith Dialogue as an Instrument of Cultural Diplomacy, Perspectives on Achieving Sustainable Peace in the Balkans, The Baltic–Black Sea Space in 2019: Solidary Responsibility—Lessons of Conflicts and Means of Consensus, The Korean Peninsula: Prospects for Reconciliation and Peaceful Reunification, Convergences of Cultural Diplomacy: The Role of International Organizations in Creating the Premises for a Peaceful

Society, Perspectives of Cultural Diplomacy in Conflict Areas: Practices, Instruments, Projects.

The conference drew on the expertise of democratic political leaders that were faced with the hardships of the post-totalitarian transition. Speakers and panelists included Emil Constantinescu, President of Romania (1996-2000), President of ISACCL and WAAS Trustee; Zlatko Lagumdžija, Prime Minister of Bosnia & Herzegovina (2001-2) and WAAS Fellow; Boris Tadić, President of Serbia (2004–12); Rexhep Meidani, President of Albania (1997-2002); Petar Stoyanov, President of Bulgaria (1997–2002); Valdis Zatlers, President of Latvia (2007-11); Gennady Burbulis, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation (1991-2); Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine (2009-10); and Petru Lucinschi, President of the Republic of Moldova (1997-2001). WAAS was also represented at the conference by Garry Jacobs, WAAS CEO and Member of The ISACCL Scientific Council and Robert van Harten.

As Emil Constantinescu highlighted, “cultural diplomacyneeds to be perceived as an urgent matter of critical concern for states and actors in today’s world, as it provides “a laboratory where one is able to create the political culture of global security, through mutual confidence, negotiation and cooperation”.

– Oana Brânda
Lecturer, Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant
Culture and Civilization, Romania

Value of Cultural Diplomacy in Protracted Conflicts

The remarkable events in Eastern Europe between 1989 and 1991 which resulted in the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of communist regimes, the breakup of the USSR, the reunification of Germany and founding and expansion of the European Union brought to the fore old conflicts between nations, ethnicities and religions that had never been resolved, but merely “frozen” under totalitarian rule. The experience of these nations during and after this period offers important insights relevant to addressing protracted conflicts in the Levant, Balkans, Caucasus, the Korean peninsula and other parts of the world.

The Bucharest conference sought to draw lessons from how these conflicts were approached and rethink the role of cultural diplomacy in promoting peace, cultural harmony and strategic partnerships. The conference included special panel sessions on the experience and persistent problems in the Balkans, Caucasus and Korean Peninsula.

Drawing on examples of multi-ethnic and multi-confessional cohabitation from the recent history of Romania and Eastern Europe, it concluded that cultural diplomacy can generate mutual trust through creating, transmitting and promoting representations of identity that are based on the respect for the histories, traditions and beliefs of different communities, from the perspective of a pluralistic conception of multi-ethnic and multi-confessional cohabitation and conviviality.

The conference also applied these lessons to other regions to identify useful practices and tools to defuse current global conflicts. Drawing on insights from the reunification of Germany and recalling how sudden and unexpected that event was, the prospects for reunification of Korea appear far more realistic than commonly perceived. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), described efforts to mobilize the youth and citizenry in South and North Korea in a people’s movement to end the stalemate that has prolonged the militarization, social tensions, and legal state of war in the Korean Peninsula for 70 years.

Other participants included representatives of the major religions of the world collaborating on a project to identify the common values and religious messages they all accept in an effort to move away from the traditional emphasis on their differences in teachings and competition for inter-faith conversions.

– Garry Jacobs
Chief Executive Officer, WAAS & WUC

The Levant Initiative for World Peace: An Agreement on Education

In order to achieve world peace, combat violent extremism and learn from the history of the Levant to prevent future conflicts, we need to implement the SDGs and develop a culture of peace. These in turn require legislation to make relevant education mandatory for all. Working towards this goal, WAAS collaborated with the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics (Global Institute and Alliance for Peace Beyond Borders) and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization (ISACCL) and conducted on March 7-9, 2019, a High Level Forum in the Italian Senate in Rome on the theme “The Levant Initiative for World Peace”.

The Forum aimed to contribute towards the peace process in the Middle East, address ongoing conflicts in Africa and Asia, and tackle violent extremism in EU and the Americas. One of the main outcomes achieved in the meeting was the ROME AGREEMENT ON EDUCATION FOR THE CULTURE OF PEACE AND SDGS (ECPS) signed by all participants, to inaugurate The Institute and Alliance for Peace Beyond Borders for action towards legislation for the required education. ECPS calls for cooperation among the partners to devise a model curriculum on the culture of peace for all age levels. This model aims to encourage and support national legislation in all UN member states for mandatory education on the culture of peace. This will be a means to achieve world peace, combat violent extremism, hate speech, anti-Semitism and racism, and promote environmental protection

and sustainable development. The outline of the model will be available to parliamentarians, educators, media, religious leaders and decision makers to utilize in accordance with specific national requirements. The ECPS partners are reaching out to the EU, AU, ASEAN, Arab League, Council of Europe, parliamentarians, and leading religious and educational organizations, and working with relevant UN agencies to accomplish this goal.

Emil Constantinescu, Garry Jacobs and Alberto Zucconi emphasized the pressing need for education on the culture of peace, especially in the historical area of the Levant. Such an endeavor would provide the necessary means for furthering inter-ethnic and inter-faith dialogue and, ultimately, lead to a better understanding of one another, working towards the peaceful resolution of conflicts that have been spilling over the borders of the region over the past years.

The meeting in Rome was followed up by a High Level Forum that was held on May 21st 2019 in the Senate of the Assemblee Nationale in Paris to mobilize parliamentarians and civic leaders to implement the culture of peace and the SDGs through legislation. The session concluded with the presentation of the Paris Proclamation. For more information, see

— Shoshana Bekerman, Founder-Director,
Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics, USA & Oana Branda, Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization, Romania

Towards a Progressive Global Social Evolution

The future for human beings has always been uncertain and uncertainty is a perpetual source of doubt, insecurity and anxiety regarding real or potential threats. The topic of uncertainty is particularly relevant today. For in spite of remarkable gains in knowledge, the sense of uncertainty about humanity’s future is greater today than ever before due to the increasing speed of change, the growing complexity of society and the global interconnectedness between people, places and activities.

“Approaching 20?? Year”, the seventh in the series of annual conferences, was held in Podgorica on May 16-18, 2019. It was hosted by the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, in collaboration with WAAS, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA) and the Global Round Table (GRT), and included participants from Europe, Asia and the Americas.

The conference explored a wide range of questions and perceived threats arising from international tensions, mass migration, political instability, economic inequality, the onset of the 4th Industrial Revolution, climate change and other factors. But it also focused considerable attention on the emerging potentials for the future, such as the 17 SDGs and the Belt & Road Initiative which are already the single largest peacetime efforts for coordinated global development.

Uncertainty is only the flip side of opportunity and the greater the doubts about the future, then the greater also the potential for positive action to alter the course. The diverse presentations testified to the importance of formulating a positive vision of the future backed by proven strategies and practical plans for realizing it.

A Strategy for Uncertain Times

Two focal themes in the conference were energy and human relations in the contemporary world, the latter included problems of migration and the future of homeless children. The liveliest discussion was on trends in Artificial Intelligence.

In our complex world with its interconnected problems, the SDGs too are interwoven into a whole. The World in 2050 initiative will show the integrated pathways towards achieving the SDGs. The conference could be summarized in these words from one of the talks: How to swim in the river of time which is full of uncertainties. An understanding of possible uncertainties will help to cope with them.

– Jüri Engelbrecht
Former President, Estonian Academy of Sciences, Estonia; WAAS Trustee

Asking the Right Questions

The value of these conferences is, as the President of MASA Dragan Vukčević said in his opening address, discussions preparing for “asking the right questions.” Some key questions that emerged were: What does a healthy global system for 2050 look like? What is the balance between humans and other inhabitants of our planet? What ecosystem provides for synergistic co-existence of multiple cultures? How to translate increased incomes globally into enhanced choice and quality of life for people? How can scientists be more effective in influencing policy? While some participants were pessimistic, others enjoyed the challenge of envisioning and working towards positive futures. I came away from Montenegro with many new perspectives and insights that will help me to approach the questions.

– Gill Ringland,
Director, Ethical Reading, UK; WAAS Fellow

Transnational Challenges & Common Goals

The nature of the problems of the modern world is transnational and state capacities are no longer adequate to address them. New forms of threats require organized frameworks and legal control to regulate them. Changes in the education system are also essential. We need both action and agreement among leaders to meet our common goals for the future.

– Ivana Lazarovski
Post Graduate Student, Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy; WAAS Junior Fellow, Serbia

Regulating AI

AI is used in all sectors of human life, but it is still unregulated in spite of its profound impact and risk to human and social security. There are no consistent initiatives by transnational organizations and national governments to control theuse of AI. As Elon Musk said, we need to be super- careful with AI. It is potentially more dangerous than nukes. We need regulation of AI and the creation of ethical and legal limits to its use.

– Saulo Casali Bahia,
Federal Judge, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil; WAAS Trustee

Dragan Vukčević

Restoring humanism can help us overcome our problems.

Momir Đurović

Even small entities may become global actors.

Garry Jacobs

The more the social power is equitably distributed, the more peaceful, just, prosperous, stable and sustainable, society will become.

Vesna Baltezarević

New technologies and new global media have established themselves as key social factors that shape our modern society. The media is powerful and engaged in the creation of reality.

Rodolfo Fiorini

To find solutions, we do not need to discover new countries, we need new eyes, a new mindset.

Dušan Gálik

We must be sceptical about “democratization” through social media.

Donato Kiniger-Passigli

More weapons will not bring more security. We need positive peace. We need an interactive community with contact among different groups.

Lorenzo Gascón

Money, Science and Technology control our society. We need dialogue and respect, not the tyranny of the majority.

Gilbert Fayl

Communicating with young people is important.

Erich Hoedl

It is freedom which develops societies.

Elif Çepni

Technology, the internet, digitilization of our daily life, ultra high tech companies and globalization have created a new type of economy. It has changed many basic economic rules. Therefore, we need new economic theories.

WAAS Collaborates with Moscow State University on Global Studies

Human relationships are the foundation of civilization and culture. The advance of civilization over the last few millennia has been the result of ever-increasing contact, interaction and mutually beneficial cooperation between human beings over wider expanses of space and time. What began at the level of local contacts has now expanded to encompass the entire human community.

While the process of globalization is far advanced, the study of the globalization process is still largely confined to partial, discipline-specific sectoral studies such as those related to demography, international affairs, international law, economy and climate. Even today only a few dozen leading universities are approaching the subject of global studies comprehensively as an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary process. Russia has long been a pioneer and source of original thinking regarding globalization.

On June 4-6, 2019 the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education and Lomonosov Moscow State University in collaboration with UNESCO conducted an international conference on “Topical Issues of global studies: Russia in the Globalizing World, the latest in the long series of conferences and congresses on this subject.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Ilya Ilyin, Dean of the Faculty of Global Studies at MSU; Garry Jacobs, CEO of WAAS; John Crowley, UNESCO section chief for social and human sciences; Yury Sayamov, WAAS Fellow and UNESCO Chair for Global Processes; and others exploring political, economic, social, information, educational, environmental, cultural and philosophical dimensions.

At the conference WAAS & MSU entered into a five-year agreement to collaborate on research and development of new courses and joint conferences on issues that directly relate to the Academy’s program on New Paradigm, including Peace & Global Security, Governance, Human-Centered Economic Theory, Future of Education, and Culture.

Serbia Ten Years after the Great Recession: The Imperative for the Robust Growth

The Kopaonik Business Forum, held on March 3–6, 2019 at the Kopaonik Mountain, in the central part of Serbia, is the largest annual meeting of businessmen, economists, experts, researchers, scholars, politicians and diplomats in Southeastern Europe. This year, its topic was “Serbia Ten Years after the Great Recession: The Imperative for the Robust Growth.” The organizer of the event was the Serbian Association of Economists.

The program of the Forum included three plenary sessions, two plenary addresses of special guests, six special events and 26 panels.

1300 government officials, international organizations, economists and executives of leading Serbian and international businesses participated.

Introductory addresses were made by Ana Brnabić, Serbian Prime Minister and Siniša Mali, the Finance Minister.

In his keynote address, Garry Jacobs, CEO of WAAS, challenged the suitability of conventional economic theory and policies and called on Serbia to adopt innovative approaches in four main areas.

First, a national program should be introduced to elevate the performance of domestic companies by adoption of advanced management practices rather than emphasizing financial incentives to attract foreign businesses.

Second, a strategy and plan should be developed for achieving full employment in Serbia based on a human-centered theoretical and practical approach that emphasizes enhancing the capabilities of the domestic work-force.

Third, a radical shift in education should be made to break disciplinary silos and close the gap between academia and society by promoting an interactive, contextual, interdisciplinary, person-centered learning model.

And finally, introduction of a complementary currency system similar to the highly successful superdinar adopted by Yugoslavia to overcome hyperinflation in the mid-1990s to dramatically enhance the productivity of social resources and finance the huge investment requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals, with special emphasis on investments in human resources and environmental protection.

– Nebojša Nešković
WAAS Secretary-General;
Former Head of TESLA Project, Vinca
Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Serbia

and the future of Universities

Universities are a social asset, but they risk being overwhelmed by outdated pedagogy, exploitation of young staff, distorted and even faked research, outrageous fees, outrageous pay for top managers, corporate rip-offs, corruption, sexism, racism, and irrelevant degrees.

INTREPID, the network of scholars and practitioners from 32 countries, held the INTREPID Knowledge conference to reimagine the future of universities at the University of Lisbon on March 27-29, 2019. The conference marked four years of research and discussions in the field of higher education and research, and focussed on the importance of inter and trans-disciplinary knowledge for 21st century challenges, facilitating and implementing inter and trans-disciplinarity, and changes in curricula.

The role and contribution of universities to a fair and sustainable future shows an unsatisfactory record. Few institutions are capable of learning about themselves, and reimagining their present and future. We need to first question and ‘expose’ our assumptions, unconscious or unassumed biases, paradigms or frames of reference. James Baldwin’s quote—“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”—should be affixed to every door and wall of today’s universities.

Persistent tension between the historically established ways of knowledge production through disciplines, and the urgent

need to widen, and often change, both the production of knowledge and its organisations, suggests that continuing to build universities according to disciplinary divides may be unwise. This explains the wide and rising interest in inter and transdisciplinary research, both within and outside universities, and yet today, embarking on such research requires significant courage, and entails risks as well as opportunities, for one’s career progression. Compared to the lofty promises and acknowledgements of how important, urgent and even essential inter and transdisciplinary knowledge production is supposed to be today, the state of such research, training and career options seems to fall well short of aspirations.

What we find is that, increasingly, the answers to the challenges of higher education institutions are known, even widely understood, and yet—in order for universities to become a stronghold of solutions for sustainable futures, rather than a more or less complicit part of the problem of un-sustainability, courageous and radical change—both in universities and beyond—is needed now.

Presentations, videos, and the graphic recordings of the conference are available on the Intrepid website.

– Olivia Bina, Principal Researcher,
Institute of Social Sciences, University of
Lisbon, Portugal; Chair, INTREPID

Transforming the University

There is a lack of genuine willingness on the part of many universities to mould their teaching and interactive learning across disciplines and beyond their walls. Change is discouraged by formal procedures. Universities must seriously adopt a meaningful, radical and transformative progression towards sustainability. The transition requires high levels of commitment and motivation on the part of senior administrators, student union bodies and the funding public.

– Tim O’Riordan, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Sciences,
University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Volume 3, Issue 6 – May, 2019

Click here to read the latest issue of Cadmus

Agreement Proposal for Academic, Scientific, Artistic and Literary Communities

—in short, for Intellectuals—to take the lead in social mobilization and ensure that all required changes are implemented before it is too late.

“Each unique human being capable of creating, there lies our hope.”

Until only three decades ago the vast majority of human beings were born, lived and died in a few square kilometres, under the dominance of male absolute power. Now, for the first time in history, human beings have access to global information and can acquire the technological skills they require to become citizens of the world, aware of the nature of threats and of the need for an appropriate and timely response. Digital technology has facilitated the flow of information and—even more importantly—the capacity to express oneself. In this new era, the most salient fact is the increasing participation of women. The evil adage “si vis pacem, para bellum” (if you want peace, prepare for war), which was the invariable dogma of male power, no longer holds true; it has now become possible to imagine the transition from a culture based on domination, imposition and violence to a culture of encounter, dialogue, conciliation, alliance and peace. There has been a historic transition from force to word as women have gradually gained the role they deserve in decision making. Fortunately women are already expressing, in person or through cyberspace, their collective support to the unavoidable transformations that must take place if we want to correct current trends.

Young people are also taking action knowing that their destiny cannot be placed in the hands of neoliberal governance. If present generations look into the eyes of their descendants and of all the children of the world they will feel compelled to fully assume their intergenerational responsibilities.

Fundamental changes required to ensure a dignified life for everybody will only happen if we, the “peoples”, take control of our common destiny. We know since a few years ago that the demography and the activities of humankind both have an influence on the standards of living that future generations will have on planet Earth. There are no delays or excuses not to strictly comply with Paris Agreements and with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at “transforming our world”.

Among the three main emergencies—extreme poverty together with the increasing social inequality, ecological deterioration and the nuclear threat—climate change is the only one that can doom mankind to a historical failure leading to a point of no return as far as the Earth’s habitability is concerned.

The lack of solidarity is increasing. Development aids and funds devoted to the appropriate reception of refugees and immigrants have both experienced a clear decrease. Impunity at an international level and, therefore, the absence of stability and security; the transfer of public responsibilities from political leaders to the “market”; national and religious extremism; racial fanaticism and supremacism… have unfortunately all been revitalized in the last few decades and indifference—the sickness of our time—has also been encouraged as a collective response.

The United Nations System and democratic multilateralism have been marginalized by creating autocratic groups and encouraging nations to leave UN institutions, as has often been the case with United States’ Republican Party with regard to critical institutions such as UNESCO, the Convention for the Rights of the Child, the International Court of Justice or the creation of the World Trade Organisation beyond the frame of the United Nations System.

The Earth Charter, one of the most clairvoyant documents of the last decade, says the following: “We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace…”.

We have helplessly witnessed the replacement of ethical principles—justice, liberty, equality and solidarity, as established in the UNESCO Constitution—by trade rules. We should have protected our common ethical values and ideals, starting with equal dignity of all human beings. We have not been able to defend what should have been defended, we have not preserved efficient democracies, cooperation (which has been replaced by exploitation) and industries from being destroyed, the last ones due to relocation of production… we have been sceptical and disoriented citizens instead of

individuals ready to follow the democratic principles which still could, if urgently implemented, straighten many of the crooked paths that humanity is following today.

We are facing a gigantic media power which turns most of the citizenship into distracted and impassive spectators. Education is oriented to having and obeying rather than being “free and responsible”… Human beings are unique due to their impressive creative capacity, their ability to anticipate and prevent, to deliberately design their own future. The future is still to be created. “Everything has yet to be built and everything is still possible… but who will do it if not us?” says Miquel Martí i Pol. We should all get together against the few who want to keep control over our common destiny.

The time has come to put into practice a new concept of security that will not only take into consideration the territories, but also the people who live within their boundaries (food, drinking water, quality education, health services, environmental care). It is time for action. We have many diagnoses at our disposal. We now have to administer the effective treatments before it is too late.


Academic, scientific, artistic and literary communities—that is, intellectuals as a whole—must take the lead today in the search of appropriate responses for the threats humanity is facing at a global scale. In order to deal with potentially irreversible processes a great mobilization is needed that will make all human beings aware of the current situation and, consequently, will encourage them to become committed actors, ready to take action without delay through an adequate daily behaviour.

The deep and fundamental changes that have become unavoidable will only happen if we, the “peoples”, take control of our common destiny. A great popular clamour —both in the street and in cyberspace—is now urgent if we want to establish an efficient multilateralism endowed with all requested personnel, financial, technical and defence resources. The General Assembly should consist in equal shares of representatives from the States and from the civil society institutions. Apart from the Territorial Security Council, there should be a Socio-economic Council and an Environmental Council.

The appropriate and timely fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda —voted by the UN General Assembly through its Resolution A/RES/70/1 (October 2015), entitled “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, and which sets the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are essential to correct the current System—as well as the Paris Agreements on Climate Change (December 2015) will only be possible within the context of a global, efficient and swift cooperation, coordinated under the authority of the United Nations.

The SDGs represent the firm commitment of all countries of the world, within the multilateral frame of the United Nations, to redirect people’s behaviour, ensuring an equal dignity and the use of strategies based on knowledge and allowing a human and sustainable development (food, drinking water, quality education, health services, environmental care) for everybody. We need to learn how to express ourselves, how to participate, how to listen, how to share, how to live together.

In order to face global threats, we also need global responses from a worldwide citizenship, fully alert and capable of preventing or reducing the evil consequences that would otherwise result from current trends.

This is an unavoidable intergenerational responsibility that must be faced for the first time in history in the era of the Anthropocene. If we do not succeed in putting an end to the effects of human activity on the Earth’s habitability, the legacy left by current generations to the following ones would be an inevitable step backward in mankind’s evolution.

Let us join our voices so that they reach the highest range and are heard everywhere, giving rise to an interaction that will place the “most human sense” in the heart of the educational, social, cultural, political and economic action, thus enabling a positive dialogue with all actors and allowing a genuine human development that will ensure harmony with nature and cultural diversity.

AEAC (Asociación Española para el Avance de la Ciencia)
Federico Mayor Zaragoza (President)
Emilio Muñoz (Member of the Consulter Advice)
Borja Sánchez (General Secretary)

18th IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Informatics & Cognitive Computing
July 23-25, 2019, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy

IEEE ICCI*CC 2019 is co-organized by IEEE and WAAS, and consists of two parallel yet intertwined tracks to promote fruitful, reciprocal knowledge, a cross-fertilization of the two lines of thinking that are complementary to each other.

The CPT (Cyber-Physical-Technical) Track organized by IEEE will present the latest developments in natural intelligence systems, man-machine systems, cognitive robots, intelligent IoT, etc. The CSW (Cognition-Society-Wellbeing) Track, organized by WAAS, will examine the economic, educational, social, legal, political, cultural, epistemological and psychological implications of rapid advances in cognitive computing and machine learning. For more information, please contact

Human-Centered Symbiotic System Science (SSS) for Industry 4.0

SMC’19 – October 6-9, 2019 – Bari, Italy

The theme of the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (IEEE SMC 2019) conference is Industry 4.0. SMC 2019 includes a special session on human-centered Symbiotic System Science (SSS) for Industry 4.0. SSS is a growing scientific area which is taking a leadership role in fostering consensus on how best to bring about symbiotic relationships between autonomous systems.

WAAS is partnering in this special session that deals with the problem of cognitive and evolutive learning by SSS. The goal is to share SSS concepts and help develop more effective human-centered symbiotic systems, faster and more reliably. For more information, please contact