New Paradigm – Concept

The New Paradigm
Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century: Search for a New Paradigm

Is an effective solution possible to meet all of the challenges facing humanity today in the fields of economy, ecology, human security, global governance and peace? The World Academy is examining the root causes of these multiple challenges in order to formulate an integrated perspective, comprehensive strategy and detailed policy framework attuned to the realities, needs and emerging opportunities of the 21st century. The project includes a series of conferences at Trieste (March 2013), the UNO in Geneva (June 2013), a workshop at the Library of Alexandria (June 2013) and workshops in Washington DC, Ottawa and the SF Bay Area (Sept 2013), Podgorica (March 2014), Baku (April 2014), Almaty (November 2014), Baku (April 2015), Gainesville (May 2015), Oxford (September 2015), Trento (November 2015), Geneva (November 2015), Lisbon (May 2016), Podgorica (May 2016), Seoul (September 2016), Trento (April 2017), Podgorica (November 2017).

Scope: The world confronts multiple crises, each of which resists current efforts at resolution and appears intractable. The environmental crisis of climate change occupied the center stage in the mid-2000s. Fears of nuclear weapons proliferation, which had subsided into complacency in the years following the end of the Cold War, suddenly surfaced with renewed intensity when Korea tested nuclear weapons and long range missiles and news surfaced of Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program in 2007.

Then the subprime mortgage crisis exploded in late 2008, spreading havoc through financial markets across the world. It was followed quickly by a sudden and substantial slowing of economic growth in OECD countries, rising levels of unemployment and most recently a crisis of excessive government debt.

In spite of the enormous attention being given to each of these issues by specialists nationally and internationally, progress on all fronts appears to be nearly at a standstill or at least far too slow to meet pressing human concerns. The times we live in are a Wild West of globalization and the unbridled, unregulated expansion of international activities threatens to destabilize and undermine the remarkable progress of the previous five decades.

This project is predicated on the assumption that each of these problems defies solution because they all represent problems that transcend the sovereign powers of the nation-state. None of them can be fully and satisfactorily addressed by nation-states acting individually. All are symptoms of the evolution of world society to a stage where concerted and coordinated global action is required to meet the collective needs of humanity for peace, security, financial stability, economic welfare and sustainable development. This project has been conceived to address the underlying and interrelated issues that all these challenges pose to global governance.