• 11 Essays on Societal Transformation: The Most Important Challenge Facing Humanity

      Frank Dixon (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
      Societal transformation can be framed up by starting from the present and moving forward or going to the endpoint and looking back. Incremental improvements to fundamentally flawed human systems will not work, especially in our limited time frame. This article uses a whole system approach to clarify the endpoint (sustainable society) and practical means to achieve it. Widespread public demand is essential for voluntary systemic change. Illuminating how humanity can practically achieve an immensely more prosperous future builds hope and demand for societal transformation.
    • A Brief History of Mind and Civilization

      Garry Jacobs (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2016-05-01)
      The rational mind is the highest evolved status of human consciousness. The evolution of mind and civilization has proceeded hand in hand for millennia. The development of new capacities of mind made possible the development of tools, language, agriculture, permanent settlements, towns, cities, religion, trade, transportation, communication, government, law, money, literature and the arts, education, nation states, scientific and technological research. So too, each stage in the development of civilization has shaped the evolution of the human mind and its faculties and the way they are applied in life. The limits to our knowledge and accomplishment reflect limits to our rationality and the utilization of our mental potential. Our knowledge consists of fragmented, piecemeal, compartmentalized theories, when the reality we seek to understand is inclusive, complex and integrated. Our conceptions are based on mechanistic, static, inflexible equilibrium models, whereas the world we live in is alive, dynamic, organic, conscious, responsive, creative and continuously evolving. Our science assumes the poise of an impartial observer of objective reality, whereas all knowledge without exception is colored by the subjective perspective of the observer. Our science strives to be neutral and value-free, whereas the knowledge we need should help us realize universal values. We need to evolve ways of thinking that reunite the objective and subjective dimensions of reality and reflect the integrality, dynamism and vibrancy of evolutionary nature. That is the challenge and adventure before us.
    • A Flat World with Deep Fractures

      Emil Constantinescu (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2016-10-01)
      The Internet manages to connect different parts of the world, defies geographical distances and gives the impression that our planet is flat, but the Internet is there only for the ones who have the possibility and the ability to use it. Our contemporary flat world has deep transversal fractures which, like in many geological structures, make a direct connection between layers with different characteristics. The elites are moving across information avenues with targets set in the future; at the same time, in many parts of our planet, there are people organizing their lives in pre-modern agrarian cycles. Diversity in ways of living and in social organization is a sign of human freedom, not a sign of error, so, having different alternatives to achieving prosperity and happiness should be good news. Holding dear to a society’s lifestyle should not push for the destruction of societies with different sets of values.
    • A Holistic Strategy for Achieving WAAS’ Goals and Realizing our Common Vision

      Marco Vitiello (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-06-01)
      Facing the XXI century and its challenges means finding a concrete strategy, one that can make it possible for WAAS and its Fellows to reach their full potential. Sometimes what we do is look for new strategies to reach our goals, when the simple answer has always been right in front of our eyes: we need a non-original, organizational yet individual, holistic yet practical method for increasing our positive impact on the world.
    • A Mediterranean - EU Community for a New Era of Mankind

      Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2011-10-01
    • A New Beginning

      Federico Mayor (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2015-05-01)
      In the last few years, there has been an enormous decline on all fronts and in all areas.
 The world, Europe and Spain undoubtedly suffer its effects. Our political leaders have
 surrendered to the rules of the markets and obediently subjected our society to “austericide”,
 with profound negative social effects. The present economic guidelines don’t work and there
 is no end in sight to the widening inequalities originated by budget cuts.
 Although it will require much effort, changing course is possible for the first time in history:
 in a short period of time human beings are experiencing an unprecedented transition from
 invisible to visible, from anonymous spectators to identifiable protagonists.
 At present, thanks to modern communication and information technologies, the urban era is
 fast becoming the digital era. “We, the peoples…”, as the United Nations Charter so lucidly
 commences, may now become a reality for those who at last can take in their hands the reins
 of their common destiny.
 It is intolerable that the values of the stock market have replaced ethical values. It is time to
 oppose neoliberalism and reestablish social justice, to eliminate groups of oligarchs (G-6,
 G-7, G-8… G-20) and re-found a strong United Nations System.
 In the last few decades, women, with their inherent faculties, are rapidly increasing their
 role in decision-making. “The peoples” can express themselves freely and participate, with
 global consciousness, in building a culture of peace and non-violence worldwide.
 The time of silence and submission is over.
 A “new beginning” can now take place.
    • A New Paradigm in Global Higher Education for Sustainable Development and Human Security

      Garry Jacobs; Janani Ramanathan; Ralph Wolff; Remus Pricopie; Piero Dominici; Alberto Zucconi (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
      Every institution of higher education and every government is trying to overcome the problems it faces and improve the reach, relevance, financial viability and effectivity of education. But no one is thinking globally for solutions that will be optimal from the perspective of humanity as a whole. The enormous challenges we face in education today can best be solved only by including system-wide action at the global level. A new paradigm needs to be clearly formulated, designed and implemented. This paper briefly outlines the nature and magnitude of the challenges in higher education today, and identifies promising signs of a new paradigm waiting to emerge. That will require a new kind of leadership that thinks and acts globally. Such a paradigm can make an immense contribution to addressing global problems, implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and promoting greater human security for all.
    • A New Scientific Paradigm as a key to Building a Community with a Common Future for Humanity

      Valentina M. Bondarenko (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2020-11-01)
      The major idea of this article is that for a scientifically based understanding of possible future for humanity we need a new knowledge of regularities for its development. The currently existing scattered knowledge is not sufficient for understanding fully and precisely as to where humanity is heading towards and whether it is possible to build a community with a shared future. Therefore, as shown herein, the concept for building such community can only be developed by means of the new scientific paradigm being shaped as substantiated by the author. The new knowledge implies the need to consider all processes and phenomena through the single objectively set goal for the human-system development, and to do this integrally, comprehensively, systemically, and on the basis of cross-disciplinary unification of all sciences and spiritual knowledge into the single trans-disciplinary knowledge with a single index and single criterion for efficiency. The possibility for the actual appearance on our planet of the community with a shared destiny for mankind, outlined first conceptually by the PRC Chairman Xi Jinping during his visit to Moscow in March 2013, as well as the mechanism for its realization, can only be understood when the paths to its construction are considered not only for the entire global world, but also for each individual country and each specific human individual.
    • A Note on the Difference Between Complicated and Complex Social Systems

      Roberto Poli (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2013-10-01)
      The distinction between complicated and complex systems is of immense importance, yet it is often overlooked. Decision-makers commonly mistake complex systems for simply complicated ones and look for solutions without realizing that ‘learning to dance’ with a complex system is definitely different from ‘solving’ the problems arising from it. The situation becomes even worse as far as modern social systems are concerned. This article analyzes the difference between complicated and complex systems to show that (1) what is at stake is a difference of type, not of degree; (2) the difference is based on two different ways of understanding systems, namely through decomposition into smaller parts and through functional analysis; (3) complex systems are the generic, normal case, while complicated systems are highly distinctive, special, and therefore rare.
    • A Project on The Wealth of Nations Revisited

      Garry Jacobs; Ivo Šlaus (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2010-10-01)
    • A Revolution and a New Paradigm in Education

      Heitor Gurgulino de Souza; Garry Jacobs; Winston P. Nagan; Ivo Šlaus; Alberto Zucconi (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2013-09-01)
    • A Values-based World Order

      Ashok Natarajan (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-06-01)
      The challenges we face today can be transformed into opportunities if the motivation of short-term, myopic social values is replaced by commitment to psychological values such as unity, harmony, freedom and equality. Values are commonly dismissed as utopian ideals of little practical relevance, whereas in fact they possess an enormous power for selfrealisation. A study of history makes this apparent. The utopian values espoused during the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, the Indian Independence Movement, the founding of the United Nations, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have gradually acquired the status of law and been transformed into globally accepted social
 standards and goals, as embodied in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The article examines crucial socio-political issues and analyses the role of values in determining their outcome. Current social theory focuses mainly on the role of objective external factors such as economics, geography, and technology in determining the course of events. In doing so it overlooks or grossly underestimates the role of subjective factors such as rising social aspiration, acceptable norms of behavior and universal values. A valid theory of history must come to recognize and give due importance to the determining power of the psychological forces that govern the course of human events. This theory will confirm that the solution to
 humanity’s problems lies along an evolutionary axis toward a values-based world order.
    • A World Parliament and the Transition from International Law to World Law

      Andreas Bummel (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2014-10-01)
      World civilization depends on the provision of global public goods such as tackling climate change, ensuring international financial stability or peace and security. Yet, the intergovern­mental system of global governance is not capable of delivering the required results. At a fundamental level, the change necessary to achieve functioning world governance consists of a transition from international law to world law. A key element in this is the development of a global legislative system that includes a democratically elected world parliament. The establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly would be a pragmatic first step.
    • Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

      Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2011-04-01
    • Academies and Knowledge Management

      Jüri Engelbrecht (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-06-01)
    • Achieving Global Justice, Security and Sustainability: Compassion as a Transformative Method

      Thomas Reuter (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
      This paper first examines the geopolitical trends of the post-Cold War era. The main features of this period are an escalating crisis of democratic institutions, extreme economic inequality with a concomitant lack of justice and compassion, and a rising sense of disenchantment with politics. This in turn has increased the appeal of nativist populism, especially among downwardly mobile middle classes. This crisis of political economy coincides with a severe and rapidly escalating global ecological crisis. In response, the author calls for a new paradigm of international cooperation wherein principles of justice and compassion are applied as a practical method to solve the key challenges of our times in an effective and inclusive manner, arguing that business-as-usual is not a viable alternative for survival.
    • Actions to Enhance Global Security*: Focus on WMD and Terrorism

      Desmond Browne; Garry Jacobs; Ivo Šlaus (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2013-11-01)
    • Advantages and Disadvantages of Global Unity & Disunity

      Ashok Natarajan (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2019-10-01)
      Humanity has evolved from the family and local community over millennia through several stages to finally create the present fractured and unstable global community of nearly 200 nation-states, some of which are barely a few decades old. But already there are signs that the process of social evolution will continue until it eventually results in some form of a unified world community. The major challenges confronting humanity today all result from the inadequacy of a diverse community of sovereign nations competing with one another for power and advantage and their inability or unwillingness to act effectively and concertedly to address the problems of our collective existence. Recurring war and violence, persistent poverty, financial instability, widening inequality, ecological destruction and climate change are some of the salient features which compel us to conclude that the continued evolution is both necessary and inevitable. The material and social benefits of global unity will be immense in terms of greater and more equal access to knowledge, power and wealth, but they will bring with them a new set of challenges to ensure that peace and security are not achieved at the expense of freedom, cultural diversity and the fullest development of individuality.
    • All the Education We Need

      Janani Harish (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2019-10-01)
      Moving from scarcity of knowledge and lack of access to information to an overabundance of data comes with a downside. It is difficult to establish the veracity and impartiality of information today. With increasing freedom for everyone to make themselves heard, personal opinions, prejudices, even falsehood come to be alongside facts. In such a scenario, it is crucial to educate youth to understand the mind, its faculties, limitations and untapped potentials. This will equip them to navigate the ocean of data while thinking for themselves and forming their own impartial decisions. Imparting knowledge is increasingly becoming a less significant part of education. What is critical today is to teach our youth to think for themselves, recognize and account for their own as well as others’ blind spots, and become values-based, independent individuals who can lead society towards greater global human wellbeing.