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


The library contains articles of Cadmus as of vol. 1(2010) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Rising Expectations, Social Unrest & Development

    Ashok Natarajan (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2011-10-01)
    The relationship between peace and development holds the key to effective strategies for addressing the roots of social unrest. Rising expectations are the principal driving force for social development. However, the faster and higher aspirations rise, the greater the gap between expectations and reality. That gap promotes a sense of frustration, depravation and aggression leading to social unrest and violence. The opposite is also true: rising economic opportunity can mitigate or eliminate social unrest. The remarkable renunciation of armed struggle by the IRA in North Ireland in mid - 2005 appears inexplicable until the impact of rising incomes and expanding employment opportunities in the Republic of Ireland is also taken into account. A similar approach can be applied to address the problems of violence and social unrest in Kashmir and Palestine. Here too apparently intractable conflicts will lend themselves to be addressed economically. India's recent efforts to provide guaranteed employment to its rural poor are part of a strategy to stem the rising tide of social unrest in impoverished areas resulting from rising expectations among the poor.
  • Financing Human Capital: Families & Society

    Neantro Saavedra-Rivano (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2016-10-01)
    The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) describes human capital as “knowledge, skills, competencies and attributes embodied in individuals that facilitate the creation of personal, social and economic wellbeing.”* It follows from this interpretation that investment in human capital includes the sum of all costs that allow a new being to reach economic autonomy. In this paper we analyze the family and social dimensions of human capital and discuss how decisions on human capital formation are taken and how its associated costs are shared. The discussion leads us to identify an important paradox underlying human capital formation, namely the fact that while families are its main contributors the benefits of such investment go primarily to society as a whole. This paradox and its consequences are central to two very important current issues. The first issue, one that is common to many developed countries, is low female fertility which is the source, in particular, of population aging. The second issue, affecting chiefly developing countries, is the inequality of opportunities, a problem lying at the root of underdevelopment. Two options are discussed to respond to this dilemma, one based on redistributive programs and another on market solutions. The paper discusses the limits inherent to redistributive programs and goes on to present at length the alternative market solution. In a nutshell this consists of securitizing the human capital of individuals so as to finance the expenses leading to their upbringing, from birth to adulthood. In addition to describing this scheme the paper analyzes its advantages as well as the difficulties associated with its implementation. It concludes by exploring possible interpretations of the scheme and feasible routes for its adoption.
  • Systemic Change through a New Paradigm in Global Education

    Janani Ramanathan (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
  • The Emerging Economic Renaissance

    Jay Bragdon (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
  • What Constitutes Societal Transformation?

    Benno Werlen (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
  • Effective tools for promoting change in complex and interrelated realities

    Alberto Zucconi (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
  • Environmental Justice and Equity: An Exploration through the POP Movement

    Ash Pachauri; Drishya Pathak; Komal Mittal; Meghana Elsa Thomas; Nahid Pérez Ayala; Norma Patricia Muñoz Sevilla; Philo Magdalene A; Vanessa Anahí Hernández Vázquez (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
    Environmental Justice, defined as “The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” (EPA), has been the object of study of this article in which it is shown how through the work of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the problem of inequalities and problems that arise in the day for certain communities and spaces can be revealed. The background shown and the methodology used are the result of numerous activities developed by “The POP Movement” (2016), in collaboration with various organizations, academic institutions, governments, civil society and particularly with young people from various countries around the world, among others: The International Conference and POP Festival for Youth-Led Climate Action; Intergenerational Dialogue on Environmental Justice and Equity; Latin American Dialogue; GlobalMindED Webinar and Truth and Reconciliation Week. The results obtained from the direct participation of the actors are shown through the problem analysis format, which are recorded within the framework of equity, justice, human rights and the environment, during the events. These results have allowed the design of strategies of action to address the identified problem, under the principle of “Youth inspired by Knowledge.” These results are manifested in various areas: Differentiated impact of climate change; Role of government in environmental justice, and Role of communities and other sectors. Finally, the conclusions obtained during the development of the various events mentioned are presented and that lead us to the following consideration, “The threat of the climate crisis is the one that looms over the world. And yet, the impact of climate change disproportionately affects some of the lives and livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities.”
  • Transformation Literacy as a Collective Stewardship Task

    Petra Kuenkel (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
  • Knowledge Generation and Interdisciplinarity

    Juri Engelbrecht; Robert Kitt (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
    In this paper, it is argued how the present crises in the world are influenced by the breaking up of networks created by the communities worldwide. In addition to human-made networks, many networks in Nature also influence life in many aspects. In this context, the understandings of the behaviour of complex systems, especially in social spheres, can help us find better solutions in the future. The interdisciplinary studies uniting knowledge from science, humanities, and social sciences can proactively describe knowledge generation for understanding the complexity of processes in a coordinated and coherent way and applying it for problem-solving.
  • Making Sustainability Happen: The Jena Declaration

    Thomas Reuter (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
    The Jena Declaration, introduced below, argues that the SDGs cannot be achieved simply by intensifying the use of established methods and strategies. For a comprehensive transformation to sustainability a fundamental change in strategy is necessary, an approach that builds on the power of millions of citizens and local communities throughout the world and the integrative perspective of the social sciences and arts.
  • Youth Groups: A Quick Look at International Organizations

    Marta Neškovic; Ivana Lazarovski (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
    Much of the hope for resolving our world’s greatest problems is vested in the power of youth. Since the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security (2015), the recognition of young people as a positive force for preventing and resolving conflict and building sustainable peace has gained significant momentum. What is it that makes today’s youth more capable of introducing radical and sustainable social transformation than the youth of the previous generations? It is not merely that the new generations are more capable of coping with the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) world, but the urgency of overcoming the risks that our planet and our society are facing, has become so obvious that the younger generations are pushed to act for their security, here and now. Also, the technological environment and the widely spread skills have given youth unprecedented opportunities for interaction and collaboration like never before. Contemporary youth are the first globally networked generation in history with communication capabilities that allow an almost unlimited flow of information and widespread promotion of global causes. Collective participation of young people in international projects through youth groups provides possibilities for intergenerational dialogue that is necessary to both adjust current institutional frameworks and make room for new ones. Apart from intergenerational projects that empower youth to play an essential role in creating rapid social change, such as the UN projects in the last few decades, youth have also established themselves as crucial actors in global social movements which in their own right intend to bring about effective change in our highly fragmented and disparate world. Youth organizations inspire interaction among people from around the world, with a purpose of bringing about common well-being. For the new generation, this process ought to start at an early age and become a life-long quest to be nurtured as a social obligation. The article lists a selection of 22 dedicated international organizations, many of them youth-led, which have been addressing the Sustainable development issue.
  • Process of Social Transformation

    Garry Jacobs (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
  • Individualism and Collectivism: Reconciling the Values of Freedom & Equality

    Ashok Natarajan (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
    Individualism and collectivism are two competing philosophical and social movements that have divided the world for centuries. Their origins can be traced back to ancient times. They are founded on different interpretations of the value and place of freedom and equality in society. While their rivalry is ancient, it is also evolving and taking on ever new forms. Their evolution reflects a progression of global society from physical to vital-social and increasing mental levels and forms of consciousness. The clash of values takes many forms in different cultures and settings, but they all arise from the inability to reconcile apparently contradictory values and view them as complementary aspects of a greater truth. Today the unreconciled conflict is exemplified by the growing rivalry between the pluto-democratic capitalism in America and state capitalism in China, but the fissures run within countries and cultures as well as between them. This article traces the development of individualism in the West and positive and negative characteristics associated with its more extreme manifestations in order to understand both the strengths that perpetuate it and the weaknesses that continuously erode its stability. It points to the emergence of a reconciling formula based on a shift from individualism to mature individuality and the prevailing struggle within democratic societies in recent times.
  • Art + Science + Policy: Info-Murals Help Make Sense of Wicked Problems

    Robert Horn (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
    To manage complexity in the modern world requires large-scale visual language diagrams
 that are called “information murals.” These murals present the science involved in major
 global and local issues; describe the policies that may respond to these challenges; and
 integrate the communication using the arts of diagramming and illustration on a wall-size
 scale. This article presents numerous examples from business, international task force
 and government projects. It also describes how information murals can help analytic and
 decision-making groups accomplish their missions. The author suggests that information
 murals are the best way to address the difficult, messy and massively wicked problems that
 decision-makers face every day. He shows some education and training possibilities of the
 murals and also suggests that the information murals can emerge at times as a new aesthetic
 genre for the world of fine art.
  • Repurposing Economies Towards Life

    Petra Kuenkel (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
    On a global scale, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over; we experience forest fires of frightening magnitude, floods and storms scare many people to evacuate their homes. Not only do young people say that time is running out, the latest IPCC 2021 report paints a depressing picture of our collective future and many scientists are increasingly warning of the many negative path dependencies that deteriorate our planetary life-support system. But at the fringes of the mainstream neoliberal economics with mindsets of extraction and wealth accumulation are prototypes of future economies that need to be connected and amplified. This article suggests that the paradigm shift has begun: we need to help it gain speed. Individually, but also on a global scale, people should become aware of their responsibility for a livable future. Without a fundamental change in the global and local economic operating system, the chances to restore, improve and maintain life may be impossible. It is time to go mainstream with repurposing economies. This requires transformation literacy: shifting mindsets, transforming systems and designing transformative change processes. Many authors have suggested approaches to economies of the future. What runs through all of these different approaches for a new economic operating system is the focus on social and ecological vitality. “Life economies” as an overarching term reflects most appropriately what a future can look like that operates in accordance with the needs of people and the planetary life support system. The article shows that across the variety of proposals six guiding principles for life economies come through for which prototypal actions and change processes already exist. None of the set of principles will bring about the breakthrough alone, all need to come together. The article concludes that life economies can become the strategic driver of an attitude of care and contribution.
  • 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.
  • Transversalism and transformative praxes: Globalization from below

    Barry Gills; S. A. Hamed Hosseini (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
  • 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.
  • Terrorism, Security and Democracy: 20 Years after 9/11

    Rama Mani (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
    This article situates itself in the context of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks which launched the ‘Global War on Terror’—coming shortly after the debacle of the Taliban’s triumphant return to power in Afghanistan. The article contends that both terrorism and the war on terrorism have upset the delicate balance between democracy and security, and placed democracy at risk. This article begins by examining the evolution of the nature and scope of terrorism over the past 20 years. It explores critically the vexed nexus and complex relationships between democracy, security and terrorism. Then it delineates the three-fold threat posed to democracy by terrorism and counter-terrorism. It elaborates how these three threats might be not simply countered but indeed transformed through a genuinely democratic response. It seeks to establish that justice, rule of law and the pursuit of human and planetary security are the non-negotiable cornerstones needed today to rescue democracy from these corrosive effects of terrorism and the war on terrorism. The article ends by outlining some key policy recommendations for leaders of global governance that would be essential to rebalance the delicate relationship between democracy, security and terrorism and ensure our collective and planetary wellbeing at this crucial moment of reckoning.
  • No More Excuses! Why the Climate and Ecological Emergencies Demand a New Paradigm

    Barry Gills; Jamie Morgan (Risk Institute, Trieste- Geneva, 2021-11-01)
    In this paper we reprise some of the themes set out in our recent special issue of Globalizations, which explores the contributing role of mainstream economics in the current climate emergency. We provide a brief update on the current state of the declared ‘climate emergency’ and we make the case for a paradigm shift informed by quite different principles, including ‘transversalism’.

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