A growing gap between rich and poor, social disintegration, and accelerating environmental destruction offers powerful testimony to the failure of conventional development practice in North and South. This failure has given birth to global efforts to build commitment to an alternative citizens vision of human progress grounded in commitment to just, inclusive and sustainable human societies.
This effort has been handicapped in its confrontation with the forces of status quo beaked not only by powerful institutional interests, but also by supporting economic theories widely accepted as the authoritative measure of human progress and well-being Most of human society has become so conditioned to these theories and measurements that even those who espouse the need for alternatives easily slip into the embrace of the underlying mainstream assumptions. Those who call for transformational changes remain severely handicapped within the larger development debate. They must counter mainstream thinking from a strong theoretical footing and offer realistic alternative goals.
Humanity has arrived at a moment of critical choice that presents a unique challenge to its collective intelligence and the technical advances so far achieved. A choice for status quo solutions will almost certainly lead to more social and ecological disintegration. An end of human civilisation and even the extinction of our species may be in sight.
The major hope for mobilising social forces behind an affirmative choice is found within an awakened global civil society. The energies unleashed by this awakening are coalescing around a people-centered citizens vision of just, inclusive and sustainable human societies dedicated to enhancing the social, intellectual and spiritual growth of all people.
This awakening celebrates the unity and diversity of life maintaining a sustainable balance between the human uses of natural wealth and regenerative limits of Earths living ecosystem. This vision demands an end to social and environmental exploitation by the powerful at the expense of the powerless. It envisions economic and political decentralisation empowering people in localities everywhere to recreate communities and natural ecologies.
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Hope to hear from you. George Porter.