Expanding Network of Networks

The World Academy of Art & Science was founded as a network of concerned individuals committed to addressing the multi-faceted global challenges of the modern era. It would appear that a small group of people – no matter how distinguished – cannot expect to have significant impact on problems that span the entire globe and confront all of humanity. But appearances can be deceiving. On closer examination, we discover that each of our members is a member of many other networks that cross organizational boundaries, disciplines, fields of activity and national borders to form a rich web of interrelationships as intricate in its variety and complexity as the Internet. We are all nodes on that global network.

The development of the World Wide Web has made self-evident just how powerful interlinking relationships can be for accomplishment of any objective. Indeed every society is such a network and all of the work accomplished by the world today depends on these subtle linkages. The power of language, money and the Internet derives from the fact that they are tools that facilitate networking. Every individual constitutes a network of immense potential. That explains why single individuals throughout history have exhibited a remarkable power to change the world as explored in the Academy’s project on Individuality. What applies to individuals is even more applicable to organizations of individuals.

Three years ago the second issue of Cadmus began with a Call for United Action by Heitor Gurgulino de Souza1 It is with this understanding that the Academy has consciously set out over the past few years to foster and strengthen our relationships with like-minded institutions – organizations such as CERN, Club of Madrid, Club of Rome, European Leadership Network, Foundation for a Culture of Peace, Global Security Institute, Green Cross International, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Inter-Academy Panel and Inter-Academy Medical Panel, International Association of University Presidents, Inter-University Center, Library of Alexandria, Montenegrin Academy of Sciences & Arts, Mother’s Service Society, Nizami Ganjavi International Centre, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Person-Centered Approach Institute, Pugwash, United Nations Academic Impact and World Future Council – nearly all of which are headed by Fellows of the Academy who are themselves members of many other distinguished organizations. And these tentative steps are only the beginning.

With the founding of the World University Consortium of educational institutions last year, WAAS has taken the first step to convert these informal relationships into a formal umbrella group of organizations capable of leadership in thought that leads to action at the global level. We are now in the process of constituting two other umbrella groups to develop a New Paradigm for Human Development and promote peaceful development in the Levant. Each member can contribute to the growth and development of these networks by serving as an active link between WAAS and the other organizations with which you are associated.

As an Individual, each of us is a psychological network whose potential power for effectivity remains largely unperceived and unexpressed. Becoming fully conscious of that capacity will enable each of us and the Academy as a whole to accomplish far more than we now think possible. We invite you to collaborate in this endeavor.

Orio Giarini, Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, Garry Jacobs, Winston Nagan, Ivo Šlaus and Alberto Zucconi

1 Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, “Call for United Action,” Cadmus 1, no.2 (2011): 9.