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New Paradigm in Human Development: A Progress Report

The current socio-economic-political paradigm is destroying our most precious capital – natural, human and social. The current paradigm is non-sustainable. It has to be changed! The required paradigmatic change will have to be one of the most dramatic in the history of humankind, comparable to or even more profound than the agricultural, commercial, democratic, and industrial revolutions of the past.
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In Search of a New Paradigm for Global Development

Abstract

The World Academy has recently launched an initiative to bring together like-minded organizations and individuals to examine the root causes of the multiple challenges confronting humanity today and formulate a comprehensive strategy for addressing them. Its central premise is that viable, effective solutions can be found to meet the entire spectrum of economic, ecological, political and social challenges by formulation of an integrated perspective, comprehensive strategy and detailed policy framework attuned to the realities, needs and emerging opportunities of the 21st century. This article is intended to serve as an initial discussion paper for a WAAS e-seminar, an international conference at UNO in Geneva and a workshop at the Library of Alexandria in May-June, 2013. Read More

Book review — Money and Sustainability: The Missing Link

A Report from the Club of Rome – EU Chapter to Finance Watch and the World Business Academy
By Bernard Lietaer, Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner and Stefan Brunnhuber Triarchy Press 2012

This report by WAAS Fellow Bernard Lietaer and his associates addresses important theoretical and practical issues regarding modern monetary systems. The central thesis of the report is that effective monetary systems must optimize performance on two complementary goals — efficiency of transactions and resilience in the face of destabilizing forces and events. National monetary systems maximize efficiency, but they lack the resilience to prevent catastrophic events such as those that have plagued the global financial markets and global economy over the past four years. The report advocates adoption of a variety of counter-cyclic, complementary currency systems to supplement and compensate for the inadequacies and vulnerabilities of national money systems. Read More

The Power of Money

Abstract
Although we all use money every day, the nature and functioning of money seem shrouded in commonplace myths and ancient mysteries. Money plays a central role in economics today, yet rarely do we come across a serious, informed discussion of what money really is and what role it plays in the development of society. Money is a remarkable human invention, a mental symbol, a social organization and a means for the application and transfer of social power for accomplishment. This article is the first in a series of articles exploring the origins, nature and functioning of money and its creative power by comparing money with two other pre-eminent social institutions – language and the Internet. Read More

Recognizing Unrecognized Genius

At the 2012 Global Roundtable conducted in Split, Croatia in July, co-sponsored by the World Academy of Art and Science, the organizers proposed introduction of a new TESLA award for unrecognized genius, an acronym for The Earth Supreme Level Award. This is an important and commendable initiative by philanthropist Hares Youssef which directly ties into the Academy’s exploration of mental creativity and the limits to rationality. Read More

From Limits to Growth to Limitless Growth: A Revolutionary’s Vision of Wealth and Welfare

Abstract
The publication of the Club of Rome’s landmark report ‘The Limits to Growth’ in 1972 shook the intellectual foundations of social theory and challenged the very premises on which modern economy and prosperity are based. Once set in motion, it led to a revolutionary re-evaluation of human aspirations and economic activities. Among its many consequences, it has stimulated creative minds to look freshly at the underlying processes governing the wealth and welfare of nations. The article then traces their creative impact on the mind of one of the most original economic theorists of our age – Orio Giarini.* As ‘The Limits to Growth’ alarmed the world by the unsustainability and dire consequences of unbridled economic growth, Giarini offers a correspondingly affirmative vision of economics with unlimited potential for wealth and welfare. Read More

Immediate Solution for the Greek Financial Crisis

The recent agreement to write off a substantial portion of Greek bonds only postpones but does not resolve the essential problem. The key to the Greek crisis lies in economy, not finance. Any financial solution that results in further contraction of the economy will only aggravate budget deficits and debt servicing problems. Economy can restore financial stability, not vice versa. The solution lies not in successive rounds of external funding at concessional interest rates, no matter how crucial that may be in the short term, but in unleashing the productive forces of the Greek economy which has contracted by more than 10% in the last two years, 15.5% in December 2011 compared to December 2010. The most essential requirement for a quick turnaround and a lasting solution is to drastically reduce the unemployment rate which has tripled since 2008 from 7.2% to 20.9%. Youth unemployment is nearing a totally untenable 50%. Read More

Global Prospects for Full Employment

Abstract*

The recent international financial crisis highlights the crucial role of employment in human welfare and social stability. Read More

Indicators of Economics Progress: The Power of Measurement and Human Welfare

1. Introduction

Right measurement is a powerful instrument for social progress; wrong or imprecise measurement a source of hazard and even havoc. The essential purpose of economic activity is the promotion of human development, welfare and well-being in a sustainable manner, and not growth for growth’s sake, yet we lack effective measures to monitor progress toward these objectives. Read More

Editorials: A Project on The Wealth of Nations Revisited, on the occasion of the 50th Birthday of the World Academy of Art and Science

“Leadership in thought that leads to action” is the phrase Harlan Cleveland, President of the Academy from 1991 to 2000, adopted to characterize the mission of the Academy. We — and the world — need it now, more than ever. Read More