In My Lifetime

Leila pinged me on this, and I’m taking a moment out to consider the big questions. Free license for idealism…

In my lifetime, I would like to see 3 things happen:

1. A successful transition from the Age of Oil to the Age of Sustainable Development
2. A social, political and economic culture that invests increasingly in community and the creative potential of every individual in society.
3. Technologies used to enable a truly participatory democracy that is both local and global.

My friend Andrew often claims that I am trying to solve the problem of globalization. Hubris? Maybe. But my answer to the skeptics is, “And why shouldn’t I?” My friend Kim often accuses me of being a dirty Malthusian. Not quite, but I see her argument.

We’ve got a few revolutionaries already in the mix: David, Sutha, Ryan, Rob, Tom,
What say you, Deb, Patrick, Brent, Joey and Bryce?

Jjacobs

P.S.: Rest in Peace, Jane Jacobs (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006). A boundary-crossing intellectual, a true revolutionary, a Torontonian and an inspiration to community-builders everywhere.

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7 thoughts on “In My Lifetime”

  1. Hi Mark,

    Interesting post! I’m in the midst of finishing a paper, so these are cursory, but I think they get at my general view. Here are my thoughts:

    1. A broadening of the international community’s ideas about national interest. Bringing into the tent things like the AIDS pandemic and humanitarian intervention.
    2. Witnessing the marriage of economic tools and environmental research to better manage the world’s resources.
    3. Discovering a method to better re-distribute the gains from trade to all peoples.

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  3. Hello everyone,

    Well, if I have to choose only 3…

    1. The comprehensive de-bunking of classical economics in favour of a model that recognises both the chaotic nature of systems, and the value of environmental and social factors. (“The Death of Economics” by Paul Ormerod is a good start)

    2. The widespread adoption of green roofs in Toronto’s downtown core. (I need at least one of my “objectives” to be “measurable”, OK? It’s just the way I am…)

    3. The revitalisation of the United Nations as a
    forum for global dispute resolution and environmental resource management.

    (At the very least by expanding/changing the membership of the Security Council. Also, the increasing importance of non-state actors in a globalised political economy must be addressed. As just one example, there has recently been talk of the need for a mechanism whereby the aspirations of faiths/religions, rather than nation states, might be reconciled. As the nation state is being dis-intermediated, are people increasingly finding their means of expression through religious rather than nationalist forms…? If so, must our existing, 20th C supra-national bodies transform accordingly?)

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  5. Interesting themes coming out here. The “religion as global problem/global solution” meme, the “global management of environmental commons” meme and “death of classical economics” meme have been reiterated in numerous branches of this.

    I love knowing lots of passionate, smart people!

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