Macroshift: Navigating the Transformation to a Sustainable World

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2001 - 218 pages
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We live in the midst of one of the greatest technological revolutions in history, an era of deep-seated transformation-a macroshift in civilization, says preeminent scholar and futurist Ervin Laszlo. Its signs and manifestations are all around us, from the deadly HIV/AIDS epidemic sweeping Africa and the dangerous fire-trap sweatshops routinely killing workers in Bangladesh, to the environmental havoc created by genetic engineering, power plant pollution and mechanized agriculture. The application of new technologies has turned into a double-edged sword.
The world is growing together in some respects, but is coming apart in others. Worldwide economic globalization, another sign of the macroshift, all too often benefits the few rather than the many. Hundreds of millions live at a higher material standard of living, but thousands of millions are pressed into abject poverty. The richest 20% earn ninety times the income of the poorest 20%, consume eleven times as much energy, and eat eleven times as much meat.
There have been other macroshifts in human history, but they spanned centuries, allowing cultural values, beliefs, and change to occur gradually. Today, technology has reduced our time to adapt; the entire critical period of change is compressed into the lifetime of a generation.
Today's macroshift, explains Laszlo, harbors great promise, as well as grave danger. He outlines two possible scenarios- "The Breakdown," where we choose to drift without a change in our current direction toward chaos, anarchy, and destruction, or "The Breakthrough," where we collectively transform our thinking and behavior to produce creative, sustainable solutions to dangerous global problems. And he shows what each of us can do-politically, professionally, and privately-to bring about the Breakthrough and shape a humane and sustainable global future.
While technology is what drives the unprecedented speed of this macroshift, it is our vision, values, and actions now that will ultimately determine the outcome. The choice is up to us-the power is in our hands.
 

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Table des matières

THE NEW IMPERATIVES
57
THE WAY AHEAD
105
TWELVE COMMENTS BY MEMBERS OF THE CLUB OF BUDAPEST
147
The Holistic Paradigm in Science
173
References Further Reading
195
Index
199
About the Author
206
About the Club of Budapest
210
That Peace May Prevail in This World
221
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À propos de l'auteur (2001)

Ervin Laszlo is the author or editor of sixty-nine books translated into as many as seventeen languages, and has over four hundred articles and research papers and six volumes of piano recordings to his credit. He serves as editor of the monthly World Futures- The Journal of General Evolution and of its associated General Evolution Studies book series.
Laszlo is generally recognized as the founder of systems philosophy and general evolution theory, serving as founder-director of the General Evolution Research Group and as past president of the International Society for the Systems Sciences. He is the recipient of the highest degree in philosophy and human sciences of the Sorbonne, the University of Paris, as well as of the Artist Diploma of the Franz Liszt Academy of Budapest. His numerous prizes and awards include four honorary doctorates.

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