The way forward…

November 29, 2009

With the UN Climate Change Conference about to begin in couple of weeks, the attention of many people around the world is  focusing on Copenhagen, speculating on what its outcome will be. Lots is at stake, not only for our climate. Significant progress in the climate change agenda based on a coordinated approach of the 193 countries could mean that if necessary, we are able to come together as humanity to address a difficult global challenge that affects all of us. Failure to do so will certainly carry a signature of dissapointment and bitter feeling that at the end of the day, it is still about national and economic interests before an ability to take any coordinated action. Many other, ‘in-between’ scenarios are also possible, there is indeed lots of possibilities for the outcome.

However, no matter what the final outcome of the conference is, significant progress has been made already. The advertising and TV in UK where I live, is full of ‘new’ agenda around climate change. Majority of big UK companies are integrating sustainability more and more into their mainstream priorities. Climate change has made it from passionate interest of few into the ‘mainstream’, there are very few people in the UK that would not have heard at least a bit about it.

It is very fascinating to see that for the first time in our history, many nations, organizations and individuals all around the world are coming together to collaborate around challenges that affect all of us. Whether it is a common project of majority of world’s nations to preserve crop diversity, global initiative to influence climate change agenda or a C40 – group of 40 largest cities in the world sharing best practice to deal with what is coming. Thanks to the possibilities of internet, willingness to connect and collaborate and  driven by a common desire to ensure survival of humanity, there are myriads of organizations out there striving to address nearly every possible challenge we face, all founded in approximately last 50 years. The initiative to make things happen is coming from all sides – grass root organizations, individual action, organizations and corporations slowly but decisively aligning their priorities, governments integrating various aspects of global problems into their agendas – all because of different drivers yet all acting in one direction…

What needed to change for this to happen?

Our civilization, our way of life, what we care about and what we do, to what we aspire and what we want to create. All these got fundamentally questioned in the last few years. The limits to perpetual growth and indivudalistic profit-drive way of life. The increasing awareness of the results of our past decisions on our present and future. The previously hidden realities of many corporations and governments coming out into the daily light never to be hidden again. The economic crisis in the last 2 years exposing the vulnerability as well as achievements of the fastest expansion period in human history. Our complete dependency on rapidly depleting energy sources. The alternative economic systems mushrooming to address the newly exposed limitations of the current system. And many more…

There is no point in blaming the past, there is nothing inherently ‘wrong’ with where we are and how we got here, it is all part of our journey. At the same time our awareness, the way we see the world, the way we are able to link causes and consequences, the evolution in our personal priorities – all of these are evolving as we speak and enable us to see what needs to be kept and what needs to change to ensure our healthy future. It is as if an invisible wave that changes every human being is spreading around the world and helping us to change in 7 billion unique ways.

It is this spreading wave of change in how we see the world that will help us to face unprecedented changes in life-conditions around us. It will help us to find the appropriate role of governments, nations, cities, communities, individuals, organizations, corporations, NGOs and social entrepreneurs, an appropriate role to play in creating a different future. It is not a role of any of the above mentioned entities alone to take full responsibility for addressing the global challenges that face us. It is a role of all of these to find their own contribution, to find a sollution from where they stand, to contribute to the common effort. There is no point in waiting for someone to do or someone to decide. We all can do, we all can choose. In our unique way.

It is in these times that I am looking with much hope and a feeling of peace as well as a commitment and determination upon our future. There is lots to be done and lots to be changed as well as lots to keep and celebrate. But the change has started and there is no way back. The pace is quickening but so is our capacity to comprehend what is happening and act in the appropriate way. The world will look very different in the years to come. And it will continue to change and evolve forever as to confirm what Heraclitus once said nearly 2,500 years ago… “Nothing endures but change”.

Enjoy the ride and do what needs to be done…

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