Earth Community Organization (ECO)
the Global Community
The Sustainable Development Global Information Society website is managed by Leslaw Michnowski
Member of the Committee of Prognosis “Poland 2000 Plus”
by the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Polish Association for the Club of Rome
Chairman of Sustainable Development Creators'Club
The Polish Federation for Life
Links to posters by Leslaw:
Proposal: Ecohumanism and Knowledge About the Future as Prerequisites of Survival and Sustainable Development
Paper titles: 1) Appeal for Ecohumanism and the Creation of Information Basis for Sustainable Development
2) To create eco-humanistic economics with the aid of the U.N. Security Council
3) The Polish Initiative For a Sustainable Development of the World Society
4) THE PROFESSIONAL WORLD CENTER FOR STRATEGY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – FOR LIFE IN STATE OF CHANGE
The paper is shown in full details with graphics at http://www.psl.org.pl/kte/pwcfssd.htm
5) Eco - development message from the Warsaw Meeting
6) HOW TO AVOID THE GLOBAL CATASTROPHE? The Information Basis for Sustainable Development Policy and Economy http://www.psl.org.pl/kte/howtoavoid.pdf
7) Eco-Humanism and Popular System Dynamics as Preconditions for Sustainable Development ( VISION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY – FUTURE OF THE WORLD FROM CYBERNETICIST PERSPECTIVE )
8.0 HOW TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GLOBAL INFORMATION SOCIETY?
9.0 HOW TO AVOID THE GLOBAL CATASTROPHE?
The Information Basis for Sustainable Development Policy and Economy
10.0 Information basis for sustainable development policy and economy is essential for survival
11.0 WORLDWIDE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM AS A PRECONDITION FOR THE REALIZATION OF UNITED NATIONS GOALS
12.0 Eco-Humanism and Popular System Dynamics as Preconditions for Sustainable Development ( VISION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY – FUTURE OF THE WORLD FROM CYBERNETICIST PERSPECTIVE )
13.0 For Humankind Survival Is Sustainable Development Essential?
Recommendations (see section #7 below)
Participating in Global Dialogue 2005 issues with the theme being The Global Constitution.
Participating in the development of the Global Constitution. The second draft of the Global Constitution is found at:
Table of Contents|
1.0 Ecohumanism and Knowledge About the Future as Prerequisites of Survival and Sustainable Development
We (…) declare (…) to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life (…) WSIS (Geneva 2003) - Declaration of Principles
(…) the sustainable development of our people (…) comprehensive vision for the future of humanity (…) poverty eradication, changing consumption and production patterns (…) pillars of sustainable development - economic development, social development and environmental protection (…) WSSD - Johannesburg Declaration.
1. Warning Forecasting - indispensable factor of sustainable development (SD)
For the life supported by high science and technology - i. e. in the state of change and risk - we need quite new social relations. Nowadays the changes in life-conditions are proceeding very fast with the development of science and technology. The new technology is combined with big risk as a result of lack of full knowledge about all future effects of it introduction into praxis. In this quite new situation we need long-sighted, flexible, organic, distributed, subsidiarity socio-economic infrastructure. For survival we need also multilevel decision-making based on ecohumanistic ethic and popular access to knowledge, especially prognostic one - knowledge about the future.. The very important task for world elite is nowadays building of conditions convenient for stimulation of popular, independence, for common good (egoaltruistic), intellectual creative activity. But such creative and responsible activity is impossible to achieve without knowledge of its complex and future results. For this reason we ought to create commonly accessible world system of complex monitoring and long-term prediction as well as measurable valuation of results of human activity - policy (decision-making), work - and other changes in socio-economic and natural environment. We also ought to introduce a new, ecohumanistic ethics. Ecohumanism is a partnership-based co-operation for the common good of all people (rich and poor, from countries highly developed and behind in development), their descendants, and natural environment - commonly supported by science and high technology. For survival and sustainable development we have to create a society based on wisdom and responsible liberty. (Nowadays, wisdom: intellect, knowledge [also about the future], and artificial intelligence). Irresponsible, egoistic liberty - without of knowledge about its consequences for socio-economic environment, without of SD economy and ecohumanistic ethics - will lead us rapidly instead of sustainable development into:
- Orwell, short-sighted and egoistic, totalitarian information society;
2. Why ought we build the information basis for sustainable development?
The World is in crisis. We are exploiting our natural resources of minerals and fuels faster than we are gaining access to alternative sources. We are polluting the natural environment and soil faster than the environment can regenerate itself to reach the level suitable for human needs. Depreciation, devaluation, getting obsolete, i.e. moral degradation of the existing forms of living (life) - is going on faster than new forms, consistent with new living conditions (life-conditions) for humans and for nature, are being introduced. This situation is complicated also due to demographic expansion, especially in those parts of the human family that are lagging in their development.
This crisis results mainly in lack of adjustment of two dominating systems - the system of values and the economic system - to the contemporary state of change and risk. At the same time, there is no absolute deficit of material resources (minerals, fuels, ecological resources). However there is a lack of knowledge, technology, active intellectual potential, human conscience, and time - the factors that are necessary for limiting the futile utilization of scarce resources, as well as for developing alternative sources, whilst the resources, which are currently under exploitation, are being drained.
This crisis not only constitutes a serious hazard for everybody; it also constitutes an opportunity. This opportunity will occur if we carry out a radical reconstruction of the mentality, social relations, and information infrastructure - which could create the possibility for sustainable development.
Currently two methods of overcoming the global crisis seem to be possible.
The first, traditional, very socially expensive method is based on decreasing the number of consumers of the resources that are in deficit. This method includes inter allia “clash of civilization”. This method represents a pathology of social Darwinism - eco-fascism that leads to ecological holocaust of the less strong, and subsequently - to the extinction of all humans
The second method is based on the wisdom, responsible liberty and the popularization of intellectual creative activity aimed at the common good and supported by science and high technology. This, intellectual evolution method is based on anticipatory selection of new forms of life in “virtual reality”, instead of “trial and error” and putting unfitted to the death. This would be an ecohumanistic, intellectual evolution, SD(sustainable development)-anti crisis method. Ecohumanism allow - together with intellectual evolution - of substitution of intellectual, especially innovative creativity, for nowadays excessive biological creativity. It allow to stop in humanitarian way over-population of Earth. The first, traditional method may seem effective only at first glance. Social Darwinism does not allow the elimination of the crisis-provoking results of the moral degradation of the life forms that are not adapted to the new, quickly changing living conditions.
The higher the level of development and the application of scientific and technological achievements, the faster is the pace of changes in living conditions for people and nature. This implies a very large acceleration of moral degradation pace for diverse, previously well-functioning forms of living. Moral degradation is as dangerous as the overexploitation of natural resources. This type of degradation, which is almost invisible, only to an insignificant extent depends on the number of people. It is caused mainly by the development of science and technology. This development cannot be stopped.
In order to eliminate the third factor of global crisis - the moral degradation of life forms, which in fact constitutes the basic factor - it is necessary to undertake stability-oriented solutions, which are radically different from traditional solutions. These are:
I - increasing far-sightedness and the flexibility of the methods of human activities,
This requires the further development of computer simulation (system dynamics) methods for large-scale environmental and social systems, flexible automation of production, and development of information technology (teleinformatization). It is impossible to prepare the appropriate economic statement without forecasting and a measurable assessment of comprehensive, broad in time and space, results of human activities and of the other changes in living conditions of people and nature.
The information problem is a key issue in overcoming the global crisis and in the creation of possibilities for survival and sustainable development of the whole global society.
Both, contemporary and forecasted development of science and technology, especially of information technology, makes the possibility of a significant increase of the level of cognizability of human activity results more real. However, we are not able to predict fully all life-hazards. Therefore, there is also a necessity of liberal development of diverse intellectual, scientific, and technological reserves that are indispensable for the quick elimination of the hazards, which were impossible to predict in advance.
The second key problem is harnessing people's wealth to make it serve creative, innovative input to the common good. This is a potential for releasing enormous intellectual creative activity, which is so indispensable for eliminating the deficits in material and spiritual life-resources.
It is impossible to solve both of these key problems related to global crisis at the local level. Joint public activities are necessary, with support from the world intellectual elite and powerful authorities. As well as - global governance.
Undoubtedly, for the development of the capability of forecasting and for a measurable assessment of the results of human activities, for changing nowadays short-sighted, egoistic economy into SD-economy, and for appropriate stimulation of ecohumanistic, cognizable and innovative, creative activity it would be helpful to create a World Center for a Strategy of Sustainable Development, for example under the auspices of the United Nations and by UN Security Council. This would be a professional center, inter allia for large-scale scientific, technological and organizational operations (Apollo-type).
The main goals of this Center would be to create information foundations of ecohumanism and sustainable development for the world society, including of SD-economy.
Its official establishment might take place during the World Summit on the Information Society - Tunis 2003.
The first task for the Center should be improvement of the methods for forecasting of the results of policy and other changes in living conditions, as well as building of popularly accessible world (integrated, but distributed) warning forecasting system.
We are just in the face of big enlargement of globalization trends. We ought to change these trends into Inclusive Globalization. Therefore it is necessary to create urgently, as a priority, the information basis of ecohumanism and sustainable development - in order to prevent the development of eco-fascism and ecological holocaust of weaker parts of the human family that might lead to the ecological extinction of the whole human race. Without creating the information foundation of popular intellectual creative activities for our common good, and for SD-economy - such effort will not be effective!
The task of combining of ecohumanistic ethics and sustainable development of the world society with high information technology was involved into World Summits on Sustainable Development (Rio de Janeiro 92’, Johannesburg 02’) and World Summit on Information Society (Geneva 2003) UN Documents. There is not limits to wisdom based growth and sustainable development of World Society and its economy.
To all people of good will!
We speak to you because we are concerned about the fate of the Human Race and of the Earth.
The World is in crisis.
We are exploiting our natural resources of minerals and fuels faster than we are gaining access to alternative sources. We are polluting the natural environment and soil faster than the environment can regenerate itself to reach the level suitable for human needs. Depreciation (devaluation) - moral degradation of the existing forms of living - is going on faster than new forms, consistent with new living conditions for humans and for nature, are being introduced. This situation is complicated also due to demographic expansion, especially in those parts of the human family that are lagging in their development.
This crisis results mainly in lack of adjustment of two dominating systems - the system of values and the economic system - to the contemporary state of changes in the living conditions of humans and nature. These changes are proceeding very fast with the development of science and technology.
At the same time, there is no absolute deficit of material resources (minerals, fuels, ecological resources). However there is a lack of knowledge, technology, active intellectual potential and human conscience, and time - the factors that are necessary for limiting the futile utilization of scarce resources, as well as for developing alternative sources, whilst the resources which are currently under exploitation are being drained.
This crisis not only constitutes a serious hazard for everybody; it also constitutes an opportunity. This opportunity will occur if we carry out a radical reconstruction of the mentality and social relations, which could create the possibility for sustainable development.
Currently two methods of overcoming the global crisis seem to be possible.
The first, traditional method is based on decreasing the number of consumers of the resources that are in deficit. This method represents a pathology of social Darwinism - eco-fascism that leads to ecological holocaust of the weak, and subsequently - to the extinction of all humans.
The second method is based on the popularization of intellectual creative activity aimed at the common good and supported by science and high technology. This would be an ecohumanistic method.
Ecohumanism is a partnership-based co-operation for the common good of all people (rich and poor, from countries highly developed and behind in development), their descendants, and natural environment - commonly supported by science and high technology.
The first, traditional method may seem effective only at first glance. Social Darwinism does not allow the elimination of the crisis-provoking results of the moral degradation of the life forms that are not adapted to the new, quickly changing conditions.
The higher the level of development and the application of scientific and technological achievements, the faster is the pace of changes in living conditions for people and nature. This implies a very large acceleration of moral degradation pace for diverse, previously well-functioning forms of life. Moral degradation is as dangerous as the overexploitation of natural resources. This type of degradation, which is almost invisible, only to an insignificant extent depends on the number of people. It is caused mainly by the development of science and technology. This development cannot be stopped.
In order to eliminate the third factor of global crisis - the moral degradation of life forms, which in fact constitutes the basic factor - it is necessary to undertake stability-oriented solutions, which are radically different from traditional solutions.
I - increasing far-sightedness and the flexibility of the methods of human activities,
II - supplementing calculations of the costs and benefits of social and economic activity with comprehensively assessed social and natural components.
III - implementation of a system of stimulating ecohumanistic and intellectually creative activity and its popularization.
IV - increasing the intellectual potential of the human race (i.e. through popularization of the at least medium-level, comprehensive education of the youth, what would ensure intellectual independence, responsibility and the ability to participate in the development of science and technology).
This requires the further development of system dynamics - computer simulation methods for large-scale environmental and social (ecosocial) systems, flexible automation of production, and development of information technology (teleinformatization). It is impossible to prepare the appropriate economic statement without forecasting and a measurable assessment of comprehensive, broad in time and space, results of human activities and of the other changes in living conditions of people and nature.
The information problem is a key issue in overcoming the global crisis and in the creation of possibilities for sustainable development of the whole global society.
Both, contemporary and forecasted development of science and technology, especially of information technology, makes the possibility of a significant increase of the level of cognizability of human activity results more real. However, we are not able to predict fully all life hazards. Therefore, there is a necessity of the parallel development of flexible automation of production, advanced construction of diverse expert information systems, data bases, and collection of other intellectual, scientific, and technological reserves that are indispensable for the quick elimination of the hazards, which were impossible to predict in advance.
The second key problem is harnessing people's wealth to make it serve creative, innovative input to the common good. This is a potential for releasing enormous intellectual creative activity, which is so indispensable for eliminating the deficits in material and spiritual life resources.
It is impossible to solve both of these key problems related to global crisis at the local level. Joint public activities are necessary, with support from the world intellectual elite and powerful authorities.
Undoubtedly, for the development of the capability of forecasting and for a measurable assessment of the results of human activities, and for appropriate stimulation of ecohumanistic and innovative, creative activity it would be helpful - and this is what we are proposing - to create a World Center for a Strategy of Sustainable Development, under the auspices of the United Nations. This would be a professional center, for large-scale scientific, technological and organizational operations (Apollo-type), based on subsidiarity principle. The main goal of this Center would be to create information foundation of ecohumanism and sustainable development for the world society.
Its official establishment might take place in 2002, during the Special Session of General UN Assembly - "Rio+10".
The first task for the Center should be improvement and popularization of the methods for forecasting of the changes in conditions on Earth and in local societies, as well as in the natural environment.
It is necessary to create urgently, as a priority, the information basis of ecohumanism and sustainable development in order to prevent the development of eco-fascism and ecological holocaust of weaker parts of the human family that might lead to the ecological extinction of the whole human race. Without creating the information foundation of activities for our common good, such effort will not be effective!
The Sustainable Development Creators' Club.
The Polish Federation for Life
This Appeal was published inter alia in:
- “Zielone Brygady”, nr 4(149)/2000, 16-29.2.2000
- „Polish Academy of Sciences, Dialogue and Universalism, Metaphilosophy as the Wisdom of Science, Art and Life”, no. 4-5/2002.
mail to: email@example.com
1. During the second half of the twentieth century, the development of science and technology led to a qualitatively new situation of changes within the conditions of human and natural life. These changes are difficult to foresee and occurring extremely rapidly and in a non-linear mode (even chaotically or catastrophically). 1/
2. In this situation of changes, the dominating factor of destability is deactualization i.e. the moral aging of existing forms of eco-social system structures, suitable for previous conditions of life, which seemingly continued to assist life effectively but actually imposed pathological behaviour.
3. In this new situation, the world system crossed the limits to growth within the framework of nearsighted economics, which is excessively inert and does not take into consideration the complex and extensive, both in time and space, costs, especially social and natural, of socioeconomic activity. 2/
4. The restoration to the world system of the ability to develop, to accomplish sustainable development (indispensable in a situation of changes) and, subsequently, a state of eco-development, lies in the vital interest of both the highly developed parts of the global community as well as their backward counterparts. An alternative to sustainable development is, contemporary, a ecological HOLOCAUST, initially of the weaker fragments of the world community, which ultimately will lead also to the downfall of the forces initiating it. 3/
5. The shaping of the ability for sustainable development requires a causal (and not exclusively an event) overcoming of the global crisis, including the creation of scientific-technical and social opportunities for:
5.1. - far-sighted prognoses and a measurable complex evaluation of the effects of socioeconomic activity as well as other changes in the conditions of life, together with mastering the highly flexible methods of management,
5.2. - a transformation of existing forms of social relations, prior to their deactualization, in accordance with new and encroaching conditions of life i.e. into relations once again (in a situation of changes) capable of stimulating the development of the global system,
5.3. - preference - in access to deficit resources of life - for those subjects of socioeconomic life which to a degree greater than others contribute to restoring to the world community the ability for development, and endow the latter with a permanent character,
5.4. - the intellectualisation of effectively informated and eco-humanistically motivated popular creative activity. 4/
6. In order to fulfil the aforementioned basic requirements of sustainable development it is necessary to embark urgently upon a great international scientific-technical and social operation in order to create:
6.1. - a worldwide commonly accessible information system (which would make it feasible to:
- dynamic model /i.e. by means of the Forrester-Meadows method/ of large-scale eco-social systems, 5/
- optimalize development-oriented undertakings, and
- exploit divergent cultural and intellectual accomplishments of the global community),
6.2. - a commonly available integrated and territorially scattered world knowledge base, indispensable in particular for predicting threats and their elimination,
6.3. - a global, integrated and flexible manufacturing system, 6/
6.4. - eco-socially just relations of division, which should stimulate development,
6.5. - universal eco-humanistic consciousness.
7. In order to mould the ability for a sustainable development of the world community, the U.N.O. should:
7.1. include the problem of sustainable development - together with the danger of the absence of its foundations - into the range of the priority responsibilities and tasks of the U.N. Security Council,
7.2. - entrust the Security Council with the duty of surveillance over the implementation of the strategy of a sustainable development of the world system,
7.3. - create a World Sustainable Development Strategy Centre.
8. The tasks of the World Sustainable Development Strategy Centre are:
8.1. - to create scientific-technical and primarily informational bases for sustainable development,
8.2. - to prepare and implement as well as to disseminate simulative supervision over the process of the life (including development or pathology) of the world community (as well as its particular basic parts),
8.3. - to successively prepare, implement, test and correct the strategy of the sustainable development of the world system.
9. A U.N.O. General Assembly session dealing with the acceptance and initiation of the implementation of the sustainable development strategy should be convened by the year 2002 (Rio+10).
1. Social relations: “orgware”, in other words, widely comprehended social relations including economic, political and values systems, relations of division, the organizational-manufacture structure and other periodically constant relations which combine into a system both people - that create the socioeconomic system - their knowledge and possessed technology (“hardware” and “software”) , and which impose, in accordance with their current form human and economic behaviour (even pathological).
2. Eco-humanism: partner-like cooperation for the common good of all people (prosperous and poor), future generations and the natural environment.
3. Development of the socioeconomic system: that part of its life process which encompasses:
- the growth (“here and now”) of the quality of the life of people creating the community of that system (including the average life span),
- the growth of the duration of that community (including the availability of deficit life resources, and the future generations’ chance to live),
- the reduction of the internal and external costs of methods of employing the technology possessed by the system.
4. Sustainable development: an alternative to cyclical development, whose consequence is a crisis which contains the threat of a downfall of the system; this alternative imposes a revolutionary reconstruction of the existing form of social relations, deactualized (and no longer concurrent with the new outer and inner conditions of life).
5. Eco-development: socio-economic-natural development (i.e. together with the social and natural environment) and thus such a form of the life of the socioeconomic system which is accompanied by a growing quality of human life, a rising effectiveness of management and an improvement in the condition of the natural environment.
6. Limits to growth: such a high level of the intensity of socioeconomic activity (within a given form of economics) above which there takes place:
- an expenditure of reproducible natural resources quicker than they reproduce themselves,
- an exhaustion of non-reproducible resources quicker than the economy is capable of creating access to their alternative forms,
- a degradation of the natural environment quicker than nature is capable of recreating it in a manner concurrent with the needs of human life.
(Hence the consequence of transgressing the limits to growth should be their urgent “shifting” i.e. a rationalisation of the utilisation of accessible resources and the reduction of the degradation of the natural environment, as well as guaranteed access to alternative resources by increasing innovative creative activity).
7. Simulative supervision: the monitoring and measurable evaluation of the process of the life of the socialeconomic system, predictions concerning the consequences of leaving the existing form of social relations unchanged, as well as the establishment of the moment of its deactualization.8. Eco-social usefulness: such an outcome of activity which designates developmental profits not only for the subject of activity but also for its social and natural environment.9. Eco-social justice: such a form of relations of the division of the effects of the social work process and deficit life resources, based on a measurable and complex delineation of the profits and costs of socioeconomic activity, as a result of which:
- the subsistence minimum and relative equality of life chances are universally guaranteed, while
- access to the effects of the social work process and deficit life resources (higher than the level indispensable for the sustenance of life) is proportionate to the eco-social usefulness of particular subjects of life (individuals or organisations).
1. The qualitative change in the conditions of life can be testified i.a. by the following data: “In the course of the last century, industrial production (of world economy - L. M.) increased 50 times, of which four-fifths took place after 1950”, see: Report of the World Commission for the Environment and Development, 1987, headed by G. H. Brundtland: Nasza wspólna przyszłość (Our Common Future), PWE, Warszawa 1991, p. 21.
2. The book by D. L. Meadows et al. entitled: Beyond the Limits. Global Collapse or a Sustainable Future discusses the outcome of subsequent (after the “Limits to Growth”) research on perspectives for the world community. Its authors claim that by 1992 the world system already crossed the limits to growth, and that there are three scenarios of reacting to this warning prognosis.
The first rejects the existence of limits to growth, and is tantamount to a conservative continuation of outdated, short-sighted and wasteful forms of life and economy.
The second scenario denotes the recognition of the necessity of radical changes, although it does so convinced that the situation is already so critical that there is no time for conducting them. In other words, overcoming the global crisis would be delineated by negative human traits. This would signify a return to the “earlier extreme” of the limits to growth, by an initial restriction of the activity of the weaker by the stronger, and then the outright physical elimination of the former.
The third scenario (the only effective one) calls for an urgent undertaking of a radical eco-humanistic civilizational transformation which shifts the limits to growth.
See: Meadows D. H., Meadows D. L., Randers J., Beyond the Limits, Global Collapse or a Sustainable Future? , Centre for Universalism at Warsaw University, Polish Association for the Club of Rome, Warszawa 1995, p.209 (p. 236 in the original edition published by Earthscan, London 1993).
3. Pope John Paul II drew attention to the reality of the danger posed by the second, essentially anti-humanistic scenario, and to the necessity for a radical civilizational change, indispensable for avoiding this peril. The Pope called for replacing the dominating “civilisation and culture of death” by a civilisation and culture of life. In his May 1993 speech given to scientists in Sicily, he declared: “During the recent years we have witnessed sudden and astounding social changes. How can one overlook the overcoming of rigid divisions of the world into opposing ideological, political and military blocs? It is precisely thanks to this process that it has been possible to prevent, at least to a considerable measure, the danger of ‘nuclear extermination’. During the same period, however, other planetary threats have reached an extremely dangerous level, making us fear ‘ecological extermination’, the result of a negligent destruction of the most important resources of the natural environment as well as increasingly numerous attacks against human life. An unrestrained drive of a small group of the privileged towards seizing the riches of the Earth and their exploitation has become the reason for a new type of cold war, this time between the North and the South of the planet, between the highly industrialised and poor countries, an inevitable source of anxiety for those who are deeply concerned with the fate of the world. Once again dark clouds are gathering across the sky of humankind”.
See: John Paul II, Dialogue between science and faith. A visit to the Ettore Majorano international science centre, 8 May 1993, “L’Osservatore Romano”(Polish edition) 1993, no. 7.
In his Good Friday homily: In reference to the ‘Evangelium vitae’ encyclical, given in the Colosseum on 5 April 1996, the Pope asked: “How are we to remain unmowed while seeing, for example, the astonishing conspiracy against life which is multiplying and expressed in increasingly harsh threats against people and nations, especially when life is so weak and helpless?”. “To the ancient and distressing plagues (...) of famine, epidemics, violence, and wars, new forms, heretofore unknown and of disturbing dimensions, are being added". See: the dispatch of the Catholic Information Agency:The Pope in the Colosseum: “Good Friday is a day which alters the fate and destiny of humankind”, Rome, 05.04 (KAI),ml.
Earlier, attention was drawn to the menace entailed by this type of anti-humanitarian defensive policy i.a. in: O nowy styl rozwoju. Raport fundacji Hammarskjolda dla ONZ w sprawie rozwoju i współpracy międzynarodowej (For a new style of development. Report by the Hammarskjold Foundation for the U.N.O. concerning development and international cooperation), in: Nowy Międzynarodowy Ład Ekonomiczny (New International Economic Order), PWE, Warszawa 1979, p. 147.
The possibility of negative megatrends in world politics is accentuated in: W perspektywie roku 2010. Komitet prognoz “Polska w XXI wieku” przy Prezydium PAN. Droga do roku 2010. Raport w sprawie długofalowej strategii rozwoju Polski na okres 15 lat (From the Perspective of the Year 2010. Prognoses of the “Poland in the 21st Century” Committee at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The Route to the Year 2010. Report concerning the Long-term Strategy of the Development of Poland in the Course of 15 Years), Kuźnicki L. , Polska w roku 2010. Projekcja optymistczna (Poland in the Year 2010. Optimistic Projection), Warszawa 1995, p. 50, 167.
4. I discuss the threats resulting from the contemporary situation of changes and their elimination by creating the possibility of sustainable development more extensively i.a. in:
- Jak żyć? Ekorozwój albo ... (How to Live? Eco-development [Sustainable Development] or ...), Wyd. Ekonomia i Środowisko, Białystok 1995,
- Czy regres człowieczeństwa? (Is it a regression of humanity?) LTN-K, Warszawa 1999.
- Kryzys globalny a przywracanie zdolności rozwoju (The global crisis and the restoration of the ability to develop), in: Pajestka J., O orientację na przyszłość w reformach polskich. Megatrendy cywilizacyjne a proces transformacji systemowej (For a Future Orientation in Polish Reforms. Civilizational Megatrends and the Process of System Transformation), Prognoses Committee “Poland in the 21st century” at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences. D. W. Elipsa, Warszawa 1994, Appendix 1.
- Modelowanie konceptualne w przewidywaniu przyszłości (Conceptual modelling in predicting the future), in: Czy warto myśleć o przyszłości? (Is It Worthwhile to Think about the Future), Prognoses Committee “Poland in the 21 century” at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences, D. W. Elipsa, Warszawa 1996.
5. This was the method used for the above discussed warning prognosis, see: Beyond the Limits , op. cit.
6. See: Michnowski L, Elastyczny system wytwarzania jako warunek rozwoju przy szybko zachodzących zmianach (The flexible manufacturing system as a condition for development in conditions of rapid changes), “Prakseologia” 1985, no. 1-2.
The paper is shown in full details with graphics at http://www.psl.org.pl/kte/pwcfssd.htm
1. Introduction1. Introduction
World is in the socioeconomic and (nature) environmental crisis. To avoid global catastrophe we ought to know what is the essence of this crisis and what are the main causes of it. We ought to understand also the essence of process of development of the world society and know consecutive transformations (qualitative changes) of socioeconomic relations, which are indispensable to adapt these relations to challenges of the high science and technology era. To overcome this global crisis, adapt our civilization to the state of change (in life-conditions – conditions of life) and achieve the sustainable development of the world society, it is especially necessary to change methods of shaping policy into methods based on wisdom.
In state of change, for wisdom policy we need:
- a knowledge of complex and future results of human activity and other changes in life-conditions, and
- the ecohumanistic value system.
Ecohumanism is a partnership-based co-operation for the common good of all people (rich and poor, from countries highly developed and behind in development), their descendants, and natural environment - commonly supported by science and high technology. Therefore we ought to create a possibility of forecasting and measurable evaluating socioeconomic activity effects and other changes in life–conditions. This will allow us to change nowadays egoistic (self-interests) economy into ecohumanistic economy (eco-economy) - based on FEED FORWARD, common good, account of complex profits and costs with its social and nature elements and ecosocial justice. This new, ecohumanistic economy will allow to substitute of intellectual evolution for - nowadays crisis generating, very ecosocially expensive and informational inefficient – social Darwinism. With this end in view a large-scale international science, technology and social operation for creation of information basis for sustainable development and popular and common use of such global information system should be undertaken.
Adapting of socioeconomic relations to demands of high technology and achieving the sustainable development needs multilevel subsidiarity governance, including global governance (CIA, 2000).. For ecohumanistic overcoming the global crisis with help of information basis for sustainable development I propose, inter alia, to create by the UN professional World Center for Strategy of Sustainable Development. I also propose - for proper governance (based on system thinking) - a conceptual model of real world: System of Life (SoL). The SoL reflects common properties and structural features of systems: man – technology – environment (social and/or natural). It also reflects the process of life of such systems and its general consecutive transformations. The SoL includes static as well as dynamic properties and structural features of these systems.
The SoL shows us qualitative changes in:
which are necessary for supporting of development of different forms of such life(living)-systems.
The SoL shows us also the changes in human needs realized together with socioeconomic development. The SoL can help us to understand essence of global crisis and find methods of it overcoming.
2. Some information and ethic conditions of long-sighted development policy
The necessity of world information system follows that we are living now in state of change (in life-conditions). The changes in conditions of human and natural life (access to resources, state of natural environment, technology, electromagnetic field, food, the range of growth of human destructiveness of natural environment, other external conditions of life, and so on) occur nowadays very rapidly. It is mainly the result of science and technology progress: In the course of the last century, industrial production (of world economy - L. M.) increased 50 times, of which four-fifths took place after 1950 (Brundtland, 1987), These dates were confirmed: The pace of change is reaching an extraordinary rate, driven in part by technological innovation.(…) To illustrate, growth in the world economy during the year 2000 exceeded that during the entire nineteenth century. (…) The sevenfold growth in global output of goods and services since 1950 dwarfs anything in history.(Brown, 2001). As a result of such big pace of change, existing forms of life (politics, technology, value systems, economics, production and consumption patterns, and so on) – that were fitted to previous life-conditions – rapidly are getting obsolete, morally aged. When the changes in state of social and natural environment are going so rapidly, we must change the methods of development policy. The model of shaping policy adequate to the state of change – see figure 1 (Sage, 1977).
These days the proper policy should be based on systems thinking, computer simulation of their future effects, access to the information reflecting real world and value system adequate to actual state of system changed as a result of policy. It means that to live in state of change we must build in socioeconomic relations quite new, additional feed back system – FEED FORWARD.
The information reflecting real world consists of:
- statistical dates,
- science and empirical knowledge, including conceptual model of real world.
- predictions of effects of policy of other subjects of socioeconomic life and predictions of effects of other changes in state of an environment.
For introducing into the practice aforementioned model - (figure 1), indispensable for shaping sustainable development policy - we especially need global governance. We need also conceptual model of the real world – for understanding life-processes and the essence of systems we interfere them with our policy.
3. The sustainable development in the view of the System of Life
For proper governance we need at least two conceptual models:
- a general homomorphic conceptual model (GHCM), and
- a detailed conceptual model (DCM).
The GHCM should include universal science concerning the real world changed as a result of governance, together with a general systems theory, general cybernetics (including general information theory and theory of life-process), and other adequate general and/or philosophical knowledge. The GHCM is especially essential to determine the currently existing constraints of changes and a proper value system. The DCM, coherent with the GHCM, should reflect, also in a conceptual way, the basic interrelationships that exist in specific objects of policy (for example, factories, corporations, states, communities of states, ecosystems, etc.) and between these objects and their environment. We usually already know how to create the DCMs. But we need also GHCM. We have got a lot of elements to create such a general model, but we have to synthesize these elements in one, appropriate, cognition tool. I have undertaken the task of building such a GHCM (General Homomorphic Conceptual Model) and I called it: A System of Life (Michnowski, 1995). The System of Life (SoL) reflects common properties and structural features of the systems: man – technology - environment (social and/or natural – SMTE, figure 2), their sub-systems (especially systems: man – technology) and over-systems.
It reflects life-system’s feedbacks. It also reflects the logic of process of life of systems of this kind. The SoL includes static as well as dynamic properties and structural features of such systems. Below I will present some fragments of SoL, which allow me to justify the main conclusions of this paper. The SoL treats the system: man – technology – environment, as a life-system (living system). In the same way it treats the system: man – technology (SMT) and the environment of the SMT. The life of every life-system (individual, social, ecological, ecosocial) depends on the life of environment, its relevant form and quality. The life-system is open (Bertalanffy, 1952, figure 2), autonomous (Mazur, 1999), self-organizing, anticipative, developing information (Michnowski, 1989), figure 3), and dynamic (Forrester, 1961) system. Therefore it has a possibility of homeostasis (Bertalanffy, 1968).
Life-system is capable of creating life – producing negentropy and minimizing entropy - for itself and the environment. The life-system also has a possibility of defending its life and, what is of general value, cooperating for the support of its own life and the life of the environment. The quality of the life-system is measured, in conceptual way, by its level of information. Between the level of information and the level of entropy of the life system there exist the following interrelationships:
i = A(n)1/s,
i is the level of information (Wiener, 1971) – conceptual measure of level of development,
s is the level of entropy (s = k ln W), and
n is the number of elements of the life-system.
In the SoL, entropy is a conceptual measure not only of the level of disorganization but also of the development-reserves. Every life-system is different from another life-system. Putting life-system to the death means lowering diversity of its over-system. Proper diversity of the over-system is the source of its synergetic development. The process of life depends on changes in the structure of set(system): life-system – environment, that supports own life and life of environment of life-system. The process of life is irreversible. Reversible changes results in growth of entropy. The main goal of life-system is supporting of life in the set(system): life-system – environment, by maximizing level of information in above set. It is conditional upon developmental growth of life-system. Every act of life-system for system and environment is followed by two quite different results: positive (negentropy effect), and negative (entropy effect). When the production of negentropy exceeds the production of entropy the life system develops. The stream of energy (in a wider sense) which leaves the life-system (as an open system) is - from the point of view of the leaving-system - degraded, but the same energy can be the factor of life of another outer life-system. Therefore by proper differentiation of subsystems it is possible not only to decrease the range of growth of the entropy of the life-system, but even to get a synergetic effect of (symbiosis form) cooperation. There are two different kinds of entropy and negentropy processes: parametric and structural. Parametric entropy process (physical destruction) is a kind of destruction of life-system which needs - for the elimination of its negative consequences - simply the rebuilding of the old, physically destroyed forms of the life-system. The structural entropy process (not physical, but moral destruction, ageing, obsolescence, outdatedness, getting obsolete) is a destruction of the life-system, which needs - for the elimination its negative consequences - the construction of quite new forms of life-systems adequate to the new life conditions. More technology progress results in a greater moral destruction of even physically not destroyed forms of life. The development of the life-system depends on proper changing time-space configurations of the elements of the system: life-system - environment, in that getting maturity of existing system’s elements and integrated them into its new subsystems relevant to life-needs of the system (and/or its environment). During the development process new feedbacks are added to existing feedbacks. It allow to put up informational efficiency of life-system and access to the new (existing yet) sources of intellectual-material life-resources. The life span of the life-system is finite, but not determined, and it depends on the level of information of the life-system. The higher level of information, the lower level of consumption of life-resources and/or higher level of efficiency of creativity of life-system is. The higher level of information, the higher level of life-potential of life-system, including potential of life-defense and creative cooperation is.
The structure of the life-system consists of:
- hardware, software and orgware (figure 4),
- elite, non–elite and inner life-resources, and
- a control(governance, homeostat)-subsystem (including information subsystem) and a technology (labor) subsystem.
The orgware is a set of feedbacks that join software and hardware elements of the life-system in an acting whole as well as join the life-system with the environment. The control-subsystem (homeostat) consists of successively added – together with development – elements such as
- an information field (the basis of natural homeostasis, and intuition),
- elite, and
- common, collective (elite and non-elite) consciousness of the life-system.
The process of life of the life-system consists of its two qualitatively different forms: normal, i.e. development (figures 5 and 9), or pathological, i.e. crisis (figures 6 and 9).
This process goes through various phases and stages.
There are two kinds of development process of life-system: "at the cost of the environment" and "together with the environment". Young life-system normally develops "at the cost of the environment". Matured one develops "together with the environment" (Michnowski, 1994). During the process of life, software and hardware are changing practically continuously, but the orgware is changing discreetly, periodically – from time to time.
When the life-system develops
- the amount of its elements and its inertia grows,
- its structure differentiates,
- the quality of life of its subsystems grow,
- its reserves of life-resources grows,
- its life span (durability) grows, and
- the level of information rises.
When the life-system is in crisis:
- its quality deteriorates,
The growth of quality of life of subsystems is described by growth of their biological and external creative life span. The external creative period of life is, when life-system "gives" more than "takes" from environment.
The main cause of crisis of life-system is its development (and over-inertia) without proper transformation of orgware, or underdevelopment of the life-system. The crisis is mainly a result of decreasing, with the old orgware, the possibility of developmental access to external life resources and/or lack of possibility to gather life-resources.
The first phase (of every stage) of development depends mainly on proper creation of a new orgware fitted to the new stage of development. The second phase – accelerated by proper orgware - is a rapid development of software and hardware of the life-system. The third phase, which slows down the pace of development - as a result of moral ageing of the existing orgware that is now less fitted to the new hardware, software and/or state of environment of the life-system. In the third phase, new elements are created which help transform the old orgware form into a new one, fitted to the new inner and outer conditions of life and support development of the life-system. When the old – morally aged - orgware form stops developing, the stage of development is finished. After that the life-system enters with its proper transformation a new stage of development or – without such transformation - crisis.
The first phase of the crisis is quiet, invisible. The level of information of the life-system decreases in a not too visible form. This regressive stability is a result of the stabilizing activity of the stronger part of the system, which is materially interested in life determined by the old orgware. If not interrupted, this phase brings the life-system to a death limit.
The second phase of the crisis features instability of the life-system, which is a result of the defensive activity of a part of the system, being either mostly menaced by the influence of the old orgware or understands the deathly consequences of life without building a new, proper form of the orgware. During this phase the system increases its quality periodically and for only a short time. This is a result of partial destruction of the old orgware combined with access to resources that were, till then, inaccessible.
The longer the crisis persists, the more life-resources are depleted. Therefore, in the second phase of the crisis the system also approaches a death limit.
The second phase of the crisis can more easily be overcome. In this phase it is possible to combine wisdom and defensive activity of the elite with spontaneous defensive activity of non-elite of the life-system. If in the second phase of the crisis the life-system does not find a proper way of transformation of the old form of orgware to a new one, it will enter the third phase
The third phase of the crisis is again stable. It results from pathological governance. In this phase a new, but pathological, orgware is built. This new orgware allows conservation of life of the life-system by destroying life of the social or natural environment, or by limiting access to deficit resources for the weaker part of own life-system. For some time the life–system upgrades its quality, but this tendency is short-term. If the crisis is not overcome by the end of the third phase, the system will enter a new stage in the crisis.
The essence of the crisis of the life-system depends on the lack of ability to access outer life resources combined with the lack of skill to support the life of the (near and/or distant) environment. The more developed (and inert) the life-system is, the more long-sighted, anticipative it should be for life in a changed environment. The main cause of the crisis is the underdevelopment of its control-subsystem (homeostat).
For sustainable development we ought to know the logic of transformations indispensable for supporting development.
Every life-system has its relative limits to normal growth. After reaching these limits its further development is conditioned upon proper change of its orgware, including the control-subsystem, value system and/or its synergetic integration with another system or systems (figure 7).
When the control-subsystem of the life-system is dispersed, cooperation between its subsystems depends on spontaneous self-organization . The knowledge needed to govern is in the possession of life-system subsystems. Governance based on a centralized principle depends on one-directional access to information resources available by the life system. The elite (or pathological pseudo-elite) - the strongest subsystem which controls systems activity - use these resources for life-system governance. This control system needs big creative potential of a dominating control-subsystem. Organic governance is based on a subsidiary principle. At the upper level governance deals with control problems that are difficult to be resolved at subordinated levels. The higher the level of governance is, the more long-sighted it becomes. The information base is also centralized, but it is accessed according to the needs of subordinate levels. Communal governance depends on commonly accessible information base and technology used for life-control (homeostasis). Every decision in common policy is done independently, but it is based on the knowledge of its future results and future results of activity of other subsystems of the life-system, as well as of the environment.
The more developed is the control-subsystem (governance, homeostat), the more successfully innovators and decision-makers dealing for common good realize the support of life of the life-system and the environment.
Another kind of developmental transformations is connected with changes of value system.
The life-system can - during the period of its existence - occur only in eight quite different life-states (figure 9).
Four of them are normal, developmental life-states, and other four are pathological. These states are described by a tendency that concerns such items as
- the quality of life of elite (of the life-system),
Here are – in consecutive order – developmental life-states of the life-system :
I - egalitarian stagnation
In the egalitarian stagnation life-state – the first stage of life and development – the life-system does not have its elite. In this state the system is externally constructive. It means that its outer impacts support the life of the environment. The reason for its existence is the growth of the quality of life of its units(subsystems) . The system, however, is not able to gather reserves of life resources and increase its durability. The main homeostatic item is the life-system information field. When the growing life-system exhausts its potential for supporting life of the environment, it collapses or goes through elitist transformation. As a result of this transformation, in the life-system there arise its elite and the system forms an elitist growth life-state. The life-system in this state is externally destructive. The elite stop development of the non-elite, which is treated by the elite mainly as a form of technology. Reserves of the life-system resources continue to increase. The durability of the system is also increasing. The main reason for the homeostasis is the elite of the system. But when system that is growing up becomes excessively inert and the expanded elite is becoming so strong that it can destroy the non-elite, the life system should start to transform itself into the next normal - non-elitist life-state. Therefore, the life-system goes through non-elitist transformation. The life-system in a non-elitist growth life-state continues to be externally destructive. It still lives at the cost of the environment. In this state, durability and the quality of life of the elite as well as that of the non-elite of the system increase. Here the main homeostatic item are ethically matured elite supported by collective (elite and non-elite) consciousness of the life-system. But the increased potential of destruction of the environment leads to the threat of the destruction of the environment – the basis of life-resources for the life-system. When also the increased intensity of moral degradation stems development it is necessary to make the next, ecodevelopmental transformation. The system in an eco-development life-state is externally as well as internally constructive. It increases the quality of life of the elite and non-elite of the systems, and helps the environment to develop. The homeostasis of the system is based on its fully developed homeostat that acts harmonically with the homeostat of the environment. It allows the system to be long-sighted, anticipative and flexible. The system draws upon reserves of life-resources especially needed for the elimination of unpredictable threats . All these three sustainable development transformations feature the following characteristics.
They are made properly when (as a result of the previous stage of development):
- the system is excessively inert, and
- there arises a threat of the destruction of the environment of the life-system and/or of the life-system elite.
The main feature of these transformations is a change in the life-system value system and the strengthening of its homeostat. Information efficiency rises. The transformation depends on the change in the structure of the life-system by the creation of an additional set of feedbacks that make it possible to enlarge the creative and defensive potential of the system. As a result of proper transformation the life-system becomes more efficient, long-sighted, flexible, reserve-creative, environment friendly, and gets access to new life-resources.
When proper transformation is not made the system enters a crisis and builds up a pathological life-state.
There are four pathological states of life:
- regressive stagnation,
Development of life-system is conditional upon developmental changes of its control-subsystem, which allow its higher long-sightedness and flexibility. When the inertia of the life-system reaches some maximum level, the control-subsystem must be changed. A new form of the control-subsystem (homeostat) should enlarge the strategic horizons of the life-system and divide the process of realization its life supporting policy among a larger number of decision-makers. This enlargement is therefore connected with sharing the access to the information base and other information technologies
In accordance with the SoL, the control-subsystem (including an information subsystem as basis for proper control) of the life-system is developmentally changed in the following consecutive stages (figure 8):
1 – dispersed,
2 – centralized,
3 – organic, and
4 – communal.
The system in a regressive stagnation life-state of is externally destructive. It decreases its durability. In a short run it increases the quality of life of its elite and non-elite. It lives at the cost of its future generations.
The system in a regressive growth life-state is externally constructive. It increases its durability and the quality of life only of its pseudo-elite, whereas it decreases the quality of life of its elite and non-elite. The pseudo-elite grow at the cost of the weaker parts of the system, depriving them from their life-resources, even bringing them to death.
The system in a pseudo-elitist stagnation life-state is also externally constructive. It increases the quality of life of the pseudo-elite, whereas it decreases its durability and the quality of life of the elite and non-elite. The weaker parts of the pseudo-elite are introduced into non-elite.
The system in a state of regression is externally as well as internally destructive. It decreases its durability and the quality of life of the elite, pseudo-elite and non-elite of the system, and runs on low life-resources.
The regression of the life-state exists as a separate stage of the pathological form of the process of life or as the last part of the first phase of other stages of the crisis. Other pathological life-states are formed in the third phase of the crisis.
As a result of the crisis – and pathological life-states - the life-system can
- be immediately destroyed, orThe life-system that has entered a crisis after the state of elitist growth, and cannot return to its normal life-state, successively passing through crisis stages – gives shape to the following pathological life-states
1 - regressive stagnation,
2 - regressive growth,
3 - pseudo-elitist stagnation, being slowly destroyed, or
4 - regression – when it is immediately destroyed (figure 10).
The crisis means – as yet mentioned above - that the operation of the control-subsystem (homeostat) is faulty.
To increase the potential of homeostasis by building collective consciousness it is necessary to let people step up on the "ladder of human needs" (figure 11).
Human needs are changed together with the level of access of individuals or societies to life-resources, technology, and information - in the following way:
1 – the need to possess life in a biological sense, as well as to have access to life-resources necessary for life,
By stepping up on this "human needs ladder" the life-system multiplies its creative potential and activity that support own life and the life of the environment.
When developing environment of life-system is externally creative, life-system can develop in the way of externally destructiveness. When environment is in the state of regression and/or internally destructive the development of life-system must be creative not only internally, but also externally.
The life-system can be a creator of life (own and that of the environment), as well as of technology or simple life-resources for stronger life-systems in their surroundings. The function that life-system fulfils in its over-system and the way in which its acts depends on its creative and defensive potential and life-conditions in the surroundings.
When one life-system acts on another life-system by supporting its life, the reaction of this latter system is also positive. When one life-system acts on another life-system by damaging its life, the reaction is negative. The force of such a reaction depends on the creative- and defensive- life potential of the reacting system.
The behavior of life systems depends also on their access to life-resources and differences in the creative-life potential.
If two life-systems, one of them stronger and another weaker, exist in the situation of accessibility to life resources, the stronger one use the weaker as technology.
If two life-systems exist deprived of their life-resources, the stronger one causes the weaker one to die and takes over its resources.
If two life–systems of the same creative potential exist deprived of their life-resources, they start to cooperate to get access to new resources.
The above described cooperation is also possible between strong and weak life-systems, if the destruction of the weaker one leads to the death of the stronger one - but only when the stronger has the knowledge of such a danger.
This is the SoL basis on which we can more precisely define the notion of sustainable development (figure 5 and 9). Sustainable development is a kind of development which is not interrupted by periodically occurring crises – heavily destroying life-resources. In the era of globalization a global crisis can easily evolve into a global catastrophe. Sustainable development depends on properly, in anticipatory way made transformations of the orgware of the life-system, long preceded by relevant development of software and hardware.
It means that the present-day concept of sustainable development is not only ideal for proper governance, but also lays down an essential condition for survival of humankind.
4. The essence of the global crisis and basic conditions of the sustainable development
In accordance with mentioned above conceptual model, the world society is in the crisis from the beginning of the twentieth century. Nowadays we are in the second stage of the crisis, probably just before of its third phase (figure 10). This crisis is - from about 1970 - the global crisis, because nowadays also in the crisis – in the state of regression - is the natural environment. The natural environment has not so big life-potential, which is necessary to rebuild itself - without the help of world society - in the form proper to support life of natural environment and human beings.
The main cause of global crisis is rapidly pacing moral destruction (getting obsolete) of existing forms of life not fitted to the new life-conditions. Negative effects of this destruction are not eliminated by ecohumanistic innovative activity. Also physical destruction of global ecosystem (Earth, system: world society – natural environment), goes rapidly, as a result of morally aged social-Darwinism, which is the base for short-sighted, egoistic economy.
The world society and its economics is over inert relatively to nowadays, out-dated form of world society control(governance)-subsystem. We have no governance and value system adequate to the state of change. The short-sightedness and egoistic value system are mainly a result of underdevelopment of information subsystem of the world society. Our economy is also not adequate to state of change. This economy do not include into accounting complex and long-range effects of socioeconomic activity – together with external (socio-nature) effects. This economy do not stimulate for common good creative activity. This economy allows getting money by matured subjects at the cost of social and natural environment – without creative, especially innovative, activity.
The world society is not enough flexible. We have not created possibility to lead sustainable development policy according to Sage’s model – figure 1. We do not understand correctly the essence of life and environmental conditions of mutual, symbiotic life supporting. We do not know yet – in policy practice - irreversible law of life. We do not know complex and long-term effects of our socioeconomic activity. We have no possibility to predict and value in measurable way changes in life-conditions. We have no possibility to eliminate forecasted dangers in anticipatory way. We have no possibility to create reserves of intellectual-material resources, which might be necessary to avoid catastrophes that were not predicted. We destroy thoughtlessly socio-, bio- and geo-diversity – the base of development and life-reserves for Unknown.
But we have yet high science and technology, that are necessary to overcome this crisis and achieve the sustainable development. For this end we have to lower a range of physical destruction of global ecosystem (i.e. human and nature) and get skill of efficient overcoming the negative effects of moral destruction of existing forms of life, which are not fitted to the new and rapidly changing life-condition.
For better understanding above tasks we might remind the figure 2. The world society is represented here by the system: man(control-subsystem) – technology(labor-subsystem) (SMT). When the level of science-technology development was low, the external destructiveness of world socioeconomic activity was lower than external constructiveness of the developing natural environment. Therefore the natural environment could then rebuild itself into the form convenient for the world society. It was the result of natural homeostasis. In that time input energy (in larger sense, from environment) was generally unchanged.
In such conditions the development of the world society could depend on natural form of evolution, even – "social-Darwinism". It was possible then to create in excess new forms of life by a process of "trial and error" and select them by putting to the death "unfitted". When environment could not be destroyed by young, weak SMT, it was unnecessary to account external costs of socioeconomic activity. We needn’t have to conserve our environment, to care about it. We could then live and get mature "at the cost of the environment".
The first task in social development was to create strong and wise elite – the important factor of global homeostasis and future development of the world society (figure 9). Therefore it was possible then to treat weaker parts of human family as technology for realization this main developmental task.
Nowadays, in state of change (as a result of big science and technology progress) we are living in a quite different situation. The natural environment is permanently destabilized and is in the state of regression. As a result of it the shape(form) of input energy (figure 2) is also changing permanently. Our future life depends than on getting ability of:
- more efficient using of nowadays accessible resources,
- access in adequate time to new sources of resources, and
- support life of our environment.
Therefore we should get skill to adapt properly our forms of life, especially our orgware to such new and permanently changed external life conditions - to the state of change. We cannot do this adaptation by means of "trial and error", i.e. social-Darwinism methods. We must base this adaptation on the knowledge about the future life-conditions and other effects of developmental policy.
Because the results of such acts of adaptation are inevitably - even considerably - delayed, then we must do changes in orgware in anticipatory way. If change of orgware is not enough to adapt us to new life-condition we ought to prepare also proper software and hardware that will be necessary to life in changed life-conditions.
Therefore we have to predict changes in state of environment (including access to deficit resources and other dangers) and change our forms of life before new forms of environment causes socioeconomic damages, even big catastrophes.
It is only the first (linked to the left side of figure 2 – input-energy) part of adaptation to life in state of change. The second part is linked with our out-put energy: from SMT to environment.
In SoL approach the environment is - as and we are – also the life-system. Our life depends then on the life, high quality and proper form of environment. This environment is self-organizing system, with skill to defend its life and cooperate for common good. Therefore we ought to change our impacts on the environment – from destructive to constructive one. We must create such forms of production and consumption, which allow supporting our life as well as life of the environment. We must restore symbiosis form of mutual relations between humanity and natural environment. All our wastes should be used as a means of supporting life of nature environment. It is not all for permanent socioeconomic life and development in state of change. Our environment is changing. Therefore we should know the future needs of life of our environment. For life in the state of change we have to know not only changes in input impacts of environment, but also its future life-needs. And on such bases of prediction we ought to change - permanently and in anticipatory way – our forms of life for fitting them to permanently changing life-conditions.
Realization of these tasks is conditioned upon substitution of intellectual evolution for - nowadays dominating in socioeconomic life – social-Darwinism. Intellectual evolution means initial selection of new forms of life done (by means of popularly used computer simulation) in "virtual reality" instead of in practice.
It means not only the necessity to develop world information and education subsystem that allow such prediction and simulation. It means also necessity of change our value system into ecohumanistic one.
Ecohumanism is a partnership-based co-operation for the common good of all people (rich and poor, from countries highly developed and behind in development), their descendants, and natural environment - commonly supported by science and high technology.
Without such qualitatively new - ecohumanistic, symbiosis - social and socio-nature relations, it is impossible to avoid global catastrophe we are going to. Realization of above mentioned tasks means to carry out at once two sustainable developmental transformations: humanistic and eco-developmental (figure ….). It means to lift-up a lot of weaker part of world society – non-elite – on at least third rung of "human needs ladder" (figure 11). It also means not to slow the pace of world consumption, but to change its patterns.
It is a big challenge to world society, world power elite, to science-technology people – to transform our socioeconomic relations into one fitted to the state of change. Without such ecohumanistic transformation, introducing the sustainable development (figure 5) will be impossible. Instead of sustainable development we will reach very dangerous - for all people - regressive growth (figure 9).
For getting nowadays sustainable development we then ought to (figure 12):
1 - change our consciousness into ecohumanistic one and create collective ecohumanistc consciousness,
The ecohumanistic consciousness means the ability to:
- observe accidents that are going around us,
The eco-economy it is such economy, that is based on the:
- accounting of complex and long-term profits and costs of socioeconomic activity including social and nature environmental elements of it, and
Eco-economy is based on ecosocial principle. It means join access to wealth for mature socioeconomic subjects with their ecosocial usefulness, i.e. the creative, especially innovative, and for common good activity. It allows to use natural lust for putting up range of consumption as a drive for intellectual, innovative, for common good creative activity.
Eco-economy directs socioeconomic activity to support the development, i.e. putting up quality of life of human beings and environment.
In relation to existing techniques eco-economy directs innovative activity to put down the complex unit cost of using technique (CUCOT).
CUCOT is the unit cost, which take into account all costs connected with production, exploitation, annihilation and rebuilding environment destroyed with it. This cost includes the cost of getting access to new sources of resources depleted with using of given technique.
Eco-economy supports built of reserves of intellectual-material resources that can be indispensable for avoiding catastrophes not predicted.
The first step in ecohumanistic transformation should be building the information basis of sustainable development, i.e. the information basis of ecohumanistic consciousness and eco-economy.
5. The information basis for sustainable development
If we are really in the global crisis (figure 10) and above mentioned conceptual model SoL is adequate to real world than - probably - we are nowadays yet in the turning point.
We have two possibilities:
- dropping into third phase of global crisis (regressive growth – figures 6) – i. e. into new totalitarian system (Lebensraum policy, Orwell’ information society, "clash of civilizations", and "20-80% society"), false "development" and rapid destroying of world developmental reserves, orFor overcoming global crisis and achieving the sustainable development we ought to know inter alia future results of defense policy of our own, as well as of that one leaded by world superpowers. For this end and for introducing eco-economy we must introduce into world socioeconomic infrastructure quite new (a priori) feed back – FEED FORWARD
Therefore we ought to build as a first task commonly accessible World Integrated (and distributed) Warning Forecasting System (WIWFS).
As a next (and more difficult) step in creation of information basis of sustainable development we ought to build World Integrated Information System for Prediction and Measurable Evaluation (of effects of socio-economy activity and/or other environmental changes - WIISPME). The main task of WIISPME would be getting common access to simulation methods for particular development policy (including technological progress) and information needed for eco-economy, ecosocial justice and change of patterns of production and consumption into one based on symbiosis principle.
The realization of these both undertakings means creation of World Information Basis for Sustainable Development (WIBSD). This big task cannot be realized without changing the dominating value system into ecohumanistic one.
As an effect of creation WIBSD it would be possibly to lead proper developmental policy - based on systems engineering principle (figure 1) and introduce eco-economy. WISB allow to keep in state of change "a sound balance among the interactions of the impacts (positive and/or negative), or stresses, on the four major quality systems: People, Economic Development, Environment and Availability of Resources." (ECO, 2002). WIBSD allow for substitution of intellectual, especially innovative creativity for excessive biological creativity.
It is impossible to reject social Darwinism, introduce eco-economy and symbiosis ecosocial relations, avoid global catastrophe and achieve the sustainable development without building such complex information basis for intellectual evolution – the real ground of sustainable development. Without this - it is also impossible to lift up world power elite on the fifth rung of "ladder of human needs" (figure 11).
WIWFS – the first step in building of WIBSD - allow world elite to get believe that sustainable development and eco-economy are really possible and are real alternative to global catastrophe. And that with the help of creative forces of a social and natural environment we get enough time which is essential for indispensable ecohumanistic transformation. Ecohumanistic consciousness of world power elite allow for undertaking of second stage of building of WIBSD – WIISME, the information base for eco-economy and proper development of technology.
When we overcome the global crisis and achieve sustainable development, WIBSD help us (figure 5) to:
- support second phase of development by proper technological progress of software and hardware - in the way fitted to changing life-conditions and life needs of world family and environment,In the moment B we should start the new transformation. In this moment (B) we ought to predict and start to build new form of orgware, that is essential for support development. During this prediction we ought to get knowledge about new software and hardware that we should get for introducing this new form of orgware. The new form of orgware means not only simple change in socioeconomic infrastructure, but eventually also introducing quite new form of governance and value system.
6. For sustainable development - computer simulation aided world multilevel governance is essential
The main cause of global crisis is not overcome moral destruction of existing forms of life not fitted yet to new life-conditions rapidly changing with science-technology progress. This crisis is the result of lack of proper - adequate to state of change - control-subsystem of the world society and ecohumanistic value system. World socioeconomic system is over inert for controlling them in the primitive way of self-organization and "a posteriori" feed back principle (in such a way acts so called "free market") as well as on the centralized principle (figure 8).
The global partnership cooperation for common good is nowadays - in the state of change - essential. It is impossible to get such cooperation without of very efficient multilevel governance – based on subsidiarity principle.
The subsidiarity principle depends on:
- resolving the problems on the principle "one for everybody" that are not to be resolved by lower levels of organization, or the resolving of them would be over expensive.The higher is level of such control the larger is its range and long-sightedness. The main form of subsidiarity based control is indirect control by means of giving of information (including warning forecasting), formulation of common goals and building proper orgware forms.
For sustainable development we need such subsidiarity multilevel governance – global, as well as national, and of other local levels. But proper governance is impossible without access to information, especially about future results of its policy.
Therefore as an important step in building of such world multilevel governance I propose to create by UN professional World Center for Strategy of Sustainable Development (Michnowski, 1997).
The main task of Center would be creation of mentioned above World Information Basis for Sustainable Development (WIBSD). The next task it would be creation of eco-economy . Another important task would be computer simulation supervision of socio-economic and environmental Earth life-conditions and stimulation of defense actions for overcoming forecasted dangerous, supporting sustainable development and building reserves of resources needed for Unknown.
As a first steps in building WIBSD I propose to:
- do Meadows’s (system dynamics) type world warning forecasts year by year (Meadows and alt, 1993) ,
- transform national statistical offices into national offices for statistic and warning forecasting,
- build international system of mutual access to forecasting methods, dates, knowledge, and prognoses that are necessary for global and local warning forecasting.
The methods of world warning forecasting should be continuously developed with the help of proposed Center.
Nowadays we are living in the quite new life-state – in the STATE OF CHANGE. It is the result of big science-technology progress. We are not adapted to live and develop in such new life-conditions. The main cause of global crisis is rapidly pacing moral degradation of existing forms of life not fitted to the new, rapidly changed conditions of life of human and nature. For avoiding global catastrophe and achieving of sustainable development it is necessary to substitute intellectual evolution for social Darwinism. Computer simulation should be in state of change a basic method of selection of developmental undertakings – in "virtual reality", instead of in practice.. Continuation in state of change of old patterns of development through very expensive "trial and error" and putting to the pieces forms of life not fitted to the new life-conditions - in era of globalization lead us to global catastrophe.
For avoiding the global catastrophe we ought to change patterns of development. We - humankind - ought to achieve ethical maturity and symbiotical skill to develop "together with environment (social and/or natural)". For this end we should incorporate into our socioeconomic infrastructure quite new developmental mechanisms – FEED FORWARD and ECOHUMANISTIC value system. We should change patterns of consumption. Consumption of developed parts of world society should be used as a drive of their intellectual, especially innovative, activity. Consumption of weaker parts of world society should allow them reach maturity - education and possibility of their creative partnership cooperation in sustainable development activity.
Nowadays, the approaching dangerous must be eliminated in anticipatory way. Without Earth community partnership and cooperation for common good it is impossible to get access to adequate information and generate big intellectual, innovative creativeness that is indispensable for anticipatory elimination of negative effects of rapidly pacing moral destruction of existing forms of life.
For life in state of change we need efficient and SUBSIDIARITY multilevel GOVERNANCE. This governance must be based on world integrated information system - for aiding sustainable development policy.
For sustainable development we especially have to:
1 - create the possibility of prediction and measurable valuation of complex effects of socioeconomic activity and other changes in life-conditions of human beings and nature,As a result of it we could reach an opportunity to create new economy – ecohumanistic economy (eco-economy) - based on common good (egoaltruistic, ecohumanistic) value system and complex, long-term calculations of profits and costs (including social and environmental components).
To this end we ought to create, by the UN, the professional World Center for a Strategy of Sustainable Development
The main tasks of this Center ought to be creation of:
1. world integrated (and distributed) warning forecasting system,
2. world information system for prediction and measurable valuation of complex effects of socioeconomic activity and other changes in conditions of life.
3. ecohumanistic economy (eco-economy),
4. system of accumulation of intellectual and material resources that could be necessary for avoiding non predicted dangers.
Therefore I propose to recommend to Johannesburg Rio+10 UN Summit Meeting creation of the World Center for a Strategy of Sustainable Development and undertaking with help of this Center of large-scale international science, technology, and social operation of building information basis for sustainable development.
The creation of World Information Basis for Sustainable Development is essential for avoiding global catastrophe through Inclusive Globalization, eco-economy, sustainable development, multilevel governance and partnership for common good cooperation of world society and Earth community.
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Fey, Willard R., 2002, Organizational change from a new perspective: pattern feedback control in human systems, Ecocosm Dynamics Ltd. Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Proceedings of the XX International Conference System Dynamics Society, July 28 – August 1, 2002, Palermo, ITALY – http://www.systemdynamics.org/conf2002/proceedings/154Fey.pdf ,
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Michnowski, Leslaw, 1989, System informacyjny rozwijający się jako model rozwoju systemu społeczno-gospodarczego (Developing Information System as model of development of socioeconomic system), w: IV Ogólnopolskie Konwersatorium nt.: "Cybernetyka, Inteligencja, Rozwój" CIR'89, ZG PTC i COBNiD w Siedlcach, Siedlce 1989.
Michnowski Leslaw, 1994, Holistic Approach to Development, "Dialogue and Humanism". nr 2-3.
Michnowski, Leslaw, 1995, Jak żyć?, Ekorozwój albo … , " (How to live?, Ecodevelopment or), Wyd. "Ekonomia i Środowisko", Bialystok, http://www.psl.org.pl/kte/books.htm ,
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Michnowski, Leslaw, 1999, Czy regres czlowieczenstwa? (Is it regression of the humanity?), LTN-K. Warszawa,
Michnowski, Lesaw, 2002, World Integrated Warning Forecasting System Based on System Dynamics Principles as a Basic Factor in Sustainable Development , Proceedings of the XX International Conference System Dynamics Society, July 28 – August 1, 2002, Palermo, ITALY – http://www.systemdynamics.org/conf2002/proceedings/740Michnowski.pdf ,
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Wiener, Norbert, 1971, Cybernetyka czyli sterowanie i komunikacja w zwie/zęciu i maszynie (Cybernetics or control and communication in the animal and the machine), PWN, Warszawa.
To all the communities, governments and elites of the world!
We, who are gathered in Warsaw, at the World Congress of Universalism, both theoreticians and practicians: men and women of science, technology and faith as well as from other areas of activities - we all turn to you with an appeal to cooperate in the ECODEVELOPMENTAL TRANSFORMATION OF OUR CIVILISATION.
We appeal to you, in the spirit of cherishing human life and nature, to stop in a steady and gradual way the current ethically immature and pathological forms of GROWTH AT THE COST OF THE ENVIRONMENT. We appeal to you to replace them with qualitatively new forms of socio-economic life, which will achieve DEVELOPMENT TOGETHER WITH A SOCIAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.
New ECOHUMANISTIC forms of synergistic - mutually supportive, fruitful - coexistence are becoming possible as an indispensable condition for the SURVIVAL OF ALL, both rich and poor societies.
We are seriously concerned about the lack of a practical and positive response by world power elites, in spite of warnings from such respected sources as the Club of Rome, the Holy See (encyclical Sollicitudo rei socialis) as well as the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
A very high level of development in science and technology has been accomplished in the 20th century. It has rendered inefficient and wasteful the obsolete forms of economy. Because of these we have crossed the limits of nature's ability of self-reproduction to provide the needs for human life. Instead of integration we have fallen into a fundamental CONFLICT: HUMANKlND VERSUS NATURE. We face therefore a global socio-economic and ecological crisis. This crisis has already begun with PERIPHERAL and economically weaker or younger societies and their economies.
We must move to create harmony between both developed and underdeveloped communities; between the wealthy and the poor, as well us between Humankind and Nature - and simultaneously adjust the forms of life and economy to the requirements of a qualitatively new, present-day, SITUATION OF CHANGES in the interrelations of human life and nature. If we do not respond to this, we will not survive the current crisis or its results. Deep economic recession may lead to social disturbances, which destroy the wealth achieved by previous generations - the wealth so needed to sustain life and further development in the situation of change. This recession may lead to ECOFASCISM - an attempt to achieve a particular solution by minimizing the activity of the weaker parts of World Society. The danger will arise if the powerful and wealthy - while eliminating the weaker and depriving them of their life possessions - will try to overcome a mounting deficit of resources, while "carefully" protecting nature.
Meanwhile there is in fact no absolute deficit of material life resources. Sustainable and sufficient livelihood for all is possible through the properly stimulated development of science and technology; through the increase of human creativity, through socio-institutionai transformation in the forms of human existence, and through a change in procreation and consumption patterns. New ample sources will be found before the old ones are depleted. We can look forward to a good life not only for ourselves but also for FUTURE GENERATIONS.
To attain these ends it is necessary to direct our activities toward the INCREASE OF QUALITY - including the length of biological and creative LIFE OF ALL members of a human family. The basic problem is to change the mechanisms of institutions and economies - while taking into account all social and natural costs of human actions. It is crucial to create the social and scientific-technical basis for long-range development and to share the results of common work in proportion to the ECOSOCIAL USEFULNESS of its subjects.
In order to survive we must form a UNIVERSAL CIVILIZATION OF PARTNERSHIP based on the principle "to possess in order to be" to be a co-creator of life and future, both our own and that of the social and natural environment.
It is indispensable that we understand new limitations and the interdependence of human beings in the contemporary situation of change in order to overcome the deepening global crisis.
We promise to dedicate ourselves to act on behalf of the ecodevelopmental civilizational transformation. JOIN US! TRANSFORMATION OF OUR CIVILIZATION INTO AN ECODEVELOPMENTAL ONE IS ESSENTIAL!
The participants of the I-st World Congress of Universalism
Warsaw, August 1993
Sustainable Development Information Society Forum - Poland
Al. 3 Maja 2 m. 164
the sustainable development of our people (…) comprehensive vision for the future of humanity (…) poverty eradication, changing consumption and production patterns (…) pillars of sustainable development - economic development, social development and environmental protection (…) - WSSD - Johannesburg Declaration.
Dear Sir // Dear Madam
In this message we wish to inform you of an initiative presented by the delegation of the Polish government at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS, Geneva 2003, the relevant document is enclosed). That submission contained, inter alia, the following statements: (…) ways in which the world situation tends to evolve, creates an urgent need to build up a widely and freely accessible world information network. This network could serve to provide monitoring, forecasting and early warning (…) and thus help to implement the principles of sustainable development (SD). (…) This initiative aims to take up, on a global scale, the building of the information basis for SD-policy and SD-economy. The reasoning for this submission is as follows:
Systems research conducted in Poland on the causes of a variety of social pathologies - which are dangerously intensifying! - proves beyond doubt that these pathologies are being brought about by the existing and gradually exacerbating global crisis. This crisis could be overcome on the condition that social relations - in the global dimension - are re-oriented towards the common good, and adjusted so as to make effective and good use of achievements of science and technology progress by the society. In turn, to attain such a re-orientation, it is necessary to create a wisdom-based information society, which is far-sighted and flexible. For this to take place, priority should be given to the process of creation of a commonly accessible, world-wide system of:
- comprehensive monitoring;
of effects of policy, work and other changes in the life conditions of human- beings and nature in general.
Such a SD-information system should be globally-integrated and territorially distributed. °In order to bring about the creation of such an information system, it is essential to carry out a large-scale operation, requiring appropriate developments in science, technology and society at large.
Due to the lack of such an information foundation for the global and local governance, a covert or overt struggle for access to scarce and shrinking natural resources will inevitably grow and accelerate the crisis. This crisis, if unchecked, will lead to a global catastrophe. The deficit of these resources should, and, we believe can, be eliminated through international cooperation, which should replace the existing competition. That, however, requires not only political will, but also the deepening of a comprehensive and easily accessible knowledge about the consequences of human actions and inactions.
In November 2005 in Tunis, the second, and final part of the World Summit on Information Society is scheduled to take place. If the ends outlined above are to be achieved, it is necessary that this initiative obtains recognition and strong international support.
Given all the above, we wish to ask you to support us in bringing this initiative to life, as it is urgently needed for survival of the humankind.
We are deeply convinced that building of the information basis for SD-policy and SD-economy is essential for averting a global catastrophe and achieving sustainable development of the world society.
With best regards,
H.E. Professor Michal Kleiber
Minister of Scientific Research and Information Technology of the Republic of Poland
to the World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva, 11 December 2003
(…) We believe that the Internet and other ICTs technologies can be an effective tool for forecasting and preventing global threats. It can also be a perfect means to support the implementation of the idea of sustainable development. In my opinion, ways in which the world situation tends to evolve, creates an urgent need to build up a widely and freely accessible world information network. This network could serve to provide monitoring, forecasting and early warning with regard to elements capable of triggering a global change and thus help to implement the principles of sustainable development. Such a network would be vital in bringing us closer to a globalization process and its numerous phenomena ranging from the management of human settlements, world eco-systems, population movements up to other crucial elements of global transformation. (…)
by Leslaw Michnowski
Member of the Committee of Prognosis “Poland 2000 Plus”
by the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Polish Association for the Club of Rome
Chairman of Sustainable Development Creators'Club
The Polish Federation for Life
Al. 3, Maja 2, m. 164, 00-391, Warszawa, POLAND
Tel./fax (+48-22) 768-10-19, Cel. (+48) 601-264-164
Links to posters by Leslaw:
by Leslaw Michnowski
To live in state of change and risk we need the Wisdom Based Global Information Society. Therefore we need also information efficient, subsidiarity, multilevel and global, governance. This governance must be based on the World SD-Information System - for aiding SD-policy.
The creation of commonly accessible World (integrated and distributed) SDInformation System for Comprehensive Monitoring, Long-term Prediction and Measurable Evaluation - of effects of socio-economic activity and/or other environmental changes is essential to avoid the global catastrophe and to achieve sustainable development, through partnership for common good cooperation of world society based on multilevel (and global) governance, SD-economy and Inclusive Globalization (CIA, 2000).
Read complete research paper at:
HOW TO AVOID THE GLOBAL CATASTROPHE? The Information Basis for Sustainable Development Policy and Economy http://www.psl.org.pl/kte/howtoavoid.pdf
Subject: Re: Global Parliament will meet in Libya Sept. 17, 18 and 19, 2005
Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 11:51:26 +0200
From: "Leslaw Michnowski"
To: "Global Dialogue 2005"
I propose to include into: http://globalcommunitywebnet.com/gdufour/2004WorkMichnowski.htm below mentioned text.
Information basis for sustainable development policy and economy is essential for survival
“the sustainable development of our people (…) comprehensive vision for the future of humanity (…) poverty eradication, changing consumption and production patterns (…) pillars of sustainable development – economic development, social development and environmental protection (…)”.
– WSSD - Johannesburg Declaration
To overcome global crisis and avoid global catastrophe we need to achieve sustainable development (SD) of world society. Most important factor of SD is economic development. But it needs sustained economic growth.
Sustained economic growth is conditioned on decoupling and large scale R&D activity for getting access to new sources of resources, when old ones are depleted.
For this end we need to change up-to date, wasteful economy into SD–economy.
This new, SD-economy ought to allow:
- complex cost-benefit accounting, and
These eco-socially just social relations ought to stimulate large scale common interest intellectual (cognitive and innovative) creative activity – the basis of decoupling and other SD-R&D activity.
To introduce such cost-benefit accounting it is necessary to internalize externalities – social and natural.
For this end we propose – it is Polish initiative for World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis 2005) - undertaking large-scale international science-technology operation of building information basis for SD-policy and SD-economy.
As a result of this operation it would be creation of commonly accessible World (integrated and distributed) SD-Information System for Complex Monitoring, Far-sighted Prediction and Measurable Evaluation (of effects of socio-economy activity and other environmental changes),
Justification of above mentioned conclusions, see: http://www.psl.pl/kte/
WORLDWIDE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM
AS A PRECONDITION FOR THE REALIZATION OF UNITED NATIONS GOALS
by Leslaw Michnowski
Co-founder of Sustainable Development Information Society Forum – Poland
- Committee for Futures Studies "Poland 2000 Plus" Polish Academy of Sciences;
Chairman of Sustainable Development Creators’ Club - Poland, www.psl.org.pl/kte
" This Summit (WSIS - LM) must be a summit of solutions. It must push forward the outcome of the World Summit held two months ago at the United Nations in New York. It must lead to information and communications technologies being used in new ways, which will bring new benefits to all social classes. (…) an "information society"? We mean one in which human capacity is expanded, built up, nourished and liberated, by giving people access to the tools and technologies they need (…) The hurdle here is more political than financial."
STATEMENT BY H. E. MR. KOFI ANNAN
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
WSIS, Tunis, 16 November 2005
(…) In the old world of finite natural resources-like oil, coal or iron ore-one country's exploitation of those resources meant there were less available for other countries. But in the new world of infinite information resources, one country's creation of wealth based on information can be shared by all. The value of information increases, the more it is shared.(...)"
STATEMENT BY MR. YOSHIO UTSUMI
SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION
WSIS, Tunis, 16 November 2005
“(…) information is the key to (sustainability - LM) transformation. (…) It means relevant, compelling, select, powerful, timely, accurate information flowing in new ways to new recipients, carrying new concept, suggesting new rules and goals (rules and goals that are themselves information). (…) When its information flows are changed, any system will behave differently”.
(See: Tools for Transition to Sustainability, in: Meadows and alt, Limits to Growth, the 30 -Years Update)
1. In what way to avoid the global catastrophe – environmental, world war (for access to deficit resources and “clean” environment, Lester R. Brown, Eco-economy, Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble), and/or clash of civilizations?
2. To avoid the global catastrophe we ought to describe the essence of global crisis in the new way (Michnowski L., http://www.psl.org.pl/kte/artlm.htm ).
3. Nowadays, we (humankind) live in quite new environmental situation: in the State of Change (Flux) and Risk (SCR), as a result of big scientific–technological and organizational progress .
4. In SCR the main cause of global ecosystem degradation is rapidly pacing moral degradation (out-datedness) of existing forms of life - not fitted to new rapidly emergency life conditions.
5. Therefore the global crisis is the result of (currently large inert, chaotic) world society lack of skill for farsightedness, flexibility, intellectual and material reserves creation.
6. To achieve such skill we have to use ITC in such a way that allow the access to knowledge about future effects of human activity and other changes in environment.
7. We should also develop flexible (computer) automation in proper and commonly accessible way.
8. Also - change crisis generating, egoistic economy into sustainable development (SD)-economy, based on:
- complex accounting of benefits and cost including natural and social (human) components (OECD),
9. It would allow to achieve the main UN Goals:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2005 World Summit Outcome, p. 120);
10. For change currently crisis-generating egoistic economy into SD (sustainable development)-economy - we ought to build information possibility for internalizing externalities (not only natural, but also human – OECD, Club of Rome), and base policy and economy on common interest principle.
11. It would allow to eliminate unemployment by stimulating popular developmental creative activity on wisdom (intellectual evolution) principle.
12. Creation of information bases of SD-policy and SD-economy is especially necessary for:
- DECOUPLING (the range of economic growth from the range of depletion growth of deficit natural resources and degradation of environment);
13. Precondition of such change in policy and economy means the big international task (Sojuz-Apollo scale) of building (in multi stage way, based on G. Nadler method, continuously under development) a commonly accessible, world-wide - net (and grid) type - system of:
14. This task ought to be preceded by international research, which will describe conditions for, and facilitate creation of the WORLDWIDE SD-INFORMATION SYSTEM, as well as the WORLDWIDE FLEXIBLE AUTOMATION SYSTEM. It allows to get answer in what way to start building of such follow–up of Tunis outcome.
15. Effects of above research would be presented during three international conferences (for example in Warsaw) of the INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON A WISDOM-BASED GLOBAL INFORMATION SOCIETY – TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WORLD SOCIETY:
Conference I: Information efficiency and warning forecasting as preconditions of SD-policy and SD-economy (2007).
16. The first goal of above initiative ought to be achieving 2005 World Summit Outcome (p. 56 f): to establish of a worldwide early warning system, including WSIS Tunis Outcome (Agenda for the Information Society, p. 91 c): working expeditiously towards the establishment of standards-based monitoring and worldwide early-warning systems linked to national and regional networks and facilitating emergency disaster response all over the world.
17. We ought to treat Meadows’s – Forrester (Limits to Growth, Beyond the Limits, …) warning forecasting, as well as Global Earth Observation System of Systems, as elements of global early warning system.
18. I propose also to publish in English and get under world wide discussion my book: Jak zyc? Ekorozwoj albo ..., (How to Live? Eco-development [Sustainable Development] or ... - http://www.psl.org.pl/kte/jzcont.htm
19. Realization of above proposals would allow to convince the world politicians (decision-makers) that overcoming of global crisis is only possible by means of popular creation of information, based on knowledge about future effects of human activity and common interest value system.
MAIN CONCLUSIONS OF MY SD-CYBERNETICS RESEARCH:
1. No limits to WISDOM based growth and SD.
2. In the State of Change and Risk the main cause of degradation is rapidly pacing MORAL DEGRADATION (out-datedness) of existing forms of life - not fitted to new rapidly emergency life conditions.
3. For SD we have to create farsightedness, flexibility, and intellectual and material reserves creation possibility of world society.
4. To overcome global crisis – we have especially to:
- get access to knowledge about the future effects of human activity; and
Justification of above conclusions, inter alia, see:
- How to Create Sustainable Development Global Information Society?, Poster for "Global Dialogue 2004" - http://www.psl.org.pl/kte/postergd.pdf ;
The World is in the global crisis. We are exploiting our natural resources of minerals and fuels faster than we are gaining access to alternative sources. We are polluting the natural environment faster than the environment can regenerate itself to reach the level suitable for human needs (WWF, 2006). We are changing climate dangerously (Stern, 2006). Obsoleteness - moral degradation of the existing forms of life - is going on faster than new life-forms , consistent with new life-conditions , are being introduced. This situation is complicated also due to demographic expansion, especially in those parts of the human family that are lagging in their development. For sustainable development – in accordance with our conference theme – it is necessary to change approach to natural resources. A lot of them are very complicated – highly developed - products of Earth evolution, They ought not to be primitively combusted. On the contrary, they ought to be used as factors of new high technology products. Simple energy as agent of different kinds of movement ought to be as soon as possible drawn from Sun. With help of ultra-intellectual mechanisms it would be possible to by-pass, by world society (SMT), Earth natural environment (Env) and reach indirect access to Sun (in future also other Cosmic) negentropy. Such by-passing would help to minimize negative consequences for Env of humans life-supporting activity and create solid foundations for sustainable development of the world society.
Without achieving sustainable development, humankind survival of global crisis would be impossible. But for abandon oxymoron approach to - and start serious treating - sustainable development idea, verification of above hypothesis, that it is possible – with highly developed world society homeostat and ultra-intellectual evolution mechanisms - to convert inner entropy into outer negentropy, would be very useful.
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