The Millenium Alliance for Humanity & the Biosphere (MAHB) of Stanford University is a collaboration of natural scientists and social scientists working together to implement behavioral, institutional and cultural changes necessary for humans to “ensure a sustainable and equitable future for everyone.”
The process is called foresight intelligence. It seems that this particular kind of intelligence is innate in humans but not well developed on a large scale. MAHB’s goal is to better tap into our foresight intelligence to reduce humanity’s ecological footprint and social inequities, moving toward true sustainability on a global scale, before it is too late.
The political class in much of the world has barely scratched the surface in pursuing this goal, leaving what MAHB calls the Civil Society to try and make a meaningful contribution.
According to MAHB: “The term ‘civil society’ includes scholars, non-governmental organizations, businesses, social activists, and individuals who share a vision for a sustainable world, respecting the rights and prosperity of all humanity. While the MAHB is pluralistic in its acceptance of differences and diversity a generally accepted core set of values has emerged globally and constitute the public good: that all humans should be able to live peacefully, securely and sustainably.”
The Power of Ted. That’s not a title, but a characterization. Of the educational value of a variety of presentations by particularly remarkable speakers, people who have special insights of value to share with the world. According to Wikipedia, “TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event. The annual conference began in 1990, in Monterey, California. TED’s early emphasis was technology and design, consistent with its origins in the Silicon Valley. The events are now held in Long Beach and Palm Springs in the U.S. and in Europe and Asia, offering live streaming of the talks. They address a wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture, often through storytelling. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can.”
Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Rodney Mullen, Bill Gates, educator Salman Khan, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners. If you haven’t come across any of these presentations on the web, be advised that more than a thousand of them are now available for free online.
Paul Gilding spoke at the TED2012 conference in February. Author of The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World, Gilding is an advocate and adviser to nongovernmental organizations and businesses and the former chief executive of Greenpeace. Sara Barczak, Program Director, High Risk Energy Choices at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy recently brought Gilding’s talk to my attention.