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|Message from the Presidency|
Heitor Gurgulino de Souza
When I was elected President of the World Academy of Art and Science at the end of last year, I told my colleagues: “It is indeed a great honour to be your President, but it is also a great challenge”, especially to provide continuity to the momentum given to our Academy by Ivo Šlaus and Garry Jacobs during the last few years. But together with the election of Winston Nagan as the new Chairman of our Board of Trustees, in fact we have been able to significantly enlarge and strengthen our collective leadership team. This is reflected in the reports in this newsletter. Much has been accomplished, but much more still needs to be done. For that we’ll need the collaboration of all our Fellows.
Library of Alexandria
The first half of 2014 has been a period of unprecedented activity for the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS), with many firsts to be noted. Our initiative to found the World University Consortium (WUC) fructified in February with the first meeting of WUC charter members at the Library of Alexandria, in Egypt, as reported in the The establishment of WUC marks a major step in the effort of the Academy to reach out to other organizations and expand our network of collaborating institutions.
WAAS also partnered with the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences & Arts on a stimulating, well-attended conference on “Transition to a New Society” held in Podgorica, Montenegro, in March.
It also conducted three sessions at the Library of Alexandria’s conference on BioVision 2014 in April.
This was followed by a landmark meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan on April 30th to promote collaboration between a dozen organizations on a new “Human-Centred Paradigm” as reported at length in this newsletter.
In early May, WAAS co-sponsored the Global Roundtable in Budapest and our first event in Latin America in many years, when we collaborated to host the XI International Colloquium on “Global Crisis and Changes of Paradigms: Current Issues”, from May 6-8th in Brasilia, Brazil.
This newsletter also reports on the expansion of the WAAS network with the addition of four new WAAS Centres and Partners.
I am also very pleased to welcome all new Fellows, Associated Fellows and Junior Fellows to the World Academy who were elected earlier this month and are introduced in this newsletter. The elections also endorsed important amendments to the Academy’s By-laws to improve the effectiveness of our dynamic management team. I specially wish to express my deep appreciation to our colleagues of the Executive Committee and the continuing support of our Board of Trustees to the Academy’s increasing level of activities. This year marks a critical landmark in our efforts to engage more of our talented, dedicated members in leadership roles in the Academy and we look forward to building ever-expanding circles of leadership, active involvement and full engagement in the years to come.
Heitor Gurgulino de Souza
BIOVISION CONFERENCE REPORT by L. Popovich
YOUNG ENERGY FOR GLOBAL CHALLENGES by A. Krumberger
WAAS-CERN PARTNERSHIP & COLLOQUIUM by H. Schopper
SDEWES by N. Duić
GLOBAL ROUNDTABLE by I. Šlaus
NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS REPORT by N. Neškovic & S. Bahia
|Baku Conference Report|
|Baku Preparatory Meeting of New Paradigm Consortium Partners|
The current socio-economic-political paradigm is unsustainable. It is destroying natural, human and social capitals. A change of course is essential. The call to change the current paradigm was initiated by Aurelio Peccei and the founding of the Club of Rome more than 40 years ago. It is now accepted by many leading institutions.
On April 30, 2014, the World Academy together with the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC) organized a meeting in Baku of organizations working on solutions to the current global crisis in order to explore the possibility of forging a consortium of organizations to pool their complementary capabilities in a collaborative endeavor. In addition to WAAS and NGIC, the meeting included representatives of Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Club of Madrid, Club of Rome, European Leadership Network, European Movement International, Future World Foundation, Green Cross International, Library of Alexandria, Partnership for Change, Pugwash and the World University Consortium. Other organizations may also be invited to join this endeavor.
This meeting follows six other WAAS conferences on the need for a New Paradigm in Human Development conducted over the past 15 months in Trieste, Geneva, Alexandria, Washington, Ottawa and Podgorica and was followed by the Brasilia meeting in May 2014.
|The Club of Rome organized several conferences and actions, notably “Change the Course” on the anniversary of the Titanic disaster and a recent meeting in Castell de Castellet, Spain.
All analyses clearly demonstrate the need for a major paradigm change. The change has to encompass social, economic and political spheres. It has to be holistic. All aspects have to be approached simultaneously and promptly, and should be human-centered. A new paradigm maintains and preserves all valid aspects of the existing paradigm in the domain of their validity. These conclusions have been reaffirmed by participants at the Baku meeting.
Participants at the Baku meeting unanimously stressed their readiness to continue to work together, forming a consortium/alliance of individuals and organizations (in case of organizations their respective leadership has to approve such an alliance) where each organization through its uniqueness and specialty will organize studies, research and activities aimed at formulating new paradigm and developing a strategy of achieving new socio-economic-political paradigm.
Stakeholders will be actively involved in this strategic change process and contribute to the betterment of their local and national communities, to a renaissance of scientific and educational excellence and to fulfill their core values and mission.
|Reflections on the New Paradigm Project|
Following the Baku meeting on the New Paradigm Consortium, I would like to share some afterthoughts that hopefully can bring us closer to an understanding of the challenges and difficulties involved in our collaborative effort to formulate a New Paradigm of Human Development.
First, we need to define what we mean by the term ‘New Paradigm of Human Development’. Are we concerned exclusively with the resource limitations of the current economic model, “the collision with nature”? Or are we concerned with the broader issue of civilizational shifts? Is our objective to evolve a comprehensive road map that could provide a blueprint of steps and efforts needed to adapt to the global challenges or to develop new approaches to the problems of human development? One of the challenges we will face is how to avoid the usual dichotomies (technocratic versus humanistic, economic versus developmental, doomsday alarmism versus “let’s make more money out of crises”) in formulating the Mission.
The problem of resources constraints is obvious and shared by all the participants. Therefore I will leave it for the moment as the least controversial or “dispute charged”, and also because Club of Rome, WAAS and other networks have accumulated a lot of thinking on these matters.
However if we assume that our civilisation is now experiencing a systemic crisis and entering into a new state, we perceive a pressing need for new concepts and new categories adequate to facing this extraordinary situation. We need to develop a new content-based vocabulary for the changing social context, for the new model of social life. Presently we lack appropriate terms and, therefore, are confined to existing models, artificial constructs and familiar concepts, such as the Post-industrial or Information Society, the End of History, the New Barbarianism, the Clash of Civilisations, Globalisation, etc.
Changes in the world’s political, social and legal order, and the transformation of global “modus operandi” also need to be examined. We are currently in a transition period, in which the elements of a new, post-modern world historically coexist with the realities of the modern epoch. The system of international relations and international legal institutions is changing literally before our eyes. Numerous changes are occurring in the models of social, economic, and political activity, in projections of power and authority. The cultural landscape with its relevant “content structures” (democracy and liberalism for examples) is changing simultaneously. Human behavioural patterns and their matching mechanisms are acquiring new systemic qualities.
Other components of change include mutations of the systems, forms and methods of governance, the birth of new and competing organisational structures for which we lack adequate and accepted definitions. Therefore, we are forced to use “content-meaningless” apophatical concepts such as “new organisations”. Or we are compelled to describe the situation using a multitude of prefixes such as “post”, “neo”, “anti”, “para”, “quasi”, and “meta” to point at the phenomenal novelty that unfortunately does not explain anything about their characteristics or about their essence. Or we resort to exotic neologisms such as “geo-economic content analysis”, “non-linear war”, “glocalisation”, “diasporic public spheres”, etc. Before launching practical work, we need to be clear about the frameworks we plan to use.
The recent “Environmental Leadership Award” was given to the Club of Rome “for decades of warnings of a deteriorating environment and limits to growth”.
Is our goal today to “replicate” the success of the Limits to Growth as a scientific alert of the challenges we face at the new “level of development”? I doubt if this would be sufficient or effective, given the number of writings and documents available on this subject. Clearly the “new product” should add value to the public discourse and go further than that and provide “systemic solutions framework”. We have accumulated a lot of ideas on the economic transformations that are needed and some very promising possible recommendations and scenarios. This might look like the “lowest hanging fruit” intellectually. Unfortunately, picking the lowest hanging fruit sometimes could be counterproductive (let’s not forget Eve’s story). Seriously, I have never been convinced by Marxist materialism which is embedded in the famous dictum, “the being determines the consciousness”.
Today social dynamics are not limited to the economic aspect of the approaching global revolution. Global changes are ultimately determined by a new organisation of individual and social consciousness. These modifications produce a new typology of social activity, political and economic practices, and so on. But first of all, such modifications result in the genesis of a new culture and its active “protagonists”. And here, unfortunately, there has been much less thinking. Therefore, the easy way – a small group drafting followed by a larger group draft upgrading – might not work. We will need first to invent the thinking that is needed and find ways to collect or generate it from within our ranks or outside our networks.
Another aspect of the goals problem is the target. Shall we target decision-makers, legislators, general public, or academia? Clearly the choice will dictate the formats and instruments used. We might be expansive and adapt different elements of the project (scientific, outreach, action) to different targets with matching instruments (also requires clarification and definition).
This list of initiative mapping “musts” is clearly non-exhaustive, purely judgemental and subjective. Therefore I would like to conclude by suggesting several practical (organisational) proposals that could be helpful in the organisation of our work:
These steps in my opinion could help expedite the preparatory work and provide some structure for project implementation.
|An Agenda of Work for the New Paradigm Consortium|
The current socio-economic-political paradigm is unsustainable. It is destroying natural, human and social capital. A change of course is essential. Rapid globalization, the accelerated pace of change in the global economic, political, technological, scientific, social and environmental spheres, and the growing complexity of the interactions and inter-dependencies between these spheres present unparalleled challenges to human security, welfare and well-being, which have thus far defied solution by piecemeal, sectoral strategies based on existing concepts and national level policy initiatives. Faulting current approaches has so far proven insufficient to bring about a significant change in thinking and action. But the potential upside of alternative futures has not been sufficiently documented or projected.
A comprehensive strategy is needed to substantiate that practical and effective solutions are possible to successfully address these challenges, backed by quantified research and reliable measures of the desired outcomes. Effective action will require a wide range of expertise and a consortium of organizations with a common vision, shared values and complementary capabilities can achieve far more than the sum of the results that may issue from their separate individual initiative.
The agenda of work for a comprehensive approach to paradigm change intended to encompass all the critical stages of “Leadership in Thought that Leads to Action” should include the following major components:
1. Values: A change in paradigm implies a change in the values that motivate our actions. Values offer essential wisdom regarding the conditions for survival, accomplishment and human fulfilment. An exploration of the values by which global society can overcome the present challenges and convert them into pathways to higher levels of human welfare and well-being is urgently needed. It should be combined with research into the process by which significant changes in civilizational values have been brought about in the past and the possible actions by which a value change can now be consciously effected.
2. Theoretical Framework: A new paradigm needs also to be based on a wider conception and more profound perception of the interdependence of activities, complexity of interactions, global scope and reach, and central role of human beings in determining their own future. Economic growth is a grossly inadequate notion for charting humanity’s future. Without a wider conception of human development and the social processes by which it is effected, we are likely to find ourselves largely confined by existing concepts to prevailing policy options.
3. Deep Drivers: Society evolves. Every paradigm change involves a movement of the society-at-large along a values-pathway driven by deeper social forces pressing to emerge on the surface. These emerging deep drivers provide the energy and effective power for a change in direction. The work of the consortium can immensely benefit from research to identify the underlying forces that are already preparing global society today for a change of paradigm.
4. Comprehensive Strategy: Participating organizations have already identified many essential institutional changes and policy initiatives applicable to different sectors and levels of global society. But thus far these represent separate pieces rather than a clear and coherent road map for the future. As all dimensions of global society contribute to the current dilemma, it is necessary to show how a comprehensive strategy will impact on both individual elements and their mutually dependent interactions and what would be the overall impact of implementation on human security, welfare and well-being.
5. Quantitative Analysis: Quantification is a powerful tool for effective communication. Quantification and modelling can provide compelling evidence capable of altering public opinion and garnering political will. Quantifying the potential benefits of a radical change of course will provide essential documentation to influence academia, public opinion, and decision-makers.
6. New Measures: A new paradigm will require more appropriate measures for monitoring human progress. Without new measures, we will remain trapped within the current framework which regards growth as synonymous with human development. Reconceptualizing progress as a movement toward higher levels of sustainable human welfare and security, rather than simply and crudely as a movement toward higher levels of unsustainable growth and consumption would constitute an important contribution when combined with a comprehensive strategy of how to achieve it and quantitative projections regarding the results.
7. Public Awareness & Support: These elements will only generate significant impact when they are projected to the public-at-large through effective strategies for communication, education, dissemination and debate.
8. Political Will: The goal of new theory, strategy, measures, quantitative analysis and public education must be to effect the functioning of public and private institutions as well as the formulation and implementation of policies by governments, the private sector and other institutions of civil society. Therefore a comprehensive approach must include a strategy for influencing public discourse and political action.
9. Plan on Action: In order to ensure the necessary grounding in reality and to achieve the concentrated intensity required for significant impact, all these elements need to be directed and translated into a plan of ACTION designed to effect real change at the practical level.
10. Goal: A plan that is intended to capture the attention, interest, and imagination of the global public will need to be both convincing and inspiring. Coherent theory, careful analysis and better measures can generate conviction. The inspiration can be generated by a compelling vision such as doubling the welfare of human beings on a sustainable basis.
All these components are essential, complementary and mutually reinforcing. The strategy proposed will be to draw upon the excellent work already done by consortium members and others, reinforcing it by better theory, measures and quantitative research.
|Transition to a New Society|
|Report on the Second MASA Conference in Podgorica|
Human society is currently undergoing changes of a nature unprecedent in magnitude and intensity. The outcome of this development will be a different type of civilization based mainly on knowledge, information, communication and most importantly, social mobility. One of the main difficulties in this transition is the growing gap between the accelerating pace of technological change and the slower pace of cultural, social and spiritual evolution. The changes in technologies, in turn, are linked to broader issues, including political and economic change, energy, natural resources, food supply, health, individual quality of life, and many others.
The conference was conducted from 20-22 March 2014 in Podgorica, Montenegro, hosted and organized by Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts in collaboration with the World Academy, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA), and the All European Academies (ALLEA). About 100 participants were drawn from more than 30 countries and the conference included 24 Fellows of WAAS.
The conference focused on three major topics: Political and Economic Change, Environment, Energy and Sustainability and Humans and Machines. The opening session was addressed by the Prime Minister of Montenegro and the Presidents of WAAS, EASA, MASA, ALLEA, UIA (International Union of Academies).
Presentations and discussion centered on questions related to the challenges posed by the emerging global context, the nature of the new paradigm that is needed, and strategies for bringing it. Papers examined issues related to the social and moral responsibility of scientists for building a new world, possible scenarios for transition, the role of education and human development, uncertainty and transition, socio-ecological business, ethics and new economy, identity and world law, religion and politics, climate change, the global environmental market, health, food, problems of urbanization and human habitats, energy, land use, robotics, technology, networking, mobility and the role of young scientists. Proceedings of the conference are being prepared for publication. Papers by WAAS Fellows can be found on the
On March 22 a special session was organized to introduce the World University Consortium and discuss the role it can play in the development of new design concepts for a world-class system of higher education accessible to all human beings.
Baku Conference Photos
|BioVision Alexandria 2014 Report|
Following the meeting of the World University Consortium’s (WUC) charter members at Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria) in February, Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Library, Director of WUC and WAAS Fellow, invited the World Academy and WUC to conduct three sessions at the 7th Biennial International on April 7-9, 2014. A specific goal of BioVision Alexandria was to increase participation of developing countries and create significant roles for them in the global exchange of knowledge and best practices. The conference
|examined the latest and emerging scientific discoveries and inquired into ways they will shape our world and worldviews. The theme of BioVision 2014 was “New Life Sciences: The Next Decade.”
The conference gave prominent attention to the current revolution in online education and the leading-edge endeavor of WUC to promote accessible and affordable world-class higher education. A plenary session of the first day of the conference was co-organized by WUC and the Library and was entitled “The Coming Revolution in Higher Education.”
Ismail Serageldin explored the need and potential for reinventing the university to attune it to rapidly changing social needs by harnessing newly emerging technologies. He characterized tomorrow’s universities and identified seven key aspects of the future of knowledge as the pillars of the knowledge revolution: meta-web high knowledge connectivity and high social connectivity, image-based virtual reality research, mutually enhancing relationship between humans and machines, the science of complex systems, computation and research, convergence of fields such as bio/info/nano technology, and pluri-disciplinarity. Examining the manifold crucial functions served by universities in society, he stressed the tremendous potential benefits a well-designed global university program would offer when adapted to the diverse needs of different nations, regions, age groups.
Garry Jacobs, CEO of WUC, urged the need for a dramatic and immediate expansion of the global system of higher education to accommodate the tremendous influx of students in the next ten years. He characterized education as the most effective technology developed so far for promoting the conscious social transformations needed to address today’s global challenges. Online education is a potent pedagogical model for both enhancing the quality and improving the accessibility and affordability of higher education.
Alberto Zucconi, Secretary General of WUC, delineated the foundational tenets and organizational principles of the Consortium. WUC is an inclusive international, interdisciplinary, and intersectoral community dedicated to the protection and promotion of human potential, human rights, synergistic collaboration, sustainable development and biodiversity. Working in collaboration with universities, research institutes, NGOs, corporations and governments, it will seek to develop and disseminate new types of transdisciplinary courses, new pedagogical methods and technologies, and new strategies worldwide.
Tracing back the evolution of WUC to the idea of an informal world university envisioned by WAAS’ founders and the resounding enthusiasm generated at the World Academy Forum at the University of California Berkeley in 2013, Ljudmila Popovich identified WUC as not just another institution but rather as a New Culture of Learning. WUC seeks to transform the very way in which educational institutions and universities function. She pointed to the organizational, policy-making, funding, technical, curriculum, pedagogical and consciousness changes required to make the great leap toward such globally transformative goal. She characterized the new learning culture as an inclusive cultural climate, a holistic system of care and support, and a social movement created and co-created for the intellectual development and greater well-being of all humanity.
The WUC plenary session was followed by an interactive workshop in which students and faculty raised questions and shared their insights and concerns regarding the state of higher education today and the critical need for change. Azza El Kholy, Head of the Academic Research Sector of the Library of Alexandria, stressed the need for greater emphasis on Humanities, not only in the programs across the disciplines but also in any discussion of the future of research, knowledge and social advances. She emphasized the capacity of the Humanities to paint a bigger picture, create a more holistic approach, and infuse humanistic values into all disciplines and intellectual discourse. Rita Wilson, student at the English Department of the University of Alexandria, offered an impassioned perspective on the challenges of her generation’s education in Egypt. Alberto Zucconi addressed the importance of education for the development of the whole personality capable of making choices beneficial to both the individual and society. Mila Popovich proposed the notion of quantum learning, according to which the slightest shifts in the deepest levels of consciousness have dramatic external effects and consequences.
A third session conducted by WAAS on “Consciousness according to Science, Philosophy, and Spirituality,” focused on the nature of human consciousness and the shift in consciousness necessary to address current challenges and invent the next stage of human development. Garry Jacobs
|depicted consciousness as the most remarkable phenomenon in the universe, examined different and potentially complementary conceptions of it, and contemplated the future of consciousness research. Mila Popovich spoke on the issues of quantum computation, artificial intelligence, and consciousness and the relationship among them. Alberto Zucconi concentrated on the development of the whole rounded individual being to ensure individual and collective well-being. The presentations elicited intense interest and enthusiastic interactions among an overflowing hall of participants.
The response of students and other participants confirmed the need for a metaframe of learning and knowledge that WUC plans to afford by creating comprehensive, overarching foundation courses which address the interrelated nature of all aspects of human and planetary ecology, the principle and process of accomplishment relevant to a trans-disciplinary science of society, and the study of universal values needed to support the next stage of human development.
Azza El Kholy, Ismail Serageldin, Ljudmila Popovich,
|XI International Colloquium in Brasilia|
|Global Crises & Paradigm Changes|
Joanílio Rodolpho Teixeira
On the initiative of Joanílio Rodolpho Teixeira, Professor Emeritus at the University of Brasilia and Fellow of WAAS, the Academy was invited to participate in a high level economics conference in Brasilia on May 6-8, 2014 entitled “Global Crisis and Changes of Paradigms: Current Issues”. This was the 11th in a series of annual international economics conferences exploring alternative theory and strategy for addressing pressing global challenges.
Economics has been primarily concerned with understanding how economies work in order to discover which policies could make them work better. Growth, distribution, inflation, trade and employment have been some of the main concerns of macroeconomic theories. Yet few economists foresaw the scale of the financial and economic crisis from 2008, and few have been able to propose alternative economic paradigms to respond to it. The main objective of the Colloquium was to provide a platform for a productive exchange of ideas, theories and policies that might identify possible paradigm shifts and better informed policies for both national and global governance.
The event was sponsored by WAAS together with the University of Brasilia (UnB), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Rio Branco Institute (Brazilian Ministry of External Relations), and the International Celso Furtado Center for Development Policies. WAAS President Heitor Gurgulino de Souza provided an overview of the work of the Academy related to the current global crisis. Winston Nagan, Chair of the Board of Trustees, explored the conceptual underpinnings, legal and human rights implications of the current neo-liberal paradigm.
|WAAS CEO Garry Jacobs provided an overview of the Academy’s New Paradigm initiative, highlighting the need for a comprehensive, trans-disciplinary, human-centered approach to human development, the urgent need for new theory and catalytic strategies that could be applied to accelerate the transition toward a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable paradigm.
A special session on the World Academy was conducted at Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) on May 8 and inaugurated by Glaucius Oliva, President of CNPq, and Heitor Gurgulino de Souza. Winston Nagan provided a historical perspective on the origins and mission of the World Academy. He traced the Academy’s commitment to the social responsibility of science back to the invention and first use of nuclear weapons, which raised serious concerns among the founders of WAAS regarding the social implications and policy consequences of knowledge.
Emil Constantinescu, Former President of Romania who heads the Academy’s new center in Romania and its Euro-Mediterranean Initiative, examined the importance of fostering close relationships between the university and society. Garry Jacobs introduced the work of the World University Consortium to promote a global initiative to make world-class, affordable, socially-relevant higher education available to humanity.
Joanílio Rodolpho Teixeira
Heitor Gurgulino de Souza
|Reflections on the Founding and Mission of WAAS|
The World Academy of Art & Science was founded in 1960. Its first President, Lord John Boyd Orr of Scotland, was also the first Director-General of the FAO. Today the Academy has more than 700 Fellows from around the world who have been elected on the basis of high professional distinction, a distinctive and comprehensive global vision, and qualities of leadership important for engaging in programs and activities of the Academy.
The Academy is distinctive in that it has an explicit emphasis on the social consequences of knowledge generation and, more importantly, the policy implications of knowledge that is produced. This mandate is further clarified by the motto of the Academy that stresses the idea that leadership in thought leads to leadership in action. The idea of founding an academy with this emphasis percolated in the minds of some of the world’s most eminent thinkers and scientists for many years.
This line of thinking was triggered by two distinguished physicists, E. Fermi and L. Szilard, visiting Albert Einstein in the later part of 1939. They came to brief Einstein on the state of nuclear physics and, in particular, the speed with which it might be possible to produce a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, capable of splitting the atom and producing unheard of volumes of energy. The potential destructiveness of these developments was by itself a matter of serious concern, but even more critically, the speed of German advances under Hitler made the matter a top security priority. Einstein wrote his famous letter to US President Roosevelt on August 2, 1939, notifying him of these scientific developments and recommending that the United States make the development of nuclear advances a major priority. Einstein was a pacifist and was a refugee from Nazi Germany. This must have been a difficult letter to write. His letter triggered the executive’s commitment to the development of nuclear science from a national security perspective.
The Manhattan Project was launched with Robert Oppenheimer as the lead scientist. Control of the facility was put in the hands of a national security operative, General Groves. The project produced the first two atomic bombs in history. The decision to use the bomb did not concern itself with the views of the scientists as such. However, the detonation of the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki demonstrated that the destructive capacity of these weapons exceeded scientific predictions. Moreover, these weapons of mass destruction put world politics into a new age of weapon systems of universal lethality. Robert Oppenheimer was not obviously a pacifist, but he quickly grasped the moral challenge posed by the atomic bomb. A famous quote on witnessing the first nuclear detonation is from the Bhagavad Gita: “The Lord said: Time [death] I am, the destroyer of the worlds, who has come to annihilate everyone. Even without your taking part all those arrayed in the [two] opposing ranks will be slain!” It became obvious to Oppenheimer that trying to influence further developments on ethical or moral grounds was going to be fiercely contested.
Edward Teller was another physicist engaged in nuclear developments. Teller was a brilliant scientist and an extremely
|political ideologue. Teller’s great ambition was to build a super weapon – the hydrogen bomb. In his confrontation with Oppenheimer, Teller won and Oppenheimer was deprived of his security clearance. This background and the profound challenges generated by unleashing the nuclear genii motivated eminent men such as Einstein, Oppenheimer, Rotblat, Russell and others to affirm the social responsibility of scientists and other academic researchers for the knowledge they generated and its consequences for humanity. They felt compelled to consider the impact of scientific advances, even though scientists were largely excluded from the political discourse and decisions governing the application of that knowledge. The challenge as Einstein saw it was that “the creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind.”
Informal networking among major scientists and intellectuals over this issue led to the First International Conference on Science and Human Welfare in 1956. One of the results of this conference was an agreement among the participants to form a world academic international preparative committee. From this development, WAAS (World Academy of Art & Science) was founded in 1960. The charter members of the Academy were a veritable global Who’s Who of scientific, philosophical and social scientific distinction. The Academy aspired for a sense of communication regardless of national or ideological boundaries. Its objective was to be the world’s first informal university and its mission was the improvement of the human prospect.
The Academy today remains deeply committed to world peace and universal human security, including the concern of its founders regarding the control, regulation, and ultimate abolition of weapons of mass destruction. But in the wider context of the multiple political, economic, social and ecological challenges confronting humanity today, WAAS has set itself the challenge of (a) deeper understanding of the current paradigm that shapes thinking, institutions, policies and the prevailing world order and (b) giving serious thought to the formulation of a new human-centered paradigm for development and global governance. Issues related to the need for a new paradigm have been explored at recent WAAS conferences at Trieste, the UN in Geneva, Library of Alexandria, Washington DC, Ottawa, UC Berkeley, Podgorica, and most recently, Baku. The project seeks a deeper understanding of the place of the individual human being in the global social process and the implications of fundamental human rights when applied on a global basis. Special emphasis is being placed on new paradigm in global education as an essential condition for effectively addressing global challenges, which has led to the founding of the World University Consortium.
Recognizing the enormous scope, complexity and importance of these issues, WAAS is actively promoting close collaboration with other leading organizations including CERN, Club of Madrid, Club of Rome, European Leadership Network, European Movement International, Green Cross International, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Library of Alexandria, Mother’s Service Society, Partnership for Change and other organizations in an effort to leverage our complementary capabilities in pursuit of common goals.
|Young Energy for Global Challenges|
Decision makers across the world – those who can in fact change the course for the better or worse – rely on information when making decisions and are often provided with very different possible solutions for the same challenge. It is up to them to decide which path to choose. One could argue it is up to the rest of the world to provide them with a range of best possible solutions.
One of these solutions should be coming from the young generation, providing the decision makers with fresh ideas on problem solving. The report could be produced by a group of young, motivated future leaders and thinkers gathering to discuss world issues. The topics could be coming from well-established world-class organizations with extensive knowledge base from their members. Instead of one sponsoring organization there could be a consortium of founding member organizations. This would inject the founding member organizations with new energy and fresh ideas.
Such meetings should aim to provide open space to young leaders coming from different parts of the world and from different backgrounds to freely and openly discuss possible solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. The solutions/scenarios can then be transmitted to decision makers in politics, business, international organizations and other entities.
To achieve the goal of reaching the decision makers, the group could have a pool of advisors coming from founding organizations. They could be involved in the entire process of the meetings. The advisors could help prepare the necessary materials and brief the members before each meeting so that the discussions can be based on the most recent and accurate information for each specific area. After the meeting, a special session can be held with the advisors while founding organizations could present a plan for distributing the message to the decision makers using the organizations’ resources.
After each meeting a report would be produced in short and long version. The short (one-page) version can be used for distribution to the decision makers, while the long version can be made available to the founding organizations for further discussions.
The idea could start with a small group of about 10 people who gather at a one-day forum to produce their first report and determine the best organizational structure for future meetings. Participants should be leaders in their communities, organizations, countries or fields of action, aged between 20 and 40, drawn from different geographical areas and fields of expertise with a shared interest in global challenges and problem solving.
They should be people who have already contributed in work or personal life to addressing global issues, have a multidisciplinary perspective, have already achieved impact with their ideas, people with energy, commitment and high ethical and moral standards. Recommendations for membership could come from charter member organizations.
|CERN and WAAS Agree to Cooperate|
On 13 March 2014, Rolf Heuer, the Director-General of CERN and Garry Jacobs, the Chief Executive Officer of WAAS, signed an MOU (in the presence of Herwig Schopper and Maurizio Bona) providing the basis for future cooperation between the two organizations. CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, has become the focal point for more than 10,000 visiting scientists and engineers from all over the world. Since its founding, it not only had the task of supporting scientific cooperation but to promote ‘science for peace’. WAAS, an international think tank established in 1960, is the only global academy assuring common endeavour to address the challenges and opportunities facing global humanity today and supporting worldwide peaceful scientific cooperation.
In the MOU the two organisations agreed to provide intellectual and technical support for initiatives taken by one institution or the other, and to participate in providing and receiving information resulting from the progress and studies conducted by the other. Some fields have been identified for special emphasis in the development of collaboration between the two institutions. Among them one finds the establishment of interlinks between the natural and human sciences, a better access of women to science, the promotion of scientific and technological education and the creation of scientific networks, with particular focus on developing countries and on youth. The two institutions will collaborate to evolve strategies aimed at expanding the global delivery system for higher education in order to address the rapidly increasing demand and urgent need to improve the quality and relevance of higher education and lifelong education to social life.
Informal contacts between the two institutions had been established before the MOU was signed. CERN was a co-sponsor of the international conference on “Opportunities & Challenges for the 21st Century: Need for a New Paradigm” organised by the United Nations in Geneva and World Academy on June 3, 2013,
From left to right: Maurizio Bona, Rolf Heuer,
which offered K. J. Tokayev, the former Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Ivo Šlaus, the Honorary President of WAAS, and Rolf Heuer, the Director-General of CERN, the opportunity to explain the intentions of the respective institutions in public talks and to establish first contacts. These were followed later by informal visits of Ivo Šlaus and Garry Jacobs to CERN initiated by Herwig Schopper leading finally to the signing of the MOU.
As a first result of the agreement of cooperation, a colloquium talk by Garry Jacobs was organised at CERN titled ‘Insights from the physical sciences and their relevance to the evolution of social science’ on 13 March 2014.
WUC partners with IAUP at the XVII Triennial Conference in Yokohama
International Conference on the Future of Education
WUC invited to Moscow for Green Cross International conference on Education and Environment
World University Consortium has been invited to conduct a session at the 20th International Conference “Prospects of Ecological Education for Sustainable Development” on 26-27 June 2014 organized by Green Cross International in Moscow.
International cooperation in the field of education can be a powerful catalyst for achieving sustainability, especially in developing countries with expanding economies. The purpose of the conference is to work up the recommendations in administrative, methodological, culturological, learning and teaching problem solving in the field of Ecological Education for Sustainable Development with reference to the background of national and international experience. Garry Jacobs, Alexander Likhotal, Ivo Šlaus and Alberto Zucconi will represent WUC and explore strategies to enhance the scope and effectiveness of environmental education.
WAAS is partnering with the Government of Bosnia & Herzegovina for conference on Employment Theme: STRATEGIES TO GENERATE RAPID RECOVERY AND FULL EMPLOYMENT IN BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINALocation: Sarajevo
This conference will launch a joint WAAS – BiH study to identify innovative strategies to accelerate employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship by strategies to enhance human capital and social capital, including identification of opportunities, catalytic initiatives, improved networking and management, streamlined decision-making, enhancement in personal motivation, institutional linkages, innovative financing strategies, education and vocational training. Deputy Prime Minister of BiH and WAAS Fellow Zlatko Lagumdzija is organizing the project.
|WAAS-WUC Courses at IUC|
WAAS & WUC to offer trans-disciplinary foundation courses at IUC, Dubrovnik this Fall
The World Academy and the World University Consortium are organizing two graduate level courses at Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik in Fall 2014.
Duration: 25 – 30 August 2014
This trans-disciplinary inquiry searches for underlying principles governing the interaction between the individual, society and life for insights into the process that governs human initiatives and their consequences. Drawing on research in management, literature, biography, history, psychology and philosophy, it looks for common subjective factors and processes governing different human accomplishment, including the role of aspiration, comprehension, perception, energy, organization, personality formation, attitudes, skills & values.
Duration: 1 – 6 September 2014
The accelerated pace of social change, increasing complexity of interactions between fields and globalization of interactions present humanity with a nexus of challenging problems – political, economic, legal, social, cultural, psychological and ecological – that defy comprehension and resolution by a piecemeal, sectoral approach based on the prevailing principles of social science. Efforts to combine and integrate perspectives from different disciplines are limited by the absence of a common conceptual framework. This six-day trans-disciplinary course will explore common principles and processes governing survival, growth, development, evolution and social revolution applicable to all fields, including awareness, social energy, organization, networks, language, law, technology, money, complexity, power, culture, values, consciousness and ways of knowing.
WAAS welcomes new partners to its expanding network
SDEWES joins WAAS as a focal point for research on Sustainable Development
|Global Round Table: EU Quo Vadis?|
The Global Round Table (GRT) on May 8-9, 2014 in Budapest was devoted to the European Parliamentary elections from May 22-25, 2014. This event was organized by GRT in association with WAAS, The Institute for National Strategy in Hungary, Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO, The European Movement in Split and the Pázmány Peter Catholic University. It was attended by about 20 distinguished persons, including János Martonyi, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vaira Vike Freiberga, President of Club de Madrid and former President of Latvia, Erhard Busek, former Vice Chancellor of Austria,
|Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, co-President of the Club of Rome and WAAS Fellow, and Ivo Šlaus, Honorary President of WAAS.
This is a crucial moment in European history. The Round Table issued a call for change, asking citizens of the EU to get informed and involved in the parliamentary elections and discussed a set of recommendations to be submitted to the newly elected European Parliament.
|Nominations & Elections Report|
|Nomination & Election of New Fellows|
The main criteria for election as a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science are:
(1) distinction or leadership in his or her profession,
(2) interdisciplinary accomplishments or interests,
(3) record of public service, and
(4) global perspective or demonstrated commitment to issues of global importance.
Associate Fellows of the Academy are selected from among individuals who are involved in the Academy’s activities or show potential for future election as a Fellow.
Junior Fellows are selected from among individuals with strong commitment and leadership promise who provide services that advance the Academy’s work.
In addition to the above specified criteria, a candidate for membership in the Academy must agree to participate actively in the Academy’s activities and indicate the present and/or future potential WAAS project(s) in which he or she would like to be actively involved.
An analysis of membership in the Academy reveals that the following regions are underrepresented in our membership: Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East. Women and scholars from the arts and humanities are also underrepresented.
The Nominations and Evaluations Committee of the Academy now consists of two subcommittees. The Nominations Subcommittee, which has nine members, is tasked with nominating candidates
for election from the underrepresented regions and fields of interest giving clear preference to females. The activities of this body are intended to complement the regular nomination process, not to prevent Fellows from nominating candidates for membership as in the past.
The evaluation of candidates for Fellowship is the task of the Evaluation Subcommittee, which has six members. The results of evaluation are forwarded to the Board of Trustees, which votes to decide whether each nominee is qualified to be placed on the ballot for election by Fellows. New Fellows are elected by a 2/3rds majority of those voting.
According to the Academy’s Bylaws, an extraordinary scientist or artist fulfilling the above specified criterion (1) for becoming a Fellow or an extraordinary politic leader fulfilling the above specified criterion (3) may be directly elected as a Fellow by the Board of Trustees independently of the Nominations and Evaluations Committee and the Plenum.
New Associate Fellows are evaluated and elected by the Board of Trustees for a period of four years. New Junior Fellows are evaluated and elected by the Executive Committee for a period of two years.
Nebojša Neškovic & Saulo Bahia
Spring Elections 2014
The World Academy of Art & Science (WAAS) was founded in 1960 by eminent intellectuals including Albert Einstein; Robert Oppenheimer, Father of Manhattan Project; Bertrand Russell, Joseph Needham, co-Founder of UNESCO; Lord Boyd Orr, first Director General of FAO; Brock Chisholm, first Director General of WHO and many others. The Academy serves as a forum for reflective scientists, artists, and scholars dedicated to addressing the pressing challenges confronting humanity today independent of political boundaries or limits, whether spiritual or physical -- a forum where these problems can be discussed objectively, scientifically, globally, and free from vested interests or regional attachments to arrive at solutions that affirm universal human rights and serve the common good of all humanity. WAAS is founded on faith in the power of original and creative ideas -- Real Ideas with effective power -- to change the world.
Our motto: Leadership in thought that leads to action
WAAS Fellows come from diverse cultures, nationalities, intellectual disciplines and professions, chosen for eminence in the natural, technological and social sciences; the arts and humanities; different professions and fields of public service. Its focus from the beginning has been to address global social challenges. Its founding motive comes from the knowledge that academic knowledge cannot be separated or divorced from the social responsibility of how the knowledge is used.
WAAS approaches all its activities from a value-based, human-centered, comprehensive and transdisciplinary perspective encompassing issues related to peace and security, human rights and governance, economy and finance, education and human development, society and culture, technology and ecology. It is engaged in a variety of activities with UN organizations. The Academy collaborates with a network of national centers and international partners around the world.
One of the aims of the Academy's founders was to function as "an informal WORLD UNIVERSITY”. In pursuit of this goal, in 2013 WAAS collaborated with other organizations to found the World University Consortium(www.wunicon.org). In collaboration with WUC, it conducts a series of international conferences on future education, curriculum development roundtables to develop new transdisciplinary subjects, and pilot projects in collaboration with experimental partnering educational institutions.
WAAS has been accorded special consultative status by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and consultative status by UNESCO.
The World Academy of Art and Science is an association of committed individuals drawn from diverse cultures, nationalities, occupations and intellectual pursuits spanning the arts, humanities and sciences, conscious of the profound social consequences and policy implications of knowledge, and united by a common aspiration to address the urgent challenges and emerging opportunities confronting humanity today. Our mission is to promote cross-disciplinary dialogue generative of original ideas and integrated perspectives that comprehend the root causes and effective remedies for our common problems, while furthering those currents of thought and social movement that affirm the value of human dignity and equitable development. The Academy dedicates itself to the pursuit of creative, catalytic ideas that can provide to present and future generations enlightened leadership in thought that leads to effective action.
The idea of founding an international association for exploring major concerns of humanity in a nongovernmental context grew out of many conversations that took place among leading scientists and intellectuals in the years following World War II. Prominent among this group were people such as Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer who had played a part in the development of the atomic bomb and were deeply concerned about how it and other scientific advances might be used – or misused.
This informal project took a major step forward in 1956, when a meeting – The First International Conference on Science and Human Welfare – was held in Washington, D. C. The organizers were two American scientists: Richard Montgomery Field of Princeton, who had worked for many years as chairman of an international committee on the social values of science; and John A. Fleming, former President of the International Council of Scientific Unions. At the end of the conference, participants agreed to take steps toward the formation of a World Academy, and elected an International Preparatory Committee for that purpose. Its members were: (from France) Pierre Chouard, George Laclavére and G. Le Lionnaise; (from the United Kingdom) Ritchie Calder, H. Munro Fox and Joseph Needham; and (from the United States) Robert Oppenheimer.
The Academy was formally founded (and its first officers elected) in 1960. They were: as President, Lord John Boyd Orr of Scotland; as Vice Presidents, Hermann Joseph Muller of the United States and Hugo Ostvald of Sweden; and, as Secretary General, Hugo Boyko of Israel.
The Executive Committee
Board of Trustees
HOW TO DONATE TO THE ACADEMY
The World Academy is incorporated in the State of California and Fellows elected from 86 different countries. WAAS is recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt Public Charity under section 501(c)(3).
Make payable to World Academy of Art & Science and mail the check to: WAAS, 4225 Solano Avenue, Suite 631, Napa, CA 94558, USA.
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Cadmus is a journal for fresh thinking and new perspectives that integrate knowledge from all fields of science, art and humanities to address real-life issues, inform policy and decision-making, and enhance our collective response to the challenges and opportunities facing the world today.
ISSN 2038-5242 - Cadmus (Trieste. Testo stampato)
ISSN 2038-5250 - Cadmus (Trieste. Online)
Eruditio is the electronic journal of the World Academy of Art & Science. The vision of the Journal complements and enhances the World Academy's focus on global perspectives in the generation of knowledge from all fields of legitimate inquiry.
The Journal also mirrors the World Academy's specific focus and mandate which is to consider the social consequences and policy implications of knowledge in the broadest sense. It is a multidisciplinary forum focused on the social consequences and policy implications of all forms of knowledge on a global basis.
Democracy is under siege. Traditional bastions of liberal democracy are faltering. Young democracies are reverting to their authoritarian pasts. Populism, corporatization of the media, fake news, retreat from globalism, oligarchy, corruption and other perils are undermining fairness, effectiveness and truthfulness. Just when it appeared that the world was converging on a universal set of values and standards for governance at the national and international level, fundamental questions are being raised regarding the viability and sustainability of democratic institutions. Recent events raise fundamental questions regarding the institutions of governance and also about the underlying social, psychological, cultural and evolutionary processes that determine how these institutions function.
Is democracy in its current form really the most viable and effective system of governance? Are human beings sufficiently rational and selfless to govern themselves justly and effectively? Is the future of democracy at the national level compatible with the persistence of non-democratic institutions at the international level? By what process has the distribution of social power shifted from army, monarchy, aristocracy to democracy and how is that process likely to evolve further in future? To what extent are the institutional problems confronting democracy today reflections of underlying social, psychological and cultural factors and processes? What proven and potential safeguards and remedies are available to address the failures and insufficiencies of contemporary democracies? Is democracy the best possible system or merely a stage in the evolution of governance toward something more stable, an effective and equitable system?
Mind is humanity's highest developed instrument for seeking knowledge. It is the master tool that we use to comprehend the present, remember the past, and anticipate and plan for the future. From the act of striking two flints together to create fire to combining strings of 1s and 0s to design the code for supercomputers, mind has enabled humanity to create remarkable technologies and organized global institutions. The mind is the unifying foundation on which humanity’s entire social evolution is based. To understand this vital instrument better, the World Academy of Art & Science and World University Consortium have launched a ground-breaking project to explore Mind, Thinking and Creativity. A greater understanding of the nature of mind, its ways of knowing, the limits to thinking and rationality, mind's untapped potential, the workings of creativity and genius are essential for addressing the challenges confronting humanity today.
In April 2016 WAAS and WUC, along with partnering organizations IACP, IUC, DHUC, and MSS organized a four-day roundtable on Mind, Thinking and Creativity 2016 at Dubrovnik, Croatia for to explore fundamental questions. The meeting was attended by experts from different fields of natural and social science, including medicine, neuroscience, engineering, psychology, sociology, economics, law, and philosophy. Video recordings, presentations and papers for the roundtable are available here. The enthusiastic interest generated by the Dubrovnik meeting spurred efforts of WAAS and the World University Consortium to commence work on a on-line course on this subject which is now underway. A report on last year's meeting including videos and presentations was included in the Academy's July 2016 newsletter.
Roundtable 2 -- November 2017 at Dubrovnik
The second roundtable on Mind, Thinking & Creativity is being conducted by the World University Consortium, the World Academy of Art & Science, the Mother's Service Society, Person-Centered Approach Institute, Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations and Diplomacy and the Inter-University Centre from November 6-8, 2017 at Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
A Post-Graduate Certificate Course in Human-Centered Economics will be conducted by the World Academy of Art & Science, the World University Consortium, The Mother's Service Society, Person-Centered Approach Institute, Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations and Diplomacy and Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia from Feb 1-Feb 3,2017 at Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The multidimensional challenges confronting humanity today are human-made and can be changed by a change in thought and action. Contemporary economic thought is built on a mind-frame that originated prior to the Industrial Revolution when scarcity of goods in a world of abundant resources was the primary concern, economic growth was considered synonymous with human welfare, and impact of humanity on the environment was completely ignored. Without challenging obvious flaws in existing theory, it will be not be possible to significantly alter current policies and practices.
The overall aim of the course is to (a) demonstrate why mainstream neo-classical economic theory is inappropriate for dealing with the global challenges of the c.21st, and (b) explore alternative approaches for achieving ecologically sustainable, human-centered development and welfare for all.
This course will present the findings of a five year research program of the World Academy of Art & Science and the on-going work of the New Economic Theory working group. It will harness the best available ideas and practices on human-centred, sustainable economy to create informative, authoritative and compelling educational and communication tools with the power to challenge and alter university level education in Economics, public policy, business decisions, media coverage and general public opinion regarding how the world economy should and can work for the betterment of all humanity.
A Post-Graduate Certificate Course in Social Power, Empowerment & Social Evolution will be conducted by the World Academy of Art & Science, the World University Consortium, The Mother's Service Society, Person-Centered Approach Institute, Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations and Diplomacy and Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia from Oct 31-Nov 4, 2016 at Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Humanity lives in a time of unprecedented capacity for accomplishment in every field of social life. Never before have we possessed power of this magnitude for good or for evil. Never before has power been so widely distributed within society. Democracy, law, human rights, science, technology, education and many other forms of social organization have generated immense power. Society governs the possession and exercise of this power through formal structures and institutions, such as law and human rights, as well as through both legitimate and extra-legal informal mechanisms including status, wealth, popularity, political influence and corruption. The distribution of power in its various forms powerfully impacts on the functioning of the economy, political system, educational, scientific, religious and and other social institutions, and on the overall productivity, strength, integrity, harmony and welfare of society. This transdisciplinary course will explore the sources, expressions, determinants and consequences of the creation, distribution and exercise of social power in its various expressions in politics, economy, society and culture and its consequences for the evolution of society as a whole.
Mind is humanity’s highest developed instrument for seeking knowledge. It is an instrument with remarkable capabilities and characteristic limitations. It is ironic that we invest so little time in education and scientific endeavor trying to understand the nature of mental knowledge and the character of the mental processes by which we arrive at it. The objective of this course is to arrive at an understanding of the inherent limits to rationality and mental ways of knowing, as well as the extraordinary creative and intuitive processes by which mind transcends those limitations and tends toward genius.
Thinking is the activity by which mind associates, organizes, coordinates and integrates information, thoughts and ideas. Creative thinking is the process by which mind extends the boundaries of existing thought and knowledge to connect, reconcile and unify previously unconnected or contradictory perspectives. This course will explore the characteristics of mental knowledge and thought processes, types of thinking, the character of rational thought, the mental and social construction of knowledge, deep thinking, creativity and genius. Rather than focus on abstract philosophical concepts, it will apply this knowledge to understand both the sources of humanity’s prolific mental creativity, the characteristic problems it confronts due to irresolvable conflicts and contradictions between mental perspectives, and their resolution in different fields of natural and social science, public policy, collective and individual behavior.
A Post-Graduate Certificate Course in Future Education was conducted by the World Academy of Art & Science, the World University Consortium, The Mother's Service Society, Person-Centered Approach Institute, Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations and Diplomacy and Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia from September 21-23, 2015 at Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Education is our best hope for a better future. Emergence of a new paradigm in education can radically abridge the time required for humanity to address critical issues related to economy, governance, ecology and life-style. Education is the best known instrument for ensuring universal human rights, promoting democracy, enhancing productivity and protecting the environment.There is urgent need to evolve a new paradigm in education appropriate to the needs of the 21st century. Closing the gap between social needs and educational capabilities is essential for addressing pressing challenges confronting humanity today. A review of education today makes evident that there is enormous scope for improving and developing the educational system. Whatever its current limitations in terms of inadequate coverage, quality and content, the means and potential exist for dramatically enhancing humanity’s individual and collective performance in virtually all spheres of our social existence by realistic, achievable improvements in education. We need a new paradigm in education capable of more fully and effectively developing the latent capacities of our youth.
A Post-Graduate Certificate Course in Essence of Effective Leadership was conducted by the World Academy of Art & Science, the World University Consortium, The Mother's Service Society, Person-Centered Approach Institute, Dag Hammarskjöld University College of International Relations and Diplomacy and Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia from March 31 to April 3, 2015 at Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
This course explored the characteristics common to leaders in business, politics, civil society, science, arts, professions and education and examined methods by which these characteristics can be consciously developed by individuals. The presentations consist of theory, practical strategies, and a wide range of examples drawn from biography, history, management, and literature from movies illustrating the principles under discussion. Apart from the presentations, our faculty interacted with participants to bring home the theoretical significance and practical relevance of the material.
Individual Accomplishment, Growth & the Character of Life in Management, History,
Literature, and Psychology - Recent Course
The Individual is the catalyst of all social progress, the source of creativity, innovation, new ideas and new initiatives. The individual is the genetic source of human diversity. The entrepreneur, inventor, social reformer, revolutionary leader, original thinker and creative artist are a few of individuality's expressions. Yet how little we understand about the characteristics of true individuality, the ways in which it expresses, the means for developing it, and the means for realizing real individuality in one’s own life.
History demonstrates that individuals have the power to change the world. This course explored the relationship between personality and accomplishment. It examined the role of Individuality and Values in personal achievement, growth of personality and social progress drawing on evidence from Management Science, History, Psychology and Literature. It explored the relationship between creative individuals and society searching for insights into the principles and process that govern successful human initiatives and their consequences in various fields of life.
The course was intended for both students and practitioners in all fields interested in advancing theoretical understanding and practical approaches to promote the development of entrepreneurship, individuality, creativity, original thinking and other forms of social innovation. It explored the role of the individual in development of society, elucidated the characteristics of true individuals, the source of their amazing power for accomplishment and the process by which they act as catalysts of social innovation. While the presentation was academic, the objective was to impart original insights and practical knowledge for personal growth and individuation.
Today humanity is confronted by a plethora of serious challenges – political, economic, legal, social, cultural, psychological and ecological. These challenges are complex, interrelated, and global in reach. They are a reflection of the inadequacy of current institutions and policies and at a deeper level the inadequacy of current knowledge. They defy comprehension and resolution based on the prevailing principles of social science. The specialized knowledge developed by separate disciplines is inadequate to deal with the increasingly complex interdependencies of the real world. Knowledge needs to evolve to keep pace with the evolution of society.
The evolution of a complex, highly integrated global society necessitates the development of a more comprehensive and integrated science of society. The division into various specialized fields has been a useful mental strategy for the development of the social sciences, leading to significant advances in all fields – knowledge which needs to be preserved and enhanced by future developments. Yet it is increasingly evident that a more comprehensive and integrated approach is now required. As society evolves, its different functions develop greater complexity. At the same time they become more closely and complexly interlinked and interdependent on one another. Economy today is highly dependent on the political system and laws governing the distribution and enforcement of power in society, legal concepts regarding ownership of property and human rights, public institutions responsible for the creation and management of money, rules for commerce between nations, public policies influencing income and wealth distribution, processes that determine collective decision-making, public investment in education and training, and social expectations regarding economy and the future, etc. A recent announcement by the White House of an ‘intention’ to examine measures to discourage shifting of US firms to tax havens overseas resulted in a 10% fall in market value for several large firms.
Strategic Planning Committee Program Framework
Being a world academy composed of members drawn from the arts, social and physical sciences, humanities, business, public administration and civil society poses fundamental questions. How can WAAS distinguish itself from other national and regional academies? Is there really a common meeting point between art and science? Is there a unique contribution that WAAS can make to the world’s knowledge?
At the New Delhi General Assembly, Fellows explored facets of a new program framework developed by the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) which seeks to answer these questions in the affirmative. Rather than distinguish itself by specializing on a particular set of disciplines, issues or geographic area, the framework is an attempt to formulate a comprehensive approach and integrated perspective of knowledge inclusive of all disciplinary perspectives and applicable to social problems and opporunities in all fields.
The core of the framework is a human-centered conception of what constitutes reliable knowing, a question posed to the SPC by Ruben Nelson. In his presentation to the GA, Garry Jacobs explained how this conception applies to WAAS’s projects on new economic theory, individuality and limits to rationality. Pushpa Bhargava pointed out that a human centered perspective naturally incorporates ecology, since the survival and full development of humanity depends on its capacity to evolve in harmony with the environment.
Global Leadership in the 21st Century
There is an urgent need to fill the global leadership vacuum in order to address the complex, pressing challenges confronting humanity today. Leadership is needed at all levels in all fields. Leadership is a catalytic process that can accomplish what leaders cannot. The leadership needed must be inspired by universal values and visionary ideas, energized by high goals and awareness of untapped opportunities, given expression by courageous individuals, implemented by innovative organizations, and fulfilled by awakening and unleashing the aspirations of the whole society.
The World Academy of Art & Science, in partnership with the United Nations at Geneva, is conducting a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral project highlighting innovative strategies and effective principles to accelerate the emergence of dynamic leadership for successful implementation of the SDGs. The project will involve consultations with IGOs, nation states, business, scientific research and educational institutions, civil society and youth organizations. It will culminate in a major two-day conference at UNOG in October 2020, followed by a report to the UN, educational and other outreach strategies. The overarching objective of the project is to become a catalyst to accelerate the emergence of dynamic leadership for global development. Its strategy is to consciously apply at the global level essential principles of effective leadership that have previously served as catalysts for rapid transformation at the level of organizations, nation states and international organizations.
New Paradigm Program
Scope: The world confronts multiple crises, each of which resists current efforts at resolution and appears intractable. The environmental crisis of climate change occupied the center stage in the mid-2000s. Fears of nuclear weapons proliferation, which had subsided into complacency in the years following the end of the Cold War, suddenly surfaced with renewed intensity when Korea tested nuclear weapons and long range missiles and news surfaced of Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program in 2007.
Then the subprime mortgage crisis exploded in late 2008, spreading havoc through financial markets across the world. It was followed quickly by a sudden and substantial slowing of economic growth in OECD countries, rising levels of unemployment and most recently a crisis of excessive government debt.
In spite of the enormous attention being given to each of these issues by specialists nationally and internationally, progress on all fronts appears to be nearly at a standstill or at least far too slow to meet pressing human concerns. The times we live in are a Wild West of globalization and the unbridled, unregulated expansion of international activities threatens to destabilize and undermine the remarkable progress of the previous five decades.
This project is predicated on the assumption that each of these problems defies solution because they all represent problems that transcend the sovereign powers of the nation-state. None of them can be fully and satisfactorily addressed by nation-states acting individually. All are symptoms of the evolution of world society to a stage where concerted and coordinated global action is required to meet the collective needs of humanity for peace, security, financial stability, economic welfare and sustainable development. This project has been conceived to address the underlying and interrelated issues that all these challenges pose to global governance.
World University Consortium
The mission of World University Consortium is to evolve and promote development of accessible, affordable, quality higher education worldwide based on a human-centered approach that shifts the emphasis from specialized expertise to contextualized knowledge within a trans-disciplinary conceptual framework reflecting the complexity and integration of the real world, from teaching mastery of a field of knowledge to learning that enhances the capacity of students to think and discover knowledge for themselves, from theoretical mastery to acquisition of knowledge, skills and values relevant to each individual’s personal development and career – an educational system better suited to develop the full potentials of social personality and individuality for productive engagement, social welfare and psychological well-being. The objectives are:
- Identify global best practices and develop effective global models and strategies to improve accessibility, affordability, quality, innovation and relevance in higher education appropriate to the needs of the 21st century.
- Develop innovative, open learning systems and more effective models that extend the reach of quality higher education to people of all age groups globally.
- Explore new models of online and hybrid delivery systems designed to facilitate learning through teacher-student and student-student interaction.
- Enhance the learning process through research, development and application of advanced instruments for measurement and evaluation of educational processes.
- Promote person-centered approaches that emphasize self-guided learning, critical and original thinking, inspirational forms of instruction, learning to learn, trans-disciplinary contextualized perspectives, learning by teaching and sharing with others, edutainment and experiential learning.
- Develop transcultural and culture-specific methods and content reflecting universal human values.
- Create a worldwide forum where all the stakeholders can meet, interact and create new networks, partnerships and projects.
NEW ECONOMIC THEORY
A multidisciplinary group from the World Academy of Art & Science and the Club of Rome are leading a quest for a new human-centered theory of economics that reflects recent changes resulting from the emergence of a service-based economy, globalization, rising social aspirations and changing values, and is integrated with political, social, ecological, technological, and cultural factors from which it is inseparable.
PROGRAM ON GLOBAL EMPLOYMENT CHALLENGE
Access to employment is the most essential requirement for providing economic security to the world’s burgeoning population.
This interdisciplinary dialogue explores theoretical and practical aspects of the global employment challenge, including its demographic, economic, legal, political, psychological dimensions as well as linkages with the international financial crisis, social stability, and terrorism.
PROGRAM ON ABOLITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
The devastating consequences of nuclear war and the potential destructive applications of science and technology were paramount concerns among Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Robert Oppenheimer, Joseph Rotblat and others which led to the founding of the World Academy in 1960.
Nuclear disarmament is a sine qua non for effectively addressing other issues of global important – terrorism, financial stability, unemployment, poverty, climate change, democratization of the UN and other aspects of global governance. In recent years, the Academy has conducted numerous conferences, seminars and workshops and collaborating with other organizations in an effort to promote concrete steps toward immediate and total global nuclear disarmament.
The Security & Sustainability Guide
The SSG, a project of the World Academy & Art & Science, is based on the premise that people and nations cannot be secure without sustainability, nor sustainable if insecure. It responds to the fact that challenges facing humanity such as public health preparedness are greatly understated, and the many organizations responding to these challenges are underappreciated.
TRANS-DISCIPLINARY DIALOGUE ON MIND, THINKING AND CREATIVITY
Mind is humanity’s highest developed instrument for seeking knowledge. It is an instrument with remarkable capabilities and characteristic limitations. It is ironic that we invest so little time in education and scientific endeavor trying to understand the nature of mental knowledge and the character of the mental processes by which we arrive at it.
The objective of this project is to arrive at an understanding of the inherent limits to rationality and mental ways of knowing, as well as the extraordinary creative and intuitive processes by which mind transcends those limitations and tends toward genius.
EVOLUTION OF INDIVIDUALITY
Individuality is the crown of human evolution and the catalyst for social progress, yet there are very different conceptions of what constitutes true individuality, the relationship between the individual and society, and whether humanity is inevitably evolving toward higher levels of individuality.
This project will explore the essential nature of individuality, the social and cultural factors that foster it, its role in social development, its myriad expressions in the original thinker, creative artist, political leader, entrepreneur, inventor and social innovator, and the means available to society to foster it.
In 2013 WAAS launched a project to explore important developments in recently emerging fields of science, with e-conferences on the Science of Networks and the Science of Complexity. The project involves an application of concepts and tools from the new sciences relevant to address the global challenges confronting humanity today and to the evolution of a transdisciplinary science of society.
GLOBAL RULE OF LAW
The evolution of international law and human rights represent crucial threads in the progressive development of global rule of law.
This project will explore the relationship between the social, political and legal dimensions of global rule of law in an effort to frame the boundaries of a wider approach to the evolution of global governance. Emphasis will be place to re-examining the concept of national sovereignty and the common rights of humanity in an increasingly globalized world.