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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 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).
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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)
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.
Jun 15 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.