Adding together all of the challenges involved in the transformation for sustainability to come, it becomes clear that the upcoming changes go far beyond technological and technocratic reforms: the business of society must be founded on a new ‘business basis’. This is, in fact, all about a new global social contract for a low-carbon and sustainable global economic system. It is based on the central concept that individuals and civil societies, states and the global community of states, as well as the economy and science, carry the joint responsibility for the avoidance of dangerous climate change, and the aversion of other threats to humankind as part of the Earth system. The social contract consolidates a culture of attentiveness (born of a sense of ecological responsibility), a culture of participation (as a democratic responsibility), and a culture of obligation towards future generations (future responsibility). One key element of such a social contract is the ‘proactive state’, a state that actively sets priorities for the transformation, at the same time increasing the number of ways in which its citizens can participate, and offering the economy choices when it comes to acting with sustainability in mind. The social contract also encompasses new forms of global political will formation and cooperation.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
Giorgio Bertini does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from these papers, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
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