Manifesto for a New Civilisation

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FAST FUTURE, first event of 2014, under the leadership of Rohit Talwar took place in London with guest speaker Jim Clark, the Founder of the World Technology Association.

Manifesto For A New Civilization

Jim delivered a thought-provoking talk outlining his Manifesto for a New Civilization, challenging the audience to rethink the fundamental principles our civilization is based on. Jim described the unprecedented level of change we are about to experience in the coming decade. He suggested that the current path we are on is utterly unsustainable and morally indefensible and proposed his high level ideas on a framework that he believes could help us create a new and better civilization.

Jim Clark

As we have been highlighting, the pace of technological change we are witnessing is extraordinary and is likely to continue to increase in the coming decades. Some observers believe more technological change is likely to happen in the next 20 years than in the last 200 years. For example, advances in science and technology could enable us to prevent and cure disease through genetic manipulation, enhance our brains or even upload and download a human mind. Indeed, research on life extension enables us to envision a day when we will be able to say that we may never die.

Jim argued that despite the big opportunities being created by scientific and technological advances, our civilization is heading down a morally indefensible and unsustainable path. He highlighted that millions of people suffer in tremendous poverty and our entire ecosystem is at risk. Even the most moderate of UN consumption scenarios suggest that it takes 1.6 years to regenerate what we use in a year and the expectation is that this ratio could double by 2030. Clark went on to suggest that our capitalist system is an unsustainable house of cards. In his view, political systems around the world are also failing the majority of the population and education is still not accessible for millions of people around the world.

Jim argued that we need to leave behind 19th century thinking frameworks which are no longer adequate for the challenges of the 21st century. He proposed a framework for his view of a different and better civilization based on a decagon consisting of 10 interconnected facets:

  • Energy
  • Health
  • Education
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Food, Water and Environment
  • Political Systems & Government
  • Economics & Employment
  • Arts, Culture & Leisure
  • Housing and Community
  • Science and Technology

Jim argued that because civilization is an ecosystem, the facets of the decagon should be perceived as interrelated. He suggested that in this framework we need to look at each aspect of society through the lens of the other aspects and that it is no longer sustainable to focus on one aspect only without taking the others into account. In Clark’s view, by following this framework, we could make a transition to a new, sustainable and better civilization. Some aspects of the new civilization, as outlined by Jim, include:

  • A new world based on the principle that we have to protect the most those who are least able to defend themselves – children and the elderly.
  • A world ruled by politics of respect and dignity which is in harmony with our environment.
  • A future world where education is a seamless and life long experience bringing fulfillment and personal freedom.
  • A society where each citizen is supported and provided with financial resources.

At the end, Jim urged us to remember that if we are not directly involved in building the new civilization, we are perpetuating the old one. Everyone could make a step – either big or small – and help us move towards the new civilization and the more people who want to join forces, the better.

Written by Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future

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