télécharger 0.97 Mb.
Chairman National Knowledge Commission of India.
I am happy to invite you to read the book of my friend, Marc Luyckx Ghisi. In this book Marc invites us to modify our look at the present after having followed the author in a prospective vision leading to 2050.
Future Thinking (Prospective) does not know the future. It is not a prescience of the future. Because nobody knows the future. But it is an art of looking at the present with a new glance from the future. And this exercise underlines even more strongly the unsustainability of our industrial and modern quantitative development model.
The author indicates that we are fortunately quietly coming out of this so polluting industrial and patriarchal society and that we have the possibility of directing the knowledge society towards real respect of the environment and towards social inclusion and justice as is requested by the EU Lisbon strategy (2000-2010).
The author quietly invites us to hope because he sees, in the heart of the knowledge society, important trends of humanism and rediscovery of the inner dimension of the human person.
Marc Luyckx Ghisi brings us unexpected good news. According to him, we possess the economic and the political tools to face the 21st century in a just and sustainable way. Unfortunately, the main problem of our time is that most of us tend to use tomorrow’s tools with the methods and the vision of yesterday.
It is therefore important to rest a while to analyse our own implicit vision and seriously examine if it is adapted to yesterday or to tomorrow.
Thus, this book invites the reader into a road of personal and collective “reenchantment”.
Member of the European Parliament, Brussels
Just before leaving this Earth, my friend Professor Prigogine accepted an invitation to write a preface for my first book, published in Paris, in 2001. The book spoke of re-enchantment, the concept of which was first introduced by Prigogine and Stengers. I have chosen to reproduce his beautiful preface here as an homage to one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century.
The idea of disenchantment of the world advanced by Max Weber at the beginning of the 20th century was addressed to a culture searching for knowledge that was objective, universal, and independent of the culture than would produce it. This vision assumed the existence of deterministic laws and placed man in a position to be superior to nature and to dominate it. Science thus seemed an elitist form of knowledge, considered by public opinion as an inaccessible ivory tower.
Alongside the disenchantment concept, we now see emerging a concept of the re-enchantment of the world. That vision is at the core and the heart of this book. This line of thinking gives priority to non-linearity over linearity and prefers complexity to simplification. It considers that it is impossible to separate the measurer from what is measured. It is equally impossible to separate physical sciences from the human sciences. The vision informs us about complexity and auto-organization. It mirrors altogether the sense of direction of our times.
In this new vision, nature appears more autonomous. The laws of probability rule it. So we now rediscover a new field for human creativity in the very bosom of nature’s creativity. Man is no longer above and outside nature, in order to subjugate it and force it to deliver up its secrets. On the contrary, man is immersed in a nature, which is autonomous, creative, and often unpredictable, inviting man to develop his own creativity.
With the emergence of this new vision, our whole conception of the universe rapidly evolves. And we now seek new ways to express adequately the unforeseen structures that we observe in nature and in human societies.
In this context, science and technological research are of more and more interest to citizens. This is especially true now that they are dealing with information technologies and biotechnologies, which touch directly the life of every citizen on earth.
What image of nature and of man will our civilization choose? Our future will mostly depend on that choice. The vision of nature plays an important role in our consciousness of the human condition.
The deterministic vision of nature, though associated with a materialist vision, required postulating the existence of God. An automaton needs an intervention from outside to get it started. By contrast, in the new vision, if one takes into account the law of auto-organization, the problem is transformed—nature shows a gap, which can be filled in either from the outside or in an autonomous manner. The metaphysical debate is also transformed, as well as the issues about ethics and about values. They have to take account of the new vision of science in our time.
Marc Luyckx worked for ten years in the Forward Studies Unit of the European Commission, working for Presidents Delors and Santer. I have met him on a number of occasions. He has visited with futures researchers all over the world, notably in California, in Australia, in Japan and in China. He is also a member of the two principal associations of futurists. This book is therefore nourished with information that he has accumulated in the global observation post he has occupied.
I am passionately interested in the future. The vision presented by Marc Luyckx is original, especially his analysis of the underlying levels of changes in process. This book can be seen as placing in evidence new questions. It can help define, in the spirit of its readers, the problems that are surfacing in society today.
It is therefore with pleasure that I have written this preface to Marc Luyckx’s book and invite the reader to discover the possible futures that he offers us. The future is unforeseeable, but we can prepare for it. And that preparation is possible only if we are conscious of the progress and the problems of our time.
Professor Ilya PRIGOGINE (+)
Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1977
NB: The translation of this text has kindly been done by Harlan Cleveland
Ces messieurs ont appelé dame Bess, dit-il; mais dame Bess n’est pas au cottage