Preface by Sam pitroda (to be confirmed)








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titrePreface by Sam pitroda (to be confirmed)
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  • PROLOGUE:
    A BRIEF FUTURE HISTORY OF THE WORLD (2000–2050)


    I dedicate this prologue to the memory of Willis Harman, who at the end of his life strongly insisted on the importance of producing and disseminating positive scenarios of the future. Negative scenarios are easy to create, quite common, and don’t provide any useful vision. Positive scenarios, according to Willis, act at another level, upon the global morphogenetic field3 of human consciousness and bring about the very (positive) futures that they forecast. Thus, it is an important responsibility that he invites us to assume.

    Let us then act together upon the future by talking about it.

    We are in 2050

    We are in 2050 and a group of historians is trying to write a narrative to insert in school history curricula to explain to children how and why things have changed since 2007for example, how people lived and what it was like to live in the early part of the century; why animal and vegetable species were destroyed by the thousands, and how humans negatively influenced their environment; how for so long we caused the rich to get richer and the poor poorer while promising the contrary.

    The children of 2050 have a hard time understanding the growing uneasiness of the years 2010–2012.

    A growing uneasiness (malaise) around 2010–2012

    Around 2010–2012, an increasing uneasiness began to grow among the global population, including in the rich countries.

    In the southern hemisphere, it was becoming less and less clear why they should accept a system where the large majority of the population was excluded while a minority increased its share of the goods and wealth and where the situation was not improving but was getting worse day after day despite the promises of the leaders and the economists that increasing gross national products would bring prosperity to all. The “trickle down” effect seemed like a rich man’s trick. It was becoming clearer that an economic system that, since the 1950s, had promised to bring development to the southern hemisphere, had only deepened inequalities and would not suddenly produce the opposite result.

    In the northern hemisphere, the number of questioning and concerned citizens was growing every day. Anxiety was growing about the future. Wasn’t global climate change causing hotter, drier summers, more deadly storms, and wasn’t the evidence mounting that changes in the flow of the Gulf Stream (and the associated North Atlantic conveyor system) could result in triggering an 21st-century ice age? Weren’t we heading for the next mass extinction of life on Earth? And what of the looming demographic explosion? Surely, if we did not resolve the acute problems of poverty at our national borders, the immigration pressure would become intolerable, even violent? What should be done?

    In response, it appeared that global leadership had only one answermore of the same, to continue to use the then-current model to correct the deficiencies in itself. To trust yesterday’s methods to solve tomorrow’s problems.

    Public anguish was growing and the diminishing legitimacy of the leadership cadre was generating a split between the public and its leaders.

    In September 2012, the U.S. dollar lost 75% of its value in one day. The astronomically large U.S. current account deficit was jeopardizing the global economic system. Nobody wanted U.S. treasury bonds, anymore. Indeed, suddenly, nobody wanted to lend money to the U.S. China, Russia, Japan, the EU, Brazil, and India had done so on a monthly basis for years and had decided to stop.

    That particular model was no longer sustainable.

    U.S. foreign policy changed. Within months, U.S. troops were repatriated; U.S. military bases overseas closed progressively and continuing plans for U.S. military rearmament ceased. U.S. foreign policy changed progressively. Western global hegemony was in crisis.

    The Euro suffered, losing 15% of its value against the Russian rouble, the Brazilian real, the Indian rupee, and the Chinese yuaneach of which had become among the most stable currencies in the world.

    Finally, the assassination several heads of state, including the president of the United States, France, China, and Brazil, during a meeting of the “G12” (now including Brazil, Russia, India, and China) in 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, by a group of terrorists tied to the Brazilian Mafia, was the final blow that toppled the system.

    At the same time, the Chinese communist party suddenly decided to change its constitution and to allow Chinese citizens to elect by direct universal vote a president of the People’s Republic of China, with extensive powers. The slightly ajar door to democracy suddenly opened up in China. The election winner, a young Chinese woman, poet, and Nobel prize winner for the environment,4 named Mrs. Cheng, was elected on 13 December 2015 with 65% of the popular vote.

    Mrs. Cheng’s memorable speech

    Mrs. Cheng’s first foreign visit was to India . . She proposed to the government of Delhi and to the president of the party of Congress to create between China and India, and with other interested countries of the region including Pakistan and Bangladesh, a treaty of non-violence between states and a community of economic and monetary solidarity along the European model.

    However, the major historical event was her memorable speech on Monday, 15 March 2016 to the United Nations which had moved to Geneva in 2013, following the enormous growth of violence in the U.S. following the dollar financial crisis of 2012 and assassination of the president in Rio.

    In very simple words, she explained that we no longer were in a modern, Western-style capitalistic society. The world was entering into a post-capitalistic and post-Western knowledge society that we needed to build together. It was thus urgent to adapt ourselves to this new situation with a new vision and new tools to be created. First and foremost, the objectives themselves of our society had to change. For several centuries, the modern, Western, industrial society had been geared toward producing the greatest quantity of objects in the cheapest way possible and then convincing the population to buy them, even if they were not needed. These goals did not correspond any longer with the 21st century, where the primary urgency was our own collective survival and the bequeathing of a planet to our future generations.

    She proposed that the new aim for this world society should be to embrace the knowledge society in a sustainable and socially inclusive way, which implied the development of human creativity and all human potential, including an inner or spiritual dimension, and this with absolute respect for Nature and the environment.

    Her first appeal was to the all citizens asking them to invest their energy, skills, hearts, and souls to build a new society. She then called upon academic people and intellectuals of all countries to network their intelligence and creativity to conceive together a new workable economic and political logic. The most urgent was to fundamentally rethink the global economy as a transdisciplinary reflection. She then asked global politicians to hold sincere dialogues with society to imagine and create together new and credible political practices to bring us toward a sustainable and inclusive global future.

    She also said it was false to believe, as the Western modernity or the communists pretended, that man could live without an inner dimension. This, she said, was an illusion and she invited intellectuals to reflect about new sacred forms of reconnection with nature and the cosmos, which appeal to the new generation.

    The last part of her speech was addressed to the women of the world, of all races, religions, and cultures. She told them that the patriarchal ‘reign’ has ended, whatever their culture or religion they lived in. For the patriarchal values did not allow humankind to protect the blue Earth, our planet. She asked them to enter the fray and to fully participate in the discussion on the future of the world and on our global economy, since this concerned the future of their children. Without them, half of humanity would miss the discussion. Her last sentences were emotional as one could feel the feminine aspect vibrating in her with all her power and strength.

    Sceptical…. then enthusiastic reception.

    This message got through instantly to many people all over the world. The next day everyone spoke about it, as much in the “favellas” of Rio as in the mosques of Qatar, in the streets of Paris or New York, in the parliament of Delhi and the villages of China.

    However in the United Nations, the heads of states that did not take this speech seriously politely applauded her. Neither did the press understand or accept this speech, which was outside accepted norms for heads of state. Certain media even ridiculed the speech of the Chinese woman poet!

    But after a few days, important personalities of the business world, the intellectual world, and civil society responded positively in supporting Mrs. Cheng. They were soon supported by personalities from State structures (judges, ex-ministers, etc.). On the Internet, a forum of millions of people was created, regrouping personalities, old media chiefs, heads of global firms, and responsible people of civil societies like Greenpeace, Amnesty International, the Red Crescent, and other Muslim democratic organizations which were developing enormously, since the entry of Turkey in the European Union had been definitely set for 1 January 2017.

    This “Global Forum for Mrs. Cheng”, through its spokesman, declared five days later, on 20 March, that it considered the speech as historic and as a foundation for the rest of the 21st century. Indeed for the first time in many years, a political speech finally was addressing the true expectations of people and their deepest questions that had rarely been considered until then.

    This movement for a civil society grew so much that some media started to reflect these new opinions they had not anticipated. In a matter of days, the world media turned over.

    By the end of March, many politicians claimed to have always thought like Mrs. Cheng. Her speech was analysed and explained by the press and other media, and even by universities and economists. People suddenly agreed that that speech finally had said out loud what a great number of people thought silently, and that it was time to act and to act together on a worldwide basis. It was clear that no partial solution was able to generate answers to global problems. It was necessary to reinvent our approach to our shared global future.

    Indeed, the global society started to consider economic, political, and legal alternatives. A movement of enthusiasm and of unheard creativity rapidly appeared. The winds of change and hope were blowing everywhere. Many of the meetings were organised in China, but they were open and accessible on the web in real time.

    2015–2020: A deep and bold reform, which re-enchanted the citizens of the world.

    The following years were years of intense thinking and creativity. A space opened up and civil society engulfed itself with an unexpected dynamism. Suddenly, alternative analyses, which had been kept hidden for years, resurfaced. New concepts and interesting, concrete, and elaborate projects in the most diverse fields were uncovered.

    Meanwhile Mrs. Cheng was carrying through intelligently and with vigour. One of the most important areas to start with was the global economic system. The spectacular fall of the dollar was forcing everybody to think seriously outside the box. We couldn’t carry on living on borrowed money.

    The monetary agreements of Beijing, in 2017

    Mrs. Cheng requested that the global economic and financial systems be thought over especially the basic monetary mechanisms to adapt them to the new knowledge economy. The latter was well-known by only a few economists. She insisted that the common good of the majority of the world population and total sustainability (positive footprint5) be the main goal of any new economic system. Several young women economists, members of the group “economists for a sustainable world” made unusually innovative propositions… which were accepted.

    In that frame another group of monetarists (money specialists) worked on a redefinition of money for the 21st century. This resulted, after six months of reflection, in a new global monetary agreement, the Monetary Agreements of Beijing of 2017.

    These agreements opened the 21st century by creating a global monetary reference based not on gold but on the vital resources of the earth6—for example, wheat and clean water. Those vital resources were the real treasure of humankind for the generations to come.

    A new global economic and a new informational order

    Within a few months, the great lines of a new economic order were established, no longer based solely on the free trade of goods, as in the industrial economy, but on the free sharing of knowledge as well. Moreover, this “new economy” was functioning within the framework of absolute respect for the environment and social inclusion.

    This new economic order was a message of hope for the majority of those excluded from the sharing in the Earth’s resources and for the future generations… our children and grandchildren. The idea was simplein a global knowledge economy, six billion humans are the main resource (“human capital”). Thus, valuing human creativity and potential becomes the utmost priority. In addition, this changes from the industrial economic priorities, which were centred on capital and technology. The whole world economy tilts toward growth of global human resources through education, access to clean water, medical care, etc. However, this is no longer done to “help the Third World”. Rather, the aim is simply to increase the global human capital and thus the prosperity for all of us for the short, middle, and long term.

    The “intangible assets” and other new concepts of the post-capitalistic economy were entirely integrated. And a number of alternative economists who had been left aside for many years were finally able to explain and have accepted their vision. Within months, the great lines of a new global economy took shapethe post-industrial and post-capitalistic knowledge society.

    Finally, after so many years, the poor of the world saw a new light of hope since, in this vision, humankind is the principal capital and, thus, the mechanisms of social inclusion are no longer considered as expenses but as crucial “intangible assets.” The most important association of business leaders in the U.S., which had merged with the European and Chinese counterpart, advanced the idea that tomorrow’s contractor would be a champion of social cohesion. The miracle happened. People from the shanty towns in the entire world suddenly understood that things were really changing and that, if they would seriously work, they had a chance to succeed in a system based on a win-win social and environmental system, as well as on the respect of the local cultures. A strong movement of hope was rustling in the world. The global terrorist movement was into free fall.

    This movement was also facilitated by the fact that it did not happen behind closed doors in a Western capital, but all discussions took place in an open global forum suggested and protected by the Republic of China, Mrs. Cheng herself who protected the entire process by her globally recognised, charismatic authority.

    A new informational order promoted by the UNESCO

    Mrs. Cheng also invited UNESCO, whose new president was Chinese, to promote again a “new order of information,” as UNESCO had tried to launch this in the 1980’s without success. It was a total and surprising success because the context had completely changed. The strategy now was the ‘win-win-win’ where everybody wins, the individuals, the organizations, business, or others, but also the planet (people-organizations-planet). The new key phrase was, ”The more I share my information and knowledge, the more I receive in return.” We had finally understood that the command, control, conquest, and exclusion strategy, which were the backbone of the industrial society, were no longer operational in this new age. Gone were the patriarchal approaches. This new politics of knowledge sharing had a resounding and unexpected impact at the global level.

    It was in one strike going much farther than all the industrial “development” politics ever went. Here, for the first time, people sat around the table of the world and really and honestly shared the “knowledge cake” to increase it for everyone’s benefit. No similar vision had ever been heard of. Under the guidance of Mrs. Cheng, everybody agreed within a few months.

    Naturally, there was strong resistance from some businesses because it was the intellectual property notion itself that was questioned and was toppled over its bases. Some businesses, mainly American and European, wanted to keep protecting their patents, namely in nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, food genetics, and entertainment content. These patents had cost them many million of euros. At the same time they allowed them to maximise but also manipulate the human brain. Mrs. Cheng got the last word when she proposed that precisely, the only way that humankind could protect itself against inauspicious new nanotechnologies applications dealing with human life or the human brain, was precisely by rendering them public to make them ”part of Humanity’s common heritage.” This was the beginning of a huge jump into the “open source strategy,” which is so common now in 2050. She proposed that the businesses would be rewarded by how much these technologies would be used to the benefit of Humanity’s common good, including the social and the environmental. Those intangible assets were becoming the main value of the goods produced. Profit would be the consequence and the guarantee of the authentic social and environmental value of the proposed use of those tools of the knowledge society. Those were the first important steps toward a truly new but coherent entrepreneurial logic.

    The New Order of Information was voted by the United Nations with a majority of 72% on 20 March 2018.
        1. The European model, a transmodern door to the 21st century


    In January 2017, Mrs. Cheng had a memorable visit to the European Parliament in Brussels. She was also the special guest at the meeting of the European Commission (of heads of states).

    She listened at length to the head of states and to the president of the Commission who had the European Union enter the transmodern society.

    Mrs. Cheng strongly praised the European structures. She considered them the first transmodern and post-patriarchal structures in the world since they were the first strictly non-violent alliance between States, which had stabilised Europe for fifty years in an unexpected and incredible fashion. She explained that her project was to reproduce the European system in Asia with China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, but also Sri Lanka. These transmodern political structures were, according to her, the best structures available for the 21st century, although they needed to be developed and improved.

    She congratulated and paid respect to the European Foreign Secretary (Minister of Foreign Affairs). She foremost noticed that he had been in the shadow, the patient, and solid creator of a new paradigm in foreign policy, which was non-violent and post-patriarchal. He silently had buried Clausewitz and Machiavelli and had quietly proposed the Union a foreign policy, which was innovative, non-violent, and effective.

    Mrs. Cheng also congratulated the heads of States to have finally decided to accept the entrance of Turkey in the European Union in 2017. “By this foreign policy of a new type, you become a true engine for peace, stability, and democracy. The EU has done more to invite global Islam to adopt the criteria of democracy, human rights, and civil rights than all the other foreign policies together, for over 50 years. Moreover, this policy is almost cost-free and is non-violent, since the candidates themselves do all the adaptation work and internal reforms at their own expenses.”
        1. The creation of the International Security Agency (ISA)


    In the conversation, the European Foreign Affairs Secretary told her of a completely new global defence concept which had been discussed in his reflection group in Brussels. The idea was to propose to the interested states to terminate their national army, and budget (!) and to pay an insurance fee to the new global International Security Agency of the United Nations7. The latter would guarantee the protection of your national territory against external but also internal aggressions by the immediate intervention of its white helmets.

    She found the idea excellent and adopted it. “From now on, it is also my idea” she responded to the European Foreign Affairs Secretary. This is exactly the kind of troops that we would have needed to intervene in the former Yugoslavia to prevent massacres and rapes. She suggested the immediate creation of a working group on the subject in the United Nations. One year later, the United Nations proposed the creation of the International Security Agency (ISA).

    The atmosphere in the United Nations had changed a lot in two years and the proposal was accepted with an 80% vote in favour. Such unanimity had never been seen. This agency received a strong army of white helmets and an advanced technology from the former armies. The heart of these troops was formed by the European armies (German, Belgian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, etc.), which, for years, had reoriented themselves toward concrete actions of peacekeeping, and had learned to work together, notably in ex-Yugoslavia.

    It is also in Europe that the first serious subscribers were found: Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Portugal, and Greece and Turkey together. Soon, Japan and China joined (encouraged by Mrs. Cheng), followed by India because in India the lobby of the generals is powerful and the generals were very hesitant.

    In the Unites States, the Vice President was doing his best to manage a very difficult situation, since the dollar crash. And he did not at all oppose those new ideas, which were in the line of the multilateral line adopted by Obama. It was also easier for him, because of the weak position of the US military industrial complex.

    With all these wonderful people in the project, half of humankind was largely represented. It had started. The other states were welcome to follow if and when they wanted. Before long, then, the African states, with South Africa in the lead, decided to join. The costs were adjusted to the income per inhabitant. This was, for Africa, a wise and cheap choice, which enormously increased the chances of stabilisation of the continent, which suddenly understood that it could enter the knowledge society because of the new order of information launched by the UNESCO. They began to foresee the real possibility of valuing the huge potential of creativity of their population, including and mainly the women. They were followed by the Russians, who could not ask for better than to decrease their defence budget, but had waited prudently to see how this army of white helmets was functioning. After an extremely effective intervention in Africa in 2018, everybody suddenly understood.

    When looked at from the point of view of costs, large surpluses had accumulated in national budgets as military expenses had decreased significantly. Mrs. Cheng seized upon it to announce that China was investing 10% of its national budget for the promotion of human quality in education, first in China, and then in the rest of the world.

    And the world followed. The global economy was really on the move, because everyone discovered at that moment that certain States like Brazil were, for years, accounting education and human potential enhancement as an investment and not as a cost. And suddenly the budgets of all States in the world transformed totally.

    The complete reorganisation of the United Nations a new level of power

    Following her visit in Brussels, and because of the success of the International Security Agency, Mrs. Cheng realised that it was urgent to entirely rethink the structure and the foundation of the United Nations. Indeed, as Jean Monnet8 previously said, the United Nations were built on outdated basic concepts because no level of power was tolerated above the level of the national states. This condemned the UN to relative powerlessness.

    And it is this superior but subsidiary level of power that the European Union had, de facto, created. Even if the European member states, mainly those newly accepted, were slow to understand what they had really created together. And, paradoxically, Mrs. Cheng found unexpected allies. The newly elected (woman) president of Brazil and the prime minister of Japan were the first to grasp and approve this new way of reasoning. Whereas the Indian, Chinese, and Russian diplomats, and even some from European governments, were still hesitant to accept any authority above the nation state, that was neither a state, nor a super-state.

    But at the United Nations’ meeting of November 2019, that matter really changed when Lieutenant General Aristotle Panini, Officer Commanding ISA (the well-liked “white helmets”, straightforwardly said in his annual report: ”What our white helmets only miss is that they be the emanation of a global authority which is superior in legitimacy to the authority of nation states, and function along the subsidiarity (or devolution) principle.” It appears that, “only a European style World Nations Union can provide it to us. It is clear to our staffs that we need to move rapidly in that direction. Otherwise, we shall experience problems with the strong states of the world.”

    A deep silence followed. It was the president of Brazil, supported by the prime minister of Japan and Mrs. Cheng herself, who proposed to set up a commission to transform the United Nations into a World Union of the Nations.

    The reform took only six months because minds were ready. This reform, which will continue to be felt throughout the 21st century, evidently generated a reorganisation of all the United Nations agencies.

    The most spectacular reform was that of the WTO, the World Trade Organization, which quietly changed into the World Information Sharing Organization (WISO) in 2019. It was drawing the idea from the “New Order of Information“ proposed by the UNESCO and ratified by the general assembly in 2018. Its goal from now on was to promote the sharing of knowledge everywhere, because that was the only way to create new knowledge that would benefit humankind.

    The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund closed in 2017, at the same time as the Beijing monetary agreement of 2017. They were not immediately replaced.

    We are in 2050

    We now are in 2050, and the world is so changed that the “New United Nations” has created an international commission of historians to write an essay for the school curricula on the history of the 20th century to explain to children how was the world, which their parents were born into.

    As George Santayana has noted: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

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