The Age of Sustainable Development with Jeffrey Sachs – YouTube

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Sign up at http://www.coursera.org/course/susdev. The course The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University will be offered free of charge to everyone on the Coursera platform. 

 

Sustainable development is the most urgent challenge facing humanity. The fundamental question is how the world economy can continue to develop in a way that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. The course describes the complex interactions between the world economy and the Earth’s physical environment. Ecological processes and constraints (climate, disease ecology, physical resources such as soils and energy sources, topography and transport conditions) significantly shape the patterns of economic development, demography, and wealth and poverty. At the same time, human activities (farming, land use, urbanization, demographic change, and energy use) change the physical environments, increasingly in dangerous ways. 

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The Meaning of Decent Society – Robert Reich

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It’s the season to show concern for the less fortunate among us. We should also be concerned about the widening gap between the most fortunate and everyone else.

Although it’s still possible to win the lottery (your chance of winning $648 million in the recent Mega Millions sweepstakes was one in 259 million), the biggest lottery of all is what family we’re born into. Our life chances are now determined to an unprecedented degree by the wealth of our parents.

The underlying issue is a moral one: What do we owe one another as members of the same society?

 

Conservatives answer that question by saying it’s a matter of personal choice – of charitable works, philanthropy, and individual acts of kindness joined in “a thousand points of light.”

 

But that leaves out what we could and should seek to accomplish together as a society. It neglects the organization of our economy, and its social consequences. It minimizes the potential role of democracy in determining the rules of the game, as well as the corruption of democracy by big money. It overlooks our strivings for social justice.

 

In short, it ducks the meaning of a decent society.

To get back to the kind of shared prosperity and upward mobility we once considered normal will require another era of fundamental reform, of both our economy and our democracy

Daniel LaLiberte‘s insight:

"Society" is, by definition, about how people relate as a group, as a collection of individuals living and working together.  So a decent society can’t be one where the vast majority is unwillingly subserviant to an extremely fortunate, vanishingly small minority.

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The Time Is Now – Russell Brand – YouTube

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“Only systems that serve the planet and the population of the planet can be allowed to survive.”

 

“As long as people are empowered with information, if people are unified, if people have a common understanding and are prepared to look at what we share, what unifies us, instead of what separates us, then the people are invincible.”

 

“We need to see politics as the implementation of spiritual principles, of oneness, togetherness, tolerance of one another, and making sure that people are taken care of.”

 

“There is going to be a revolution; it’s simply going to happen.  I ain’t got a flicker of doubt.  This is the end!  This is time to wake up!”

Daniel LaLiberte‘s insight:

Even though a revolution appears inevitable, at least in the sense of enormous changes at all levels of our society, it can either be a process of destructive chaos, or creative emergence, or a mix of both.  We have a lot of work ahead of us no matter what, but it will be less work, and less painful, if we can transition more peacefully in a spirit of cooperation, though with all due haste. 

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The Growing Realization That Our Individual Struggles Are All Connected Makes This “Our Moment”

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We are moving toward becoming a movement of movements that cannot be ignored because more people are coming to the realization that our individual struggles are all connected to a larger struggle and that we have more strength when we act together rather than alone.   As the unity shown in that photograph becomes a reality, we will succeed in creating the kind of solidarity that will make this era “OUR MOMENT.”

South Africa is mourning the death of Nelson Mandela.  His vision for South Africa was of a rainbow – uniting all people, no one race white or black dominating others.  The liberation he sought was not only ending the racist and abusive apartheid system but also ending an economic system which allowed the white minority to profit while the black majority was impoverished.

Such a united movement is growing in the United States and around the world as people organize around the issues that affect them directly but recognize they are working toward a common goal of ending the rule of money and putting the needs of the people and protection of the planet first.

See on www.alternet.org

The Power Of The Reasonable Majority | Ben Goldhirsh | XPRIZE Insights

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Ben Goldhirsh talks about an inflection point in how civil society exercises it’s power and how the internet is helping to make that easier for everyone.

“We’re all here in this thing together.”

“It’s a total inflection point in how things work.”

“The team play that’s starting to pop up is moving us toward more of a true democracy.”

“You don’t have to be angry to dig in; it’s easy to dig in. Now it’s so easy to have an impact.”

“You’ve unlocked the power of the reasonable majority.”

“I think it’s game over for the unreasonable.”

Ben Goldhirsh is Co-founder and CEO, of Good. Good is a global community of, by, and for pragmatic idealists working towards individual and collective progress. 

Daniel LaLiberte‘s insight:

Ben tell why we are inevitably moving toward a true democracy, which, in my mind, is a global consensus, acting as one global mind, composed of all the individual minds being most fully and fairly expressed.  The reasonable majority is a super majority, an agreement among most people that is not about suppressing any minority views, but understanding all viewpoints for what we can all learn from them.

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