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Paul Raskin



Journey to Earthland: The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization

Paul Raskin


Journey to Earthland Cover

Journey to Earthland
The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization

Paul Raskin


A global scenario pioneer charts a path to an organic planetary civilization, a vision that opens before us as both possibility and exigency in an interdependent and dangerous century.


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We have entered the Planetary Phase of Civilization. Strands of interdependence are weaving humanity and Earth into a single community of fate—the overarching proto-country herein christened Earthland. In the unsettled twenty-first century, the drama of social evolution will play out on a world stage with the perils many and dark premonitions all too plausible.

Still, a Great Transition to a planetary civilization of enriched lives and a healthy planet remains possible. But how? What forms of collective action and consciousness can redirect us toward such a future? Who will lead the charge? What might such a world look like?

Journey to Earthland offers answers. It clarifies the world-historical challenge; explains the critical role of a global citizens movement in advancing social transformation; and paints a picture of the kind of flourishing civilization that might lie on the other side of a Great Transition.

In this pivotal moment, the odyssey to a different world is underway yet the ultimate destination depends on choices and struggles yet to come. Acting to prevent the futures we dread is where our work must begin. But the larger task is to foster the finer Earthland we and our descendants deserve.


"A masterpiece, beautifully written and powerfully argued."
James Gustave Speth, The Bridge at the Edge of the World

"A well-researched, rigorous, and deeply moving treatise by a theoretical physicist and seasoned visionary, and we need visionaries in these fraught times. The framework it builds for understanding and shaping our global moment offers the best hope for the future of this planet."
Stephen Kern, The Culture of Time and Space

"The most articulate and concise rendering of our predicament I have encountered, written by a man who has lived in this existential question over a long period of time, and worked it with his uncommon intellect, and also in his heart."
John Fullerton, Founder, The Capital Institute

"The depth of Paul Raskin’s understanding is matched by the brilliance of his style. This sort of long perspective will keep us going through the difficult days just ahead."
Jerome Ravetz, Scientific Knowledge and Its Social Problems

"One of the most important documents of our time."
Evelin Lindner, A Dignity Economy

“An inspiring, persuasive, and beautifully written volume, supported by science and history.”
Gilberto Gallopín, Global Sustainability: Bending the Curve

“Reading Journey to Earthland is an extraordinary experience. Paul Raskin is a master navigator of the complexities of our world. He not only depicts a future that is convincingly portrayed as necessary and desirable, but also shows us that it is technically possible to achieve, although not presently politically feasible. To make this desired and desirable future a viable political project is his underlying mission.”
Richard Falk, (Re)Imagining Humane Global Governance

“An admirable example of technical rigor endowed with a literary style of rare quality. Reading this eye-opening plea in defense of the idea of a peaceful, healthy and happy globalized human community would benefit anyone in the turbulent times we live.”
Alioune Sall, Executive Director, African Futures Institute

“A comprehensive view of our challenges at present, and a valuable stimulus to our collective thinking. I am appreciative of the careful analysis, clear writing, and thoughtful conclusions.”
Mary Evelyn Tucker, Journey of the Universe

“An awakening and inspiring experience! This book is a must-read book for all social activists, educators, leaders, citizens, and anyone else who want to influence our common future.”
Manuel Manga, Founder, Center for Evolutionary Leadership

“Insightful and thought-provoking. I appreciate the hopeful, yet sober, discussion of future scenarios and agree with the call for a global citizens movement that can help us advance the Great Transition toward a peaceful and just global order.”
Michael Karlberg, Beyond the Culture of Contest

“A vision that captures the essentials of what is both desirable and necessary for any recognizable Earthland to exist at the end of this century’s journey.”
Kerryn Higgs, Collision Course: Endless Growth on a Finite Planet

“A soaring book.”
Mimi Stokes-Katzenbach, award-winning playwright

“A compelling read on the current state of the global system and possibilities for a truly significant transformation to a more sustainable and just order.”
Luis Cabrera, The Practice of Global Citizenship

“An impressive and laudable torch light to the future.”
Maurie Cohen, The Future of Consumer Society

Journey has become a constant thought companion. With the poetry and lyricism of the hopeful traveler in our embattled, brittle world, it can become the basis for broader engagement by activists and civil society organizations.” ”
Vicki-Ann Assevero, Founder, The Green Market

“A thoughtful contribution to envisioning a viable human future. Its use of multiple scenarios helps to evoke a sense of the complexity of the systems with which we are dealing and the variety of available possibilities.”
David Korten, The Great Turning


Paul Raskin


Paul Raskin

Paul Raskin is a co-founder and president of the Tellus Institute. In addition, he established the Global Scenario Group and the Great Transition Initiative. His work has focused on visions and strategies for a sustainable and just future. Toward that end he has pioneered widely-used models for integrated assessment, served as lead author on numerous international assessments, and published widely. Dr. Raskin holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Columbia University.




Cite as Paul Raskin, Journey to Earthland: The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization (Boston: Tellus Institute, 2016).