2014 Publications

Can religion be a progressive force for confronting world challenges? Michael Karlberg argues that it can if reconceptualized as an evolving system of knowledge and practice rooted in universal values.

Commentary by Christoph Bals, Kurt Grimm, Michelle Holliday, Stephen Purdey, Carolyn Raffensperger, Paul Raskin, Steven Rockefeller, Richard Rosen, Bruce Schuman, and Mimi Stokes Katzenbach, and a response from the author

Naomi Klein indicts the capitalist economic system for bringing us to the brink of climate crisis and calls for building a movement for a more equitable and sustainable alternative.

Paul Raskin revisits the scenarios developed by the Global Scenario Group and asks, which future are we living in? Despite proliferating perils, he argues, a Great Transition remains plausible—if an emerging social actor moves to center stage.

What is the "sharing economy"? Can it contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future? Juliet Schor answers these questions, arguing that democratizing the ownership of these new platforms will be key to realizing their potential.

Commentary from Julian Agyeman and Duncan McLaren, Dean Baker, Maurie Cohen, Milicent Johnson, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, and Chris Tittle, and a response from the author.

Peggy Liu, the co-founder of the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, discusses efforts to steer China's rapid development in a sustainable direction and to reimagine prosperity while doing so.

Claims of “world citizenship” are premature in the absence of a global political community. The concept of the “citizen pilgrim” can help us reimagine citizenship as the struggle to create such a community to bring humane global governance to the twenty-first century.

Commentary from Franck Amalric, Joseph Camilleri, Larry George, Robert Johansen, and Robert Paehlke, and a response by the author.

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, discusses IUCN's evolving mission toward a holistic approach to restoring species and ecosystems while enhancing the prospects for human well-being.

Two Cheers for Piketty

Two Cheers for Piketty

In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty provides a sweeping explanation of inequality, but his proposed remedies offer reform, rather than the fundamental change essential to guiding the global economy toward a just and sustainable future.

As support grows for placing a monetary value on nature’s services, we must take caution lest we ignore the socio-cultural dimensions of nature and subject it to the volatile and calculative logic of markets.

Commentary from Robert Costanza, Herman Daly, Neil Glazer, Robert Hickey, Jutta Kill, Carolyn Raffensperger, William Rees, Neera Singh, and Achim Steiner, and a response by the author.

An interview with Fritjof Capra, the founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy, about the emergence of systems thinking, the root causes of todays’ social and environmental problems, and how to change the system itself.

The widely-aired documentary Pandora’s Promise offers a glowing endorsement of nuclear power as the solution for our climate woes. However, it is too quick to dismiss concerns about reactor safety, waste management, and weapons proliferation—let alone cost.

Peter Dauvergne and Genviere LeBaron’s new book Protest Inc. analyzes the headwinds driving against the rise of radical activism. Although it offers a much-needed critique of the weakening of NGO resolve to challenge the system, it provides little guidance on how to bring such change about.

Numerous grassroots initiatives devoted to fostering sustainable and equitable alternatives to the dominant economic development model have recently sprung up in India and other parts of the world. The emergent framework of radical ecological democracy can inspire such a values-led transition to a better future.

Commentary by David Barkin, Federico Demaria, Helena Norberg-Hodge, and Neera Singh, and a response by the author.

The Future ICSO

The Future ICSO

An interview with Burkhard Gnärig, the Executive Director of the International Civil Society Centre, about the current landscape of international civil society organizations (ICSOs) and what they must do to adapt to a world filled with new challenges and opportunities.

In an increasingly interdependent world, the question is not whether there will be global governance, but whether it will be democratic and integrative. To democratize international affairs, we must expand the concept and practice of citizenship through a global citizens movement.

With commentary by John Bunzl, Peter Christoff, Richard Falk, John Martin Gillroy, Liisa Horelli, and Michael Karlberg

  • Hidden Link

The corporate sustainability movement has yet to fully grasp the risk of looming social and ecological tipping points. To avoid the trap of incrementalism, we need a systemic understanding of how a truly sustainable corporation would operate.

With commentary by Manuel Escudero, Stuart Hart, Mark McElory, Alan Willis, and Simon Zadek

Recent demographic, economic, social, cultural, and resource trends may foretell the decline of consumer society in the US. The question then becomes what system will come next.

With commentary by Julian Agyeman, John Ehrenfeld, Emily Huddart-Kennedy, and William Rees

An interview with the former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights about how to build the political will to address the climate crisis and why a rights-based approach must lie at the core of 21st century development.

Vishaan Chakrabarti’s recent book A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America makes a compelling case that future prosperity lies in cities. But his vision of the built environment, this review argues, leaves out an essential element: the people who inhabit it.

By helping diverse communities bypass dysfunctional government and predatory markets, the commons approach can serve a key strategic role in the transition to an alternative system.

With commentary by Arthur Dahl, Liisa Horelli, Ashish Kothari, James Quilligan, and Wolfgang Sachs