The world confronts multiple crises, each of which resists current efforts at resolution and appears intractable. The environmental crisis of climate change occupied the center stage in the mid-2000s. Fears of nuclear weapons proliferation, which had subsided into complacency in the years following the end of the Cold War, suddenly surfaced with renewed intensity when Korea tested nuclear weapons and long range missiles and news surfaced of Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program in 2007. Then the subprime mortgage crisis exploded in late 2008, spreading havoc through financial markets across the world. It was followed quickly by a sudden and substantial slowing of economic growth in OECD countries, rising levels of unemployment and most recently a crisis of excessive government debt. In spite of the enormous attention being given to each of these issues by specialists nationally and internationally, progress on all fronts appears to be nearly at a standstill or at least far too slow to meet pressing human concerns. The times we live in are a Wild West of globalization and the unbridled, unregulated expansion of international activities threatens to destabilize and undermine the remarkable progress of the previous five decades. This project is predicated on the assumption that each of these problems defies solution because they all represent problems that transcend the sovereign powers of the nation-state. None of them can be fully and satisfactorily addressed by nation-states acting individually. All are symptoms of the evolution of world society to a stage where concerted and coordinated global action is required to meet the collective needs of humanity for peace, security, financial stability, economic welfare and sustainable development. This project has been conceived to address the underlying and interrelated issues that all these challenges pose to global governance.
- A workshop was conducted on the then emerging international financial crisis at the Hyderabad GA in Fall 2008.
- An article most appropriately entitled “The Perfect Storm: Economic, Financial and Socio-Ecology” was published in Cadmus issue 2 in April 2011.
- The project was publicly inaugurated at a UNESCO sponsored conference in Dubrovnik in September 2011.
- A paper presented at Dubrovnik, “Turn Toward Unity: Converting Crises into Opportunities”, exploring these themes and possible remedies was published in Cadmus issue 3 in October 2011 together with another article “The World in 2052”.
- The international conference on “Opportunities and Challenges of the 21st Century: Search for a New Paradigm” which the World Academy and the United Nations co-organized at Palais des Nations in Geneva on June 3, 2013, was the second in a series of WAAS events that evolved the outlines for a new paradigm of global security and development. Presentations explored comprehensive strategies to address four interdependent clusters of issues related to economy and employment, energy and ecology, human capital, governance and international security.
- Building on the insights and momentum of the Geneva conference, a small group of WAAS Fellows and invited participants from the region met in Alexandria on June 5th and 6th to review the conclusions of the Geneva conference and search for an underlying framework for a new paradigm for global peace and development. The meeting generated a tentative list of concepts, principles and values which could constitute the foundations of a new paradigm.
- Three roundtable conferences on this project took place in Washington DC, Ottawa and San Francisco Bay Area during September 2013.
- An international conference was held on “Transition to a New Society” held in Montenegro in March 2014 and a preparatory meeting on a “New Paradigm for Human Development” of 30 leaders of 10 international organizations took place in Baku, Azerbaijan on April 30, 2014.
- An international conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan was held on November 5-7, 2014 by the World Academy of Art & Science, World University Consortium and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in partnership with a consortium of leading international organizations, research institutes and universities to examine the theoretical foundations and policy framework for a new paradigm in human development capable of addressing the pressing challenges confronting humanity today. The conference consisted of four trans-disciplinary, inter-related tracks focusing on issues related to governance, international security, human rights and law; economy, finance and employment; education and human development; and energy, resources and climate.
- The Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Charitable Foundation, Ukraine, in collaboration with WAAS and WUC, organized an international conference on “The State of the World: Need for the New World Paradigm and Role of Ukraine in it” on April 25, 2015 at The International Convention Centre “Ukrainian House” in Kiev, Ukraine.
- The focus of the next conference in the series, “Framework for a New Paradigm of Human Development,” was on institutional change and governance issues needed to promote economic, political, social and ecological security. The conference which was held on April 29-30, 2015, in Baku, Azerbaijan created an action plan for implementing ideas proposed during the Almaty conference organised by WAAS, the World University Consortium and the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.
- The XII International Colloquium took place in Gainesville, Florida, USA at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, from May 20-22, 2015. The selected theme was “Visions of Sustainable Development: Theory and Action”. This meeting was organized by the University of Florida (UF), the University of Brasilia (UnB), and the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS). The Colloquium included presentations on the inter-relationship of economic development and the problems of democracy and global power. It also generated specific contexts where the challenges of transition and sustainable development were explored.
- On November 10th, 2015, WAAS and WUC convened a meeting at CERN in Geneva to summarize core findings of the fifteen conferences and workshops conducted over the past four years and to identify the agenda for future work. A consensus emerged from these efforts that a new conceptual framework is urgently needed to reflect the complex realities of global society.
- The XIII International Colloquium took place at the Lisbon School of Economics & Management, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, on 11-13, May, 2016. The selected theme was “Post-2008 Global Dynamics & Structural Changes: Economic, Political and Eco-Societal Transitions” - Perspectives on New Economic Theory. Special sessions of the conference were dedicated to the development of a transdisciplinary conceptual framework for economic theory in the 21st century. This meeting was organized by the University of Lisbon, the University of Brasilia, the World Academy of Art and Science, World University Consortium, the University of Brasilia and CESA/CSG.