The New Paradigm - Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century: Search for a New Paradigm

New Paradigm - Concept Note

The New Paradigm

Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century: Search for a New Paradigm

Is an effective solution possible to meet all of the challenges facing humanity today in the fields of economy, ecology, human security, global governance and peace? The World Academy is examining the root causes of these multiple challenges in order to formulate an integrated perspective, comprehensive strategy and detailed policy framework attuned to the realities, needs and emerging opportunities of the 21st century. The project includes a series of conferences at Trieste (March 2013), the UNO in Geneva (June 2013), a workshop at the Library of Alexandria (June 2013) and workshops in Washington DC, Ottawa and the SF Bay Area (Sept 2013), Podgorica (March 2014), Baku (April 2014), Almaty (November 2014), Baku (April 2015) and Gainesville (May 2015) and will culminate in a published report. Click on the sections of the diagram below to access available articles and discussion papers on these topics.

Scope: 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.

New Paradigm - Conferences

Paradigm Shift - Geneva - November 10, 2015

On November 10th WAAS and WUC convened a meeting in Geneva to summarize core findings of fifteen conferences and workshops conducted over the past four years and to identify the agenda for future work. A consensus has emerged from these efforts that a new conceptual framework is urgently needed to reflect the complex realities of global society. This calls for a paradigm shift in thinking in the social sciences as significant as the earlier shifts in the natural sciences from a geocentric to a heliocentric universe and from a mechanistic Newtonian world to the complexity revealed by Quantum Mechanics. This paradigm shift will represent a quantum shift away from mechanistic, naturalistic, materialistic conceptions and models of human society, making human welfare the focal point and central objective, affirming the central importance and validity of universal values in the human sciences, restoring scientific legitimacy to subjective experience, and recognizing the catalytic role of creative individuals in the evolution of the collective.Read more…

XII INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM on Visions of Sustainable Development: Theory and Action - Florida, USA - May 20-22, 2015

The recent global financial and economic crisis has underscored the fact that despite significant increases in income and other "development" indicators in many parts of the world in the last fifty years, or so, the appropriate paths to development require serious rethinking. The rapid growth of the financial sector in the global economy has made economies fragile. Increases in inequality seem to be making societies more unjust and unstable. The problem of global warming continues to be major threat for the future. 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). Read more…

Framework for a New Paradigm of Human Development - Baku, Azerbaijan - April 29-30, 2015

The accelerated pace of change in the global economic, political, technological, scientific, social and environmental spheres, growing complexity of the interactions and increasing integration of inter-dependencies between these spheres present unparalleled challenges to human security, welfare and well-being. Persistent poverty combined with rising levels of unemployment, inequality, social unrest, armed conflict, resource depletion and climate instability are symptomatic. These challenges have defied solution by piecemeal, sectoral strategies based on existing concepts and national level policy initiatives. The conference discussed a draft report and formulate action plans for implementing ideas proposed in earlier conferences organised by WAAS, Club of Rome, Green Cross International, Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Partnership for Change, World Future Council, World University Consortium and other consortium partners. The focus of this conference 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 the Academy, the World University Consortium and the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.Read more…

“The State of the World, Need for the New World Paradigm and Role of Ukraine in it” - Kiev, Ukraine - April 25, 2015

The world is not in a healthy state. It needs some help in healing itself, in revitalizing its values of freedom, dignity of individual, supremacy of law, social justice (rather than focusing just on money). A shift from the “win-lose” to a “win-win” game is necessary through a shift to acting out of the sense of obligation in the spirit of cooperation. Ukraine can be of help in the process because it has gone through a very painful process of rebirth of a nation, with values and behavior mentioned above, which could be useful for the world to be conscious of. Read more…

New Paradigm of sustainable human development. G-Global – a new form of global dialogue - Almaty - Nov 5-7, 2014

The Almaty conference was organized 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. This conference built on the proceedings of about a dozen recent conferences exploring the limitations of current theory and public policy and viable alternative approaches. Read more…

International Conference on Employment Growth – on a Road to Recovery - Bosnia and Herzegovina - July 1, 2014

On July 1, 2014 the World Academy of Art & Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bosnia Herzegovina conducted a high level international conference in the main Parliament assembly hall at Sarajevo on "Conference on Employment Growth – On A Road to Recovery". The conference was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of BiH, (name). In addition to representatives of WAAS, speakers included representatives from the European Union, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, International Labor Organization, and USAID. The conference highlighted successful models from neighboring countries, success stories drawn from different sectors of BiH, and innovative strategies for rapidly expanding job creation. The overall conclusion of the conference was that with a comprehensive strategy backed by sufficient political will, full employment in BiH is an achievable goal.Read more…

XI International Colloquium on Global Crisis and Changes of Paradigms: Current Issues, Brasilia, May 6-8, 2014

As it is well known economics has been concerned with understanding how economies work in order to discover which policies could make them work better. Growth, distribution, inflation, trade and employment, have been some of the main concerns of macroeconomic theories. Yet few economists foresaw the scale of the financial and economic crisis from 2008, and few have been able to propose alternative economic paradigms to respond to it. The main objective of the Colloquium is to provide a platform for a productive exchange of ideas, theories and policies that might identify such paradigm shifts and better inform policies for both national and global governance.Read more…

New Paradigm for Human Development, Baku, April 30, 2014

Today humanity confronts multiple challenges that seem to defy all current efforts to resolve them. At the same time the world possesses unprecedented resources and organizational capabilities more than sufficient to promote peace, prosperity, and full employment on a sustainable basis. One of the main limiting factors has been the piecemeal approach that fails to address common underlying issues. The Academy is now in the process of constituting an international consortium of organizations to formulate a New Paradigm for Human Development addressing all the major challenges confronting humanity today and encompassing insights related to human welfare and equitable development, economy and ecology, governance and international law, peace and security. Read more…

International Conference - Transition to a New Society, Podgorica, Montenegro - March 20-21, 2014

Human society is currently undergoing changes of a nature unprecedented in both magnitude and intensity. The outcome of this development will be a different type of civilization based mainly on knowledge, information, communication and the most importantly – mobility. One of the main difficulties in this transition is the emerging gap between the accelerating pace of technological change and the slower pace of cultural evolution. The changes in technology, in turn, are closely connected to broader issues, including political and economic change, energy concerns, natural resources, food supply, health, individual quality of life, and many more. The Montenegrin Academy of Sciences & Arts organized an international conference on this theme on March 20-21, 2014, in Podgorica, Montenegro. The conference was co-organized by the World Academy of Art and Science, ALLEA and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. This conference focused on three major topics: A. Political and Economic Change; B. Environment, Energy and Sustainability, and C. Humans and Machines. The subheadings are only suggestions for issues to be discussed. Read more…

World University Consortium Meeting of Charter Members, Alexandria, Feb 2014

The Library of Alexandria, one of the world’s greatest repositories of knowledge, hosted the first meeting of the Charter Members of the World University Consortium. This meeting follows the “World Academy Forum on Global Higher Education” at the University of California at Berkeley in Oct 2013 at which the launching of WUC was endorsed by a leading group of educational innovators. Read more…

International Conference -- World Academy Forum on the Future of Global Higher Education, University of California at Berkeley - October 2-3, 2013

The World Academy Forum on Global Higher Education was held on October 2-3, 2013 in Berkeley, California, USA, bringing together leading-edge educators, universities, MOOCs, technology providers and other stakeholders to brainstorm new models and creative solutions for establishing a world-class system of higher education available to all humanity and to forge an international alliance of stakeholders to make it happen. Recognizing the huge, rapidly expanding gap between educational needs and resources, the resulting deficiencies in development of precious and perishable human potentialities, and the consequent incalculable losses for individuals, families and communities, which can only be remedied by a massive global effort to meet the challenge, the World University Consortium will seek to develop innovative strategies for enhancing accessibility, affordability, quality, creativity and relevance in the field of higher education at the global level. The UC Berkeley Forum is an integral component of the Academy’s broader program to evolve a New Paradigm for Human Development able to fulfill the aspirations of all human beings. Read more…

Ottawa Conference, September 2013

Humanity today faces a pressing need to move beyond a mere description of the crises which has already been well documented. There is presently no consensus as to whether real, effective solutions are possible to address the full spectrum of global challenges and what those solutions should be. Discussion examined changes that are needed in theoretical concepts in the social sciences to support a newparadigm, changes in social values essential to unpin it, fundamental changes in our way of thinking and knowing needed for its full emergence, positive steps that can be taken now to prepare the way, and the role that can be played by pioneering individuals in ushering in a new paradigm. Read more…

Washington DC Conference, September 2013

An impartial, open-minded assessment makes it evident that viable solutions to the challenges confronting humanity today can only be found by looking beyond the prevailing framework of values, ideas, strategies, policies, and institutions on which current solutions are based. The global economy is capable of producing sufficient goods and services to eradicate poverty and meet the needs of all human beings. Discussion examined significant paradigm changes that have impacted on global society in the past millennium and how have they altered the functioning of society, the deep drivers most likely to impact on global society in the coming decade and their most likely effect on the unfolding future, and institutional changes most essential for emergence of a new paradigm. Read more…

Alexandria Conference, June 2013

According to a proverb, there is nothing new to be learned, only old knowledge to be recovered and interpreted in the light of the present. The Academy’s quest for a new paradigm brought it to one of the world’s oldest and largest known repositories of collective knowledge, the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, first constructed in the 3rd century BC, destroyed during the Roman occupation, and resurrected as a state-of-the-art center in 2002. 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. Read more…

Geneva Conference, June 2013

We need leadership in thought which will lead to effective action. Of all ideas, values are the most powerful. It has been said that it takes centuries of human experience to make a little recorded history and centuries of history to create a little civilization and centuries of civilization to form a drop of culture. The discussions today are only one step in a process. Yet already we can perceive the first outlines of a paradigm emerging, founded on basic human rights, fuelled by the dynamism of creative human energies, and aspiring to build a world whose principal aim and objective are the welfare and well-being of all human beings. Read more…

Webcast on Global Challenges & Opportunities, May 2013

Discussion focused on the complexity of the global challenges confronting humanity in the fields of economy and employment, energy and ecology, international law and global governance, education and human capital, money and finance, peace and security. Emphasis was placed on the need for a transdisciplinary, integrated approach, illustrating how the problem of unemployment was linked not only to economy but also to public policy, education, health, psychological well-being, crime, social stability, and terrorism. Participants affirmed the need to go beyond mere analysis of causes to the formulation of a set of ideas, values, principles, strategies and policies that will lead to inter-sectoral and integrated action. Read more…

Impact of Science and Technology on Society and Economy, Trieste, March 2013

Humanity is at a crossroads. Present social science theory and public policy are no longer adequate to meet the multi-dimensional challenges posed by rising social aspirations, unemployment and inequality, wasteful patterns of production and consumption, globalization of markets, technological advances, demographic changes, and ecological constraints. Incremental changes in public policy based on the present conceptual framework will only aggravate problems that are already acute. At the same time, the resources and capabilities of global society have never been greater than they are today. Scientific knowledge, technological developments, infrastructure and productive capabilities, educated and skilled human resources, entrepreneurial skills, commercial organization and a rapidly expanding global social network offer unprecedented opportunities for rapid social progress. A solution can be found to every one of these problems, if only we are willing to think outside conventional boundaries. There is no dearth of opportunity. The limits we confront are limits to our thought. What is needed is to approach the challenges and the opportunities comprehensively and evolve an integrated package of solutions. The concept of efficient market theory to maximize return to investors has to be replaced by a theoretical framework that maximizes the efficiency of society as a whole by the full utilization of all available social resources to improve human welfare and well-being. This Forum formulated a comprehensive package of solutions to mobilize the enormous untapped potentials of human and social capital based on far-sighted, ecologically sustainable economic policies; advanced delivery systems for higher education and vocational training; innovations in the application of science and technology; and new types of social networks and industrial clusters; together with strategies to release and direct social aspirations and energies into new fields of creativity.Read more…

New Paradigm - Need for New Paradigm

Overview | Issues | Trends | Global Governance | Role of Crises




Global Governance

Role of Crises

New Paradigm - Economics

Employment | Demography | Economic Theory | Money & Finance | Measurement



Title Author Date

Avery, John Scales

May 13
Counter-Aging in the Post-industrial Society

Giarini, Orio

Oct 12

Economic Theory

Money & Finance

Title Author Date
Multiplying Money

Jacobs, Garry

May 13
The Power of Money

Jacobs, Garry & Šlaus, Ivo

Oct 12
Book review — Money and Sustainability: The Missing Link

Šlaus, Ivo & Jacobs, Garry

Oct 12
Money, Debt, People and Planet

von Uexkull, Jakob

Oct 12
The Great Divorce: Finance and Economy

Giarini,Orio; Jacobs, Garry & Slaus, Ivo

Apr 12
Getting Risks Right

Liedtke, Patrick

Apr 12


New Paradigm - Human Capital

Education | Health | Individuality | Knowledge | Networks | Social Evolution | Values






Title Author Date
Expanding Network of Networks

Giarini, Orio; Gurgulino de Souza, Heitor; Jacobs, Garry; Šlaus, Ivo; Zucconi, Alberto

Apr 14
Networks: Innovation, growth and sustainable development

Johnston, Peter

May 13
The World as Web

Jacobs, Garry

Feb 13
Overview on Science of Networks

Weiler, Raoul 

Nov 12
Science of Networks - An Economics Perspective

Bochniarz, Zbigniew 

Nov 12
Networks Viewed as Key Elements in Human Cognition Science of Networks

Donald, Merlin 

Nov 12
Social Evolution and the Science of Networks

Jacobs, Garry

Nov 12

Social Evolution


Title Author Date
A Creative Moment

Jacobs, Garry

Jun 13
The Global Values Discourse

Jacobs, Garry; Nagan, Winston P.

Sep 12

New Paradigm - Global Governance

Democracy | Global Governance | Global Security | Human Rights

Law & Governance


Global Governance

Global Security

Title Author Date
Investments for Governance


Etheredge, Lloyd


Sep 13
Goals of Global Security


Granoff, Jonathan


Sep 13
Actions to Enhance Global Security

Browne, Des; Jacobs, Garry and Šlaus, Ivo

May 13
From European Union to World Union

McClintock, John

Apr 12

Human Rights

Title Author Date
The Right to Development

Nagan, Winston P.

May 13

Law & Governance

New Paradigm - International Security