Some Good News at Last?

Sep 24, 2020

The recent announcement that the World Economic Forum will be holding a unique twin summit in January 2021 on what is termed “The Great Reset “is the best news I have read for some time.

This initiative is being led by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. And it has the support of leaders of the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the International Trade Union Federation and a number of very senior global business leaders.

At the extraordinary virtual launch event, which can be seen at Schwab said “We have only one planet and we know that climate change could be the next global disaster, with ever more dramatic consequences for humankind. We have to decarbonise the economy in the short window still remaining and bring our thinking and behaviour once more into harmony with nature”.

The launch event also featured an interesting and quite impressive presentation by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, who said “In order to secure our future and to prosper, we need to evolve our economic model and put people and planet at the heart of global value creation. If there is one critical lesson to learn from the Covid-19 crisis, it is that we need to put nature at the heart of how we operate.” Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations added “The Great Reset is a welcome recognition that this (Covid-19) human tragedy must be a wake-up call. We must build more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change and the many other global changes we face.”

Another important contribution was from The Managing Director of The International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva who pledged her strong support for the new development. She was followed by a number of leaders of global industry including the CEO of BP and a spokesperson from the China Society for Finance and Banking

This announcement about the twin summit Indicates that it will be “both in person and virtual, connecting key global government and business leaders in Davos with a global multi stakeholder network in 400 cities around the world for a forward oriented dialogue driven by the younger generation.”

Of course it is tempting to believe what I want to believe about this development. That it is evidence that leading economic thinkers around the world are at last recognising that we must change direction away from the model that has driven the world for the last 40 years , and transform our thinking about economics to a model which, in the words of David Korten is characterised less by a “sacred money and markets ” approach and more by a “sacred life and living earth approach.”

If this really is what is happening in the lead up to the “Great Reset” January could be a very important month in world history. And the growing talk in the US about a Green New Deal might prosper also, if Jo Biden replaces Donald Trump.

Could we be witnessing the dawn of a bright new day for the human species, that sets us on the path to human survival in the face of a series of currently unaddressed, catastrophic threats to the future of humans on the planet.

Let’s all hope so

Em Prof Bob Douglas AO, is a retired public health academic and Secretary of the Commission for The Human Future

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