Sharing Power With the Next Generations
The rise of international organisations
- After the devastation brought about by the second world war, a slew of international organisations was created to ensure that another world war did not come about.
- These were led by the United Nations in political sphere and the Bretton Woods institutions — the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)- in the economic sphere.
- While UN was collectively controlled by all the victors under UN Security Council as the permanent 5 memvbers, the World Bank and the IMF was firmly under the control of Western Democracies.
- The recent conflict in Ukraine has brought the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is back in the picture.
- This war though being touted as a conflict between democracies and dictators is again threatening to make the world pick sides and become divided.
- Another organisation, the G7, was formed in the 1970s when the Bretton Woods institutions seemed unable to prevent the global economic crisis caused by Oil Crisis of 1973.
- The oil crisis of 1973 happened due to and oil embargo by the OPEC countries against the countries which supported Israel in the Yum Kippur war.
- Later a larger institution G 20 was formed in 1999 to include the emerging economies such as India, China, Indonesia and others.
The need for change
- The modern approach to progress, disseminated widely through “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, is to extract resources from the planet to create new products for human benefit.
- And then to find new technological approaches to repair the damage caused to the planet by those technologies. Thus, scientific technology goes round in circles.
- The current method is based on Scientific experts trying to be “objective” about the systems they study by placing their minds outside the systems.
- However, this way cannot work in socio-ecological systems. Since unlike ‘scientific’ design thinkers who try to design systems ‘objectively’, natural systems thinkers learn to live with and within the systems that give them life.
- Moreover, stakeholders with conflicting needs must be aligned. Therefore, central coordination seems essential for large-scale change.
- Since standard, “one size”, solutions cannot fit all, not only do their solutions not work well but trust also breaks down between the leaders on top of large international organisations (and the experts who advise them) and people on the ground.
- This is the major cause of rise of populism and revolts against “the Establishment”.
What can be done
- In this scenario a new concept of “inter-generational justice” is gaining traction as a better way of producing a more equitable global order and, hopefully, arresting mankind’s breakneck destruction of the planet despite — or because of? — great advances in technologies.
- Older generations listening to younger generations, rather than younger people following their elders, may be a radical civilisational shift.
- However, elders listening to youth will not be enough. Youth must also be given charge of producing the world they want to live in.
- Inter-generational dialogue is imperative. Though all countries are aging, older persons in economies are not burdens to be cast aside.
- Emerging economies must not be arrogantly considered, in the colonial legacy, as a ‘white man’s burden’ to be improved by a more advanced West.
- The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals list 17 complex global problems. They appear in different forms everywhere in the world. Centrally managed organisations cannot solve such problems.
- Local systems solutions, cooperatively implemented within their communities by old and young persons together, are the way to solve these global systemic problems.
Source The Hindu
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