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World Lines: Pathways, Pivots and the Global Future

Author: Paul. D. Raskin
Organisation: Tellus Institute
Publish Date: 2006
Country: Global
Sector: Globalisation
Method: Creative thinking
Theme: Social Transfers
Type: Report
Language: English
Tags: Globalization, Global visions, Transitions, Ecological systems, Transformation, Uncertainties, Trajectories, Global evolution

This essay reflects on alternative trajectories for an emerging global system as it takes shape in the coming decades. In contrast to the inanimate bodies of physics, the world is a “subject” as well as an “object” that depends on the ways human agents exercise their capacity to understand, imagine, choose, and act. Rather than following a deterministic path, the global future is a tangled web of possibilities generated by the interplay of natural law, crisis, contingency, and agency. A macro-transition is now underway, operating at the scale of the planet. Like it or not, the world’s people, cultures, and environments are becoming linked to an interconnected global system with a common destiny. But the form of the global society that will emerge in the coming decades remains both deeply uncertain and highly contested.
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