Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead
A report of the Global Scenario Group. SEI PoleStar Series Report no. 10.
March 7, 2002
Author: Robert Kates, Former Visiting Scholar, Environment and Natural Resources Program, 1997-2000
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Environment and Natural Resources; Research and Assessment Systems for Sustainability
ABSTRACTThis path-breaking book presents a fresh vision for a sustainable world. It describes the historic roots, current dynamics, future perils, and alternative pathways for world development. It advances one of these paths, Great Transition, as the preferred route, identifying strategies, agents of change, and values for a new global agenda.
The planetary phase of history has begun, its ultimate shape profoundly uncertain. Will global development veer toward a world of impoverished people, cultures and nature? Or will there be a Great Transition toward a future of enriched lives, human solidarity and environmental sustainability? The book's appraisal of the current global crossroads is disquieting. Conventional development is perilous, while the reform path to a sustainable future is problematic and uncertain.
Yet, this work shows that a fundamental change of direction is still possible. Progressive elements of civil society, government, international organizations, and business can forge a new sustainability paradigm, an alternative vision of globalization centered on the quality of life, human solidarity, environmental resilience, and an informed and engaged citizenry.
No task is more urgent than broadening the discourse on development and the future. Great Transition aims to do just that. The Global Scenario Group plans a campaign of outreach, education, and dialogue around its themes in the months and years ahead. We invite you to join us.
Full text of this publication is available at:
For Academic Citation: