Science & Technology
“Transforming our lives”
Looking at how knowledge acquired may transform into wisdom (with the limitation that these relate to what we know today: the famous Rumsfeldism (far be it for me to endorse his politics) ‘known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns and unknown unknowns’ summarises it well and is amply exemplified, at least in part, by the life and work and indeed, death, of Thomas Midgeley, Jr.
“You can’t always get what you want”
What do we do with knowledge and wisdom? Where do we produce goods and services and where are they consumed? This would address the conundrum of carbon footprints, carbon miles and a plethora of issues facing our world due to inequity so well discussed by economists like Sen. This is especially relevant to countries within the UN-OHRLLS, which also includes some of the poorest States.
Institutions & Organisations
“Collective actions for individual solutions”
What sort of organisations do we have and aspire to have? While we would agree that democracy is not without its flaws, it is the best system we have. That being so, how can we bring about greater inclusivity through consensus by looking at positions (often intransigent) issues (somewhat closer) and needs (common)? Climate change (and its many manifestations) is a case in point.
Legislation & Implementation
“Robust framework for sustainable action”
Starting with the golden rule ‘don’t make laws that you can’t implement’, from the Hobbesian ‘covenants without the sword are but words’ or indeed from the ‘sic utere tuo’ principle, to compliance through the development of a preventive regime which promotes protection and preservation of the environment. Renegotiation of existing regimes in this light is crucial.
Role of Civil Society
“Each one of us must be an agent of change”
This has ‘moved from the barricades to the House of Lords’ in my view. How can we strengthen it further? Active advocacy (or worse) may be all very well but the focus has to be on the development of exhortative principles and peremptory norms to inculcate individuals through to organisations and corporations to think less about their rights and more about their social responsibility.
“Money makes the world go round”
Where do we get the money for doing ‘good’ things we want to do? The World Bank has had its ‘Facility’ to some extent but a bulk of it must come from public private initiative, foreign direct investment and such others. How do we create investor and consumer confidence in projects that might be perceived as ‘green fads’ by showing, as Stern would say, ‘environment does make economic sense too’!
Education & Awareness
“If you think education is expensive, think ignorance”
This is crucial to everything we do. Education at all levels, for children from 8-80, informal to formal and everything in between, educating civil servants and even our policymakers – to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. After all, we protect what we love, love what we understand and understand what we are taught – a clear link there between education and protection.