Transformations are what drive us forward
The history of humanity has been a story of major changes, with settled agriculture and the industrial revolution as central turning points. The effects of the digital transformation are only now starting to become visible.
Previous transformations arose “from the inside out,” springing up from human innovation—as with the domestication of crop plants, the invention of the steam engine and the computer. Today, our world is “hot, flat and crowded”: Population growth (crowded) together with globalization (flat) has resulted in progress beyond comparison—while at the same time creating a wide range of undesirable consequences, such as climate change (hot). Future transformations will therefore be motivated “from the outside in,” in other words, from the sheer necessity of containing the negative implications of this lack of sustainability.
Shaping change, benefiting from opportunities
We’re reaching the limits of our global systems, and this will increasingly constrain humanity’s scope of action. Quick and determined action is needed. The work of the Stockholm Resilience Center is playing a groundbreaking role in this. Headed up by Johan Rockström, the Center evaluates “planetary boundaries” and shows how far along certain transformations have already advanced and where there’s a particularly urgent need for action. The first effects of these transformations are already becoming apparent, particularly around energy generation and use. Others will absolutely need to follow and are in the process of taking effect in such areas as nutrition, mobility and health, for example. These transformations are necessary and must continue to be shaped in order to ensure a sustainable, fair and livable world. This is what drives us forward. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals serve as our guiding light.