In the 20th Century, human beings solved some of the toughest challenges of our history. We eradicated smallpox. We dramatically decreased the numbers of children dying before their fifth birthdays. We stabilized the hole in the ozone layer.
Human inventiveness has triggered an explosion of technological and scientific advances that have improved living standards for billions. But these advances have also created the greatest risks we face today including climate change and weapons of mass destruction.
At the Global Challenges Foundation, we believe that human ingenuity can, if properly channelled, play a role in averting humanity’s greatest challenges. If we can tap this creativity and apply it to the task of re-designing how the world community organizes and takes decisions, then we will have a greater chance of avoiding the worst risks we face.
That is why we need an intensive global conversation about global governance that straddles disciplines, sectors and regions. Too often, experts work in their silos. This report attempts to break down these divisions to present a range of viewpoints, from men and women spanning the fields of political thought, astronomy, international law, technology and environmentalism. It includes perspectives from Africa, China and South America as well as Europe and the United States.
This report is not a blueprint for how to organize the world; rather it is a thought prompt, a set of key questions with some ideas advanced for how they might be approached. It is presented with the hope of stimulating conversation on this most urgent topic. For it is only by holding truly global conversations that we can shape the global solutions needed.