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Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead

The planetary phase of history has begun, but its ultimate shape is 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?

Paul Raskin / Published on 2 April 2002
Download  Great Transition book / PDF / 922 KB

Raskin, P., T., Banuri, G., Gallopín, P., Gutman, A., Hammond, R., Kates, R. Swart. (2002). Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead. SEI PoleStar Series Report no. 10. Boston. ISBN 9780971241817.

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Photo by Lena Bell on Unsplash

These questions are addressed in the path-breaking essay Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead. Paul Raskin, Tellus President, is lead author of this examination of the possibilities for a sustainable and desirable world.

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Image credit: Stephen S. Bernow and Devera Ehrenberg

The essay 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 essay’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, it 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.


Great Transition book / PDF / 922 KB

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Topics and subtopics
Governance : Innovation
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