Think Piece. Learning in a Changing World and Changing in a Learning World: Reflexively fumbling towards sustainability

  • AEJ Wals

Abstract

We need nothing short of a new global ethic – an ethic which espouses attitudes and behaviour for individuals and societies which are consonant with humanity’s place within the biosphere; which recognises and sensitively responds to the complex and ever-changing relationships between humanity and nature and between people. Significant changes must occur in all of the world’s nations to assure the kind of rational development which will be guided by this new global ideal – changes which will be directed towards an equitable distribution of the world’s resources and more fairly satisfy the needs of all peoples. This kind of development will also require the maximum reduction in harmful effects on the environment, the utilisation of waste materials for productive purposes, and the design of technologies which will enable such objectives to  be achieved. Above all, it will demand the assurance of perpetual peace through coexistence and cooperation among nations with different social systems. Policies aimed at maximising economic output without regard to its consequences on society and on the resources available for improving the quality of life must be questioned. Before this changing of priorities can be achieved, millions of individuals will themselves need to adjust their own priorities and assume a personal and individualised global ethic – and reflect in all of their behaviour a commitment to the improvement of the quality of the environment and of life for the world’s people. 

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eISSN: 2411-5959
print ISSN: 1810-0333