Future of humankind demands massive rethink

The world has reached a critical juncture, says Griffith's Professor Malcolm McIntosh.
The world has reached a critical juncture, says Griffith's Professor Malcolm McIntosh.

A critical moment in the history of the world is upon us, says Griffith University’s Professor Malcolm McIntosh, and the future survival of humankind and of the earth itself is in our hands at this very moment in time.

“The way we organise ourselves as humans on planet Earth is undergoing massive disruption just now. Our organisations and institutions are inexorably changing,” he says.

Professor McIntosh, founding Director of Griffith’s Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, has laid out his blueprint for a new political economy in a new book to be launched in Brisbane on Wednesday (Feb 11).

“We have come to a critical juncture where awe and wonder have been marginalised by science, modernity, technology, consumerism and neoliberal economics,” Professor McIntosh says.

In Thinking the Twenty-First Century: Ideas for the New Political Economy, Professor McIntosh questions the current model of capitalism and calls for a much-needed new order.

He also outlines the five system changes he believes essential to building a new global political economy. These incorporate globalism and Earth awareness; the rebalancing of science and awe; peacefulness and the feminisation of decision-making; the reorganisation of institutions; and evolution, adaptation and learning.

“The rise and success of the human race is due as much to empathy, sociability, sharing, and group work as it is to competition and masculinity.”

Professor McIntosh places a grave emphasis on the promotion of a new connectivity and interdisciplinary world structure where science, philosophy, politics and economics combine to sustainable effect.

He explores the evolution of knowledge in the 21st century and “the evolution of the balance between what we think we know and what we feel, intuit and discuss”.

“Evolutionary success and human survival depends on our ability to learn and our ability to adapt through learning,” he says. “The way we learn, and our approach to education, will determine our chances of survival.”

Professor McIntosh will deliver a public lecture at Griffith’s South Bank campus on Wednesday, February 11, to mark the launch of Thinking The Twenty-First Century:Ideas For The New Political Economy.

The lecture starts at 6pm at the Griffith Graduate Centre.