Ivo Šlaus
Development and Environment –
We Need a Box of New Tools
Rodrigo Rato: Three greatest threats we face today are:
1) financial instability
→ economic crisis ?
2) demographic transition → to 10 G and then to 2 G ?
3) climate change
Human beings generated! Interconnected and global.
(Annual conference of The Club if Rome, Madrid 2007)
How these threats influence development?
Millennium development goals!
Does the requirement of the sustainable world imply the
limit to growth and the limit to development?
☺Creative capacity of human beings implies a
possibility of a continuous increase of human
capital and social capital and of increasing
freedom and number of options.
However, what is development?
☺Development as freedom (A. Sen)
Aren’t we overwhelmed by a multitude of options?
(“The choice explosion” –
P.F.Drucker, W.T. Anderson)
♣ Do we know enough, are we wise to choose?
The greatest obstacles are individual and social inner
limits - psychological, cultural and political expressed
through personal and collective myopia, irresponsibility
and incorrect governance. “The most valuable assets
humankind can count on..to stop the decline and to
prepare for the future are to be found in the still
untapped resources of comprehension, vision and
creativity..inherent in every human being.”
A. Peccei, Agenda for the End of the Century, March 14, 1984
☼“People are the real wealth of nations. The
basic aim of development is to enlarge
human freedom and choices so that people
live full and creative lives. This must benefit
everybody equitably.”
The State of Human Development, Human development
indicators, 2004, p.127, UNDP
☼ We add: people - healthy, educated, active
and happy, living in a society of social
justice and social cohesion in a healthy
environment assuring sustainable
development. This and not more:not perfect
people. People are the generator and
depositor of knowledge.
«Work is a love made visible» (Kh. Gibran)
Everybody including very old, ill and disabled
persons can work and enjoys work.
Work done by unemployed persons
Employment is important socially, economically and
politically. Unemployed person has social, economic,
political and psychological problems - cannot obtain loans,
cannot form families, or family can break as a result of the
unemployment stress. Unemployed person looses social
esteem, becomes unhealthy, uneducated and poor.
9.5 M American now out of work, 159,000 jobs lost in Sep/08
Employment - double helix: employment+education
Permanent, lifelong, changing, flexi(ble+se)curity
Full employment with flexibility (flexicurity), no age
discrimination and lifelong education
(India Congress Party and Prof. Horst Köhler, president
BRD: Oct 2007, Berlin Address)
Humans ← biological and cultural evolution  humans
change, and humans change the world they live in,
(Crutzen) current geological epoch: Anthropocene.
τ (changes) < τ (human life) << τ (changes centuries ago)
Human biological evolution accelerated 100-fold in last
5- 10,000 years. Driving forces: growth of the world’s
population and world changed due to agricul., animals
domestic. and human habitats. (e.g. success of mutation
causing to digest lactose (over the last 3,000 years).
Genes controlling the glucose metabolism in the brain
recently evolved, possibly being essential for the human
brain growth to the size twice that of our nearest cousin
- chimpanzee, and possibly suggesting why humans do
and chimpanzees do not have diabetes.
Intertwining: humans ↔ machines and
synthetic biology
• 2020 nanomachines will be routinely used in medicine
- entering the bloodstream to feed cells and to extract
waste. Computers will anticipate what we want.
• 2030 mind uploading will be possible
• 2040 human body 3.0 could alter its shape and organs
can be replaced by superior cyber implants.
• Synthetic biology = design and construction of new
biological devices and systems that do not exist in the
natural world ← converging technologies:
nanotechnology (manipulation with atoms),
biotechnology (genes), information technology (bits)
and cognitive neuroscience (neurons).
Feasibility, Reliability and Uncertainty
Robustness  INDICATORS  Input / Output
(GDP, HDI ) quantitative ↔ qualitative (case studies)
Inadequacies of GDP  Human Development Index-HDI,
Index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW)
• Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)
• GDP/c
• GPI/c
Beyond GDP - EU and CoR, Nov 2007
R.F. Kennedy “ We will find neither national purpose nor
personal satisfaction in an endless amassing of worldly
goods. We cannot measure national achievements by
GDP, since GDP includes air pollution, cigarette
advertisement and ambulances to clear our highways
after carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and
jails for people who break them. GDP includes
destruction of redwoods and of Lake Superior. GDP
grows with the production of napalm and nuclear
warheads. It does not include the health of our families,
the quality of their education, it is indifferent to the safety
of our streets... In short, GDP measures everything except
what makes life worthwhile.”
♣ Is an increasing inequality even if eventually economic growth –
“the rising tide will lift all boats” compatible with the axiom
“people are the wealth of nations”?
Plato argued that the common good required that the ratio between
the rich and the poor be 5:1, and J.P. Morgan thought that bosses
should have not more than 20 times the salary of their workers.
Global Inequalities Fades as Global Economy Grows ?!
Xavier Sala-i-Martin 2002
Free Market:
- it is more than democracy since no tyranny of majority,
- but, irrationality of the crowd, even tyranny of the mob
- reality vs virtuality
Trust – Potemkin’s villages
Monetary transaction vs global GDP, special tax on speculative tns
♣ outsourcing: ICT sector ave salaries:
USA = $ 75k; India = $ 8k, Brazil = $ 13k;
India: 1.6 M ICT employees, +495,000/y; Brazil: 1 M, +100,000/y
♣ mobile phones: in 2008: world: 3.3 G subscriptions,
10 cell/100 people GDP ↑ 0.5% 2005 (London Business School)
♣ 80% of world population within cell phone reach vs 40% in 2000
♣ work everywhere and always, connected to millions
♣ China economy overtakes USA in 2025, in 2050 
130% of USA. Chinese CO2 emission = USA in 2010
2050 E7 (BRIC, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey) =1.5 G7
♣ Loss (theft) of data, e.g. D-Telekom lost personal data
on 17 M customers
♣ 24 “globalizers” (3 billions) increased GDP/c by 5%
vs “nonglobalizers” decreased by 1%
♣ 400 household goods in UK 20% cheaper
than 10 years ago
♣ By 2010 50% internet users in developing world
vs 4% now
♣Worker/producer ← person (prosumer)
Intertwining knowledge, economy and governance thru
networking involving researchers, politicians, policymakers, decision-makers, industrialists, entrepreneurs,
workers, share-holders, stake-holders as well as institutions.
The contemporary world:
◙ globalization – science generated
(Th. Friedman: 3 phases of globalization: 1) driven by states,
2) by states and MNC and 3) by and empowering individuals)
◙ rapid changes – science generated
(♥ we would be amoebas if there were no change)
◙ characterized by uncertainties and instabilities
◙ number of Earths required to provide resources used by
humanity and to absorb their emissions for each year:
1970 1980
2005 2007
Goal: 2050
0.86 1.00
1.00 (???)
World is dangerously in a state of overshoot.
◙ Increasing dissatisfaction of the public with governance
Progress and Public opinion
Enormous progress has been achieved:
- in 1893 only New Zealand could be considered a true
- in 1972 there were 43 free, 38 partly free and 69 not free
-in 2002 there were 89 free countries, 56 partly free and 47
not free.
and yet
Citizens are not satisfied with their political systems.
Gallup International's May 2005 Voice of the People survey of
50,000 citizens across 65 countries on 6 continents results
statistically representative of the views of 1.4 billion citizens.
Only 7% of the respondents strongly agree with the
statement that the world is going in the right
direction, and additional 23% somewhat agree with
that statement, a mere 30% to be compared with
36% in the year 2001.
61%: globalization has a positive effect on them/ their families
increased from 2001 when it has been 55%.
Development measured by Human Development
Index (HDI) is related to energy consumption:
If energy consumption ≤ 3 tons of oil equivalent/c.y
→ HDI increases rapidly with energy consumption.
Above that level → no correlation between HDI and
energy consumption.
If all countries reach 3 toe/capita.year → by 2030
the energy consumption would be doubled if our
population remains constant.
If increased to 8.1 billion → 2.6 times larger.
Fresh water – irreplaceable and finite resource.
To produce 1 gallon of diesel fuel one needs 9,000
gallons of water.
To produce enough corn for the same amount of
ethanol one needs 4,000 gallons of water.
vs. To produce enough food to meet the caloric needs
of a person in Egypt (California) ↔ 666 (1300)
gallons of water.
Hamburger+fries+cola = 5,000 liters of water
By 2025 one third of world population (3 billions)
will face water shortage.
Energy - Food - Environment ↔ interconnected
Science is human beings’s greatest achievement
and success
☺Progress in science and novel understanding, e.g.: quantum
physics; theory of relativity: special and general; Standard
model and its limitations: WMAP: only 4% of ordinary
matter, 23% dark matter (?), 73% dark energy (?),
age of our universe =13.7± 0.3 Gyear;
nanosciences and their relevance in many areas;
DNA; advent of genetic engineering; advances in life
sciences; brain research
advances in chemistry and geosciences;
advances in psychology and social sciences
☺Consilience – advances in all sci disciplines,
Though the world is globalized in almost all
dimensions: economically, socially even
biologically and though there are many
international associations, value and politics and
education are NOT GLOBAL.
There are about 200 nation(so called)-states +
600,000 TNC (their wealth comparable to GDP of
medium-size countries) + 50,000 international
civil societies + 5,000-10,000 different cultures
(languages) (90% with less than 10,000 persons).
Governance Culture
Production Science
Consumption (phys, life, soc) Systems/bureauc Ethics
Rule of law
Competitiveness R&D
GDP vs GPI Culture of Knowledge
¿V a l u e s?
Governance Religion
First level
Cumulative, Objective
Problem solving
employment (where the light is) Art of possible
(self-service) (and influenced
Political power
by socio-culture) Social cohesion & justice
Higher level
Many dangers and threats are recent (+ financial and
demographic instabilities), and many new will
appear. Many recent opportunities and options, and
new will appear.
Future = predicted events + surprises → Scenaria
• Scenaria are rigorous, logical, but imaginative stories
about what future might be, designed to help plan.
• Scenaria are NOT predictions. Multiple scenaria. They
are tools for preparation – early 70-ies by Shell. Now
IBM, Coca-Cola, Apple, AT&T, DARPA, Heineken,
Kellogg, Republic of Singapore,...
• Scenaria identify “predetermineds”, “critical
uncertainties”, “wild cards”, “embedded assumptions”
and it is useful if scenaria have “early warnings”.
1) Business-as-usual (never fully realizes)
2) Meadows et al(math.model diff.eqs, t-dependence of 45
variables and their interdependence). 1972 Limits to growth
3) The Heaven Scenario
Ray Kurzweil “Singularity is near”: conquering disease & poverty,
technology is in control, but wisdom, truth, ... peace?
4) The Hell Scenario
Bill Joy “Why the future does not need us”, F. Fukuyama “Our
posthuman future”: hostile world, destroying biosphere.
5) The Prevail Scenario
Jaron Zepel Lanier (named “virtual reality”) “The Future that Loves
Us”: increasing links among humans, transcendence is social, not
solitary. Human are choosing their future.
6) Self-organized Mapping Neural network model
(Najdovski, Zidanšek, Šlaus)
This SOM-NN model is so far only a static model and
it does not show development. However,
- it does show the important role of cultures in
- the role of the “integration” of individual,
autonomous entities, e.g. Europe of regions /world of
regions – which could help to overcome the “number
conflict” 200 vs 10,000
♣ In a global world problems and threats cannot be
contained - they affect the entire world quite
♣ Present world is not fully global, i.e. it is not
global when it has to react, and particularly when
it has to anticipate, stimulate and generate
desirable changes.
♣ Not so long ago it seemed that consumption even
extensive and unnecessary one is beneficial.
♣ Present world is dramatically different from
anything that our history recorded, but most of the
“tools” are old tools from the old box,
e.g. sovereign nation-states and their systems of
alliances and balance of power, national economies
including taxes, money, employment till the age of 65
followed by pensions, legal and judiciary systems.
Many of these tools were used for most of 10,000
years, and some are recent, but it is likely that
“tools” designed for an almost static and
fragmented world are not all equally suitable now.
♠ Therefore, we are entangled in a conflict of old
tools and contemporary needs, e.g. solving
- the global economic crisis,
- gross inequalities resulting in poverty and hunger,
- insecurities rooted in economic reasons and gross
violation of human and social rights and dignities.
♠ “Time is out of joint”
time interval to apply certain actions >> τ (change)
Yet, it is dangerous not to act.
Trust in the system - panic!
“Nothing to fear, but fear itself.” (FDR)
♠ Old tools and inadequate indicators lead to wrong
actions. Historical analogies not necessarily correct:
2008 vs 1929 vs 1907; J.P. Morgan vs. W. Buffet –
however present world is very different.
“equal” are our hunter-gatherer instincts and concepts
♠ “What can the state do to save the business?”
(Klaus Schwab, WEF) – however, we need global
action and global solutions.
♠ There are no global political and regulatory
mechanisms and self interest dominates.
☼ Science is certainly human beings greatest success
- let us use scientific research as role-model for
economy, governance and human behaviour.
☼ Our knowledge is still grossly inadequte and much
more research and investment in research, trully the
culture of knowledge, are needed.
☼ To preserve human well-being over the long time,
people need to move toward new ways of meeting
human needs, adopting conumption and production
patterns that maintain the Earth’s life support system
and safeguard the resources by future generations.”
InterAcademy Panel, Academies of sciences, Tokyo,
May 21, 2000 “Transition to Sustainability”