Concept Paper and Preliminary Agenda
Presenting the contribution that an Integral Green Economy and Society approach, with Slovenia as a Pilot Country, could make to a New European Renaissance in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda
Â»We are meeting at a time of immense challenges to sustainable development. Billions of our citizens continue to live in poverty and are denied a life of dignity. There are rising inequalities within and among countries. There are enormous disparities of opportunity, wealth and power. Gender inequality remains a key challenge. Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, is a major concern. Global health threats, more frequent and intense natural disasters, spiralling conflict, violent extremism, terrorism and related humanitarian crises and forced displacement of people threaten to reverse much of the development progress made in recent decades. Natural resource depletion and adverse impacts of environmental degradation, including desertification, drought, land degradation, freshwater scarcity and loss of biodiversity, add to and exacerbate the list of challenges which humanity faces. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and its adverse impacts undermine the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development. Increases in global temperature, sea level rise, ocean acidification and other climate change impacts are seriously affecting coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries, including many least developed countries and small island developing States. The survival of many societies, and of the biological support systems of the planet, is at risk.Â« Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN, 2015, para. 14
This picture of the world today, complemented by the recognition that we also live in a time of immense opportunity, led the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives at Seventieth session of United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 associated targets. Agenda 2030 is probably the most ambitious agenda in the history of humankind and it will have to be strongly supported by equally ambitious and integrally framed, holistic, trans-sectoral policies for sustainable development.
Urgent need for a paradigm shift is evident: for more holistic, local-global as opposed to globalizing, thereby, integrative approaches, rooted in nature and culture that are serving to improve the quality of life and welfare in general and, more specifically, enabling the sustainable development of technology and economy.
A number of integral approaches, many originating from Europe, have helped shift our global perspective towards a more integral viewpoint over the past 200 years, including that of Central Europeâ€™s Rudolf Steiner. And more recently: significant impact of US based Ken Wilberâ€™s integral approach and Don Beckâ€™s Spiral Dynamics, as well as Trans4mâ€™s Integral Worlds approach. We are witnessing an emergent â€œIntegral Ageâ€!
Global challenges are here and now, and in the future we can expect even more of them, with an increase in intensity and complexity. Multiple crises in Europe and neighbouring regions set in the context of a world on fire; the European Union is even facing a threat of disintegration. Among various initiatives and attempts to resurrect the grandeur of Europe are also those from which we can find inspiration in the great era of European Renaissance. Proposals and appeals for a New European Renaissance are focused on the fields of science and technology (by EURAB in in 2009), and culture (e.g. The Coming European Renaissance, Europe needs a new Renaissance), or more recently, on the process of democratisation; security, defence and migration issues; investments in infrastructure; monetary union and secondary education (The Appeal of 9 May in 2016). We couldnâ€™t find, however, initiatives that would incorporate an integral perspective or position themselves in the paradigm of sustainable development.
In a unique approach to fuse and upgrade these two paradigms of sustainability and integrality, a new, integral conceptual framework (the Integral Words paradigm) has been developed by Trans4m Center for Integral Development in Geneva, and elaborated, inter alia, in the realm of economy. In a unique process of co-construction, Trans4m and the Citizensâ€™ Initiative for an Integral Green Slovenia have applied this new framework within the innovation ecosystem of the European Union, on the level of individual sustainable enterprises and local communities, but also on national level, and depicted this multidimensional and multi-layered process in the new Gower and Routledge volume Integral Green Slovenia (Piciga, Schieffer and Lessem, 2016).
Cultural and Natural Heritage for Integral Renewal of Slovenia and Europe, In and For Communities (Chair: Dr. Janez Nared, ZRC SAZU – Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts, Slovenia; Co-Chair: Dr. Nevenka Bogataj, Slovenian Institute for Adult Education, Slovenia)
ï‚§ European Tradition and Change in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources by Local Communities (Jernej Stritih, Stritih Sustainable Development Consulting, Slovenia)
ï‚§ European Natural and Cultural Heritage as Integration Tool towards a New European Renaissance (Dr. Peter Skoberne, Slovenia)
ï‚§ Revitalising Culture and Spirit through Integrated Regional Development: The Case of the Heart of Slovenia (Aleksandra Gradišk, Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia)
ï‚§ Marko Pogačik, UNESCO Artist for Peace (Slovenia): How to Communicate with the Soul of Slovenia
ï‚§ Heritage and Challenges of Sustainable Integral Development: From Anthropocentric Attitude towards the Environment to Cooperative Relationships (Karin Lavin, ANIMA MUNDI, Institute for Integrated Development, Slovenia)
ï‚§ Emerging Sustainable Tourism in Europe and Globally, with Slovenia as the First Green Destination in the World (Slovenian Tourist Organisation) (invited)
ï‚§ Sustainable Design for a New European Renaissance: The Case of International Platform GoinGreenGlobal (Prof. Nada Matičč Faculty of Design, Slovenia)
ï‚§ Cultural Renewal and Community Development in Liverpool (Tony Bradley, Liverpool Hope Business School, United Kingdom)