22 Ideas to Fix the World: Conversations with the World's Foremost Thinkers

22 Ideas to Fix the World: Conversations with the World's Foremost Thinkers

22 Ideas to Fix the World: Conversations with the World's Foremost Thinkers

22 Ideas to Fix the World: Conversations with the World's Foremost Thinkers


The aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis still reverberate throughout the globe. Markets are down, unemployment is up, and nations from Greece to Ireland find their very infrastructure on the brink of collapse. There is also a crisis in the management of global affairs, with the institutions of global governance challenged as never before, accompanied by conflicts ranging from Syria, to Iran, to Mali. Domestically, the bases for democratic legitimacy, social sustainability, and environmental adaptability are also changing. In this unique volume from the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations and the Social Science Research Council, some of the world's greatest minds- from Nobel Prize winners to long-time activists- explore what the prolonged instability of the so-called Great Recession means for our traditional understanding of how governments can and should function. Through interviews that are sure to spark lively debate, 22 Ideas to Fix the World presents both analysis of past geopolitical events and possible solutions and predictions for the future. The book surveys issues relevant to the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Speaking from a variety of perspectives, including economic, social, developmental, and political, the discussions here increase our understanding of what's wrong with the world and how to get it right. Interviewees explore topics like the Arab Spring, the influence of international financial organizations, the possibilities for the growth of democracy, the acceleration of global warming, and how to develop enforceable standards for market and social regulation. These inspiring exchanges from some of our most sophisticated thinkers on world policy are honest, brief, and easily understood, presenting thought-provoking ideas in a clear and accessible manner that cuts through the academic jargon that too often obscures more than it reveals. 22 Ideas to Fix the World is living history in the finest sense- a lasting chronicle of the state of the global community today. Interviews with: Zygmunt Bauman, Shimshon Bichler & Jonathan Nitzan, Craig Calhoun, Ha-Joon Chang, Fred Dallmayr, Mike Davis, Bob Deacon, Kemal Dervis, Jiemian Yang, Peter J. Katzenstein, Ivan Krastev, Will Kymlicka, Manuel F. Montes, José Antonio Ocampo, Vladimir Popov, Jospeh Stiglitz, Olzhas Suleimenov, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Immanuel Wallerstein, Paul Watson, Vladimir Yakunin, Muhammad Yunus


Piotr Dutkiewicz

It is trivial at this point to state that the world is in crisis. The aftereffects of the most recent global financial crisis continue to have major implications for the lives of tens of millions of people around the world, just as they continue to influence the fate of policymakers, political systems, and corporate behavior. Myriad other global crises—of democracy, governance, ecology, and inequality, among others—all contribute to a precarious present. Quite simply, we live in uncertain times—in a sort of ‘inter-regnum’ between old and new ruling paradigms.

This book is about ideas on how to cope with these global uncertainties. This is not a manifesto that presents a single, unified plan of action for moving forward. Rather, this book seeks to draw the contours of the near future, be it political, social, economic, or environmental. Its many eminent contributors propose innovative approaches to better understanding what is needed, to borrow Albert Einstein’s words, to “survive and move to higher levels.” Finally, this book is about ideas that can help to shape policies within and beyond national borders on a global scale.

What unites the contributors of this volume is that we believe that we live in a very fragile world. We need to have new ideas coming from different cultures and intellectual traditions to understand better both the threats that we face and potential solutions to the problems confronting us. We believe that by comparing the experience and ideas of some of the foremost thinkers in the world we can start devising practical advice on what can be done to allow us to achieve some degree of peace and prosperity in the years to come.

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