On April 17-19, 2018 the Garrison Institute convened a symposium – Pathways Towards Planetary Health: Half-Earth, Ecological Civilization, Regenerative Economics, and Pervasive Altruism- to explore the intersection of these four emerging ideas, and to find their convergence and the indications of the pathway forward towards planetary health.
The Symposium underlined the need for an ethical framework that views planetary health through the lens of four integrated, mutually supportive components: Half-Earth, Ecological Civilization, a regenerative economic system to promote and realize their development, and an altruistic world view as the generative field which makes possible their development.
The symposium built upon the Garrison Institute’s Climate, Mind and Behavior Project, which explored the nature of the mind and the patterns of behaviors the mind gives rise to, to enhance our capacity to generate climate-change solutions.
The world is being reshaped by sweeping, human-caused mega-trends: climate change, massive extinction-level biodiversity loss, desertification, population growth, urbanization and income inequality. All are a result of our contemporary, globally predominant way of organizing civilization and the values inherent in our current economic system.
The consequence is declining planetary health. All these trends are projected to worsen as the century progresses. If humans and nature are to recover and live in a state of pervasive well-being, we need to evolve our forms of civilization and our economic system, and do so with economic speed and scale. Fortunately, the solutions to these issues are becoming clear.