Emerging civilisations

17 Dec 2019 - 07:30
Photo of participants at the Club of Rome Summit 2019 which took place on 6 November in Stellenbosch. Photo courtesy of Expressions Photo.


In November, the international think-tank, the Club of Rome (CoR), held its annual conference and global summit in Stellenbosch. APC Research Chair, Professor Carolyn Hamilton attended as a newly-inducted member.  The CoR gained recognition in 1972 with its first report, The Limits to Growth, considered a classic in the sustainability movement and the first study to question the viability of continued growth in the human ecological footprint.

At the time it predicted many of the global challenges of today, and since then the CoR has played an important role in raising consciousness about climate emergency. The think-tank is now asking tough questions about economic and societal change.

The summit theme, Our Joint Futures — Lessons from Africa, focused on climate emergency, reclaiming and reframing economics, new models of finance and emerging new civilisations. CoR co-president Dr Mamphela Ramphele noted that the summit came at an opportune time for South Africa and the continent. She pointed to the urgent need for new thinking to solve the world's most complex problems. The summit was designed to highlight what she termed the latest insights on new pathways for Africa and the global community.

Of special interest to APC'ers are the openings created for APC research in relation to the CoR's intention over the coming years to focus on emerging new civilisations. At the 2019 summit this focus was positioned to draw actively on insights and inspiration from historically-rooted African values and experiences.