Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead

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Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead

Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead examines the possibilities for a sustainable and desirable world. The essay describes the historic roots, future perils, and alternative pathways for world development and advances the Great Transition path as the preferred route, identifying strategies, global actors, and values for a new agenda.

From the Preface of the Great Transition:

“The global transition has begun—a planetary society will take shape over the coming decades. But its outcome is in question. Current trends set the direction of departure for the journey, not its destination. Depending on how environmental and social conflicts are resolved, global development can branch into dramatically different pathways. On the dark side, it is all too easy to envision a dismal future of impoverished people, cultures and nature. Indeed, to many, this ominous possibility seems the most likely. But it is not inevitable. Humanity has the power to foresee, to choose and to act. While it may seem improbable, a transition to a future of enriched lives, human solidarity and a healthy planet is possible.

This important essay is the culmination of the work of the Global Scenario Group, which was convened in 1995 by the Stockholm Environment Institute as a diverse and international body to examine the requirements for a transition to sustainability. Over the years, the GSG has contributed major scenario assessments for international organizations, and collaborated with colleagues throughout the world.

As the third in a trilogy, Great Transition builds on the earlier work, Branch Points (Gallopín et al., 1997), which introduced the GSG’s scenario framework, and Bending the Curve (Raskin et al., 1998), which analyzed the long-term risks and prospects for sustainability within conventional development futures.”

Available in English, Spanish, and Deutsch (German)