The Case for Thrivability
Niclas Ihrén, Tällberg Foundation - Sweden
A path is needed.
Our global human (increasingly conformist!) society is like a huge train running at full speed. There are so many arms shoveling coal to keep the speed up that the changing landscape rushing by outside is hardly discernible. Yet we know, with increasing certainty, that we are running towards a cliff. We need not only to slow down, but to change course altogether. Not so easy when you are a train on rails.
We know that the current growth paradigm with growing population, growing economies and even faster growing overuse of our natural resources will leave us with a world deprived of all its natural richness. What used to be abundant are already becoming scarce: from oil, to minerals, fresh water, fish, animals, rainforests, fertile land.
We know where this development leads us, because it is a path followed by many human cultures before, although in smaller scale. The difference is that this time we have all the knowledge. We have the knowledge and power to change. We have to abandon growth for growth’s sake until collapse (which is the logic of the cancer cell) in exchange for a development path based on humanistic values and harmony with our surrounding environment.
A path is needed, where we as a species can thrive in harmony with an environment which gets richer, not just in financial terms, but also including our natural capital.
We need Thrivability.
Photo courtesy of Jean Russell. Taken of the Highline in New York City: an elevated railway converted into a city park.