Global Threats at the Skoll World Forum

Catastrophic Risk and Threats to the Global Commons
Our president, Larry Brilliant, hosted a panel here at the Skoll World Forum yesterday focused on the big global challenges we face today – climate, pandemics, nuclear proliferation, et alia – and why we have so much trouble, as humanity, in tackling them.  It was a unusual mix, but great individuals:  Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, Helene Gayle of CARE, Ian Goldin of the Oxford Martin School and Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund.

The panel surfaced a number of issues that contribute to our inability to date to make serious strides on global challenges, including income inequality, failure of governance and lack of leadership.  It also explored some deeper issues around pysche and society  – people’s inability to convert information to wisdom, the loss of sense of self, the challenges of hyperconnectivity, and questions about economic models and motivations that have long underpinned concepts of growth and wellbeing.  The session was filmed, and we’ll make public that link once the file is available.  In the meantime, here are some of the more memorable quotes (which may not be verbatim, but this is how I wrote them down):

“When people say something is impossible, that just means it’s hard.”

“Inequality is becoming an existential threat.”

“We’re at a crossroads.  We can make progress against these big issues or we can kill ourselves.”

“We need inclusive globalization, to give everyone a stake in the future.”

‘Fatalism is our most deadly adversary.”

“What we’re lacking is not IQ, but wisdom.”

“We need to tap into the timeless to solve the urgent.”

Much more from the Forum is available on the site:  video of plenaries, photos, social media streams from the event and more.  Another very inspiring and educational week in Oxford…

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