Centerpoint Now is a publication of the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN). The new issue, entitled ‘Are We There Yet?’, is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the United Nations with articles on older and new challenges for global governance (the last obviously including the virus pandemic).
The researchers of the New Humanism Project contributed with a text “Building Ethical Competence for Human Health”, focusing on capacity building for health governance. Check it out here.
The researchers of the New Humanism Project contributed a chapter to the book “Bio#Futures – Foreseeing and Exploring the Bioeconomy” published by Springer. While other contributions explore sustainable development methodologies and practical applications, we were invited to provide an ethical-philosophical framework applicable to the bioeconomy.
What do we mean when we say we live in a complex world? This paper characterises problems such as combating climate change, the provision of affordable access to healthy food for all, or evaluation of the possible use of nuclear energy as ‘complex social problems’ of which the complexity can be described by the same set of seven characteristics, and consequently reflects on what it would imply to deal with this complexity fairly. It argues why and how modern representative democracy (within the nation state), science and the market, as the three formal governing methods to produce meaning for our modern society, are unable to deal with these complex problems in a satisfactory way, ‘incapable’ as they are to ‘grasp’ their complexity. Based on this argumentation, the paper proposes ‘reflexivity’ and ‘intellectual solidarity’ as ethical attitudes or virtues for all concerned actors, to be understood from a specific ethics of care perspective ‘bound in complexity’. Consequently, it proposes ‘societal trust’ as an overall criterion for governance, although with the specification that this trust should be generated by the governance methods we use to make sense of complexity rather than by promised or anticipated outcomes. With this focus, in conclusion, it proposes advanded approaches to democratic decision making, policy supportive research and education that would have the capacity to enable and enforce the attitudes of reflexivity and intellectual solidarity for the better of our co-existence.
This working paper is an output of the Fukushima Global Communication research workshop “Understanding and Communicating Risks Post Fukushima”, held in Tokyo on 12–13 November 2015. The workshop brought together international experts to explore the specific challenges of understanding and discussing risks related to nuclear accidents, and identify appropriate and effective forms of risk communication. It was published in the Fukushima Global Communication Programme Working Paper Series (Number 15 — December 2015) of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU‑IAS).