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A happy decade ? Editorial by Michel Zarka

Here we are, entering the third decade of this century. The legacy from the first two decades is full of social, religious and political tensions.

The outrageous and well-known injustice is source of multiple pains and sadly, the “trickle down” theory lasts to materialize, if it ever happens. The environmental debt, far more serious and dangerous than the financial debt has grown and will impact durably the next generations. Democracy, the be-all and the end-all of all the governing people under such a system, is eventually weakening and moving backward globally, with a few exceptions. The recent technological breakthroughs are stirring up trouble as much as they are enabling people and the planet to gain confidence in the future. Orwell’s idea of utopia is expanding in people minds that work on our future, making the human beings and more generally the livings enslaved and submitted to the artificialization of organs, thoughts, ground, memories…

Within twenty years, we have gone down from the Millennium hope to the Apocalypse theory. Will we wait until 2050, even 2100, those ominous deadlines, to react? Will we lose ourselves into a “Too late” mindset and into mutation? As far as I am concerned, I refuse so.

Some major trends must enable us to draw a promising future for humankind and the environment.

  1. The Z generation is taking part in social debates. They are strongly aware of injustices, and environmental and democratic infringements. They are willing to look ahead and totally forget (but never neglect) “The Glorious Thirty” and the “30 Pitiful”.
  2. The environment, its balance, its protection, its resilience are the main concerns of this generation that pulls the previous ones and will keep on pulling toward a demanding and hopeful spirit; even though some prophets will endlessly continue to point at Hell.
  3. Unlike political speeches that aim to create divisions, the social and religious hybridisation grows, as it has never grown before, and represents a new conquest for the decade to come. From school to city, from education to town planning, from exchange to the trader; the hybridisation will be the first source of a fairer society. Let us look around the inclusion forces and let us promote them.
  4. Science with awareness (thank you Edgar Morin) supported by cognitive sciences and biology, hybridised to data sciences and to nanotechnologies will pave the way to new lives to substitute a systematic artificialisation, a reasoned and controlled approach, that is socially and ecologically acceptable from every field of life. The challenge will no longer be that science must impose progress but that the awareness (cognition + biology) guides the science.
  5. Noah’s ark or The Raft of the Medusa. There is so many challenges to take up: hosting 9 Bn human beings, reducing the species extinction, cleansing the ground from long term wastes, giving access to education to every human being, going over religious conflicts, giving to the many decent livelihood. Spontaneity, solidarity, requirement of the youngest generations are needed to fight against the skepticism of the old generation. So, I opt for Noah’s ark. We have waited long enough to finally reach a happy decade.

It is within this positive perspective and supporting the youngster that I wish you a happy first year of this decade which promises to be fascinating!

A happy decade ? Editorial by Michel Zarka