After investigating parts of both, the United Nations website and the website for the World Economic Forum, I highly recommend that you investigate them both. They are very excellent perspectives of the social and economic development of human civilization, which is, after all, the context in which we all live and work.
They both have similar perspectives, with a different emphasis. The UN is focused on accomplishing the Millennium Development Goals and improving world governance. The World Economic Forum, meeting in Davos Switzerland during the past week, issued a risk assessment for our world economy for 2011, that includes four major areas of risk.
Economic disparity, global governance, corruption and the global warming, food, water, energy nexus of issues. Each of these areas of risk involve a cluster of problems.
Economic disparity involves the differing levels of progress between various nations, and the different levels of progress within nations. Apparently, the most advanced nations are recovering from the 2008 economic crisis sluggishly, compared to the developing nations, such as China, India and Brazil, which are already growing fast again.
This is a good thing in my opinion, because the sooner the developing nations catch up with the developed nations, the sooner we can all begin to grow up together as one world wide federation of nations.
The global governance issue involves developing a set of universal principles that we can all follow in our own local, national and international social and economic development, and in our personal, social and international relations, rather than any strict rules and regulations.
The corruption involves the nexus of drugs, crime and terrorism, as well as all kinds of corruption in business and government. Education and training seems to be the primary solution, because we can’t really enforce honesty, for example. Transparency is one of the main principles. Keeping everything out in the open helps prevent corruption.
The climate change, food, water and energy nexus involve the interrelatedness of these problems. They all affect each other. The solution involves getting everyone, including business, governments and nongovernmental civil society to start thinking of sustainable development, as normal smart development.
The United Nations is working hard to accomplish its goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2015. Education and training are the most important strategy for accomplishing this goal. The UN seems a lot more focused on the poor and disaster relief, as it should be. It is also constantly putting out fires in our international relations, in its primary role as our peacekeeping organization.
In fact, the one over riding sentiment seems to be that the problems are global, and require global solutions. There are vast and diverse networks of networks, working to improve human nature and advance human civilization. And we are succeeding.
While there are serious problems that we need to work on solving, the undeniable historical reality, is that we are making progress. Human civilization is far more prosperous now, than it was during the 20th century. And while there are still some serious flaws in the just distribution of that prosperity, the prosperity is spreading out to more and more of the people of earth.
Economics is a science. Just like the progress we’re making in biology and health sciences, physics and astronomy, engineering and technology, we are making great strides of progress in our social and economic development. We still have a lot of progress to make. In fact, no matter how advanced we become, we will always be able to learn more and improve ourselves, individually and collectively.
In order to advance in an orderly fashion, we need a balance of material and spiritual progress. Just like the founding fathers of the USA mentioned that democracy required religious citizens, so do our world citizens require a universal and divine education.
I realize this is a touchy subject. Nevertheless, the only real source of those universal principles that we can all agree on and that are the basis upon which we can all relate with each other, are the spiritual principles that are the heart and foundation of every religion. Such as the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Every religion teaches that principle in one form or another.
While we want to be careful and avoid arguing and fighting over religion, we do need to consult with each other respectfully about its proper role in our global society.
The human race is coming together. The United Nations is the greatest civilization that has ever existed on earth. Not even 20th century America comes close to the booming prosperity of our present universal common wealth. Unite all the people, of every nation, race and religion into one universal and divine civilization.