Earth4All

System change, not climate change.

by Luca Miggiano, Earth4All Campaign Lead

Time to build together a movement of movements

Photo: Remke de Waal, AFP

The last weeks have been full of distressing news. Scientists found the world is on the brink of five disastrous climate tipping points; NGOs highlighted how the war in Ukraine will push a further 47 million people into acute hunger; and the UN declared some 50 million people were living in modern slavery in 2021. All this while billionaires have seen their collective wealth increase by $382bn (45%) over the past two years. In the meantime, deadly floods have hit Pakistan, Uganda, Italy. 

Clearly something is not working.  

Movements have been calling for system change for years. But, what exactly is system change? Can we imagine a different world, build it and make it work? A world where everybody has a good life, everywhere, in any country, on a planet where nature is not only protected, but thrives?  

This is what Earth4All is about. This month we are launching a book called “Earth For All: A Survival Guide for Humanity”, a book that comes 50-years after the iconic “Limits to Growth” report. Written by climate scientists, modellers, and new economic thinkers, Earth for All outlines an alternative plan for humanity, a positive and—we think—feasible vision of what a better future may look like, with a strong call to action for governments to act.  

Among various findings, our research revealed that left unchecked, rising inequality in the next 50 years will reduce wellbeing everywhere, lead to increasingly dysfunctional societies, risk regional collapse and further climate catastrophe. It’s probably worth reading those lines again, the seriousness of which cannot be stressed enough. Only a giant leap of our economic system meaning a total transformation will allow us to end poverty one generation earlier, by 2050—therefore saving billions of people.  

The key message is that we need to upgrade how our economies work now, by acting quickly and massively on what we call *five extraordinary turnarounds*. These consist in eliminating poverty and tackling inequality, advancing women’s empowerment, and profoundly transforming the two sectors that have the most destructive impact on nature: the way we produce and consume food and energy.  

This, together with a call to move beyond GDP as only measure of progress—as the wellbeing economy alliance has been advocating for years. And a call for citizens across the world to participate in the transition through citizens’ assemblies, so that they can find the solutions that best fit their country and shape their future. 

We need to protect the flame of change 

A few days ago, in a beautiful blog, university lecturer Otto Scharmer reminded us to “protect the flame”. A few years ago, political theorist Wendy Brown called all of us to stay close to where the fires of change are—referring to the local actions that are already changing the world.   

With Earth4All, we have been looking for a new narrative, an alternative plan, something that can plausibly fix the major challenges of our time. To ensure stability and well-being for us, our communities, and our kids—everywhere. To ensure that the beautiful planet we inherited continues to provide water, land, air for the generations to come. That the other species are protected and free. That nature can heal. 

Earth4All scientists and economists were faced with the tough question: What does system change look like? They tested thousands of scenarios and economic ideas, to finally end up with a scenario called: A Giant Leap.  

But to achieve that — to support change in the government’s action — we need a cultural shift, that starts with strong citizen engagement. Ultimately the magnitude of the change requires millions of people, movements, people in public institutions and the private sector, faith communities, and investors to feel inspired and united under a new common agenda.   

We hope that, as written by the author Carlota Perez, the Earth4All book provides a narrative that is acceptable across the political spectrum, across all faiths, and all communities. Something that can truly unite us a species on a common journey. 

In a time when we often experience fatigue due to (climate) despair, indifference, or denial, or are directly impacted by loss, damages or inequality, having a plan to build a better world is inspiring and hopeful to me.  

Does the Earth4All’s vision sound good to you?  

“Do you feel our current economic system is crashing? Are you fed up with inaction on the climate and inequality crises? But still, are you profoundly hopeful another world is possible? It is time to build a movement of movements.”

Start talking about it, let us know what you think 

It has been said that we live in a time where there is a lack of imagination, and this is true. But above all, we live in a time when our imagination has been disempowered by the current social and economic systems. We need to build a movement that fills this lack of imagination. 

Our first goal is to have everybody talking about how a new, different, upgraded future may look like. To fill this empty space with new ideas. In the streets, in the parliaments, in board rooms. Knowing that there is no “one size fits all” for economic systems change.  

But this is the most important conversation of our time: how to ensure a good life for all on a relatively stable planet.  

We all intuitively know that the current system does not work. It leaves billions of people in poverty, whilst increasing billionaires’ wealth. It destroys nature, evicting local communities and threatening indigenous cultures. It burns down forests, and pollutes our cities. It leads to growing inequalities between countries as well as within countries. It kills biodiversity.  

“We believe we can re-program our economies to put people and the planet before profit. To reward cooperation and well-being instead of competition. To put value on what is important. ”

The major upgrade we are advocating for requires people like you to speak out and demand strong political action, both individually and collectively as part of a chorus of voices. 

So, my call is for you to join Earth4All, stay connected, help us engage with governments, and mobilise everyone around you to impulse systems change. There is a lot to do in the coming months, and we absolutely want to have you on board.  

Earth4All is working to make this vision a reality, as we strive to spread these new ideas far and wide, especially where decisions are made. Our dream is for this book to be in the hands of all policymakers, change-makers, activists, students and artists. This is how we think system change may look like.  

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Challenge us. Let’s discuss how to transform the economic system before it is too late. Together, let’s build the next chapter of humanity. 

Stay connected  

Join Earth4All at www.earth4all.life. You can join both as an individual and as an organisation / group / community. Together, we will engage governments, start new conversations and bring new voices into the debate.  You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn

Here you can find further actions you can take.  

Here you can find our proposals, a summary of the book, and the book.  

What are your thoughts on this? React and engage via Twitter @Earth4All_ or submit a blog post for consideration to pbaumgartner@clubofrome.org 

This article gives the views of the author(s), and not the position of Earth4All or its supporting organisations. 

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