All solutions proposed on this site are intended to form the beginning of a conversation. Nobody has all the answers to every detail right now; we are creating the future every day.
Instead of being confused at how and why things have gone so wrong, we can start looking ahead clearly and consider our actions to correct our pathway into the future.
These are intended to set the goals we need to work towards as much as the problems section has highlighted what we need to avoid.
At the heart of a new, global, collaborative way of thinking, we need to seriously consider what kind of world we would like to leave for all our children and grandchildren. We are only caretakers of the world for a short time; we must all protect the earth for all of the amazing diversity of life it sustains.
This is not an attempt to tell everybody to stop being greedy forever. Such a claim would be ridiculously unworkable and also ignores the lessons of history. Greed can be a useful source of energy and inspiration for many people, but not when it is uncontrolled; then it is only self-destructive. It needs to be tempered and balanced with empathy. It needs to evolve to the greater concept of Ubuntu, “I am because we are”. There is no problem with an individual operating for self-interest when that action ends up benefitting society at large; the place for government intervention is to ensure that benefit is spread to the greater society. The claim that these selfish individuals will somehow pay it back of their own volition has been shown consistently to be a barefaced lie. For every billionaire philanthropist, there are a thousand more that actively refuse to use their fortune for the benefit of anybody but themselves.  This recognizes the debt that all people, businesses and corporations owe to the societies in which they operate and requires a repayment of that debt in kind. Social and Environmental debt cannot ever be repaid completely as it is a permanent feature of operating within society and the world.
Watch this video –> The Empathic Civilization
In order to guide the solutions to this array of problems, we have to define a general set of principles. These will act as the test points to establish how well a proposed solution will align to the goals of producing the desired outcomes. Rather than providing a set of guidelines, here are the questions to ask of any solution to determine its alignment.
Not every question is directly relevant to every solution, but there should be a connection along the pathway along the lines of the above diagram. This diagram is meant as an aid to visualizing the connections between different actions and elements of the solution. It is not intended to be the complete picture of the final outcome; that picture must emerge and evolve in all its complexity over time and collaboration with the larger population. This is the sketch aimed to inspire the masterpiece.
Does this encourage a national and international community of collaboration?
Does this actively discourage and punish uncontrolled greed?
Does this provide the environment for everyone to collaborate freely on any issue?
Does this recognize and pay the Social Debt of participating in society?
Does this recognize and pay the Environmental Debt of living on this planet?
Does this recognize that we inhabit a finite world of limited resources?
Does this seek to improve quality of life; without reducing quality of life for others?
Does this provide all people with equal diversity of opportunity?
Does this encourage active and engaged citizens of society?
Does this cater for the whole population, or serve the interests of a few?
If the answer to any of the above questions is not determinedly positive, then the proposed solution requires modification to address the gap. That solution and revised solution must come as a collaboration of interested people and organizations.
In the interests of starting that conversation productively, here are some high level approaches to solving this array of problems. The links included point to the huge array of people and groups that are already working on the answers.
Please….get connected to the collaboration that must come to design our future.
There’s one last point to make. If you think that the world will be changed solely by changing individual personal behaviours, then the change you want will never happen in the timeframe it needs to be. Individual contribution to pollution and over consumption are generally a third or less of the total impact of any technology. Waiting for industry to change by driving consumer demand is the argument of the apathetic; it will not deliver change in the scale of a few decades. We need to force industry to change quicker than that and to take a leading role in building our new millennium.