In an essay titled Winning the Great Wager, Alex Steffen summarizes the essential challenges facing humanity, reviews the usual answers and strikes boldly forward with ideas for the ways in which we can and must face them:
What we need, then, is a new model. We need a new model which allows unprecedented prosperity on a sustainable basis. We need a new model which will let everyone on the planet get rich and stay rich, while healing the planet's ecosystems. We need to create what some Brits call "one-planet livelihoods" which are so prosperous, so dynamic, so enticing that the alternative of chasing the old model of green follows gold seems simply moronic.
Designing a system which would lead to that kind of sustainable prosperity would already present an epic challenge. But we're not done yet. For that system also needs to work in the real world. It must be rugged and shock-proof.Winning the Great Wager is a part of our month long retrospective leading up to our anniversary on Oct. 1. For the next four weeks, we'll celebrate five years of solutions-based, forward-thinking and innovative journalism by publishing the best of the Worldchanging archives.