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In the globalized world all physical, institutional, economic and social systems are interconnected. In order to create sustainable conditions where economic growth and resource management are in balance each component should be viewed as part of this interconnected reality. It is, as if, we are weaving the fabric of a new path forward for the human race; what we call, the NEW SILK ROAD. The popular nomenclature for this new path forward has come to be known as ‘sustainable development.’ But what does that really mean?
Multilateral initiatives such as the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), efforts to reduce deforestation, and treaties to prohibit international trade in endangered species are illustrative of the sustainable development paradigm that is now guiding enlightened international public policy.
National-level entities are also beginning to implement programs that illustrate an alignment with sustainable development goals. Leaders are beginning to respond more substantively to demands from their constituencies to be more proactive in their policies. Country-sponsored aid organizations are making a big difference in diplomacy and poverty reduction in many areas around the world. New paradigms for waging peace are emerging. This news/blog, from time-to-time, covers such stories.
Corporations, too, are beginning to implement initiatives that convey this new type of thinking. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) literature is replete with examples of how companies are becoming more responsive to all of the stakeholders, including local populations and employees, as well as shareholders.
Importantly, the work of non-profit entities or non-governmental organizations are at the forefront of advancing the sustainable development agenda. Criticisms aimed at these groups often point to their inefficient use of resources. In response, whole new organizational structures are being devised by innovative individuals. These structures, advanced as social enterprises, are being codified in many state governments under new legislation known as the ‘B Corp.’ This news/blog covers events in this arena as well.
But apart from all of the governmental and institutional responses to the need for a shift to sustainable development thinking, there are also a host of technological innovations that cut across all of these boundaries. What is the nexus between these innovations and sustainable development? For example, how is the rapid penetration of cellular phone technology in the developing world being used by aid agencies and innovative entrepreneurs to address MDGs aimed at reducing poverty? Also, how are the new technologies of ‘cloud computing’ being applied in this same context? What kinds of innovations are driving job growth and economic prosperity? And, importantly, how are the increases in cyber crime and cyber espionage effecting the potential for reasonable economic development. Does this herald a transfer of wealth and resources? This news/blog also focuses on these issues.
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Contributions by authors from around the world seeking to express viewpoints on the NEW SILK ROAD are welcome. Send drafts to jane (at) SedonaCyberlink.com