"The future will either be an inspired product of a great cultural revival, or there will be no future."
This diagnosis of our civilization's condition was made in 1980 by Aurerelio Peccei, The Club of Rome's founding president, based on a decade of this international think tank's research into the future prospects of mankind.
That "our civilization is on a collision course with nature" was at that point a scientifically established fact. The Club of Rome researchers looked deeper, into the roots of our civilization's condition—and found that a misbalanced way of evolving was its cause. It made science and technology prosper, and culture and human quality decline.
On the morning of March 14, 1984, the day he passed away, Peccei dictated to his secretary from a hospital bed (as part of "Agenda for the End of the Century"):
"Human development is the most important goal."
The holotopia is a realizable vision of a future that offers more than what Peccei called for.
This vision is made concrete in terms of five insights, which show that a comprehensive improvement of our condition is possible—analogous to, and yet deeper and broader than the comprehensive wave of change that was germinating four centuries ago, when Galilei was in house arrest:
- In innovation (analogy with Industrial Revolution)
- In communication (analogy with Copernican Revolution)
- In foundation or epistemology (analogy with Enlightenment)
- In method (analogy with Scientific Revolution)
- In values (analogy with Renaissance)
Why this is possible
The reason why comprehensive change has become possible is that fundamental insights have been reached, which demand that we change the way we see and comprehend the word—as the case was in Galilei's time.
In 1958, in "Physics and Philosophy", Nobel Laureate Physicist Werner Heisenberg described this situation as follows:
"[T]he nineteenth century developed an extremely rigid frame for natural science which formed not only science but also the general outlook of great masses of people. This frame (...) was so narrow and rigid that it was difficult to find a place in it for many concepts of our language that had always belonged to its very substance, for instance, the concepts of mind, of the human soul or of life. (...) In the same way life was to be explained as a physical and chemical process, governed by natural laws, completely determined by causality. Darwin’s concept of evolution provided ample evidence for this interpretation. It was especially difficult to find in this framework room for those parts of reality that had been the object of the traditional religion and seemed now more or less only imaginary. (...). Confidence in the scientific method and in rational thinking replaced all other safeguards of the human mind."
Heisenberg's point was that the "narrow and rigid" way of looking at the world, which our general culture adopted from the 19th century science, was proven wrong a century later by science itself.
Heisenberg believed that the largest gift of modern physics to humanity would be to unleash a cultural change—by discrediting the worldview that keeps culture in check.
Knowledge federation is a general-purpose methodology for creating knowledge, founded on the results of 20th century science and philosophy.
It provides ways to combine academic research with heritage of the world traditions, and create general insights about any theme of interest.
When knowledge federation is applied to society's pivotal issues—the holotopia vision results.
The holotopia strategy is to focus on comprehensive and positive change.
The five insights explain why comprehensive change can be easy—even when smaller and obviously necessary changes may be impossible.
The holotopia mission is to set in motion a comprehensive wave of change.
We implement this mission in two steps.
The first step is to institutionalize knowledge federation as an academic field.
Its purpose is to divert some of the academia's vast resources toward providing our society the vision it needs.
The second step is to develop holotopia as a real-life project.
Its purpose is to restore the faculty of vision to people and society.