One of the things that really stuck with me from my politics studies at uni a few years ago was Frances Fukuyama’s End of History theory. Briefly, Fukuyama argued that with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the West’s victory in the Cold War world history had effectively come to an end as liberal democracy had triumphed and from here on in the rest of the world would fall in line.
Whether it was the authoritative finality of the theory or just the way it was taught us, I came away with the impression that all the work building the world had been done before my generation (Y) and that we could just sit back and happily consume.
But it’s clear that we and future generations have an equally impressive task at hand to contribute to building a better world – that is of course making societies sustainable.
We need to change policies, economies, behaviours, values, technologies and businesses for the better. When I realised this it was a real source of inspiration, inspiration I’d lost after Fukuyama.
We’re at the start of creating something new (which I’ll look at more in the next post) and it’s exciting to be a part of that. The transition to a sustainable world may not be as dramatic as that to a liberal democratic one given the lack of a global conflict accompanying it but it will be no less momentous.
I think to some degree a lot of my generation understands this but it hasn’t been clearly articulated enough. We will build the future; we just need people to help us recognise that.
(Photo at top: One Young World Conference 2014. ESSEC Business School)