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Growth, development and evolution – The parameters of change in a dynamic world

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Abstract:

The challenges of change on a finite planet have rarely been felt as acutely by such a broad cross-section of humanity as they are in this day and age. Today, we witness the closing in of the parameters of choice from increasing societal demands for energy, material goods and commodities, access to sources of clean water, air and soil, and higher standards of living on the one hand, and decreasing availability of non-renewable sources of energy, arable land, geopolitical stability and a more meaningful quality of life on the other. This article considers general approaches to dealing with the mounting pressures caused by this narrowing of the funnel of strategic choice for human civilizational development in balanced harmony with Earth. It explores the limitations and assumptions inherent in models based on growth, development and evolution. By considering the classical evolutionary economics of Joseph Schumpeter and the emerging evolutionary systems design perspective of contemporary evolutionary change agents, it surfaces key patterns in the quest for meaningful indices of progress. In the final analysis, this article argues for a humanistic and essentially non-quantitative appreciation of life. It suggests that meaningful progress be advanced through the development of an evolutionarily attuned mindset, skillset and heartset, capable of grasping the often non-linear leaps of logic required for the cultivation of patterns of being and becoming that foster global thrivability.

Keywords: development; evolution; growth; quality of life; standard of living; sustainability; syntony; thrivability

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jots.9.1.9_1

Affiliations: 1: Syntony Quest 2: B-Original

Publication date: March 20, 2012

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