The rapid pace of globalization has produced staggering economic wealth for those in a position to capitalize upon it. It has produced remarkable growth in freedoms of movement, education, and poverty reduction in Asia. New middle classes emerge in China, India and Africa. At the same time it has provoked unprecedented ecological devastation, global warming, species extinction, desertification and marine pollution that together pose an existential threat to the human species.
The time has come for a new concept to replace globalization as the basic transformational paradigm for the world. Such a concept is planetarity, a kind of globalization 2.0. Planetarity recognizes that human cultures, traditions and civilizations emerge from the 4.5 billion year history of evolution on earth, which itself can be located in a deeper 13.7 billion year history of cosmic evolution. Planetarity recognizes that such an evolutionary process thrives on diversity and transformation. Where globalization drapes a grey blanket of sterile uniformity across the face of the earth, planetarity celebrates movements of decentering, decolonization, and indigenous resistance and resurgence that are rooted in a sense of humans as earthbound, planetary beings.
- How do we decenter Western (or other dominant) traditions of knowledge without falling into the moral vacuity of relativism on the one hand or neocolonial strategies of multiculturalism on the other hand?
- How do we promote dialogue, respect and healing among global traditions and Indigenous peoples?
- How do we produce values and wisdom for a flourishing future that are both rooted and planetary at the same time?