By Gary Alexander
A positive vision is emerging…
a community-based, but globally linked and co-ordinated society, a global human family looking after each other and the Earth.
eGaia describes many starting points around the world, and next big steps where they join and link up. It clarifies the vision, gives background and organsising principles, and a light fictional picture of a sustainable world.
Gary Alexander’s updated version of eGaia is an important resource for anyone interested in creating a peaceful sustainable Earth.
As a Lecturer in Electronics, Design and Communication at the Open University for 37 years, Gary helped pioneer some of the first distance-learning courses in the world. He has a wealth of environmental insight and a unique perspective on utilising electronic communications to improve social well-being which he combines successfully in eGaia.
In this second edition of the book he describes how we are hitting the limits of the Earth; from the melting of the Arctic, to extreme weather events and the problems with our economy, concluding that a collapse is possible at any time. Yet at the same time he illustrates how many of the ingredients of a collaborative, sustainable society are here, just waiting to be put together.
Drawing on his experience, Gary concludes that these starting points are unlikely to become mainstream until a serious, and imminent, economic collapse actually occurs; but we can go much further in growing an embryonic sustainable and peaceful society which will help us to escape the worst effects of systemic collapse and come to a soft landing.
Gary’s vision is an unashamedly Utopian image, of humanity living in harmony with the planet and in harmony with itself – a genuinely peaceful, sustainable world based around co-operation and community through enhanced communication rather than conflict, competition and war. But the text is down-to-earth and provides practical alternatives to our present, failing systems.
He describes the organising principles for a co-operative economic structure that creates a stable, self-correcting economy. He show ways to use information systems to replace much of the function of money: to provide better measures of cost, of people’s social contributions and the other key ingredients needed to organise an economy. He goes on to describe the beginnings of a global communication system, a global sense of identity and a sense of symbiosis and mutual support between human cultures which, as an example, Gary shows are evolving within the Transition Network.
The final thrust of the book highlights the huge number of organisations and initiatives working to create a peaceful, sustainable world right now. Their influence may be only marginal but it is growing rapidly and their growth is stimulated by breakdowns within our existing system.
A chapter on ‘next big steps’ is about how to inspire these organisations’ growth and help them link up and deliver mutual support through a community exchange system. This could be the crucial next step that connects the thousands of disjointed organisations that share the same values and links them together to form a critical mass that is required for these ideas to become mainstream. When that happens the eGaian vision would not be a utopian dream but could evolve into a beautiful reality.
- a radical and challenging approach to what Alexander terms our ‘global cancer’: biodiversity and habitat loss, war, climate change, poverty and social disintegration. Prof. Godfrey Boyle
- concentrates on radical and practical steps to move towards sustainability. Sandrine Simon
- a manifesto for a new world order, disarmingly presented and written. Prof. John Monk
Second edition: 17 Sep 2014
Visit Gary Alexander’s website