* Book: Marc Luycks Ghisi. The Knowledge Society: A Breakthrough Toward Genuine Sustainability. Editions INDIA. Stone Hill Foundation Publishing 2008
Reviewed by U. J. Mohrhoff:
"Marc Luycks Ghisi has an MA in both mathematics and philosophy and a PhD in Russian and Greek Theology. For nearly 10 years, from 1990 until 1999, he worked directly for Jacques Delors and Jacques Santer, Presidents of the European Commission, as a member of the Commission’s Forward Studies Unit. He was in charge of a research project on future trends in Europe and the world. He is now active in knowledge economy research and is the Dean of the New Cotrugli Business Academy (CBA) in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as the Vice- Chairman of the International Advisory Council of Auroville, India, and a Senior Advisor with Business Solutions, Brussels. He teaches regularly both at CBA and at the École Supérieure de Commerce de Rouen, a leading French business school.
The Knowledge Society “heralds the good news that we possess the economic and political tools to steer the world civilization toward genuine sustainability and that we can do so now.” By “genuine sustainability” Ghisi means “creating a political and economic environment in which our collective footprint on Earth* is a positive one.
Ghisi’s premise is that our industrial-modern economy and our modern political system are incapable of moving us toward a positive footprint on Earth, even if human beings across the globe are doing their best to care for the environment at the local level. Business leaders across the world, with many of whom the author is well acquainted, tacitly if not openly agree with this premise: an industrial economic system based on quantitative growth and tangible assets is not capable of leading us toward a sustainable future.
“Whatever we do for the environment, we subtract from economic growth.” So one hears in and from political boardrooms across the globe; the environment is a liability. This poses a huge dilemma. On the one hand, we “cannot ask our politicians to completely sacrifice economic growth for the sake of the envi- ronment, because doing so would undermine the whole economic and social equilibrium of [the European Union’s] member states.” On the other hand, with “this trade-off between economic growth and sustainability, the industrial- modern model almost guarantees that sustainability loses. And whatever might be done to save the environment will be done in a losing cause!”