Much ink and screenlight has been spilled to make the case that integrity unravels, order breaks down, and the complexities of cooperative self-government are too arduous to remain in fashion. While it is everyday shockingly evident that imperfect leaders do prioritize their own power over the success of their societies, we may in fact be entering an age defined more by solidarity than by human failing.
What evidence is there for such a claim? Let’s look at the challenges we face:
- The climate system is a global fabric of energy exchange, the stability or instability of which shapes the biosphere and determines who can comfortably live where.
- Our metaphysical ethical entanglements become geophysical realities when global heating pollution destabilizes the climate.
- Climate disruption, preventable and lawless conflict, and supply chain disruptions due to a spillover pandemic, are all undermining food security and putting the stability of economies and nation states at risk.
- The biggest challenges we face in this century are complex in nature, interact between sectors and across borders, and center on the connection between nature and human wellbeing.
- Actions and investments that discount the risk, harm, and cost associated with converging and compounding planetary crises are not only unethical and unwise; they threaten lives and livelihoods everywhere, and will of necessity fall out of favor.
To overcome the biggest challenges facing humanity right now, heads of government, financial decision-makers, industries, and people in community, will have to deploy strategies that center on solidarity—with people and with nature. This is not an abstract hypothesis; it is a practical necessity, a condition for success in our times.
Solidarity is a core practical ingredient for successful future public policy, business models, and investment strategies, going forward. Finance that builds health and resilience for people and nature will have far more room to run, more opportunity to make use of, and greater potential for growth than finance premised on propagating and concealing preventable harm.
Resilience is a baseline imperative; we are all future builders. Putting these principles into practice will bring us into the age of solidarity.