Edito n°07Whatever the process, whoever is in charge, we always come back to wondering how current policies will shape the future. Are the men and women running our governments and institutions around the world able to help bring about the future we want?

It’s a good time to create a new obsession, on the condition that this obsession goes with hard questions and inevitable transformation. Each in its own way, the Global Voices in this seventh issue say that tomorrow’s world will not simply repeat what has come before. New forms of governance are emerging. Scott Weber, head of Interpeace, launches a how-to manual for creating new, sustainable national constitutions; Pierre Tapie, Executive Director of ESSEC, explains a new think tank that will explore the interaction between corporations and globalization; Mallika Sarabhai, a dancer turned politician, calls on the courage of all Indians to create democracy worthy of the name; and the Genevan thinker and visionary Xavier Comtesse talks about why he believes in the future of “Cloud Power”, while Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation, expresses his beliefs in new diplomacy. For us at GLOBAL, we wouldn’t exchange this observation post for any other media. Everything is happening here, at the heart of global issues, with the invention of political or new organizational approaches.

With its revolts, insurrections and other rebellions over, North Africa and the Middle East are only just beginning a long process of reinvention. The youth of developed countries must secretly envy the great wind of history that is sweeping countries hungry for change. The year 2011 marks the end of the “Western Democracy Export Company”. I still smile at how the great intelligence agencies failed to see it coming this spring. The illusion of an off-the-shelf Democracy delivered by the West will not have survived the time of the latest war in Afghanistan.

New blood, new ideas and also the end of omerta. Telling the people –the voters– that we can get by without nuclear power is a lie. Telling them that we could opt for new generation plants, whose waste has a lifespan of 300 years instead of 250,000, deserves a different propaganda than that of the “good-activists” media against nuclear. The witchhunt is open: “the nuclear lobby” is the enemy since Fukushima. Is it not rather the weakness of the mandate of the global organization for atomic energy that makes one shudder? Who are these white knights fighting for a nuclear phase-out when renewables are not yet able, either in terms of quantity or quality and potentially harmful and toxic as well, to substitute for it? Why not start with the question of “smart grids” and create new “Get off the old grid” NGOs since the current grid is totally unsuited to the new energy mix? So, yes, aberrations exist, regardless of the energy sector you consider. Do we want to deprive people of arable land in favor of land-use energy? If so, we could heat up the cemeteries in the South. What progress. Do we want to produce energy even if it cannot be stored? That will provide some nice data on waste. Do we want to keep second-generation nuclear power plants on life support or spend public funds on third-generation plants that offer nothing innovative, until the politicians have the courage to resist pressure from all sides and go straight to the new generation of nuclear power? Here, the brave would say, “That’s enough energy Manichaeism!” Energy consumption is exploding, as is the need for investment. So, let us drop the taboos and look at the mix and the timing required. Nuclear power must reinvent itself - and that’s good news. As we have done with ocean energy, where large amounts of energy await
us and marine farms are developing, let us ask the simple questions: by what means, how long, what dangers?

This Global also looks at another area of reinvention, that of urban violence. Under the pressure of the global sporting events that the city will host in 2014 and 2016, Rio has dared to rethink its police force. The results so far say a lot for the merits of boldness and show the way for many megacities around the world. That’s new governance, too. From the South.

September 2011, Jean-Christophe, Nothias Editor in Chief