Neurobiologist, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds
We can actually be happier people. We can suffer less if we take responsibility of our own mind.
Everything we've learned about the brain suggests it's no different than learning the violin... if you practice, you'll get better at it.
I envision a day when mental exercise will be as much a part of our daily lives as physical exercise and personal hygiene.
Biologist specialising in biodiversity and conservation biology
I think we must ask ourselves if this is really what we want to do to God’s creation, to drive it to extinction? Because extinction really is irreversible; species that go extinct are lost forever. This is not like Jurassic Park. We can’t bring them back.
Conservation is about the ecosystems that species define and on which they depend. Conservation is about finding alternative, sustainable futures for peoples, for forests, and for wetlands. Molecular gimmickry simply does not address these core problems. … It gives unscrupulous developers a veil to hide their rapaciousness, with promises to fix things later. It distracts us from guaranteeing our planet's biodiversity for future generations.
Professor of Bioengineering, discoverer of 4th state of water
Everyone knows that water has three phases: solid, liquid and vapor. But we have recently uncovered a fourth phase. This phase occurs next to water-loving (hydrophilic) surfaces. It is surprisingly extensive, projecting out from the surface by up to millions of molecular layers. And, its properties differ markedly from those of bulk water. Light builds this charged, ordered phase. Thus, water can receive and process electromagnetic energy (light) drawn from the environment in much the same way as plants.
Not only does this phase provide an understanding of how water processes solar energies, but also it may provide a foundation for simpler understanding natural phenomena ranging from weather and green energy all the way to issues such as the origin of life, transport, osmosis, and health.
Environmentalist, President of the Development Alternatives Group, ex-President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
The reductionism and materialism of the Cartesian method are also, directly and indirectly, at the root of many of our environmental and social breakdowns. The one-dimensional and progressively narrowing focus of scientific investigation, social action and policy making have increasingly led us away from the holistic perspective needed to manage ourselves and our resources in a sustainable manner. Hence the backlash: the growing recognition of the need to bring back multi-disciplinary, trans-sectoral, integral approaches into research, action and policy.
Psychologist, Head of the Department of the Psychology of Personality at the Moscow State University, full member of the Russian Academy of Education
From now on there will be no other epoch besides the epoch of change.
The habitual adaptation strategies no longer work and only contribute to the simplification of reality and the raising of the ideal of security onto a pedestal.
The ideal of security results in various kinds of technologies aimed at creating depersonalisation coming to the fore.
Any models based on extrapolation stop working in a situation of rapid change.
The winner is he who chooses a strategy of pre-adaptation – willingness to change.
You cannot build models of the future based solely on the options of the past.
There is a whole layer of pre-adaptation phenomena that do not fit into rational patterns of understanding behaviour. These pre-adaptations, as “the anticipation of change”, are paradoxical –in the present there are always forms of the future that we stifle or do not notice, but which appear before something occurs.
Systems theorist, founder of the Club of Budapest and the Institute of New Paradigm Research
As we have already glimpsed and will continue to discover, we are able to expand our awareness beyond the perceived limitations of our own person and access the dimensions of a transpersonal consciousness. As we open ourselves to the realization of the in-formed universe, this shift in our collective awareness heralds a resolution of the schisms that have divided us for so long—both among and within us.
Buddhist monk and personal physician to the 14th Dalai Lama, founder of the Altruism in Medicine Institute (AIMI) and the Human Values Institute (HVI)
As Like an expert chess player, clarity of vision in your present moment will allow you to make better plans for the future.
It seems counter-intuitive, but the more we care for others the better we care for our self.
Love is our default state. Education reinforces and protects against the opposite tendencies in society.
Happiness does not come from wealth, but from setting limits to one’s desires, and living within those limits with satisfaction.
There is never a better time than NOW. Winnie the Pooh realized this. His favorite day was today!
Philologist, biologist specialising in psycholinguistics and theory of mind, Professor of the Saint Petersburg State University
I believe most things about us cannot be explained in chemical or physical terms, and this is where I disagree with most of my colleagues who study the human brain. They believe that at some point in the future, we will have studied every single neuron in the brain, and then we’ll be able to explain everything. My take on it is - no, we won’t. … Because there are things that cannot be explained through physiology or neural networks. To name a few, it’s anything that has to do with feelings, anything related to art, and other subtle matters.
Entrepreneur, writer, author of The Blue Economy, founder of the ZERI Foundation.
Focus on creating more than has ever been considered possible. Search for inspiration in Nature and inspire others by being the change. Make a difference in communities and ecosystems.
Work with what you have to respond to the basic needs of all – that is all living species on Earth, including the invisible and yet to be discovered.
Never accept compromise: doing less bad is still bad. Protecting is losing. All actions should lead to doing more good, enhancing life, allowing everyone to discover their innate capabilities
Go beyond your dreams. Accept that crises, chaos and change are the norm – thrive on it!
Environmentalist, businessman and thinker, Secretary General of the Be Earth Foundation, former Chairman of the UN Environmental Programme, first Chairman of the World Economic Forum at Davos
Somehow we seem to have decided that unless our limited view of seeing and hearing is satisfied, nothing beyond that is of value. And that is sheer nonsense. We know there’s a whole range of sounds that are beyond our ability to hear. And cosmologists know that there are stars and planets we cannot see. We know that there are intelligences beyond our deepest understandings. And if you recognize that, you ultimately have to speak about love. You have to speak about connectedness.
Architect-oceanographer specialising in bionic architecture
The ocean is the most important resource of our planet thanks to its multiple capacities. It is able to feed the entire planet with energy, thanks to its swell, its tides, its differences of temperatures and its marine currents. On all the coastlines, one can capture endless energy and use it for the common needs of humanity. … However, we are just beginning to explore these resources. We do not know enough about this underwater world. But beware, they should not be exploited in the same way as in the last century. We will have to find other economic paradigms.
General physician and clinical psychologist, founder of the French Association for Medical Hypnosis and the International College of Therapies for Activation of Consciousness (CITAC), President of Hypnodyssey
Médecin généraliste Praticien Consultant des Hôpitaux de Paris (soins palliatifs – psychiatrie) Directeur du Diplôme Universitaire d’Hypnose Clinique Paris XI Formé à l’hypnose clinique par le Dr Jean Godin, il est un des fondateurs de l’Association Française d’hypnose Médicale dont il est maintenant Président d’Honneur. Il exerce une activité de formateur dans le nouveau champ des Thérapies d’Activation de Conscience. Membre Fondateur du Collège International de Thérapies d’activation de Conscience (CITAC). Jean Becchio enseigne en France et à l’étranger. Il est responsable de l’enseignement clinique du CITAC. Il est auteur de livres sur l’hypnose, la médecine chinoise, le qi gong.
Psychologist, founder of the Global Consciousness Project
Ultimately, indications of a global consciousness motivate us to ask deeper questions about our relations to the world and each other. The experimental results show that subtle linkages may connect widely separated people.
Subtle structuring of random data by human engagement and emotion broadens our view of what consciousness means. It implies that our attention matters in a way we may not have imagined possible, and that cooperative intent can have subtle but real consequences. This is cause for reflection on our responsibilities in an increasingly connected world. Our future holds challenges of planetary scope that will demand both scientific clarity and intentional cooperation.
Former banker, now social entrepreneur and author, founder of the Ekskäret Foundation and the Perspectiva Institute
My philosophical take on the world is that it is not enough to simply try to ‘solve problems’. Given the complexity of inter-related problems that all have elements relating to human thought and emotion, we need to evolve and adapt – that’s the challenge within the challenge. I believe we need to cultivate human capacities – for instance mental complexity, systems thinking, empathy - through which we can honour ecological constraints while also creating societies that enable us to thrive and live a meaningful and prosperous lives.
Filmmaker, writer, founder and President of the International Bateson Institute
While change is a constant in living systems, the rate of change now is unprecedented.
Who are we in this changing world? As families, as professionals, as cultures, how is our perception of ourselves changing… and what if it doesn’t?
Author, filmmaker and international consultant specializing in ‘regenerative development’. He is co-founder, former program director and honorary member of the World Future Council, and an executive committee member of the Club of Rome.
In this age of the Anthropocene, human power has reached unprecedented proportions. The issue is not just human numbers, but the unprecedented global impacts of our lifestyles and our technologies. We have become the ‘amplified man’, with machine power defining our existence as never before. But the time has come for us to enjoy our freedoms with a new, appropriate sense of responsibility – for those less fortunate than us, for the tens of millions of our fellow living species, and or future generations.
Researcher, global health and sustainable development specialist, Programme Director at the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan
Dr. Julia Kim is a physician and public health researcher with program, policy and advocacy experience in the areas of international health and sustainable development, MDGs, and the post-2015 agenda. While based in New York at the Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP, her interests focused on addressing HIV, socio-economic inequalities, and other cross-cutting development challenges, as well as leveraging private-public partnerships, leadership development and community capacity-building programs.
Lawyer, writer, professor, founder and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, which litigates for the fundamental legal rights of nonhuman animals
For more than 2000 years all nonhuman animals have been viewed as legal things, entities that lack the capacity for any legal right. As a result they are routinely killed, otherwise exploited, and continually driven to extinction in their tens of billions each year. It is personhood alone that gives an entity the capacity for legal rights; personhood alone allows one's most fundamental interests to be protected. Without legal personhood an entity has no legal rights, while every thing is naked to the power of persons. In short, persons count in law, things don't. Persons are visible to civil law. Things aren't. Persons are the masters of things, things are the slaves of masters. My work and the work of the Nonhuman Rights Project is, and has been, through litigation and legislation, to require humankind to greatly expand the number of entities recognized as legal persons and to include as many species of nonhuman animals and to recognize as many of their legal rights as justice demands.
Biologist and environmentalist, founder of FUNAM (The Foundation for the Defence of the Environment),
The problems of human survival can no longer be approached by separate segments and pieces, but by systems that connect all branches of human knowledge, the participation of citizens, the crisis of the environment and above all the crisis of society, where sensitive topics such as science, the role of religions, consumerism, corruption, slavery, human trafficking, education, prostitution, violence, organized crime, arms and war, among others, are indissolubly connected with the destruction of the environment, the retraction of natural ecosystems and the existence of a planet with limits. A planet for which there is no substitute planet.
Capuchin monk, Catholic priest and moderator of TV programs about spirituality
The spirituality of the dialogue makes one curious about the unplanned new and takes away the fear of oneself. It is encouraging oneself to carry forward one's own - measured against the wealth of ideas of all - poor ideas to be carried forward powerful and not withheld.
The spirituality of dialogue encourages us to ask more questions and not to be ashamed to know less answers.
Writer best known for his novel Loneliness on the Net, chemist and computer scientist
What makes us humans? Definitely not our chemical foundations. More then 99% of our DNA is identical with that of bonobos and 84% with dogs. A few simple manipulations (such techniques are not so far ahead) and our DNA would be a one to one identical with that of bananas.
Even though we - humans - dramatically differ from our animal peers. We are one and only species who can use imagination, is capable of abstract thinking, can introduce inovations, write books, compose symphonies so sad, that other humans cry listening to them. But also invent bombs who can destroy the whole cities within a few seconds. As the only known species capable of all these we are also able to understand how important is to realize that we and we only are responsible for the world. I venture to claim that exactly the awarness of this responsibility make us humans. More than any chemistry ever invented...
Corporate Activator, founder of The Beyond Company
There is a passion deep inside of me about the power of that central theme (question). A way that would allow teams in any organization to freely articulate who they are, why they are here, where they want to go together, and what they are willing to give for one another for that better future to come true.
It is about having the courage to go Beyond all that has come before us, which in itself is the baseline of what has defined progress for all humankind since the dawn of time. And in so doing, most importantly, when we answer that core question we will come to realize that it takes us beyond the old paradigm that has brought us to where we are today. The modern reality of the digital age and the truth of the state of our planet has put us in a spot where that old paradigm has finally met its match. And the new paradigm, and those of us that embrace it, will free us to go places we never even imagined possible.
So have the courage to go Beyond.
Violinist, artistic director, founder of Kremerata Baltica
As a musician you can do very little. It is a drop in an ocean. And still everyone should stick to one’s beliefs and one’s own sense of justice.
This is what I think is the most important: not to sell something, not to entertain people but to touch them. To reach them through the language of art, to reach them through not clever words ... but to reach them with the language everyone understands: emotions. This I see as my obligation, my commitment, my calling ...
Biologist, Professor in Biosemiotics, evolution scientist specialising in mechanisms of species coexistence in species-rich communities and developed mathematical modelling in ecophysiology, President of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies
The field of semiotics is described as a general study of knowing. Knowing in a broad sense as a process that assumes (and includes) at least memory (together with heredity), anticipation, communication, meaningful information, and needs, is a distinctive feature of living systems.
What makes the living and the non-living very different from each other is their different relation to what is not, to what is absent. That which is alive has expectancies. Once dead, one does not expect.
Expectancy, or anticipation, means that something is not only itself but also stands for something else – for that which is expected. This is exactly the general feature of the sign, according to Peirce’s widely repeated definition.
Professor of Philosophy and Music, ECM musician with a special interest in animal sounds as music, author of several books, founder of Terra Nova Music
You learn that there is music in nature; it's not just a human imposition. It's this aspect of evolution that Charles Darwin was well aware of, but today it's hard to find a biology textbook that admits that evolution creates a lot of weird, cool, beautiful stuff.
Evolution produces all this beauty, which is amazing, but you can't always explain it away with some practical purpose. And I think this has profound implications for how we understand nature.
Biologist, ethologist, who has studied wolfs behaviour for 20 years and spent 2 years with a pack of wolves
When it comes to the existence of higher mammals in a system, especially social ones, it is impossible to avoid the question of not only the understanding of the system itself, but also the question of the understanding of a phenomenon, a notion of the result of one’s own actions in resolving an arisen task, intra- and inter-species altruism. All this and more are impossible without the capability for thought. Without this, the formation of semantic meanings in sound communication is also not possible. All of this will be discussed.
Performance artist and clown, creator of the Snow Show and founder of the Academy of Fools
The world that surrounds us is more magical than it seems at first sight. We do not want to talk about the very heavy, very sad and very conspicuous truths of our reality. Our goal is to urge people to look at the miracle that is our planet, the miracle that is a human being and all that the universe has given us - love and creativity.
Consultant in biologically-inspired whole systems design, regenerative development and transformative innovation
Merely being sustainable is no longer enough, we need to learn to design as nature, engage in regenerative design and development, and create diverse regenerative cultures elegantly adapted to the bio-cultural uniqueness of place. Such cultures would design as nature understanding themselves as healers of local ecosystems and humble caretakers of the community of life — biodiversity — that shares a unique place with us.
Film director and screenwriter, best known for No Man’s Land movie that received 2001 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film
We are sending machines to Mars but also still stuck arguing what happened 100 years ago. … This isn’t just old historians, this is the young generation too, which is the greatest shame because they are the most affected by a lack of thinking of the future.
I think what’s missing today in Europe, and I know how corny this sounds, is love. When we start giving love to each other we can start to build real bridges. …
Entrepreneur and financier,
whose investment activity centres on blockchain technology, education, artificial intelligence and neural networks, co-Founder of QIWI Plc
On the one hand, philanthropic projects can be successful as businesses, and on the other, they can bring substantial social benefits. Due to the emergence of a new generation of entrepreneurs, there are more and more projects like this. “Ys” and “Zs” think much more about meanings and about the environment.
I had a certain image form in my mind: here you are, chasing the money, you are in a competitive sporting mood, and at some point, it’s transformed allowing philanthropic initiatives to emerge. This is a rethinking of the run and business goals. ... Previously, what was the classic model like? You are working for many years, accomplishing something, and then you realize that it’s about time to do some philanthropic work. I want to change this model. I generally like changing conventional models.
You can learn most things in the process if you are passionate about the idea and the process.
Cinematographer, the 2015 Oscars Best Foreign Language Film shortlist nominee
Art is more powerful than politics. I am strictly convinced of it. We— humans, due to our nature— are governed more by feelings than by reason. In my thinking, recovering trust between people depends on feelings.
War is the external expression of our internal states. For me, and I think for the audience as well, it is more interesting to investigate our internal states than watch people shoot and kill each other.
Psychologist, organisational consultant and management change leader, specialising in conflict resolution, co-developer a conflict development methodology called "Nonflict", founder of Amirror Group Organisational Development
If you want someone to open up to you, lead by example and open your own heart first. Don't just talk the talk, walk the walk.
Conflicts are neither good or bad but opportunities for change in a relationship.
Only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way in which we use them.
Leading humanitarian and businessman, founder and co- founder of a wide range of charitable foundations
The development of our consciousness will allow us to experience, in our finite world, the unconditional love inherent to the Infinite. This, in turn, will help us act according to universal principles and values, so to lead our lives in ever greater harmony with the interest of the whole and all.
Professor of Physics at Brown University, jazz musician and author
Stephon Alexander explores resonances between music and physics in Pythagoras’ “music of the spheres,” Albert Einstein’s love of music, Coltrane’s love of Einstein, and his own ideas as a theoretical physicist and jazz saxophonist. It’s a vast, cosmic theme that includes quantum mechanics, superstring theory, the Big Bang, the evolution of galaxies, and the process of scientific theorizing itself. Alexander mines music for analogies to physical reality and credits jam sessions as a method of opening his mind to scientific insights. The comparison between music and physics rests on the fact that sound is a wave with similarities to the wave phenomena that underlie modern physics.
Transformative leader, poet and performance artist, founder of the Theatre of Transformation Academy, Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Centre for International Studies
Spirituality can be related to religion but it doesn’t have to be. It is about asking oneself the fundamental questions of life, as prophets, saints, and ordinary seekers have asked since the beginning of time: who am I, what is my purpose, how am I related to everything else in the universe? And starting to live in accord with the insights one receives: with compassion for all life, with a knowing of our fundamental interconnectedness with all creation, and a sense of responsibility to oneself and to everyone.