Philosophical, institutional, and decision making frameworks for meeting obligations to future generations

Tonn, B.E. ✉

English Scientific Conference paper in journal (Journal Article)
Published: FUTURES 0016-3287 95 pp. 44-57 2018
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    Humanity needs to become more futures-oriented to address global catastrophic and existential risks, create sustainable societies and economies, and achieve its most laudable and worthy goals. Seminal work by Bell and Slaughter is cited to answer the question about why current generations should care about future generations. A new set of twelve obligations that current generations have to future generations is presented that reflects contemporary threats and issues. For example, this set explicitly communicates that current generations have an obligation to reduce threats of human extinction from a combination of risks such as climate change, pandemics, and nuclear war. It is also argued that current generations have an obligation to be stewards of what is means to be human and what the very nature of nature is against advances and unwitting implementations of emerging technologies. It is argued that current generations also have obligations to protect human knowledge from being lost over time and generating new knowledge to support survival into the distant future. A new institution, the Intergenerational Panel on Obligations (IGPO), is proposed to measure how well the obligations are being met. A second new institution, World Court of Generations (WCG), is proposed to judge whether current generations are meeting their obligations to future generations and if not, what level of actions are needed to rectify matters. The Obligations to Future Generations Protocol (OFGP) would be negotiated amongst the countries of the world and other public and even private sector stakeholders to assign responsibilities for action. Leadership from the futures community and others is needed to overcome the many socio-cultural barriers to implement these frameworks and establish these proposed institutions. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
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    2021-10-19 05:44