2018 Special Focus: Forging Solidarity—Collective Sustainability Solutions in a Fragmenting World

Three key global megatrends appear to be shaping the twenty-first century. The first is the changing face of international terrorism and the reactions that are made in response to it. The second is growing economic inequality, both within and between countries. The third is global environmental degradation, and in particular climate change. The challenge of those who care for the future of the planet and who see environmental challenges climate change as the most pressing problems we face is that the first two megatrands are dominating political conversations. The faultline between radical Islamic terrorism and some western governments has, to a large extent, dominated the first two decades of the century. And popular resentment at growing inequality was a factor in both the 2016 Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the election the same year of Trump as president. This suggests that inequities between generations cannot be properly addressed until inequities within the present generation are tackled. A further complicating factor is that all three of these global megatrends are contributing, in different ways and to different degrees, to increased migration from the global North to the global South. How, therefore, amidst fragmenting social, economic, political and demographic trends can we generate the global forms of solidarity necessary to tackle the increasingly urgent intergenerational challenges we face? This is the question that will be considered by the 14th International Conference on Environmental Cultural Economic and Social Sustainability.