“The world will not change on its own. It is up to us to act”
These words were spoken by Robert Kennedy in his speech at the international online conference “Global Crisis. This Already Affects Everyone”, which took place on July 24, 2021.
Robert Kennedy, PhD in Political Science, President of the Atlanta Council on Foreign Relations, and professor emeritus in the Sam Nunn Department of International Affairs at the Georgia Polytechnic Institute in Atlanta.
Mr. Kennedy described the situation in which our society now finds itself as follows: “Today we are living in times of trauma. We now confront challenges that in one way or another affect and will continue to affect each of us, our families, our friends, and the generations that follow”.
In such a situation, the key is how we will respond to what is happening, how we can solve the problem of crises that threaten all of humanity.
Robert Kennedy highlighted some of them:
The worsening state of our planet, which is caused by global climate change, is unfortunately exacerbated by human activities, provoking an environmental crisis. These factors influence the lives of billions of people, affecting their welfare and health. The aggravation of the climatic and ecological situation may cause mass starvation and mass migration, which in turn will lead to economic, social and political problems.
The continuing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
There are certain risks associated with the introduction of artificial intelligence into our lives:
loss of jobs;
the problem of safety (there are cases when robots got out of control and performed life-threatening actions to the people);
the problem of trust (can the AI be trusted in the point that it would do the right thing: morally and ethically?
Income inequality, both within a country and between countries.
Today, only 8 people own the same wealth as 3.6 billion people or almost ½ of all humanity.
Professor Kennedy noted that the problems that humanity is facing are unprecedented. We have two options: to leave things as they are, or to be able to take a step toward each other and unite. It's all up to people's choices now.
“As long as we, as people and nations, continue to pursue our personal desires/interests without consideration of the interests and needs of the greater community, we will be unable to meet these challenges and thus succumb to their consequences”.
On the other hand, never before in the history of mankind have we been more connected to each other thanks to the Internet and modern means of communication. This opens up opportunities unseen before. The question is, are we, all of humanity, ready to overcome our differences and unite? Can we act together as peoples and as nations?
Robert Kennedy believes that: “Differences can be the source of creative thinking that only derives from differing points of view. And to meet the challenges ahead we need to work together and think creatively”.
According to Mr. Kennedy, the path of unification and joint actions is real. Yet, it will require new leaders, people who will take responsibility and act in the interests of all humanity.
“We need to mark today as the day we decided to act for the greater good of humanity and demand that our nations’ leaders do the same. Only then will we be able to confront the daunting challenges that lie ahead”
The international online conference “Global Crisis. This Already Affects Everyone” is a shining example of what ordinary people can do when united and working toward a common goal. The conference was broadcast on thousands of channels and streaming platforms, and was simultaneously interpreted into 72 languages, including sign language. It gave millions of people around the world an objective picture of the state of our planet and our society. When the problem is understood, then we can look for ways out of it.
In conclusion, I would like to recall the words of Robert Kennedy, with which this news began:
“The world will not change on its own. It is up to us to act”.