We have entered the Planetary Phase of Civilization. Strands of interdependence are weaving humanity and Earth into a single community of fate-the overarching proto-country herein christened Earthland. In the unsettled twenty-first century, the drama of social evolution will play out on a world stage with the perils many and dark premonitions all too plausible. Still, a Great Transition to a planetary civilization of enriched lives and a healthy planet remains possible. But how? What forms of collective action and consciousness can redirect us toward such a future? Who will lead the charge? What might such a world look like? Journey to Earthland offers answers. It clarifies the world-historical challenge; explains the critical role of a global citizens movement in advancing social transformation; and paints a picture of the kind of flourishing civilization that might lie on the other side of a Great Transition. In this pivotal moment, the odyssey to a different world is underway yet the ultimate destination depends on choices and struggles yet to come. Acting to prevent the futures we dread is where our work must begin. But the larger task is to foster the finer Earthland we and our descendants deserve.
Paul Raskin is the founding President of the Tellus Institute and founding Director of the Great Transition Initiative (GTI). Since 1976, Tellus has conducted thousands of projects throughout the world, working to advance justice and sustainability through scholarship, research, and partnership. Established in 2003, GTI publishes an online journal and mobilizes a distinguished international network to explore visions and strategies for a civilized future. In 1995, Dr. Raskin co-organized the Global Scenario Group, the forerunner of GTI, and served as lead author on its influential 2002 essay, Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead. In support of these pursuits, he did pioneering research in integrated social-ecological scenario analysis, created widely used models (LEAP, WEAP, and PoleStar), served as lead author on high- profile sustainability assessments, and published extensively. Earlier in his career, he held faculty positions at the State University of New York at Albany and City College of New York. Dr. Raskin holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Columbia University.