Leaving aside national problems, crises on a global scale can be identified as follows:
The Demographic Explosion / Global Warming and Climate Change / Peak Oil and Gas / Peak Everything; / Failure of the World's Food Supply / Denudation of the World's Forests / Global Economic Collapse … and more.
The briefest of analyses will indicate how these taken together constitute a new kind of crisis in human affairs. In about fifty years from now the human species will be facing an evolutionary change as traumatic as happened in the past when our ancestors were forced to abandon the life of hunter-gatherers, and in so doing take on a new identity. This was forced on them because of overpopulation, which had led to over-hunting and then, over tens of thousands of years, to a nomadic, then agricultural and finally a city life. Eventually our ancestors had to “un-learn” clan-consciousness in order to live together in an urban environment, where one must learn to deal with many different kinds of people who are unfamiliar and even culturally different. The very word “politics” means the art of living in cities, but the collapse and bankruptcy of Detroit in 2013, by no means the only decaying city in deep financial distress, is an early warning that the concept of city life must undergo radical change.
From this perspective it can be seen that we are facing an epochal challenge and a confused and experimental period as we transition to something new and, as yet, unimagined. Viewed positively, this can be seen as an enforced opportunity to change society, but what is not so easily seen is that the change in human nature and behaviour that this will entail will need to be so radical that it would be no exaggeration to call it species change. Technically, the term is inappropriate, insofar as different species cannot interbreed, and it would be more accurate to talk in terms of a new human type, but the wrong word may have a value in suggesting how radical the change must be. It will be an evolutionary step change which, when it is completed, will redefine “normal human”. We need a vision of the future to act both as a compass and an incentive to change, but once we have that we shall need a radically new philosophy and programme of education.
Transformative Education (PDF)