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Climate change. The financial system. The arms trade. Technological advances that threaten jobs, inept world leaders, the refugee crisis, terrorism, high divorce rates. The list goes on.

The world is not a pretty place. And we don’t feel safe.

The high anxiety levels in society are represented in world suicide figures. According to the WHO, close to 800,000 people commit suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally.

Now, there is a chance to bring about positive change and hopefully reverse these tragic suicide figures.

Anyone can sit down and work out a plan for a new world order and submit it for review. Yes, really.

The invitation comes from The Global Challenges Foundation, founded by the Swedish billionaire László Szombatfalvy. The GCF has launched an international competition to find a better system for world governance.

“Many of the risks now threatening humanity have originated from a rapid pace of industrial development coupled with the population explosion,” writes Szombatfalvy on the website. “However, it is the GCF’s belief that human ingenuity, which after all has brought us this far, can, if it is properly channeled, manage and minimize the risks and thereby secure a better future for all.”

I think many of us will agree with his premise:

“The system currently in place to manage these issues – including the UN and the organizations connected with the UN – are, in their present form, not up to the task. Today, these challenges are responded to using yesterday’s tools – multilateral negotiations which are susceptible to short-term national interests. As a consequence, the necessary action is either not taken or is taken too late, while the problems and risks continue to grow.”

The Global Challenges Prize 2017: A New Shape is calling on individuals, groups of individuals, universities, companies or associations from anywhere in the world to submit proposals outlining an alternative world governance model – either by revisiting the present UN system, or by proposing completely new forms of governance.

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The task is not to come up with solutions to pressing world problems, but to design a general model for decision-making.

The task won’t be easy. The proposed governance model must:

  • be able to be implemented within the foreseeable future
  • be acceptable to major states and the wider international community
  • have a significant measure of civic acceptance

Are you wondering who this László Szombatfalvy is?

Laszlo Szombatfalvy was born in Hungary and arrived in Sweden in 1956 as a refugee. He developed his own model for the valuation and risk analysis of shares which produced 30 % return per year for 46 years. With time the perspective broadened to cover the risks and challenges currently facing humanity.

I think this is a noble initiative, but human nature is deeply flawed. As long as we are unable to get past diverse perspectives and reconcile ingrained hostilities that are passed on from generation to generation, initiatives like these won’t succeed.

The human soul needs an overhaul. Nothing less will suffice.

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