Challenge for Europe

In all societies, in all eras of history, there are pivotal actors around which economic and social life is organized. In the 19th and 20th centuries, these were states and big businesses. But is this still the case in the 21st century? Are they capable of meeting the demands of a sustainable society? We have our doubts. They both have difficulties managing economic efficiency, social justice and environmental protection in a coherent way. Two actors should be favoured: territory, which can be thought of and managed like a complex ecosystem, and networks of use and recycling which cover the whole of the production process.

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The author, Pierre Calame, French, was a civil servant at the Ministry of Infrastructure between 1968 and 1988 where he occupied various posts of responsibility at the territorial, central, and international level. Since 1988, he has directed the Charles Leopold Mayer foundation for the Progress of Man, a Swiss foundation with an international calling. A specialist of governance, he notably has written: l’Etat au Coeur with André Talmant (Desclée de Brouwer, 1997) on the reform of the state; la Démocratie en Miettes: Pour une Révolution de la Gouvernance (Descartes and CIE and ECLM, 2003) which proposed that governance be re-rooted in the universal principals that emerge from experience; and Essaie sur l’Oeconomie (ECLM, 2009) which proposes the rethinking of the economy starting with common principles of governance.

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