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… notes and ideas

W

e are stuck in old ways of thinking and acting. So many people spend time, treasure and talent on protecting, repairing and resuscitating ineffective institutions and processes. But these times call for fresh thinking and different methods. What’s needed are new realities that make the old realities obsolete.

The Israeli boarding of the ships bound for embargoed Gaza is a sharp reminder of the need for a new kind of imagining. One place to start thinking in different ways is to look at the boxes we use to try and contain the swirl of world events. Those boxes are countries.

All our conflict solving and resolution models are based on the sovereignty of the state, yet we live in a globalized world. People cross borders with impunity. Disease, finance, chaos and climate knows nothing about frontiers. Yet, we insist that compartmentalization into sovereign jurisdiction is the only way to respond.

And perhaps the United Nations is one of those old institutions that so many are trying to fix when something different is needed. Because if we want world responses to worldwide – or at least regional – problems, we need new realities that can work on that scale.