Progress Is No Longer “Out of this World”

In my youth, progress was captured in the concept of putting a man on the moon.  It was epitomized by these prophetic words of President Kennedy:

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.  Because that goal will serve to organize and measure they best of our energies and skills because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one which we intend to win.” 

This quote captured the imagination of a generation in the western world and drove a lot of the popular culture from technology to music.  A man on the moon was inspired by the competitive “space race” between the Americans and the Russians.  It was an ideological proxy fight for capitalism versus communism.

Mythology has it the news media interviewed the head of NASA after this bold cum brash declaration by President Kennedy. When asked how he would get a man on the moon NASA’s leadership is reported to have said; “We will learn our way there.”

Today Progress is focused on very different goals and even more difficult dynamics.  For me, progress is now epitomized by the continuing challenge of learning.  What we have to learn now is how to take a comprehensive integrated triple-bottom-line approach to governance.

This means looking at achieving social, economic and environmental sustainability by embracing the complex interplay of these elements.  It means consciously making policy and personal decisions that assess, evaluate and acknowledge the positive and negative integrated impacts of these elements by our actions.  Choices are more complex and demand design thinking and systems-based approaches.

For example, if we assess and evaluate a social justice policy decision, say about poverty or homelessness, in Triple-Bottom-Line governance, we must also assess and evaluate the economic and environmental impacts of any perceived preferred poverty outcome.  The same assessment and evaluative approach must be taken if we pursue an environmental or economic goal.

So this blog will be a place to explore and share ideas, observations, and aspirations for a progressive political culture in Alberta  It will ideally help us achieve a better governance approach for Albertans to progress and prosper within a framework of social justice, ecological stewardship and responsible wealth creation.

Looking forward to receiving your comments, thoughts, concerns and other contributions to this purpose.

To be continued….

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