Education and capabilities for a global 'Great Transition'
What are the implications for education of the formidable emergent global challenges of sustainability and of the demands for corresponding human capabilities? Various studies, such as The Earth Charter, the Great Transition studies by the Stockholm Environment Institute (Raskin et al. 2002) and the New Economics Foundation (2009), and indeed the United Nations General Assembly’s Millennium Declaration of 2000, suggest that major changes are required in predominant human values during the next two generations to ensure politically and environmentally sustainable societies and a sustainable global order. Three required moves presented in such projects are: away from the pursuit of human fulfilment predominantly through consumerism, to a focus on quality of life rather than quantity of commercial activity; away from the predominance of possessive individualism, towards more human solidarity; and away from a stance of human domination and exploitation of nature, towards an ecological sensitivity. This chapter considers such a neo-Stoic project for ‘the cultivation of humanity’—Seneca’s phrase, revived by Martha Nussbaum in her book Cultivating Humanity—covering, broadly speaking, the cultivation of humanity’s flourishing as individuals, as collectivity, and in and towards our natural environment, each of them as desirable both in themselves and in order to ensure preservation of humankind.