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The rise of the Age of Resilience - A Jeremy Rifkin lecture

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Online Debate
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The viruses keep coming, the climate is warming, the Earth is rewilding, and humankind begins to realise it never controlled Earth and that nature is far more formidable than originally thought. The Age of Progress, once considered sacrosanct, is on a deathwatch while a powerful new narrative, the Age of Resilience, is ascending, argues economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin.

During an online lecture organised by the House of European History, Rifkin will analyse the characteristics of what he has termed the Age of Progress where efficiency was the gold standard for organising time. The social theorist believes that efficiency has locked humans in a quest to optimize the expropriation of the Earth’s bounty at the expense of nature. Human beings emerged as the dominant species on the planet at the expense of the natural world.

Rifkin will also note that in the emerging era, the Age of Resilience, efficiency is giving way to adaptivity. The younger generation, according to the American theorist and activist, is pivoting from growth to flourishing, finance capital to ecological capital, productivity to regenerativity, Gross Domestic Product to Quality of Life Indicators, hyper-consumption to eco-stewardship, globalization to glocalization, geopolitics to biosphere politics, nation-state sovereignty to bioregional governance, and representative democracy to citizen assemblies and distributed peerocracy.

Future generations, suggests Rifkin, will likely experience existence less as objects and structures and more as patterns and processes and come to understand that each of us is literally an ecosystem.

Jeremy Rifkin is an American economic and social theorist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist. Rifkin is the author of 21 bestselling books about the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. The books have been translated into more than 35 languages. His most recent books include the international bestsellers, The Age of Resilience (2022), The Green New Deal (2019), The Zero Marginal Cost Society (2014), The Third Industrial Revolution (2011), The Empathic Civilization (2010) and The European Dream (2004). Rifkin has been an advisor to the leadership of the European Union since 2000. He has European Commission and European Parliament Presidents and numerous EU heads of state over the past twenty years, including Germany’s Angela Merkel, on the ushering in of a smart green Third Industrial Revolution economy.

Moderation by Annette Van Soest, journalist, presenter and photographer.

Introduction by Constanze Itzel, Museum Director, House of European History.

In the light of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the House of European History (HEH) organised an online lecture series entitled ‘Envisioning Europe.’ Jeremy Rifkin’s lecture, and two more coming up in October and December, are an extension of the series. Each lecture includes a moderated Q&A session.

To participate in the Rifkin online lecture please register.