An international non-governmental public organization, created in 1968 on the initiative of a major businessman, subsequently a well-known public figure, Aurelio Peccei with the aim of studying the global problems of our time and attracting the attention of the world community. The first meeting took place in the same year in Rome, which brought together about 30 well-known scientists - natural scientists, sociologists, economists, planning specialists - and a Standing Committee was created, which included A. Peccei, A. King, E. Young, G. Timman, etс
Concerned that the governments of national states were unable to resolve serious contradictions on a global scale, members of the Club of Rome made an attempt to organize a search for solutions and optimal models of the future, using the latest developments in modeling complex systems and attracting leading scientists and specialists for this. The global reach, long-term outlook and the combination of interconnected issues have become the “three pillars” of the new approach, which was called “problematique”. Initially, it was decided that there would be no more than 100 members of the Club and they should represent, according to Peccei, “a slice of modern progressive humanity”. As a result, the Club of Rome included prominent public, political and government figures (usually inactive politicians), representatives of business, industrial and financial circles, including from developing countries.
The activities of the Club of Rome are coordinated by an Executive Committee of 13 members. They study global problems, formulate priority tasks, determine the Club’s activity strategies. Between meetings, the Bureau, consisting of four members of the Club and headed by the President and the Secretary General, is engaged in the implementation of decisions made and the coordination of the current work of the Club.
The first presidents of the club consistently were A. Peccei (1968–1984), A. King (1984–1995), R. Dies-Hochleitner (1995–2000). Currently, the Club is headed by two co-presidents - A. Khosla and E. von Kerber.
The honorary members of the Club of Rome at different times were former USSR President M.S. Gorbachev, former President of Germany Richard von Weizsacker, first Czech President Vaclav Havel, Hungarian President Arpad Gonz, Argentine President Carlos Menem, as well as Nobel laureates Ilya Prigozhin and Lawrence Klein.
Our compatriots participated and participate in the work of the Club of Rome. At different times, the full members of the club were academicians D.M. Gvishiani, E.K. Fedorov, E.M. Primakov, A.A. Logunov, S.P. Kapitsa, Ch. Aitmatov, V.A. Gardener.
The main methods of work of the Club of Rome are: the publication of research reports and comments; organization of meetings and symposia; contacts with public and private decision makers. The Club of Rome has gained wide fame since the early 1970s. thanks to the research (reports) in the field of global studies carried out on his orders, which to date there are three dozen.
The most famous of them, which provoked heated scientific discussions: “The Limits of Growth” (1972, headed by D. Meadows), “Survival Strategy” (1974, headed by M. Mesarovich and E. Pestel), “Revision of the International Order” (1976, head Y. Tinbergen), “Goals for humanity” (1977, head E. E. Laszlo), “There are no limits to learning” (1979, head J. J. Botkin, M. Elmanjra, M. Malitsa), “Routes leading to the future ”(1980, B. Gavrilishin),“ Microelectronics and Society ”(1982, headed by G. Friedrichs, A. Schaff),“ The Barefoot Revolution ”(1985, B. Schneider), etc.
In recent years, published:
S.P. Kapitza (2006) Global Population Blow-up and after: The Demographic Revolution and Information
Society, Global Marshall Plan Initiative (Hamburg); O. Giarini, P.M. Liedtke (2006, 2nd ed.): The Employment Dilemma and the Future of Work (Report to the Club of Rome, Geneva: The Geneva Association); E. von Weizacker, K. Hargroves, M.H. Smith with Ch. Desha, P. Stasinopoulos (2009): Factor Five: Transforming the Global Economy Through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity (London:
Earthscan); G. Pauli (2010): The Blue Economy & 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs (Available online: Paradigm).
The main goals of the Club of Rome are to study global issues, search for methods for solving universal human problems, and draw world attention to them. For the first two years, the initiators of the creation of the Club searched for supporters all over the world, until they finally came to the conclusion that neither the multifaceted scientific community, nor the wider sections of the population, had fully understood the danger hanging over humanity. At best, there was concern about what was happening nearby, although there were authoritative speeches and warning voices. The founders of the Club of Rome soon realized that appeals and appeals alone could not change the situation. It was necessary something absolutely unusual, shocking, capable of causing the effect of an “exploding bomb”, forcing a wide circle of people to reflect on their fate, to see imminent dangers.
In search of such a tool drew attention to the attempts of prof. J. Forrester of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology imitate the dynamics of world processes using mathematical models and computer technology. This new business corresponded to the main tasks set for the Club of Rome. “Our goal was to land a landing, designed to breach the citadel of complacency, where it was stupid to dig in society,” recalled Pechcei. But for this it was not enough just to conduct serious research and report on their results, it was still necessary to find a form for the presentation of the material.
This triune task was carried out by a multinational group of 17 scientists from various scientific fields under the leadership of D. Meadows, who prepared the first report to the Limits of Growth Club of Rome. It was published in 37 languages and sold 12 million copies. The Limits of Growth, as well as subsequent studies, was more of a report for the Club, not a report of the Club, and was prepared specifically to provoke an active polemic around the problem. The principal result of public interest in the “Limits of Growth” was that the Club’s activities were widely covered in the media, which opened up more opportunities for its members to communicate “with the powers that be.”
Regular reports provided the Club of Rome not only world-wide fame, but also a high scientific status, authority and influence in the field of international relations, economics and politics. So, in September 1969, prominent members of the Club E. Janc and H. Ozbekhan were invited to the European Summer University in Alpbach (Austria) for a seminar on global problems of mankind. Here, Austrian Chancellor J. Klaus, having witnessed one of the discussions of the Club members, came to the conclusion that these are the issues that should be discussed by his ministers, and invited the Club members to speak in front of his office in Vienna. This meeting was the first in a series of numerous meetings of members of the Club of Rome with heads of state, public figures, entrepreneurs, etc. In 1974, at the initiative of the Club, Austria brought together the leaders and political leaders of 9 states. Peccei then deliberately did not invite representatives of the leading European powers, the United States and the Soviet Union to prevent the elucidation of the national or ideological positions of each of the parties. As a result of the two-day meeting, a press conference was held with the participation of 300 journalists and the Salzburg statement was published, in which, in particular, it was emphasized that the oil crisis was only part of a complex of global problems. The meeting participants spoke in favor of easing international tension, for peace and cooperation of all people on the planet. This is the position of independent general constructive work. Washington’s response was quite formal. Gorbachev, on the contrary, took these initiatives with great enthusiasm, which subsequently led to the strengthening of personal contacts between members of the Club and Soviet political leaders during the difficult perestroika period for the Union.
The ongoing changes in the global agenda, the accumulated experience of research and numerous discussions constantly pushed the Club to revise the emphasis in its activities and further improve approaches. A serious shift in the approach to the analysis of the so-called “difficulties of mankind” occurred in the second half of the 1980s, after the conference in Helsinki in 1984. Although the absolute importance of a global approach and a comprehensive view of the diverse relationships within the global problems was not questioned by anyone, at the Helsinki meeting, it was decided to shift priorities to the field of particular aspects, focusing in the next few years on one particular problem (aspect). The first such private problem was the need for innovation, namely, the innovative management of social mechanisms and institutions, which is able to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world.
Today’s Club’s Action Plan states that its work should be built in line with the paradigm of growth and holistic development, which in turn implies: systemic, interdependent development, in which no part of the world should develop at the expense of another; multilateral development that meets the needs of every part of the world; harmonious harmonization of goals; ability to absorb destructive effects during development; emphasis on the quality of development aimed at the prosperity of an individual person, for “a man does not live by bread alone”; Constant updating of goals. The Club of Rome entered a notable page in the history of global studies by the fact that among the many futurological organizations that appeared in the wake of the exacerbation of global problems, it was he who first identified contemporary problems that spanned the entire planet, and raised the question of the need to deal with them in their entirety, connecting to this the work of prominent scientists and specialists. He also managed to fulfill a task of fundamental importance - to show the danger of existing trends in the development of world civilization and to attract the attention of all mankind to them. Members of the Club of Rome forced themselves to listen, and with extraordinary conclusions and forecasts they resonated among the world community, in scientific and political circles and had a serious impact on the formation of mass consciousness of the planet’s population. Practical recommendations of many reports are often used in forecasting the socio-economic development of individual countries and regions. Various sciences make extensive use of methodological principles developed and first applied by this organization. The Club of Rome holds annual conferences in different regions of the world. Recent meetings have been held in Kuala Lumpur, Hanover, Buenos Aires and Puerto Rico. The conferences allow us to establish fruitful interpersonal contacts with leaders and activists from various regions, contribute to a better understanding of the specifics of regional problems, their perception of global challenges and the chosen path of global self-determination. Members of the Club of Rome take an active part in various working groups, in international symposia. An important part of the work of the Club Executive Committee is regular consultations with decision makers in international organizations, governments, the business community and civil society institutions. According to the West German scientist E. Görtner, “The Club of Rome won great sympathy among many critically-minded scientists and publicists due to the fact that he calls his names those things whose systematic underestimation and concealment in the Western post-war world was the result of fear of destroying the image of a“ prosperous society ” and the “post-industrial society of the future” (Gartner E. On the “Second Phase” of the Work of the Club of Rome // Scientific World. 1976. Vol. 20, No. 4. Z. 5).
Many high ratings of this organization can be found in the works of Russian experts. In particular, according to N.N. Moiseev, studies of the Club of Rome affirm “the objective need to search for new ways of development of our civilization, the need for a new understanding of the process of world development” (Moiseev N.N. Development Algorithms. M., 1987. P. 223). From the point of view of fundamentally overcoming modern global problems, this observation seems especially important, as it is important that these studies showed the advanced level of modern scientific and social thought, deeply reflected the worldview of a significant part of the liberal scientific, political and business circles of the West and their attitude towards burning problems of our time. If some negative world development trends and gloomy forecasts, as is now clear, will not come true (at least in the predicted time), then the Club of Rome undoubtedly merits this.
Currently, more than 30 national associations of assistance to the Club of Rome have been created in different countries of the world, which operate in accordance with the Charter of Associations adopted in Warsaw in 1987 and are required to follow the line drawn by the Club of Rome.
The expansion of the network of national associations occurred naturally and spontaneously. The first association appeared in the Netherlands as a public reaction to the report of the Limits of Growth to the Club of Rome. After the collapse of the USSR, national associations began to appear in Eastern Europe - Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. By then, similar organizations already existed in Poland and Russia. Units of the Club of Rome are also present in most developed countries and in Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Puerto Rico and Venezuela).
In the USSR, the Club of Rome Assistance Association was created in 1989, and after the collapse of the USSR, it was reformed into the Russian Club of Rome Assistance Association (Academician D.V. Gvishiani was the first president of the Association). Currently, 50 members work under the chairmanship of Sergei Kamеnsky.
The Association is actively developing a youth direction, the purpose of which is to attract young people from leading Russian universities, carriers of different cultures and ideas interested in implementing the Club’s mission, to the Club’s activities. The Russian Association actively uses international experience and research methods aimed at solving the problems of the Club of Rome. Every year she holds two meetings to discuss critical conceptual and organizational issues.
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The International Secretariat of the Club of Rome is located in Winterthur (Switzerland, canton of Zurich).
Honorable Mention: Dr. Ricardo Di-Es Hochleitner
Contents: Dr. Ashok Khosla, Eberhard
GENERAL SECRETARY - Jan Johnson
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