Great Transition Initiative

Great Transition Initiative
(2003; Boston/Tellus Institute; 8 executive staff, 270+ contributors;

The initiative is an online forum of ideas and an international network for the critical exploration of concepts, strategies, and visions for a transition to a future of enriched lives, human solidarity, and a resilient biosphere. By enhancing scholarly discourse and public awareness of possibilities arising from converging social, economic, and environmental crises, and by fostering a broad network of thinkers and doers, it aims to contribute to a new praxis for global transformation. GTI seeks “a future of enriched lives, human solidarity, and environmental sustainability.” It is a global network of over 270 scholars and activists that analyzes alternative scenarios and charts a path to a hopeful future.

An outgrowth of the Tellus Institute’s Global Scenarios Group (1995), culminating the ideas set forward in the report “Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead” (Stockholm Environment Institute and Tellus, 2002, 99p) by Paul Raskin and six others.

Key concepts:

  • The planetary phase of civilization,
  • Humanity as being Earth bound in a common destiny,
  • A looming crises portend a time of troubles,
  • A great transition to a just and sustainable society is possible,
  • A new global consciousness that is necessary to crystallize.


  • The Widening Circle – A campaign to advance a global citizens movement for a Great Transition.
  • Global Scenarios – Explores the terra incognita of the future that lies beyond the ken of scientific projection and social prophesy. “Although deep uncertainties—and human choices not yet made—undercut our capacity to predict what will be, scenarios help us to imagine what could be. Global scenarios are stories about how history might unfold in this century.”



Leadership: Paul Raskin (Director), Jonathan Cohn (Managing Editor)

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