The world has changed. Our way of cooperating across borders has not.
Since WWII, our planet has experienced an incredible pace of technological and human development. We landed on the moon, we can wake up in Shanghai and go to sleep in New York, we have access to a huge amount of information all the time, everywhere. In the span of two generations, the world has changed more than in the previous 20,000 years. Globalization, digitization, longevity: humankind has leaped forward, changing the way we do business, accelerating our impact on the planet and shaking the governance models we have known for centuries.
These dynamics have brought great opportunities to humankind. In 1940, 60% of the world population was illiterate. Today, it is around 10%. In the last twenty-five years, more than a billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty, and the global poverty level has never been that low in history. Within a century, life expectancy has basically doubled: countries like India and South Korea have moved from a 23 years life expectancy to three times that. The world has never been so healthy, wealthy, and in peace, as it is today. That is not to say that it is nearly enough, nor that the state of things is acceptable: we need to end poverty, have complete literacy, and do much more on every front - however, progress has been made.
Great opportunities also brought along grave threats. Since the Anthropocene era, our own survival has never been put into question like today. From nuclear proliferation to climate change, from digital disinformation to the gradual erosion of democratic processes, humankind manufactured tools and provoked dynamics that, if left unchecked, can disproportionately impact our future. At NOW!, we call these issues that go beyond nations “global challenges”.
And the issue is that while global challenges have long been on the world leaders’ agendas, international organizations and national governments have struggled to address them. Indeed, curbing the effects of climate change, striving to strengthen global democracy, or taxing appropriately multinational digital companies require a higher level of international cooperation between countries, regions, intergovernmental institutions, and even citizens, in every corner of the world. While some supranational institutions and multilateral treaties do exist, we see their lack of enforcement mechanisms, their lack of far-reaching solutions, the inability of citizens to meaningfully participate and get their voices heard, as well as the fact that we are no closer to implementing solutions to transnational topics. As to political parties and movements, they are bound by borders and electoral timetables, and cannot thus operate in a coordinated global manner.
- There is no global system in place capable of creating the drastic change needed to solve key global challenges, and national governments or political actors. Despite the results the U.N. has achieved on several fronts, it has fallen short of solving those global challenges.
- There is no global consciousness on the relevance of such topics: we only have a semblance of international interest when a crisis hit (see the protests in Hong Kong or the Syrian war) which are quickly forgotten in the name of the next “big thing”.
- And finally, although concrete solutions sometimes do exist to address global challenges, and are unanimously recognized as the only alley forward for our planet, they are championed only by a few “enlightened” countries, harming its effectiveness because of a lack of a transnational approach.
The sad truth is that time is running out: for instance, humankind might become extinct by 2100 because of climate change.
And this is why we need a global voice to change the tide, one capable of mobilizing humans in every corner of the world, of organizing people to push through solutions, and of bringing us closer together!
While great examples of global mobilization exist in the digital space or related to a particular topic, there is no movement that mobilizes people across the world to implement into law clear solutions to the world’s biggest issues and to better the current global system of governance.
NOW! aims at filling this vacuum, as a global movement that can leverage youth activism and advance, strategically and conclusively, complex policy solutions on several fronts both in democratic and authoritarian regimes. NOW! will do the work that cannot possibly be done today: join forces across borders, political lines, and issues to bring about simultaneous and radical change. As the movement present everywhere in the world, it will leverage volunteers’ involvement and advanced campaign methods to strategically and conclusively advance common solutions in the form of legislation across the globe.