Applied Hope


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peacefully resolved through strengthened international laws, norms, and institutions; where threatened aggression is reliably deterred or defeated by nonprovocative defense that makes others feel and be more secure, not less; where all people can be nourished, healthy, and educated; and where all know Dr. King’s truth that “Peace is not the absence of war; it is the presence of justice.”

Imagine a world where reason, diversity, tolerance, and democracy are once more ascendant; where economic and religious fundamentalism are obsolete; where tyranny is odious, rare, failing, and dwindling; and where global consciousness has transcended fear to live and strive in hope.

This is the astonishing world we are all gradually creating together. It’s being built before our eyes by many of you and a myriad other world-weavers. Brains, as Gifford and Libba Pinchot note, are evenly distributed, one per person. Thus most of the world’s brains are in the South, half are in the heads of women, and most are in the heads of poor people. As an emerging global nervous system and millions of new civil-society organizations start to knit together that collective intelligence-the most powerful thing we know in the Universe-innovation and collaboration are starting to overcome stagnation and squabbles. The search for intelligent life on Earth continues, but as we all strive to become much higher primates, some promising specimens are turning up just in time: each of you here today.

In their many ways, they’re mobilizing society’s most potent forces-businesses in mindful markets and citizens in vibrant civil society-to do what is necessary at this pivotal moment, the most important moment since we walked out of Africa: the moment when humanity has exactly enough time, starting now.

Each of you can choose to be one of those unusual people who-with humor and courage, chutzpah and humility, eager enthusiasm and relentless patience-are composing their lives and combining their efforts to make it so.

Here we are. And now imagine the power of all of us together to make it so.

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Amory B. Lovins is cofounder, chairman, and chief scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute. Follow @

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  • Susan Salmon

    You are absoulty right we can make a differnce and should. It is so refreshing to read your great attitude towards life !!! never give up what you know is right ever !!! I have to go now just looked out the window and its finally snowing> I have to walk or slide home great inspiration thank you