Business, Regeneration

Regenerative Organisations

How can we create the conditions for a regenerative economy? How can organisations support regenerative economies across the world?

Do we aspire to wellbeing for all in a healthy biosphere? Regeneration needs to be at the heart of our societies and our organisations. Regeneration goes further than sustainability and circular economy concepts and their technical mindsets. It is about aiming for a healthy relationship with nature and with ourselves. Exploring regeneration implies becoming a learner, moving from optimising to taking care. In partnership with InTent for Change and the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust, The Fifth Element inquires into the conditions needed for organisations and finance to support more regenerative futures.

Digital, Regeneration

Digital for Life?

Is digitalisation working to reverse the many unsustainable effects of human evolution? Is it creating better conditions for equitable human wellbeing within a healthy biosphere?

The Fifth Element investigates the assumption that digitalisation brings progress, as the creation of technologies is not necessarily benign – with many unintended and often negative effects. Together with the Digital-Environment System Coalition (DESC), TòròNet, and other partners, we inquire into the conditions needed to reframe the process of digitalisation for desirable futures.

Research, Sustainability Sciences

Reframing the Role of Research for Society

How can research best address the complex challenges we face today? What can be done to transform the role of academia, more specifically academic research as it now exists to address present crises? 

The Fifth Element investigates how transdisciplinary models of thinking and community-driven research can be incorporated into the paradigm of academic research. Together with the BRIDGES Coalition for Sustainability Sciences supported by UNESCO, we inquire as to how to reframe the role of research so it is best aligned with societal and natural ways of life. 

Research, Sustainability Sciences

International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development

Are basic sciences, as they are now, best equipped to address the complexties of the world today? 

The Fifth Element explores the conditions for incorporating other disciplines, as well as a wider worldview, into the systemic dissemination of basic sciences in teaching and other forms of engagements. In partnership with the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD), we investigate how to best equip basic sciences for a sustainable future.

Art, Innovation

Reclaiming Art for Social Innovation

The greatest potential of learning for collective transformation comes from mobilising all human capacities and languages, including all forms of artistic expression. 

Our intuition is that artistic practices could play a key role in helping humanity to emerge from accumulated convergent crises into desirable futures. Art is innate to all humans but it is today mostly framed as decorative business. 

The Fifth Element questions this framing and works with the Future of Work Foundation and other partners to catalyse activities developing that intuition. 

Governance, Decolonisation, Self-Liberation, Youth

African Youth Liberating the Future

The possibility exists to catalyse systemic change by building opportunities for African youth through self-liberation and self-organisation, allowing for self-designed models of development, from the bottom-up both personally and collectively. By asking critical questions, an environment could be created among African youth and various actors, to raise awareness and realisation of this opportunity. It could lead to:  

Mobilising youth to develop an understanding of self that is outside domestic and global narratives.

Developing pathways for these ideas to permeate broader society by transitioning out of the dominant mechanisms that shape (and inhibit) their lives. 

Self-Liberation, Decolonisation

Afrik-Akili Declaration

The Afrik-Akili Declaration is a contribution of an African sense (Swahili: akili), of the African continent, its people, its ecological richness, and its place in the world. It is a pronouncement of a shared understanding of African-ness for the people of Africa and the world.

It is an appreciative assertion of a self-defining affirmation of Africa, by Africa – at once a reverence for who we are and an amplification of the best of ourselves. As a corridor of comprehension, it is an invitation from the people of Africa to the people of the world for mutual recognition. 

Youth & Intergenerational Leadership

A New Generational Contract

The St. Gallen Symposium and the Club of Rome have united to launch a joint initiative for a New Generational Contract. This project aims to foster equity and mutual support between generations and serves as a platform for diverse generational stakeholders to come together and develop core principles for a New Generational Contract.  

Self-Liberation, Decolonisation

Ubuntu Learning Circle

The Fifth Element has partnered with the Learning Planet Institute to bring together a working group of committed actors who are already active in remarkable learning and sustainability initiatives in Africa, in order to:

Address African challenges from African contexts and cultures.

Learn from African wisdom (Ubuntu, Ukama, Omenala, Iwa, Suban, Bumuntu and other concepts and practices) which has the potential to nurture modern knowledge and reconcile it with how life works.

Create the conditions for the emergence in Africa of new processes and initiatives towards place-based equitable human wellbeing within a healthy biosphere. 

Youth & Intergenerational Leadership

The 50 Percent

52% of people today are under 30. What are the roles that young people play in systems transformation? What can we learn from them to collaborate in meaningful ways to address complex challenges?

The 50 Percent is a youth-led platform to enable change actors dedicated to creating an impact in their community, country, or globally. A mutually supportive learning community of youth and youth-focused organisations aimed at catalysing transformation globally.