This is an urgent video message by Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., renowned physicist and systems theorist, about the critical importance of systems thinking as a means for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The “heart of the matter” is the realization that our global problems are systemic problems — all interconnected and interdependent — and that the SDGs, therefore, must also be seen as systemically interconnected. Indeed, the shift from a fragmented, piecemeal approach to integrated, systemic solutions will be essential for the very survival of human civilization.
Four transformative actions are crucial to assure a sustainable future:
• Shifting from quantitative to qualitative growth, inspired by the systems in nature.
• Becoming ecologically literate in order to design sustainable communities;
• Recognizing the nature of systemic solutions, with agroecology as an outstanding example; and
• Adopting a new Earth ethics, such as the one summarized in the Earth Charter.
This project is the culmination of 30 years of research by Dr. Capra into systems thinking and its ability to solve multiple global systemic problems concurrently. Learn more about systems thinking and the systems view of life:
“Fritjof Capra speaks to The Heart of the Matter” was produced by a group of professionals and alumni of Capra Course who decided to bring the work of Dr Capra to world leaders working on the SDGs. They worked in close collaboration with the Commons Cluster of the United Nations NGO Major Group.
Written and narrated: Fritjof Capra, Ph.D.
Project lead: Marilyn Fowler, Ph.D.
Advisor: Lisinka Ulatowska, Ph.D.
Producer: David Peters
Design and visualization: David Peters
Video editor: Derek Dockendorf
Videographer: Gino Rose
Music: Chris Zabriskie
Coordination: Mira Michelle Kennedy, M.A.
Project support: Phoebe Tickell, M.A.
Special thanks to everyone who generously and freely shared their time and work via public domain and Creative Commons licenses. A complete list is available on this webpage:
For info about Earth ethics, and the UN 2030 Agenda of SDGs:
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2019 CC BY-NC 4.0 International