Thriving in the Crosscurrent:

Clarity and Hope in a Time of Cultural Sea Change

Supporting Evidence:
Seven Signposts of
the 21st Century


We're experiencing unprecedented levels of public outrage and grief over the oil spill.


Our global ambassador is a woman—one who came very close to being elected president of the United States.


An African-American man sits in the Oval Office.


Social and economic justice and human rights have become the most significant themes in the modern global conversation.


War is no longer “inevitable.”


Yes, there’s a rise in religious fundamentalism…but it’s a classic “eddy” that hides the huge progress we’re making in the other direction.


We’re globalizing from the bottom up.


We’re experiencing unprecedented levels of public outrage and grief over the oil spill. Have you noticed how angry everyone is over the callousness, incompetence, and lack of oversight that led to the Gulf catastrophe? Further, have you noticed the collective dismay and concern people are expressing for the ecological destruction and the social and economic dispossession that the spill has caused? Yes, these are normal, healthy responses to a tragedy—but had the spill happened 50 years ago, it’s likely that the public would have been far more apathetic. Remember our much more restrained response to the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.

We’ve come a long way. Despite plenty of evidence of failing stewardship on the part of governments and corporations, we are reconnecting with the Earth. In fact, 70 percent of Americans think of themselves as environmentalists. Now whether that description really fits most people is debatable, but that’s beside the point. What matters is that we’re thinking about it. And in many cases, our kids are our teachers and our conscience in this arena.

If you really want to see evidence of the cultural revolution, envision taking up the environmental conversation with your grandparents. Now, imagine striking up the same conversation with your great-grandchildren. You’ll have to agree there’d be a night and day difference in the tone and content of these hypothetical conversations.

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