This dialogue between futurist Hazel Henderson and Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist thinker and president of lay Buddhist movement Soka Gakkai International (SGI), explores the rise of “grassroots globalists,” ordinary citizens taking responsibility to build a more peaceful, harmonious and sustainable future. In their dialogue, the two maintain a practical yet profoundly optimistic view of human potential amidst the felt realities of global concerns.
Their own personal life experiences of the health and social costs of environmental pollution and war reveal what personally motivated them to advocacy and activism on a worldwide scale.
From biodiversity to corporate social responsibility, the breadth and scope of sustainable development emerge through the exchanges between Henderson and Ikeda. Thoughts on “human geography” by educator and Soka Gakkai founder Tsunesaburo Makiguchi are introduced in the discussions of “global public goods” and a new economics informed by ecology.
More of the resonance between the approaches of Buddhism and ecology comes to light when the dialogue turns to “revolutionizing” our ways of living and building a “win-win society.” Respect for indigenous peoples, democratizing political institutions and pressing for economic justice are among the many topics discussed.
One chapter traces historical moments in the development of environmental ethics and the inception of the Earth Charter, a document often referred to as a road map of principles and actions toward a sustainable future for all. The supportive efforts of Henderson and Ikeda as well as those of the SGI and affiliated institutions are shared.
This dialogue provides both inspiration and concrete information for any concerned citizen who wants to make a difference, affirming that a positive change of heart in one person can lead to a positive difference in our common future.