Building a Novel Future: Connecting Peoples and Cultures

Social Sciences in China, 2022

Vol. 43, No. 1, 2022


Building a Novel Future: Connecting Peoples and Cultures


Augustin F. C. Holl


AbstractCurrent humanity is experiencing extraordinary levels of material and ideal connectivity. Change being constant and stability exceptional and provisional; one has to expect a significant acceleration of change in the next hundred years. The core question is therefore: What kind of future is being shaped for the next generations, our grandchildren and great- grand children? Without going too far back in time, it is fair to say that the current world was shaped by two different, successive and antinomic global processes: imperial expansion, colonization and domination on the one hand, and resistance, struggle for liberation, and the search for a more equitable world order on the other hand. Against all the odds, European imperialism, civil war, wars of aggression, and Western ostracism, China was an influential actor in the struggle for liberation of Africa from colonialism, got its rightful place in the international world order and is now the second economy of the planet.

Globalization resulted in the emergence of a de facto multipolar world, with different models of societies and organizational cultures. These are dialectic processes constantly in operation, but there is however a third crucial area of interest, generally taken granted, that of people and culture. Peaceful relations and sustainable economic development backed by greater cultural and demographic connectivity are better options for the construction of a novel future for humanity. Universities and higher education institutions can play an important role in spearheading and implementing these new orientations for the construction of a future peaceful and sustainable human world in which war will be outlawed. This paper outlines what academics can do to promote such a vision.


Keywords: Africa, China, social sciences, alternative, partnership, connectivity, people, cultures, sustainable future.