Report of the President, part II – Evora EC – July 3rd, 2023

Report of the President, part II

Our federation was founded during a critical moment in human history, marked by the invention of the atomic weapon and the impending threat it posed to humanity. As humans, our innate curiosity drives us to explore the inner workings of nature, leading to remarkable advancements. 
This accumulated knowledge, passed down through generations, has granted our species an unprecedented power over the natural world. However, we must recognize the ethical implications of wielding this power. Just like a knife can be used to cut bread or a rifle to hunt a duck, nuclear energy can be harnessed to generate electricity. But when empathy, goodwill, and the ability to engage in dialogue and negotiation are absent, our sanity wanes and our most primal instincts take over. These tools can then be wielded to harm or destroy others, on a scale that was previously unimaginable.
Nowadays, the consequences of climate change, exacerbated by population growth, along with conflicts, not only threaten us with wars but also jeopardize our entire civilization. It is paradoxical that despite our ability to diagnose imbalances and predict catastrophes, we foolishly invest in weapons and concentrate wealth in the hands of a few, instead of utilizing our technological tools to address these pressing issues.
These challenges are multifaceted and urgent, demanding immediate action and calling upon our responsibility as scientists and technologists. Our federation is a platform for collective commitment, akin to the branches of a tree. To fulfill this commitment, we need to expand our network of affiliated associations. Many scientific associations around the world share our vision but remain isolated within their countries. It is our duty to reach out to them and forge synergistic partnerships. 
Our federation thrives on its roots, represented by our sectors and working groups comprising esteemed and dedicated scientists. However, we must enhance their productivity by welcoming new members and experts, with a particular focus on involving women and youth. Collaboration is facilitated by powerful and accessible tools such as shared cloud zones and improved communication media. To amplify our influence, we require increased human and financial resources. In the near future, specialized subgroups may need to be established to address specific issues, as exemplified by the newly formed Ocean Threats subgroup within Working Group 2, which will have its second meeting this afternoon. Strengthening partnerships and productivity necessitates a robust structure, and this has been one of our objectives over the past year. Tomorrow’s session will unveil a clear and transparent structure, along with procedural guidelines outlining the roles each of us can play in advancing the federation’s noble objectives.
In recent years, our federation has undergone substantial growth. We transitioned from one annual Executive Council meeting to two, established an international secretariat that convenes monthly, increased the bureau’s frequency to twice a month, and expanded from three working groups to seven, including the addition of communication and UNESCO coordination sectors. 
Since our last General Assembly, we have made significant progress on our four-year roadmap. Looking ahead, we are already planning our next face-to-face Executive Council meeting in Beijing, slated for August 2024, with the support of the CAST. 
We acknowledge that addressing the current challenges requires transformative changes within society. We must create a new culture of degrowth, demonstrating that even a small country can achieve progress while embracing degrowth principles. The Sustainable Development Goals underscore the importance of enhancing education and reducing inequalities worldwide. By being consistent and responsible, we inevitably become agents of revolution and activism. 
We firmly believe that a well-organized federation, comprising competent professionals from diverse fields, can wield greater influence. Our work groups, operating in various areas of expertise, hold tremendous potential to apply pressure on decision-making bodies while raising awareness among society at large. We hope that you share our vision and will join us in our mission.

Elies Molins

Pdf document (English – Français – Castellano – Català) : EC94-25ENE.MolinsInforme del Presidente Évora