The Last Humans Project

Nomads to Nurturers: Humanity with a Conscience

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An Action Plan for Humanity in This Century


Let’s face it, many of us humans will die prematurely in this century -- that is inevitable -- but even with a reduced human population, we can preserve human civilization in this century by following this plan of action:


  • Charge global higher education to lead humanity to a sustainable civilization.

  • All institutions of higher education will have this universal mission:  create a sustainable civilization.

  • All communities will be led to adapt to climate change with resilience planning and coordination by colleges or universities in those communities.

  • All students around the world, as part of the problem-based learning design to achieve the mission, will be required to have internships that involves work on local resilience.

  • The industrial model of learning -- credits and seat time on an assembly line model of learning -- will be replaced with learning designs that are more progressive and productive -- high impact learning experiences -- all grading is on the work group, not the individual, and advancement toward a degree is based on competence.  

  • Students will aim to do “social good” after graduation, not just strive for individual wealth.

  • Public funding for higher education must be restored and increased once the entire global higher education enterprise has embraced its social responsibility to preserve human civilization.

  • Higher education will officially embrace its social responsibility, breathing life into its mission, and putting higher education back into the center of society. Enrollments will increase by making higher education important and more affordable.  


Governments will NOT assure the survival of civilization because they are dedicated to the status quo.  Higher education collaborates across national boundaries, but has never proclaimed one global mission statement; now it must do so.  


Humans were nomads and lived within natural systems for millions of years.  About 2.5 million years ago (mya), an earlier species of humans learned how to make stone tools.  Though the tools were merely rocks shaped to prepare food or hunt, the art of tool making involved special knowledge -- the kinds of rocks that could be flaked and shaped, where to find those rocks, how to repair the rocks and use them for various purposes.  This special knowledge demanded a language -- a system of symbols in a specific order -- in order to pass on the knowledge to others and to novices.

But, at that time, the human larynx was not able to produce sophisticated distinctions in sound so the humans at that time used their hands and bodies and facial expressions to create what we call today "sign language."  

Language accelerated the evolution of humans who went on to discover fire and cooking and, eventually, in just the past two centuries, start to destroy natural systems.  Can we reverse the damage of the industrial era and, once again, live within natural systems as nurturers?  

This Report suggests a way for humanity to survive this century:  

The industrial era grew out of the abundance of food produced because of agriculture, seemingly a positive development for humans for obvious reasons, but with unintended consequences:  we came to believe we owned the earth.  The  Report explains the  problem with this belief and how it fed the excesses of our industrial era.  

The Report provides an antidote for the excesses -- that have brought us the climate crisis -- and describes how we humans can once again live in harmony with the earth.