Humanity today is confronted by a bewildering array of threats, perhaps none more pressing than climate change.

In September, a summit attended by the leaders of more than 120 nations was held at the United Nations to debate responses to the challenge of climate change. What was remarkable was the extent of popular awareness and commitment to the process: Two days before the start of the summit, hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of New York demanding greater action to combat climate change.

What is true for climate change is true for other threats. We of course need focused political leadership if we are to avoid worst-case outcomes, but even more, we need the united action of citizens throughout the world. Only the solidarity of ordinary people can propel a process of questioning and reconsidering how our societies work, and whose needs they serve, on the most basic level. The key to overcoming the crises we face lies in strengthening and deploying the resilience of all sectors of human society, unleashing people's innate capacity to transform even the most difficult conditions into the impetus for the creation of a better future.