In this seminal speech — made when he presided over the Aga Khan University’s convocation in 2006, the Aga Khan brings the future into clear perspective with his practical and pragmatic world-view, stressing that “we are moving into a new epoch of history [which many] observers describe … as the ‘Knowledge Society’.” This, he explains, is due to several factors, including his observations that:

  • “the world … increasingly resembles a vast web in which everything connects to everything else — where even the smallest groups and loneliest voices can exercise new influence, and where no single source of power can claim substantial control,”
  • that “the key to future progress will lie less in traditional top-down systems of command and control — and more in a broad, bottom-up spirit of coordination and cooperation,” consequently a “vast decentralisation of decision-making is … placing new responsibilities in the hands of local communities,”
  • and that future “intellectual progress will not lie in any single body of instruction, but in a spirit of openness to new expression and fresh insights.”

In light of these changes, Aga Khan asks and offers his viws to the question: “Just how should the Ummah set its priorities as it embraces the Knowledge Society?”

Click to read the Aga Khan’s full speech in this NanoWisdoms’ Suggested Reading
His Highness the Aga Khan’s 2006 Aga Khan University Convocation Ceremony Address (Karachi, Pakistan)