Clara H. Whyte, M.A., is an economist and a political scientist whose main area of interest is sustainable development, understood in its economic, social, environmental and political dimensions. It gets down to thinking, elaborating and putting into action socio-economic and political forms of organisation that enable present generations to have a good quality of life while ensuring that future generations also have access to the adequate amount of economic, cultural, social, political and environmental resources.

For an economist that implies a major paradigm shift in the sense that it is no longer a question of focusing on economic capital growth (or de-growth), but rather of replacing the human being and his/her needs at the centre of our thinking. Those needs should be grasped in a wider sense that includes not only their economic dimension, but also an emotional and even a spiritual one. Hence it implies to adopt a purposefully humanistic approach.

In this regard, Clara Whyte is also very interested in political philosophy since it invites us to question the political forms of organisation of human societies, and particularly the forms of government and “leadership” that one wishes to implement. It also brings us to considering how we shall prepare future generations to those new forms of organisation, including through education.

She is particularly interested in ancient philosophers such as the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, or the Chinese philosopher Confucius, as well as in some Enlightenment philosophers such as Montesquieu.

Hence, her attention is entirely focused on Life in all its forms, be they biodiversity and ecosystems, or human communities and in particular children who are their future.

In this setting, she is having a hard time understanding the schools of thought that tend to turn debates around the environment and future generations into permanent sources of angst. She prefers to base her thinking on the adage that says that “as long as there is Life, there is Hope”.

Incidentally, this is why over the past few years she went back to study completing over 70 university credits in science, mainly in agrifood science and biology, as well as in quantitative methods.

This knowledge enables her to adopt a holistic approach to the management of living resources, based on economic, sociopolitical and biological aspects – particularly with regards to the agriculture and agrifood sector. This approach is meant to ensure a proper use of the resources nowadays in order to feed and sustain current generations, while ensuring that they will remain just as available for future generations.

Finally, always pushed by her love for Life and Humanity, Clara Whyte has traveled a lot and worked – mainly in the agrifood sector – in several countries with very diverse communities and ecosystems ranging from Quebec in Canada, to Quechua and Aimara Aboriginal communities from the Bolivian Andes, to diversified Brazilian regions and communities from the Atlantic forest (Mata Atlântica), the Amazon, or the Cerrado.

Besides she can speak fluently in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese. She also has a good knowledge of German and is currently learning Mandarin Chinese.

As a conclusion, she strongly believes that each of us is only a link in a long historic chain and that, both at a socio-cultural and at an environmental level, we are the depositaries of a heritage that comes from previous generations. It is up to us to preserve and increase this heritage in order to transmit it to future generations even more prosperous than we received it.

In the light of this, she is convinced that with proper values and a suitable sociopolitical organisation, this ambitious project is completely accessible and that consequently the environment as well as future generations should be sources of hope for us rather than sources of anguish.

© Clara H. Whyte, 2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. [email protected]