“We live in a fast changing world. And the nature of change today is different from what it ever has been. It is different because it is taking place at an exponentially accelerating pace. It is different also in that, for the first time in history, the change is global in scale and impact, reaching even the most remote areas and populations of our planet. Today’s world is a shifting environment in which everybody must adapt much faster in order to learn to manage the external forces of change, and ultimately mould them around specific values and traditions. Paradoxically, it is the most isolated, best preserved and least changed individuals, communities, and places that are most vulnerable to the tendency of so-called progress to erase tradition, local identity and values. For these are the places most surprised by sudden economic liberalisation, commercialisation, industrialisation, by the globalisation of travel, enterprise and service industries, and by growing communication technologies.
People are on the move as never before. And necessarily, with change and movement come problems, and even the threat of chaos. Prevention of these crises should be at the top of our agenda.”
Address by His Highness the Aga Khan at the
Inauguration of the restored Baltit Fort
Karimabad, Northern Pakistan
September 29, 1996