Breathless and fragmented, the world lurches into the new millennium. A transformative process is at work which widens the gap between rich and poor, old and young, religion and science, urban and rural, nature and technology. The overall dynamic, however, is increasingly dominated by a new kind of contradiction, that between globalization and particularization of civil society which is radically transforming the traditional cosmos of economic, social and ecological rifts. This transformation can be categorized as the ‘fifth step’ in the evolving self-organization of life in the Earth System (Jolly, 1999). Ultimately it will determine our sustainability. The buzzword ‘globalization’ denotes a process that takes place on four causally linked levels of reality: technology, the economy, culture and the environment.