MORE CONCERNING THEN EVER ….

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In addition to my writings on climate change, biophysical limits, depletion of raw materials, massive extinction of species, etc., there is a major issue that is happening right under our nose: socio-economic disparities weaken the resilience of our cities. Stretching the boundaries of my knowledge on economics and social science I dare to state that resilience can only remain useful as a concept and as progressive practice, if social dimensions are taken into account. Social-economic exclusion, disparities, inequality etc and the resulting poverty, are complex problems that manifests themselves in many different areas of life, are multidimensional and can encompass…

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DISRUPTION IS UPON US, AND THERE IS NO ESCAPING IT.

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Leadership can navigate the complexities of geopolitics, the challenges of biophysical boundaries and opportunities to make sense of what is often an opaque and dynamic world. INFINITE THINKING IN A FINITE WORLD At the start of the industrial revolution the world was deemed a larder full to the brim of wonderful resources to be consumed. Fossil fuels such as coal/ oil and gas were perceived to be limitless, becoming the dominant form of energy used by societies that viewed nature as a resource to be utilized for progress. We inherited a 3.8-billion-year store of natural capital, but at present rates…

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The burden and the joy of being Homo Sapiens, the wise species.

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The Anthropocene is commonly understood as the epoch in which the technological activity of industrialized humanity becomes the dominant factor shaping the Earth and its associated life-supporting systems. Supplementing the Holocene, where the relatively warm climate was considered to be the critical geological factor, the Anthropocene places anthropic technological activity in the center, thus marking the time in which natural and human forces are intertwined, so that the fate of the one determines the fate of the other. The concept of the Anthropocene is not isolated to the scientific fields of climate science, geology, and earth-system science, but moves beyond…

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THE FUNDAMENTALLY AMBIGUOUS NATURE OF TECHNOLOGY

By | Algemeen | One Comment

Technology and/or Nature: Denatured/Renatured/Engineered … In our high-tech world, do we live at the end of nature? Is the technosphere replacing the biosphere? Can humans control their genetically inherited Pleistocene appetites in an Anthropocene Epoch? Living on an engineered planet? Would this fulfill human destiny or display human arrogance, failing to embrace our home planet in care and wonder? The future holds advancing technology to create unimaginable futures, but do not want to live a de-natured life, on a de-natured planet. We are powerfully reshaping human existence: the degradation, if not destruction, of large parts of the natural world, and…

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Decision-Making in Complex Dynamic and Evolutive Systems

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The year 2020 has surprised humans in many ways. From encountering a pandemic, addressing a global recession, and witnessing the global geopolitical changes, humanity is standing in ambiguous times. However, not everything is uncertain. Throughout the year, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of Things, and augmented/virtual reality, amongst others have spearheaded innovation with a promising future. These technologies have validated that despite the crisis, technology will transform the world. Not only do we have more access to information than ever before, but we also see a confluence of cyber, physical, and biological technologies that no longer exist…

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We possess the skills, resources, and innovative capacity to create many possible futures.

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Today, there are increasing signs that the biosphere as a whole is affected in its regulation of biological and geophysical processes by the current scale of human activities. As society has moved from a relatively ‘empty world’ in which human activity was small relative to overall planetary processes to a relatively ‘full world’ in which human activity dominates the planet, an exclusive emphasis on economic growth could produce serious, and possibly irreversible, ecological damage. At the same time, overall economic growth has failed to bring wealth and improvements in well-being to many around the globe. The industrial society of today,…

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Think 2030 and beyond

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I feel privileged to have worked with a team of students of the Delft University of Technology on our future cities. Humanity is confronted with an ever-changing environment. At the rate and pace humanity is going now with respect to increasing globalization, climate change, increasing demand for food, water and other resources the future will not look positive for humanity. These challenges are enormous in scale and complexity, and we will need to take equally enormous leaps in our imagination to meet them successfully. With regards to the urban environment, the direction we are heading towards now will not sustain…

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Cities are at a rupture point and the old rules no longer apply.

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Poet D. H. Lawrence wrote, “I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea,” creating a metaphor of connectedness and implicit oneness with the world. This quote signals the tension between the complex processes at work that govern our existence on Earth by inviting us to be reassured by our embodied entanglement within ecosystems, other than human entities, and microbial others. Reflective of the scope of what this review sets out to accomplish, our article explores these…

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HUMANITY HAS CHANGED NATURE PROFOUNDLY, BUT IT MAY BE ONLY THE BEGINNING.

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Transforming and regenerating the Earth as well as our development pattern will be useful to future generations. The well-being of our future will be dependent on how we can produce technology that can govern our climate, health, social equity and stability. Industry 4.0 emerged from innovative digital technology to create value creation, whilst Society 5.0 is argued as a human-centered society that balances economic advancement with Industry 4.0. On the other hand, the environment has provided us with natural resources that speed up the growth of our industries and economies towards sustainability. Technology 4.0 can be used to mitigate and…

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Six million years ago, an ancestor, standing upright, began the human venture.

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Virtually all organisms, including humans, are, in a real sense, sunlight transmogrified, temporary waypoints in the flow of energy. Ecological succession, viewed from a thermodynamic perspective, is a process that maximizes the capture and degradation of energy. Similarly, the tendency for life to become more complex over the past 3.5 billion years (as well as the overall increase in biomass and organismal diversity through time) is not due simply to natural selection, as most evolutionists still argue, but also to nature’s efforts to grab more and more of the sun’s flow. The slow burn that characterizes life enables ecological systems…

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