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REFLECTION; ‘what can happen, will happen’ (?).

By | Algemeen | No Comments

  The development of Humanity is defined by gradual, linear progression. This linearity is not just a geometric metaphor but a reflection of our cognitive, emotional and societal evolution. Human cognition, deeply rooted in the structures of our neocortex and limbic system -the part of the brain involved in our behavioral and emotional responses- has maintained a consistent pace over millennia. Our emotional responses, learning processes, and memory formations follow a path that is more evolutionary than revolutionary. While individual learning can display moments of rapid growth and adaptation, the overall cognitive development of our species unfolds across generations. Similarly,…

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REFLECTION; nature altered, redesigned, and made to do new work.

By | Algemeen | No Comments

There are no longer any places left on Earth untouched by humans. The chemical and biological signatures of our species are everywhere. Transported around the globe by fierce atmospheric winds, relentless ocean currents, and the capacious cargo-holds of millions of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, nowhere on Earth is free from humanity’s imprint. Pristine nature has permanently blinked out of existence. The significance of this goes beyond statistics documenting melting glaciers and shrinking species counts. It signals a new geological epoch. What is most startling is not only how much impact humans have had but, more important, how much deliberate shaping they will…

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FOR FUTURE’S SAKE

By | Algemeen | No Comments

As Albert Einstein justly noted, the experimental physical world, with its infinite diversity, directly contradicts the idealized simplicity of the mathematical description. How can one explain this, accept it, and include it in the scheme of a mechanistic vision of the world? Worldviews have different origins, stemming from various social, cultural, religious, political, and economical systems that have developed over millennia. These different origins can inform and create similar worldview realities shared by different groups of people and societies. The present and outdated worldview is based on our all-pervasive and sub-conscious habit to interpret and represent the World surrounding us…

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WHAT WILL YOU SAY WHEN YOU ARE ASKED, ‘WHAT DID YOU DO ONCE YOU KNEW?’

By | Algemeen | No Comments

Without setting the stage for where we actually are, how can we truly understand where to allocate our energy? By observing the major issues of our time we get to witness what the opportunities are for impactful and useful innovation and design. To start with an apology. Unintentionally this reflection became longer than intended. But halfway through writing I realized that it is a big story we have to tell and came to terms with it. Unveiling the harsh reality of the state we are in it became a sobering story. Based on personal narratives, experience and expert insights, exposing…

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WE ARE AHEAD OF SCEDULE

By | Algemeen | No Comments

A dream of a sane world governed by logic and rationality has been the cry of many philosophers,  scientists for millennia. What is rational is real and what is real is rational; and if one devalues rationality, the world tends to fall apart. And yet here we are, in a world run by post-truth, post-factual and post reality politics and discourses. Anything goes and no one cares – all of us liberated in our own respective and self-serving bubbles of cognitive dissonance. Instances of the severe destabilization or even collapse of societies are not historically unique and often occur for the same…

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SOCIETY CAN DO SO MUCH AND YET SO LITTLE

By | Algemeen | No Comments

We find ourselves surrounded by the paradox that society can do so much and yet so little at the same time; it is concurrently so powerful and so fragile. It is capable of deploying unprecedented technological power, yet it cannot guarantee development that is balanced in legal, social or environmental terms. The world is facing a set of risks that feel both wholly new and eerily familiar. We have seen a return of ‘older’ risks – inflation, cost-of-living crises, trade wars, capital outflows from emerging markets, widespread social unrest, geopolitical confrontation and the spectre of nuclear warfare – which few…

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CONTESTED WORLD

By | Algemeen | No Comments

Today’s world is consistently described by the dominance of national interests, a low degree of multinational combined efforts as well as a decoupling of the Global South. In a highly individualized world, people are losing trust in politics, administration and public media. At the global level, this is also weakening the role of nation states, so that various interest-driven actors – from companies and lobbyists to civil society groups and numerous regional and local entities – are stepping into this gap. Urban areas in particular are becoming actors in their own right on the world stage, so that overall one…

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CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME

By | Algemeen | No Comments

The grand challenge of our time: to achieve the transition to a -global- economy that supports a just society within ecological boundaries. The transition implies redefining economic and financial logic to preserve, regenerate, and enhance our renewable resources, ecosystems, and their biodiversity and related ecosystem dynamics. It is now increasingly understood that continuing along development pathways based on global, linear, fossil-based and GDP-oriented economic progress is literally unrealistic to expect this model to continue forever. There is also clear evidence that the increase in global GDP over the past few decades has not led to significant economic progress for most:…

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It is not my objective to present a fatalist perspective, but ….

By | Algemeen | No Comments

It is not my objective to present a fatalist perspective, because there are many examples of successful interventions to prevent extinctions, restore ecosystems, and encourage more sustainable economic activity at both local and regional scales. I am hopeful, but fear that the momentum for change might slip away …. we are in a race against time — and we are losing. With each passing year, it becomes clearer just how far behind we have fallen, how fast the situation is deteriorating, and how tragic the results can be. But … Life in the -near- future reflects on a number of…

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COEVOLUTION OF THE GEOSPHERE AND BIOSPHERE.

By | Algemeen | No Comments

The Earth system is an incredibly complex system, with many processes interacting with each other, from the small and local scale up to the planetary scale. With human activity playing an increasing role, it appears that the system becomes even more complex. This may seem to make the Earth a highly unpredictable and chaotic system, with arbitrary evolutionary directions and outcomes. The Earth system describes the interconnected complex system at the surface of the planet that sustains life. It is comprised of multiple subsystems (or spheres), including the cryosphere (ice-related systems, including ice sheets, sea ice, glaciers and permafrost), biosphere…

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