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How is it that the allegedly most intelligent and self-aware species on Earth ……

By | Algemeen | No Comments

How is it that the allegedly most intelligent and self-aware species on Earth is systematically destroying its own habitat, the only human-habitable planet in our solar system and the only planet most humans will ever know? Several of the most important causal mechanism have come together to produce a global economic system whose conceptual framing, operating assumptions and de facto practices are pathologically incompatible with the very ecosystems that sustain it. In the circumstances, eco-destruction is inevitable. REALITY as SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS? Foundational cultural narratives and social norms may masquerade as reality but they are nevertheless products of the human mind,…

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Forget the butterfly effect, this is the bat effect.

By | Algemeen | No Comments

Our stranglehold on nature has unleashed the coronavirus outbreak. The COVID-19 that has swept through countries and continents has caused untold human suffering, social upheaval and economic damage. But while the spread of the current crisis is unprecedented, the new coronavirus follows a number of diseases that have emerged in recent decades, such as Ebola, AIDS, SARS, avian influenza and swine flu. Pathogens can transform quickly, which allows them to pass from wild animals to humans. These emerging diseases endanger human lives and have major socioeconomic impacts. Most human infectious diseases are zoonotic in origin. These zoonotic pathogens are capable…

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A lot of work lies ahead.

By | Algemeen | No Comments

Our world stands at a crossroads. We face existential threats that demand urgent action, from the climate crisis to the risk of nuclear war. In 2020, we need to make a bold, collective, and positive choice to work together to secure our common future, and not retreat into tired dogma, failed policies, or defeatism. It’s an interesting time for humanity: we are a vast global population facing unprecedented environmental challenges, yet we still have the time and the capability to prevent extreme outcomes, such as runaway climate change and wildlife extinctions. Anthropogenic changes of the biota and human hyper-dominance are…

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WE HAPPEN TO THE FUTURE

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A deeper understanding of future patterns of change -and potential disruptions- is enabled by futures studies and strategic foresight. The future of future studies, foresight, and longer term thinking is to invite people and organizations to make more informed and imaginative decisions in the present in the face of new challenges and complex dilemmas, and ultimately, to facilitate better futures for all. The challenges of population growth, disruptive environmental and ecological jolts, widening socioeconomic inequalities, and tension between mainstream populations and extremists are complex, immense, frightening and urgent. The effective and efficient delivery of innovations to tackle these and other…

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THEY WENT TO THE MOON; WE DISCOVERED THE EARTH

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I grew up in the time of the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Watching the first step on the moon with my father at our small black and white TV. Gazing upon in The Netherlands was the same moon on which  American astronauts had just landed. The path I’ve traveled side by side with so many other people inspired by science and technology has been enormously enlightening and rewarding. But there’s still far to go. The future looms. We will face daunting challenges in coming decades, and to overcome them we will need to summon up a…

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DECISION SUPPORT

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INTRODUCTION In policy-and decision-making multifaceted phenomena have to be tackled; conflicts of interests, migration, climate change, the automation of professions, economic and financial aspects (crises), healthcare, education, international trade, social integration, disruptive technologies, etc. The degree of uncertainty present is enormous and increases with rising interconnectedness. Denser interaction which complexifies causality chains. Efforts in research and practice have led to approaches and processes to analyze these phenomena and make decisions under uncertainty. International commitment to the appropriately ambitious Paris climate agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 has pulled into the limelight the urgent need for major…

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‘Convergence 2.0’

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We are facing an existential crisis. The anticipated global population of more than 9.7 billion by 2050 poses daunting challenges from providing sufficient energy, food, and water, as well as health care more accurately and at lower cost, to trespassing biogeophysical boundaries. These challenges are enormous in scale and complexity, and we will need to take equally enormous leaps in our imagination to meet them successfully. In the first convergence revolution the atomic parts list discovered by physicists sparked a first bringing us radar, television, computers, and the internet, just to start. Radically changing our conception of what is possible…

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CITIES; AGILE, HUMAN CENTRED ECO-SYSTEMS THAT ARE IN CONSTANT FLUX

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Science and technology allow us to understand our environment as well as manipulate it and create new environments and new systems. This led humans to emerge out of nature, and recently to create new complex worlds that highly resemble natural systems. Human-made systems often follow the same design principles governing natural systems. The most important of these design principles is evolution by natural selection. However, human-made systems are not exactly the same as those created by nature. We are gaining an increasing ability to create new complex environments and new technologies that perform as well as, or even better than,…

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The future natural world will not be a slightly older version of the one we currently inhabit

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The loss of Earth’s biodiversity is accelerating at an unprecedented rate and proceeding at all levels: ecosystems, species and genes. No corner of the Earth, no matter how remote, is today free from human influence, whether in the form of the altered atmosphere, expanding cities, ubiquitous pollution and invasive species, conversion of wildlands and loss of once fertile farmland, or expanding exploitation and trade of wild species. The loss of biodiversity continues despite the growing sophistication of conservation activity and conservation science; and the understanding among governments at all levels as well as civil society that human wellbeing depends on…

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Just climate change?

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JUST CLIMATE CHANGE? The Anthropocene is a widely proposed name for the geological epoch that covers human impact on our planet. But it is not synonymous with climate change, nor can it covered by environmental problems. The Anthropocene encapsulates the evidence of human hyper-dominance that have shifted all existing life forms on Earth in an unforeseen and alternate evolutionary paths caused by indirect or direct anthropogenic pressures. Largely driven by chance, and by constant human-induced modifications. But humans are also one of the main species affected by Anthropocene changes, transforming and simultaneously being transformed. The Earth System refers to the…

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