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Algemeen

Learning to evolve together

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The extent of urban areas is increasing around the world, and most humans now live in cities. Urbanization results in dramatic environmental change, including increased temperatures, more impervious surface cover, altered hydrology, and elevated pollution. Urban areas also host more non-native species and reduced abundance and diversity of many native species. These environmental changes brought by global urbanization are creating novel ecosystems with unknown consequences for the evolution of life. Anthropogenic activities in general are known to affect evolutionary processes across a wide range of organisms, but these results from nonurban environments do not necessarily pertain to urban environments because…

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We zijn allemaal geïnteresseerd in de toekomst, want dat is waar we onze tijd gaan doorbrengen.

By | Algemeen | 2 Comments

De natuur bevindt zich in vrije val en de ondersteuningssystemen van de planeet zijn zo uitgerekt dat we te maken hebben met grootschalige uitsterving van soorten en massale menselijke migratie, tenzij er dringend actie wordt ondernomen. Het is een grimmig perspectief. We hebben de afgelopen jaren een hoop brute en angstaanjagende waarschuwingen gezien over de bedreiging die de klimaatverandering in het leven met zich meebrengt. Veel minder gesproken, maar net zo gevaarlijk, zo niet meer, is de snelle achteruitgang van de natuurlijke wereld als samenhangend geheel. Landdegradatie, verlies van biodiversiteit en klimaatverandering zijn drie verschillende gezichten van dezelfde centrale uitdaging:…

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health in a predominantly engineered environment

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Humans are shifting from a predominantly natural context to a predominantly designed context and this is changing the very foundations upon which health systems reside. The changes in living condition, environment and mentality of people has altered the nature of disease in just the past decades. Right now globally there’s a massive shift – called the epidemiological shift – from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases. These health issues are termed ‘lifestyle diseases’ or ‘diseases of civilization’ because the majority of these are preventable. Comprehensive and interdisciplinary approaches are necessary to meaningfully address the complex issues of human health and well-being….

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Could the world be sleepwalking into a crisis?

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Global risks are intensifying but the collective will to tackle them appears to be lacking. Instead, divisions are hardening. Geopolitical and geo-economic tensions have risen among the world’s major powers and now represent the most urgent global risks, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019. In a world of shifting power and divergent values, it is likely to become more difficult to make progress on shared global challenges. Such progress requires two things: alignment on priorities for action, and then sustained coordination and collaboration. The example of climate change shows that, even when the first is possible,…

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Something different; What is life?

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In 1943 the great physicist Erwin Schrödinger, gave a series of lectures at Trinity College Dublin, published the next year as his book What Is Life? Schrödinger’s central question remains unanswered. There is still no agreed-on definition of what life is. Maybe, some suggest, there are biology-specific laws of nature that we have yet to identify. Indeed, Schrödinger himself argued that ‘living matter, while not eluding the ‘laws of physics’ as established up to date, is likely to involve ‘other laws of physics’ hitherto unknown’. We still struggled to make sense of this fundamental question. Life really does look like…

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On the edge of transformative innovation and renewed creativity.

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A city is a continuously adapting complex network. This kind of network has been shown to be very resilient to network fault. It connects people in surprising ways, allowing for dissemination of information and influence through countless links. It’s a decentralized, living organism where each person is -more or less- free to change role, activity, occupation and domestic state. For the most part, it adapts to changing times well, through the millions of decisions taken by its citizens every day. There is no central management (regardless of what its governmental organization may think), no ‘strategic planning session’. No ‘chain of…

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Please let it be so.

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Our dilemma is that we live in a finite world, but behave as if it were inexhaustible. For a long time we have ignored the impacts of technological and social- economic progress, concealed the consequences of constant growth, followed the instruction multiply and subdue the Earth,  put ‘having’ before ‘being’,  and kept thinking as if there were still as few people on earth as there were 200 years ago. In the meanwhile we are facing the Herculean task,  to satisfy the basic needs of soon 10 billion people worldwide and  at the same time to respect the ecological boundaries of our planet. The…

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Working Together

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A serious obstacle to evolutionary theory is the interdependent relationships between living things, called symbiosis, in which completely different forms of life depend on each other to exist. Darwin’s theory of biological change was based on competition, or survival of the fittest, among the individuals making up a species. He admitted: ‘If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection’.

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Onrustig

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ONZE ONRUST OVER ‘DE STAD’ . ‘Wij’ zijn een netwerk van wetenschappers, bedrijven, dwarsdenker ….. etc. Steden en metropolitane gebieden worden steeds belangrijker voor het functioneren van de samenleving in een steeds complexere wereld. Deze stedelijke omgevingen zijn nu veelzijdiger, dynamischer, meer verbonden en minder voorspelbaar dan in het verleden. En de complexiteit neemt alleen maar toe.

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The near future…. are we in control?

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The increasing robotization and intelligence of objects is leading to a seamless presence in our everyday life. The Internet of (every)thing is on us and it is growing in our homes, in our cities, at the office….. The sheer number and variety of intelligent/robotized objects will seamlessly morph into a fabric of connected objects out of which an overall behavior will arise. We are part of this evolving ambient and we are interacting with both intelligent/ robotized objects and with the cyberspace. We are a component of this ambient, we live in symbiosis with it and soon enough intelligent systems…

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