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Climate-wise 3.0

Building the collective climatic intelligence – turning crisis into opportunity

(work in progress at the COP26 and beyond…. )


So far the COP26 outcome seems messy and problematic. There are some positive signals, on forests, finance, trading and others.  But there’s a general perception of half promises and greenwash, global north hypocrisy and global south intransigence, all centred on fossil fuel producers and consumers. It seems if climate policy is the foremost urgent priority, it maybe can only work as another instrument of power and inequality – otherwise how are any net-zero targets going to work in just 10 years?  In this scenario we may continue to stumble around on our self-made cliff-edge…(see the Storyline below).  And since November….

  • Russia invades Ukraine – Europe’s gas supply & global world food supply are ‘weaponized’
  • USA is on the brink (some argue) of asymmetric civil war – climate denial is a fault-line
  • UK is in meltdown (again) – despite COP26 rhetoric, energy retrofit programs are taken down, new oil & gas fields opened up…
  • Xi Jinping confirms Chinese climate action takes second place to economic development

Whether progress is led by policy, or business, or civil society and citizens, there is an urgent need for growing the ‘collective climatic intelligence’ – the capacity for collaboration in learning, innovation and co-production, across the board….   

To do that we have to first explore the challenges, conflicts, and contradictions – power and corruption, financialization, rising inequality, division and distrust and denial . Then we have a better chance of the biggest transformation of all – the capacity of humans to see and move beyond the many traps, gaps and barriers which stop progress, to realize something of the ‘collective climatic intelligence‘…

The Climate-Wise is the over-arching agenda for the Laboratory for Urban Collective Intelligence, and uses these methods to explore the climate challenge.  On these pages is work in progress on problems and challenges, through the COP26 and beyond.  We will continue to explore potential pathways and solutions up to the next COP27. 

For more see the Climate-wise toolkit – briefing paper 1 – Jan 2021 

you are invite to join the interactive dialogues –

Eco-WW-3.October 28th 2022  – exploring the existential question of climate catastrophe / world war…

Climate change -all change – Feb 4th- playing the ‘big bad world climate’ game – how to make money & power from all this???

Climate-wise – New-world-disorder/  – April 8th 2022 – in a world of disruption and conflict, how to manage our common climate?  can a next generation ‘Foresight 3.0’ enable the ‘collective climatic intelligence’?

Climate change / all change on the new frontiers – May 6th – travelling the  ‘transformative adaptive pathways’ in the Peri-cene (‘peri-eco-urban anthropocene’).


So here are 4 modules with maps and charts, seeds and signs of a potential climate-wise future ahead…..



Here we report & debate thinking in progress from the COP26, and then following up

this is an experimental zone –  more questions than answers – but we have some map-making skills

Our mission – to boldly explore the collective climatic intelligence – such as it is –

This is an interactive process with real-time dialogue – the next being  climate change- all change

See updates on Climate-wise on the frontiers



A bunch of teenagers from 2121 are trying to work out what on earth happened – and whether they are ghosted, or indeed alive?? 

for real time updates see the Ghosted Games

Sifting through the dust and debris from floods and fires… struggling through heat-storms and locust plagues…they find echoes of conversations from 2021.  They hack into the servers and virtual twins to get inside the conversations, and then they can play the game…

The purpose of the game – to be alive & not ghosted !!

The game play changes all the time – but the only way to win is with climate-wise…

(this follows on from the ‘Mind-Games’ storyline from Deeper City…  


A new ‘Climate-Wise’ toolkit has been developed and piloted at the COP26.  This helps to bridge the gaps between highly technical CO2 targets and ‘real world’ complexity – social, economic, political, cultural all mixed up – along with ‘big bad real world’ corruption, land grabbing, widening inequality and many others.

This Climate-Wise toolkit provides a means to bridge these vital gaps – and then explore systematically, the pathways to turn the targets into actions. For the net-zero targets and transformations now promised by many governments, this is the most realistic and credible way to (a) get others to commit, and (b) to turn such promises into reality.”

For more see the Climate-wise Toolkit


This is a visual ‘quick tour’ of climate-wise problems and pathways towards a collective climatic intelligence. 

Materials come mainly from Deeper City and the various projects around it.

see Climate-wise mapping & design so far



The ‘collective climatic intelligence’ is the focus of our action research program at the talks and beyond. This theme will run and run.

What can the scientific community offer? (and the University of Manchester, a leading member of that community)?

          We do the basic physical science and technology:  carbon cycles, global and local, and in key sectors such as building, transport, industry, agriculture.  The COP26 talks are the result of the world’s largest ever scientific collaboration, for the whole picture of our small and fragile planet, but one with endless layers of complexity.

          We also do the social and economic and political analysis – climate finance, sociology of consumption, urban planning and design, political and governance models, and many more branches of knowledge.

          Where we are mostly complete beginners, is putting the pieces together of this huge jigsaw… And this is crucial – because the world does not always run according to scientific explanation in this or that field. And it’s clear that climate change is overlaid and inter-connected with all of society’s ills – conflict, inequality, corruption, trauma, outrage, to name a few.  

For example in Chennai, in southern India, there is a major program to clean up the many rivers and water bodies, and increase their resilience: but there are over 100,000 shack dwellers already living there on the margins. Should they be moved forcibly and rehoused in ‘colonies’ at great distance (which is currently the case) – and which then unlocks the waterfront land for highly profitable real estate development?  or is there some other way?


Climate as a deeper threat multiplier


There’s a test question – how much did climate change cause the Syrian civil war?? the cause-effect may seem obvious – drought and desertification causing crop failure, rural poverty and urban in-migration, rising tribal / ethnic tension, push for democracy meeting government over-reaction, and then a tipping point into catastrophic armed conflict – but is near impossible to prove/disprove in a reductive ‘lab trial’  sense.[i] In security and defence language, climate is a ‘deeper threat multiplier’ in an already hyper-stressed, hyper-complex global system, way beyond any model or forecast.  We can expect many more Syrian war situations in which climate change is inextricably enmeshed….

This calls for not just more and better science, but also a different kind of science.  This emerging ‘Science 3.0’ is all about exploring these existential conundrums and so-called ‘wicked problems’, way beyond any kind of simple model or reductive analysis.  It focused on the synergistic analysis of hyper-cognitive-complex problems (where social, economic, cultural and political conflicts are all mixed up) – and then on the transformation potential of collective climatic intelligence – and then on the creative collective design of pathways which can turn crisis towards opportunity. 

Such a science builds on solid analysis and modelling, with creative arts and story-telling, as much as psychotherapy and organization learning, to explore the potential for transformation. It draws on countless branches of systems thinking, theory of change and transition, futures and foresight, innovation and co-creation and many more.  (for more see the science section in the Deeper City (   

<note>[i] Kelley et al 2015; Selby & Hulme 2015