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Eco-war-3.0:  new world disorder

Climate systems catastrophe – cause and/or effect of human systems catastrophe?? 

Fossil fuels already are the flashpoint for global expropriation and confrontation.  And if a billion people are climate refugees, and a third of the world food supply is at risk, what then? 

While climate change has big science and big models – our knowledge of human systems is patchy, controversial, weaponized, and way beyond modelling. It seems human systems are not only shaped by politics and economics, but by the undercurrents, the deeper traumas and contradictions, in which we are all complicit and/or victims. Such ‘big bad world’ effects include –

  • Reinforcing feedback / amplification / escalation loops: (g. drought/ food crisis / migration / extremism)
  • Internal tensions / contradictions / suppressed conflicts: (e.g. food price / unrest / insurrection)
  • External tensions / schisms / ‘amplified performativity’: (e.g. western hegemony vs radical Islam)
  • Embedded relations of power, colonization, expropriation: (e.g. resource curse)
  • Deeper cognitive neurosis, trauma, outrage: (e.g. ‘make us great again’)
  • Endemic contradictions, double binds, moral hazards (e.g. eco-gentrification)
  • Deeper conflicts of worldviews & mythologies: (e.g. techo-cratic vs eco-centric: humanism vs patriarchy)

So we aim here at a unique contribution – to bridge the knowledge gap between climate tipping points and human tipping points.  Firstly we sketch map the many layers from surface to deeper traumas – then we explore the forward pathways for the climate-human nexus, with the insights of synergistic mapping and design (a combination of related tools and methods).

  • Participants are invited to contribute ideas in an interactive process over 4 sessions, for a co-authored paper in the Foresight 3.0special issue, along with a SPM ‘white paper’.
  • Further aims are for a community of interest in the Mind-Lab, who can develop and apply such methods & tools, wherever they are useful…
  • Further goals are to find practical ways forward in the climate conundrum, by connecting aspirations with realities.

Welcome to join this journey of discovery, in whole or in any part:  

 

UPCOMING SESSIONS

Eco-wars-3.0 – Part B ‘Scenarios’: November 25th 1600 GMT –

 

Eco-wars-3.0 – Part C ‘Synergies’: Jan 6th 1600 GMT –

 

Eco-wars-3.0 – Part D ‘Strategies’: Feb 3rd 1600 GMT

All meetings online – link 24 hours in advance – working materials and the laboratory space online.

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Materials

 

Program & method

This project is based on interactive dialogue in a 3-4 month program.  We take foresight methods as far as they can go, and then look beyond, via the next generation Foresight 3.0. We use role-play for creative thinking (e.g. how would you make money / power from this flood or that wildfire?)

  1. Scope / system mapping: (relational thinking): framing & mapping of the systems / challenges in dynamic motion;
  2. Scenario mapping: (divergent thinking): scenarios to explore the possibilities of a Eco-war 3.0, vand the alternatives;
  3. Synergy mapping: (emergent thinking): exploring the potential positive thinking & response;
  4. Strategy mapping: (convergent thinking): first steps on the design of pathways and forward responses, …

 

The practical result aims at a paper for the Foresight 3.0 special issue, co-authored by all active participants: along with a white paper for policy-research pathways.

  • (Foresight 3.0 is defined as the methods and tools of Foresight, based on a ‘collective anticipatory intelligence’, both within the foresight process, and around the external community of stakeholders and users.)

 

Background

Following some decades of denial, scepticism, hijack, diversion and doomster-ism… we now know more about the weaponization of energy, and thereby climate action, and thereby the interconnections of energy / climate / war.

‘Weaponization’ (cf. ‘to adapt for use as a weapon of war’) is a new entry to systems thinking.  It seems very useful in the scope of cognitive complex systems: ‘to exploit and dominate a system as a means to an end, that of power over others in other systems’. 

Another innovation is the ‘3.0’ – just as ‘economics 3.0’ sums up a system based on a ‘collective economic intelligence’, what would ‘War-3.0’ sum up??  Some possibilities – (note, terminology can be a problem, as in ‘enemy intelligence’ etc. 

  • Collective military intelligence – cognitive capacity of national defence institutions (both hardware & human resources);
  • Collective conflictual intelligence – cognitive capacity of aggressors to exert power over others, with new systems e.g. cyber-tech, finance, psycho-cultural warfare;
  • Collective peace-building intelligence – cognitive capacity of all parties to reach peace & reconciliation outcomes

Meanwhile – we know a little more now about the ‘deeper’ dimensions…. 

  • deeper layers of conflict: political (energy wars), personal (trauma, outrage), and cognitive (contested truths);
  • deeper layers of history & mythology (geo-political domination, colonial genocide, extractive ideologies & theologies);
  • ‘deeper threat multipliers’ which arise from unpredictable interactions of all these
  • (e.g. the invasion of Ukraine has global implications for energy, climate, food, resources, economic & political stability)

On that note we are also aiming in this program, to build bridges with colleagues in Moscow, in a neutral space of dialogue & mutual understanding.

 

Science agenda

First call:  We’re in the midst of a global poly-crisis—a bewildering mess of things going wrong….. We propose, therefore, that scientists from around the world immediately collaborate to identify mechanisms operating among these risks.” (Homer-Dixon and Rockstrom 2022).

First response:  we could not agree more… BUT…

  • ‘scientists’ mostly work inside their fields & disciplines, in slow moving academic structures;
  • the connections between science and policy, enterprise or civic society, are often problematic;
  • new systems of knowledge, learning, evidence are emerging, beyond the normal ‘science’ frame;
  • effective responses to the poly-crisis may be very different to the thinking which created it…

This project is one attempt to respond to this challenge – co-creation of new forms of scientific experimentation, with deeper layers, wider communities, and further horizons…