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The risks of the modern age present humanity with our greatest challenges yet.
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The world is facing a complexity crisis, created over time by the many moving parts that now converge and interact—billions of people and computers, endless books and websites, and stacks of regulations and legal documents. This rise of complexity leads to challenges that now threaten to overwhelm the human mind.
To address wickedly complex problems like climate change, environmental degradation, and risks posed by the rise of social media and artificial intelligence, we must first deal with the growing “complexity crisis” by developing more careful, more disciplined modes of thought.
Humanity 2050 brings a fresh approach to help take us out of this complexity crisis. Our team has analyzed human cognitive limits and is developing new tools and strategies to help the mind work amidst this complexity. We are building a new toolkit for thought to help create a thriving human future for our children and grandchildren.
Climate Engineering: A Case Study
We have launched our first large-scale project that uses these cognitive tools, applying them to a critical, but often underappreciated issue — climate engineering. As the world struggles with how to collectively address climate change, scientists and policymakers are increasingly considering whether climate engineering could be used to cool the earth if global warming starts to spiral out of control.
Several studies suggest that spraying aerosols in the upper atmosphere could provide a relatively rapid, relatively inexpensive way of cooling the earth — thus buying time while searching for a better, long-term solution to the problem of rising carbon dioxide levels. However, climate engineering raises myriad scientific, as well as sociopolitical dimensions, and these require a more detailed analysis. Yet as the earth continues to warm, society may need to make a go/no decision in the next 10 years.
To help society prepare, we’re working to lay out all the potential risks, benefits, and options. We are employing our new methods for thought, mapping and analyzing all the factors involved in this complex problem – collecting, comparing, integrating ideas from all over the planet, developing a plan of action that society can weigh when it’s time to decide.
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Takes account of real-world complexity
Acknowledges the limits of the human mind
Produces ideas that are simple, effective, and acceptable to society as a whole – practical ideas to help address complex challenges of the human future
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