Great Transition The Great Transition is a term used by the Global Scenario Group (GSG) to describe a vision of a just and sustainable global future. The term was originally used by Kenneth E. Bouldings in The Meaning of the 20th Century - The Great Transition, Harper Colophon Books Copyright 1964, considered a hallmark conception of systems thinking and the shift from pre-modern to post-modern culture and the four possible traps that will allow humanity to successful journey the Great Transition. The elements of the Great Transition vision include egalitarian social and ecological values, increased human interconnectedness, improved quality of life, and a healthy planet, as well as an absence of poverty, war, and environmental destruction. The Great Transition concept has been adopted by numerous individuals and organizations in the sustainability sphere, most notably by Jigmi Y. Background
The Great Transition (beyond carbon) If there is one thing that defines the 21st century, it is the end of oil. But not just oil. Over the coming decades, we face the prospect of terminal depletion of the world’s major mineral energy reserves, with major ramifications for the future of industrial civilization. A survey of about a hundred of the world’s most respected petroleum geologists by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil found that the vast majority expected world oil production to peak between 2010 and 2020. Furthermore, it found that “the ‘peak’ is more likely to look like a bump on a long ridge than the classic bell-shaped curve”.
Environmental governance Environmental governance is a concept in political ecology and environmental policy that advocates sustainability (sustainable development) as the supreme consideration for managing all human activities—political, social and economic. Governance includes government, business and civil society, and emphasizes whole system management. To capture this diverse range of elements, environmental governance often employs alternative systems of governance, for example watershed-based management. It views natural resources and the environment as global public goods, belonging to the category of goods that are not diminished when they are shared. This means that everyone benefits from for example, a breathable atmosphere, stable climate and stable biodiversity. Public goods are non-rivalrous—a natural resource enjoyed by one person can still be enjoyed by others—and non-excludable—it is impossible to prevent someone consuming the good (breathing). Definitions Challenges
Transition scenario Transition scenarios are descriptions of future states which combine a future image with an account of the changes that would need to occur to reach that future. These two elements are often created in a two-step process where the future image is created first (envisioning) followed by an exploration of the alternative pathways available to reach the future goal (backcasting). Both these processes can use participatory techniques (Raskin et al., 2002) where participants of varying backgrounds and interests are provided with an open and supportive group environment to discuss different contributing elements and actions. Transition scenarios are unique in type not only in terms of how they are created (process) but also their content. Their requirements are guided by transition management concepts and consider the “fundamental and irreversible change in the culture, structure and practices of a system.”
Scenario analysis Scenario analysis is a process of analyzing possible future events by considering alternative possible outcomes (sometimes called "alternative worlds"). Thus, the scenario analysis, which is a main method of projections, does not try to show one exact picture of the future. Instead, it presents consciously several alternative future developments. Global Scenario Group The Global Scenario Group (GSG) was an international, interdisciplinary body convened in 1995 by the Tellus Institute and the Stockholm Environment Institute to develop scenarios for world development in the twenty-first century. The GSG’s underlying scenario development work was rooted in the long-range integrated scenario analysis that Tellus Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute had undertaken through the PoleStar Project. Initially conceived in 1991 as a tool for integrated sustainability planning and long-range scenario analysis, PoleStar was inspired by the 1987 Brundtland Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, which first put the concept of “sustainable development” on the international agenda. The work of the Global Scenario Group was widely adopted in high-level intergovernmental settings. Scenarios
Cities are the new laboratories of evolution Cities are driving rapid evolutionary changes to plant and animal species, according to a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Usually, we think of evolution as happening in remote, isolated, or pristine places—the Galapagos Islands, for example. But the new findings suggest that scientists can’t understand evolution as it’s currently occurring without grappling with the complex and expanding urban landscape.
Eco-communalism Eco-communalism is an environmental philosophy based on ideals of simple living, self-sufficiency, sustainability, and local economies. Eco-communalists envision a future in which the economic system of capitalism is replaced with a global web of economically interdependent and interconnected small local communities. Decentralized government, a focus on agriculture, biodiversity, ethnic diversity, and green economics are all tenets of eco-communalism. Ecological Futures: Contemporary Art and Anthropocene Studies Ecological Futures: Contemporary Art and Anthropocene Studies This seminar will take as its focus attempts within both environmental thought and contemporary art to imagine the ecological future. These range from visualisations of technocratic dystopias in which all the worst predications of environmental disaster come true, to the wished for emergence of sustainable communities thriving in a new age of planetary consciousness.
Post-capitalism Socialist economics and the socialist calculation debate concern the organization and functioning of a post-capitalist system. This subject encompasses alternatives for the major elements of a capitalist system, such as the wage and profit systems, market-based allocation, private ownership of the means of production, and the use of money as a measure of value; and critical analysis of post-capitalist economic models. Arguments for post-capitalism In the Marxist method of analysis and theory of historical materialism, specific modes of production come into being as a result of underlying changes in the level of technology. Post-capitalist systems
Planetary phase of civilization The planetary phase of civilization is a concept defined by the Global Scenario Group (GSG), an environmental organization that specializes in scenario analysis and forecasting. Proponents of the planetary phase of Civilization State that it refers to a current historical transition from a world of capitalist states and consumerist societies to a world of increased global connectivity with new global institutions (like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization), new information technologies, environmental change in the biosphere, economic globalization, and shifts in culture and consciousness. Although the concept is hotly debated in some circles, most reputable scientists give little credence to the theory and assert that current global economic interconnectedness is a function of advanced technology rather than the emergence of anything new in cultural or sociological terms. Background