See also the event: Visions in Global Systems Science: Narratives as a Communication Tool for Scientists.
Old, Incrementing Challenges. New, Sustainable Visions
Humankind is currently faced with unprecedented global challenges – climate policy, financial regulation, nuclear disarmament, avoiding pandemics, and more. Though different apparently, these challenges are well just different facets of one sole underlying problem, namely the difficulty to achieve a transition towards a sustainable world society. By nature, resources are limited, but energy is renewable and convertible, therefore sustainable systems are an achievable desideratum.
The event Visions in Global Systems Science: Energy Futures aims to reflect a holistic approach to energy futures based on an understanding of the tight entanglement of social, technological and economic layers in energy issues. The future of energy in the context of the global systems science will be the broad topic of debate discussion.
A New Approach
We require a new way of thinking. There is a need for a new science which takes into account connections across national borders, and across policy areas such as economy, transport, health and social understanding of system risk. The multidimensionality of global problems – the interconnectedness of decisions across different policy sectors – should be reflected in a multidisciplinary system approach.
To achieve such a sustainability transition will not be easy, especially because it requires greatly enhanced capacities for global coordination. Such coordination will require strengthening existing institutions or developing new ones, or both. Most debates about these issues simply take it for granted that suitable institutions for global governance – be it the UN, the IMF, the WTO or institutions yet to be formed - should be built around nation states, i.e. territorial structures.
The societal challenges facing the world are substantial. Two major aspects, the connectivity across subject domains and globalisation, are putting demands on decision makers for which the available tools provide insufficient guidance. Humankind has reached a situation where existing policy instruments are clearly unable to provide sustainable outcomes on a global scale. The challenges laid down by an increasingly integrated market economy, by climate change and other environmental threats, food security, or energy sufficiency are today all global in nature. Here ‘global’ means that the challenges are multi-dimensional and borderless. Consequently they can no longer be handled by one given country, by one aspect of policy.
In this line of thinking, the event Visions in Global Systems Science: Energy Futures will bring together experts - researchers and practitioners - part of GSDP (The Global Systems Dynamics & Policy) think tank and not only.
GSDP is an FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme) funded coordination and support action to develop a research program for the study of global systems in an ongoing dialogue with decision makers. GSDP is set as an open network evolving through workshops, working papers, publications, and open conferences.
GSDP's mission is to consolidate an international community of researchers engaged in dialogues with decision-makers, and generate a variety of research and consultancy projects in Europe and not only.