The first and perhaps the most impressive talk was by Hardin Tibbs (Strategist and Futures Researcher). One thing impressive thing that he did (and there was a lot that was impressive) was to talk in longer time lengths. So, he talked in 100’s, 1,000’s of years and beyond to help put the current situation in perspective. This being the best chart:
10,000 years! (I might come back to the little red line)
Anyway, on a related thing, Tim pointed me in the direction of FuturICT
which is this amazing project which intends to use mass computing power to help build scenarios of what a sustainable the future might or could be:
“Human society continuously makes decisions with massive social, economic and environmental implications on the basis of very limited understanding of the inherently complex social mechanics of our world. FuturICT seeks to revolutionise support for advanced decision making in the face of complexity, by driving paradigm shifts in ICT to enable planetary scale simulations of our social system powered by massive real time data. In doing so, FuturICT will provide massive empowerment to decision support, enhancing prospects for international cooperation and a sustainable future.”
Run out of UCL with the support of a lot of A-list institutions, the work will be doing will looking a long way out, and even the project timings are longer than most, with the first real useable data (‘Planetry Scale Simulations Running’) not coming through until 2022.