On May 18th-19th May, 2013 Dan presented to the World Cultural Forum in Hangzhou, China.
Here is the abstract of the talk:
As we seek to create an international consensus to improve the ecological state of the planet, it is imperative that we map concepts, and reconcile definitions in to order share knowledge more effectively about the state of the environment, as well as the approach to solutions. An ecological civilization requires a consensus reality and a technological platform to host an interchange about that reality.
The world faces multiple barriers to clear communication and solution solving when it comes to the ecology and civilization, and although the diversity of core language plays an important role, other barriers will prove equally critical, including:
- a clear agreement on the uncertainties that will drive ecological change,
- the models used to forecast and anticipate ecological change, and
- the development of systems for collaborating and sharing information.
This presentation will focus on approaches to building consensus reality through scenario planning, and the use of technology to create a common platform for representation and communication.
In order to solve the communication and solution barriers, it will be necessary for the nations of the world to address deeply-seated semantic and conceptual issues, not those associated with science, but the political, social and economic representations of the impact of ecological change, and the possible approaches to solutions. Scenario planning offers a unique approach to creating a consensus reality because it forces individuals and organizations to agree upon not just that which is known, but that which is unknown or uncertain — and to put a name on both. Once something has a name and a character, it is much less likely to be ignored.
Language and concept, however, are just the first part of the equation. The world also needs a consensus platform for collaboration that can effectively manage the interchange of ideas and solutions through the common conceptual framework. To many, the Internet would appear a readymade solution to these difficulties, but whereas we operate the Internet with great interoperability and openness when it comes to network protocols, even commerce, methods for collaboration remain diverse and often proprietary. More importantly, we do not possess sufficient theory of cooperation to instantiate a robust, transparent, international approach to knowledge sharing. This paper will address the rudiments of such a system.
Going forward, those involved in the solution of common, cross-border ecological concerns must simultaneously develop a common collaborative platform, a vigorous representation of all aspects of the problem and solution spaces, all placed within the context of a consensus reality that proffers a shared view of the world.