The Global Challenge

The Global Challenge is the sum total of all stressors affecting planetary health. It’s an unprecedented global systems problem. We need to understand it in order to respond as wisely as possible.

The Global Challenge is framed in many ways:

  • The global problematique: A common term in policy circles
  • Limits to growth: Focus on planetary ecological limits
  • Civilizational collapse: If it happens, will it take us back 50 years, 100 years, or 1,000 years?
  • Techno-optimism: The belief that technology will lead to a better future
  • The End of the World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI): “A catastrophic event that destroys the existing institutions and norms of society.” (Oxford Dictionary)
  • Consciousness change: The belief that spiritual or meta-cognitive shifts can change the world
  • Community resilience: Focus on helping communities prepare
  • Emergency planning: A universally accepted frame that can lead to exploration of the Global Challenge

As we face the Global Challenge, we see these issues and challenges:

Issues

The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.

William Gibson

Biosphere stressors

  • Climate crisis, biodiversity loss and more

Societal stressors

  • Poverty, unsustainable economic growth, pandemic diseases and more

Technology stressors

  • Electromagnetic frequency (EMF) pollution, displacement of people by robots, Big Data threats and more

The greatest threat we face

The Global Challenge is far greater than any individual stressor. Most institutions—governments, corporations, international institutions, and civil society organizations—avoid thinking about the Global Challenge. Read more.

Responses

Avoidance and denial

Let’s not think about it” doesn’t solve anything.

Being prepared

If we prepare, future shocks may prove more survivable.

We care about all four forms of resilience work. Read more.

Real hope

In many ways, the human condition is improving. Countless efforts to build resilient communities are underway around the world. Read more.