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NextDesign Interviews Jamais
Alex Steffen, 1 Feb 05

NextDesign's journal NextD ("ReRethinking Design") interviewed Jamais about WorldChanging, scenario planning, and redistributing the future:

"GK VanPatter: If we acknowledge that the challenges are huge and complicated, what kinds of tools, models, and ideas (other than foresight design) are you seeing so far at WorldChanging?"

"Jamais Cascio: That's a hard question to answer, as there have been so many examples. As of today, we have nearly 2,000 articles up (of varying lengths) covering a broad spectrum of ideas. One of the signal pleasures of operating a site like WorldChanging is seeing, on a daily basis, that tools and concepts for building a better world are all around us.

"But broad themes do present themselves. You've already mentioned foresight design, and we just talked about leapfrog development -- those two are certainly fundamental ideas for us. We also see solutions coming from the world of free/open source software, especially as a model for everything ranging from biotechnology and pharmaceutical development to politics and education. The ability of groups to take advantage of the power of the Internet in order to collaborate on solutions is often underestimated.

"Transparency -- seeing the usually invisible processes at work, whether in the environment, in our infrastructure, or in our politics and markets -- comes up time and again as an important element in WorldChanging solutions. So do interdisciplinary approaches, mixing seemingly disparate realms, each part acting as a provocation to the others. Biomimicry and Ecomimicry are wonderful examples of interdisciplinary applications.

"The so-called "Second Superpower," where individuals armed with information, communication networks, and sometimes camera phones can pose a powerful alternative to traditional sources of political power.

"Understanding the world through science. We are very pro-science at WorldChanging, believing strongly that testable information and analysis must be at the core of good decision-making regarding planetary stewardship. We're not going to be able to survive this century by turning away from science and responsible technological development.

"Distributed, decentralized, networks for energy and information. Reimagining our core social systems, in particular cities and transportation. Embracing a model of sustainability which isn't satisfied with reducing footprints to zero, but actually seeks to restore the environment.

"Most of the tools and ideas we need to build a better world are already here -- and the ones which aren't here yet are close on the horizon. People who tell you we don't know how to solve big problems such as global warming or extreme poverty either don't know what they're talking about or have an agenda which doesn't want to see big problems solved. We can build a better world -- more sustainable, more democratic, more fair, more knowledgeable -- but we have to choose to do so."

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Comments

People who tell you we don't know how to solve big problems such as global warming or extreme poverty either don't know what they're talking about or have an agenda which doesn't want to see big problems solved. We can build a better world -- more sustainable, more democratic, more fair, more knowledgeable -- but we have to choose to do so.

Bullseye!


Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 2 Feb 05

I second that.. bullseye.

That last paragraph really hits the mark.


Posted by: Joe Deely on 2 Feb 05



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