Climate change, complexity and international politics - challenges of comprehension, adaptation and collective action



2022. június 13. 18.00-20.00 óra között


MTA Székház, Felolvasóterem
1051 Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 9.


Sean Cleary,  Executive Vice-Chair, FutureWorld Foundation

The progressive integration of a global economy in recent decades, also through digital technologies integrating financial systems, supply chains, and energy networks has constrained the capacity of states to secure the welfare of their citizens, weakening trust in governments and institutions. Civic disaffection has led many to defect from voting and membership of political parties and participation in elections has fallen in most countries. Even the “third wave” of democratization in the developing world between 1975–2005 stalled and regressed in the past decade.  Social media have transformed social and political landscapes, trapping citizens into echo chambers defined by mutually exclusive assertions of truth, undermining civil discourse and driving political polarization. Governments are struggling to adapt. This poses problems on two levels.

First, global governance and most forms of transnational collective action are weaker.  Second, the interplay between long-range geo-economic trends, geopolitical tensions, and social inequality, exacerbated by the radical bio-digital transformation of the technological landscape now underway, is fracturing national societies, weakening representative democracy, and inhibiting collective action on global challenges including climate, oceans, biodiversity, health and a range of conventional and unconventional security threats.

Representative democracy is a construct of the industrial age. Its transformation into direct participation by citizens through decentralized digital engagement has already begun. Structuring this engagement to unlock collective intelligence and encourage creative cooperation to craft a participatory, thriving society  in symbiotic harmony with nature, is the task of our age

 mSeán Cleary is Executive Vice-Chair of the FutureWorld Foundation, an Advisory Council member of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, EIT Climate-KIC, Carnegie Artificial Intelligence and Equality Initiative, and the Institute of Advanced Studies, Kőszeg; a Faculty Member of the Parmenides Foundation; a Senior Fellow and Senior Advisor of the Salzburg Global Seminar; Special Adviser to the Global Solutions Initiative, and aa Diplomacy Moderator of the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator.

Mr Cleary has received academic and public service awards, co-authored Resilience to Risk (Human & Rosseau 2006) and Global Risks (Palgrave Macmillan 2007) with Thierry Malleret, and published numerous journal articles and book chapters, including Cognitive Constraints and Behavioral Biases in Learning from Catastrophes: Strategies for Reaction and Response. (Wharton, Pearson 2009).


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