Aspirational Guidance

“Aspirational Guidance for Wiser Futures,” is a provocative essay exploring: 1) the threat of a global megacrisis; 2) four “Type II Wildcard” alternative future scenarios in which the megacrisis might unfold or be averted; and 3) promising practices through which to  minimize and/or mitigate the megacrisis.

This essay was published in the peer reviewed journal, Foresight (Vol. 17 No. 1 2015  pp. 1-34).  To make its essential content freely available, however, an expanded version can be seen here.

To enable a quick overview, shown below is an outline of the four alternative futures scenarios and an idealized graphic to help visualize their hisorical significance – both past and future.

  1. VUCA A present trends extended (PTE) Future involving continued technological progress and economic inequity but not ecologically sustainable regime change. [VUCA is an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. ]
  2. STEEP Disintegration A worst-case future beyond hard landing in which “ego-centric” protectionism prevents systemic recovery before civilizational collapse occurs
  3. Reformative Recovery – Aspirational open-source eco-centric rebuilding from a hard landing future in which a critical mass of open-source thought-leaders facilitate a crowd-sourced “regime reformation” leading toward eco-centrically sustainable human communities soon enough to prevent civilizational collapse.
  4. Proactive Transformation –- A best case, audaciously aspirational soft landing future involving pre-megacrisis emergence of open-sourced regimes based on eco-centric worldviews, institutions, and technologies, leading toward further evolution of socio-spiritual maturity.

Idealized alternative paths following an epochal transition 

Ecological Load (I ­~ P × A × T) — Human impact on the environment is roughly the product of population, affluence, and technology