Designing a Future for Humans to Fourish: Reframing the Long Crisis of the Anthropocene

Peter Jones


We now find ourselves as a systems thinking community inquiring into planetary governance for climate and ecological politics. The Anthropocene demands a planetary response, and yet we often find even our fellow travelers tethered to discourses of technological management, cultural change, and right action. Perhaps we might now advocate a strong role for social systems design as a process for continual engagement of citizens as stakeholders, as advocated by Christakis, Ulrich and others. As we have seen power (economic and political) separate from its cultural histories, and become globalized, we may find ourselves in trajectories of action with marginal power to effect societal outcomes.  We are faced with a dual mandate of restorative system design, recovering human needs in our communities, and policy system design, restoring the long historical arc toward democratic governance. And as these are both designable contexts, systemic design can integrate ecological, technological and design thinking to guide policy in more productive ways.

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