Thomas Homer-Dixon

5 results found for: Cultural Change


May 1st, 2012 —

Exploring the Climate “Mindscape”

Exploring the Climate “Mindscape”: an interview in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The climate change problem might ultimately reside as much in our heads as in the external world. Researchers need to map the “mindscape,” a virtual space within which most of the world’s people are clustered in a few ideologically polarized groups. Vast, unexplored regions of the mindscape, he says, may offer new ways of thinking about problems such as climate change and new ways of living together successfully in the future.”

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October 6th, 2011 —

Tipping Toward Sustainability: Emerging Pathways of Transformation

This article explores the links between agency, institutions, and innovation in navigating shifts and largescale transformations toward global sustainability. Our central question is whether social and technical innovations can reverse the trends that are challenging critical thresholds and creating tipping points in the earth system, and if not, what conditions are necessary to escape the current lock-in. Large-scale transformations in information technology, nano- and biotechnology, and new energy systems have the potential to significantly improve our lives; but if, in framing them, our globalized society fails to consider the capacity of the biosphere, there is a risk that unsustainable development pathways may be reinforced. Current institutional arrangements, including the lack of incentives for the private sector to innovate for sustainability, and the lags inherent in the path dependent nature of innovation, contribute to lock-in, as does our incapacity to easily grasp the interactions implicit in complex problems, referred to here as the ingenuity gap. Nonetheless, promising social and technical innovations with potential to change unsustainable trajectories need to be nurtured and connected to broad institutional resources and responses. In parallel, institutional entrepreneurs can work to reduce the resilience of dominant institutional systems and position viable shadow alternatives and niche regimes.

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June 8th, 2009 —

The Great Transformation: Climate Change as Cultural Change

A speech to a conference in Essen, Germany. I’m delighted to be here with you this evening, in part because this is my first visit to the Ruhr. This region has an extraordinary history as a crucible of an industrial revolution that was, of course, powered by coal. And coal is a substance that will [...]

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June 1st, 2009 —

The Newest Science: Replacing Physics, Ecology Will Be the Master Science of the 21st Century

In June, an article titled “The Newest Science,” appearing in Alternatives Journal, argues that while physics was the master science of the 20th century, ecology will be the master science of the 21st century.

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August 6th, 2008 —

We Must Green the Market

Modern capitalist markets are among the most amazing institutions humankind has ever created. They are mighty engines of innovation and wealth. They allow societies to quickly adapt to a world full of disruptions and surprises. And by linking billions of producers and consumers every day, they generate price signals that help people around the world decide what to make and what to buy.

But when it comes to conserving Earth’s natural environment, our markets are badly broken. For our planet’s future – and for our future prosperity – we must fix them.

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