Realizing that many problems on our planet display complex and sometimes unpredictable behavior, science increasingly focuses on studying how these problems evolve, and promising strategies to mitigate them. Earth?s climate is the key condition for life on our planet, and many models and simulations help to understand climatic and biospherical conditions on “spaceship Earth”. A key conclusion of these models is that we – humanity – should stop emitting “greenhouse gases”. Emissions change our climate and biosphere, and the increasing turbulences in our weather system confront us with more floods, draughts and landslides. And people obviously respond to these disasters. A reduced food security causes stronger dynamics in migration. Floods and
draughts give people a reason to migrate, regionally but also globally. These processes contribute to current problems such as failing states (dictatorial or unmanaged systems) and global cultural tensions concerning migration (polarization).

“Changing the course of a ship is a common action to move towards a destination and to avoid collisions. Especially in heavy weather this requires the crew to have a deep understanding of the dynamics of a ship and how to quickly adapt to changing circumstances. But critical is the way a crew communicates, and organizes
itself in taking action”

In changing the course of our “spaceship Earth”, many human behaviors have to change. Often these behaviors have been socially or culturally “locked in”, for example in systematized consumption habits (e.g. our fossil fuel infrastructure) and cultural
perspectives on energy.


Wander Jager

Interdisciplinary Studies of Synergy e-session

Photos by : David Rytell