The Cascade Institute is a Canadian research centre addressing the full range of humanity’s converging environmental, economic, political, and technological crises. Using advanced methods for mapping and modeling complex global systems, Institute researchers will identify, and where possible help implement, high-leverage interventions that could rapidly shift humanity’s course towards fair and sustainable prosperity.

The Institute is located at Royal Roads University in British Columbia, a leader in training professionals to apply creative solutions to entrenched problems. Its director is Thomas Homer-Dixon, an award-winning scholar and author with deep experience in using complexity science to anticipate, analyze, and respond to global threats.

An initiative of Stanford University,
bringing the best science to civil society.

The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB, pronounced “mob”) is a meeting place for global civil society — citizens concerned with the interconnections among the greatest threats to human well-being: this is the human predicament.

The MAHB provides information about this global challenge, solicits new voices, offers opportunities for members to form working groups and discussion fora, and interact with a diverse community committed to ameliorating the threats to humanity.

The MAHB mission is twofold:

  • Foster, fuel and inspire a global dialogue on the threat of collapse and how interconnected biogeophysical and socio-economic systems contribute to, and are affected by, the existential threats facing humanity
  • Develop and implement strategies for shifting human cultures and institutions towards practices that promote a future in which people can live peaceful and productive lives.

Resilience.org supports building community resilience in a world of multiple emerging challenges: the decline of cheap energy, the depletion of critical resources like water, complex environmental crises like climate change and biodiversity loss, and the social and economic issues which are linked to these. Created by the founders of the Post Carbon Institute, Resilience.org functions as “a community library with space to read and think, but also as a vibrant café in which to meet people, discuss ideas and projects, and pick up and share tips on how to build the resilience of your community, your household, or yourself.”

The FAN initiative describes the situation: Two hundred years of economic and complexity growth have added immensely to human welfare and security. It has shaped our world-views and expectations of the future. Yet there is widening concern that the conditions that have underpinned this growth and the socio-economic stability that we have habituated to, and are dependent upon, is being increasingly undermined. Societies are likely to experience mounting socio-economic stresses from which there is no recovery, declining resilience, and rising risks of rapid large-scale breakdowns in global integration. The envisioned consequences are very challenging and quite possibly catastrophic.

The mission of the Global Challenges Foundation is “to prevent, or at least reduce the likelihood, of a catastrophe that would cause the death of over 10% of humanity, or cause damage on a similar scale.” Their website offers analysis and research, partnerships, and education opportunities.

Founded in 2003, Post Carbon Institute’s mission is to lead the transition to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world by providing individuals and communities with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated ecological, economic, energy, and equity crises of the 21st century.

Image from Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho at Creative Commons

In 2009, two English writers published a manifesto. Out of that manifesto grew a cultural movement: a rooted and branching network of creative activity, centred on the Dark Mountain journal, sustained by the work of a growing gang of collaborators and contributors, as well as the support of thousands of readers around the world. The Dark Mountain Project is looking for other stories, ones that can help us make sense of a time of disruption and uncertainty.

Image from Ricardo’s Photography at Creative Commons

New and largely unstudied risks are associated with powerful emerging technologies and the impacts of human activity, which in the worst case might pose existential risks. The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk wants to reap the enormous benefits of technological progress while safely navigating these catastrophic pitfalls.

The vision of the Stockholm Resilience Centre is a world where social-ecological systems are understood, governed and managed, to enhance human well-being and the capacity to deal with complexity and change, for the sustainable co-evolution of human civilizations with the biosphere. The mission of the centre is to advance research for governance and management of social-ecological systems to secure ecosystem services for human well-being and resilience for long-term sustainability. The centre applies and further develops the scientific achievements of this research within practice, policy and academic training.