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Lechner Thinking the impossible IDRC Davos final
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Lechner Thinking the impossible IDRC Davos final

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5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice 24-28 August 2014 in Davos, Switzerland

5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice 24-28 August 2014 in Davos, Switzerland


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  • 1. Thinking the impossible Societal Collapse?
  • 2. The Big Picture • Irreversible collapse of modern society • - resources becoming more scarce • - fragile interdependencies • - lack of resilience • - end of growth http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible- collapse-study-scientists
  • 3. "This time it's different" • The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally advanced Han, Mauryan, and Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.
  • 4. Beyond single disasters: Society!  Geopolitics  Energy  Climate  Environment  Resources  Industry  Supply Chain  Economy  Digital World  Finance
  • 5. Interdependencies developed over time Geopolitics EnvironmentEnergy Climate Resources Industry Supply Chain Economy Digital World Finance
  • 6. Financial Markets alone… Nature 2012, volume 2, article 541, 02.08.2012 …look like this!
  • 7. Energy: The slide nobody wants to see http://alfin2100.blogspot.be/2010/09/understanding-belief-in-peak-oil-is-end.html Energy Consumption
  • 8. Squeezing out the last margins … Geopolitics: Arab Spring Supply Chain: Food crisis Energy: Shale gas Finance: Flash Crash Resources: Just-in-time failure Resources: Rare Earths Energy: Off-shore drilling Digital: Melissa virus Energy: No redundancy Finance: bank run, state defaults Supply Chain: E.coli spread Transport: Shortcuts
  • 9. The Big Picture • Moving our domino bricks closer in! • More resilience required!
  • 10. Questions  How big is the issue?  Are there alternatives?  What can be done?  Who will have to act? … more in the special panel session tomorrow!
  • 11. The new European Commission Next EU summit: August 30, 2014 New EU Commission: November 1st, 2014 An opportunity to create resilience The time is now!