From Noble Global Goals to Confused Local Strategies: Solutions to a Wicked Development Problem

Obersteiner, M. ORCID: (2012). From Noble Global Goals to Confused Local Strategies: Solutions to a Wicked Development Problem. In: Worlds Within Reach: From Science To Policy - IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference, 24-26 October 2012, Hofburg Congress Center, Vienna and IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria.

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Humankind has never been so populous, technically equipped, economically and culturally integrated as it is today. Worldwide modern capitalism provides the basic principles to organize economic and political development. At the same time in the 21st century societies are confronted with a panoply of challenges in their efforts to manage the Earth system. These global challenges range from multi-hazard disasters and new infectious diseases all the way to basic food and energy security problems on a warming planet. Dealing with such a confluence of possible global-scale failures involves highly complex planning, coordination and international cooperation; this will only progress effectively and efficiently if private and public policies are based on reliable information and are consistently geographically nested. Particularly distressing in this context are the continued deficiencies in translating global long-term challenges into local actions explaining the large scale failures meeting global goals. The talk will focus on two issues:
First, information paucity remains an obstacle to understanding for the governance of major Earth system processes in a global development context. In this decision-making context, collective efforts to manage the Earth system are in danger of being particularly erratic on the local level and are resulting in competing interests rather than being based on decisions informed by robust scientific analysis.

Second, today's economic system, by its very construction, is ill-equipped to tackle problems that require global cooperation rather than competition, integrate long-term goals into short-term action as well as integrating multiple global goals into local planning. The economics of new forms of capital might offer interesting avenues for solutions to the above mentioned problems especially if global public goods are competitively and consistently supplied in a true spatial context. Illustrative examples of challenges for global science to tackle these two issues will conclude the presentation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Uncontrolled Keywords: IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2016 12:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:26

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