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Saturday, February 12, 2022

Potential Systems Science Contributions to Shifting the Human Extinction Trajectory toward a Positive Direction
Location: online
Time: 7am to 9am
Description:
Russell Boulding
Abstract: The current human population overshoot curve trajectory is toward a catastrophic collapse of human population and greatly reduced planetary carrying capacity. In a best-case scenario a quantum leap in human consciousness could allow rapid necessary decline in population and harmonization with the Earth's carrying capacity without pain and suffering. Between these horrendous and sublime scenarios lies a possible future where systems science has the potential to help flatten the overshoot curve in a way that brings Homo sapiens into harmony with each other and all life on the planet. Especially relevant systems science concepts for flattening the overshoot curve include (1) systemic leverage points--SLPs--which may serve to counter pathology or be life affirming in ways that create positive change and (2) systemic nurturance spaces that create the conditions for widening positive change. Drawing on an ongoing compilation of systemic leverage points, eleven LPs are identified with high potential for positive systems change as well as a half dozen systems models that focus on creating positive system change. There are five types of systemic nurturance spaces that are able to complement and enhance the application of SLPs. Kenneth Boulding's two laws of the universe provide a way of looking toward a positive future for humanity.
 
Bio: Russell Boulding got a start in the environmental field  helping the Environmental Defense Fund set up their Denver office in 1973 and spent forty+ years as a free-lance environmental consultant working with citizen and public interest groups and government agencies to address environmental problems from coal-mining and use and the assessment and remediation of soil and groundwater contamination. His clients included most of the major national environmental organizations, many regional and state citizens groups, the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. EPA Handbook of Groundwater and Wellhead Protection and Pocket Field Guide for Description and Sampling of Contaminated Soils are among his many publications. He is a relative newcomer to ISSS having joined in late 2020, though growing up with Kenneth Boulding as a father gave him a natural tendency to approach all that he did as an environmental scientist with a systems perspective.