Interventions for

rapid global change


Interventions for Rapid Global Change

The Cascade Institute is a Canadian research centre addressing converging global crises. We analyze complex global systems to anticipate future crises and identify high-leverage interventions to rapidly shift humanity’s course.



A screenshot of the website

A hub for the growing polycrisis community

Megan Shipman and Scott Janzwood

The Cascade Institute has launched a new website,, to serve as a hub for a more inclusive polycrisis community to converge around a rough consensus on priorities for research and action.

Globe and Mail

Let’s avoid ‘trigger fixation’

Michael Lawrence and Thomas Homer-Dixon

A trigger event can’t start a crisis by itself; some underlying stress or stresses must also be operating. Our leaders should pay far more attention to these stresses, because they’re ultimately far more important.

Technical Paper

Deep Geothermal Superpower: Canada’s potential for a breakthrough in enhanced geothermal systems

Ian Graham, Ellen Quigley, Scott Janzwood, and Thomas Homer-Dixon

This opportunity analysis makes the case that Canada can and should become the global leader in ultra-deep geothermal electricity production.

Technical Paper

Global polycrisis: The causal mechanisms of crisis entanglement

Michael Lawrence, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Scott Janzwood, Johan Rockström, Ortwin Renn, and Jonathan F. Donges
This paper defines the concept of global polycrisis, highlights its value-added in comparison to related concepts, and provides a theoretical framework to explain causal mechanisms currently entangling many of the world’s crises.

Mapping the global systemic consequences of the Ukraine-Russia War

Systems map by Michael Lawrence
A systems diagram charting the knock-on effects of the Ukraine-Russia War — and the vicious cycles that are emerging from them.

Every politically feasible pathway to net-zero requires a technological breakthrough

National Observer article by Scott Janzwood
Distrust of new technology runs deep in the climate movement. But we don’t have the critical green technologies we need to get us to net-zero by 2050 — and assuming we do is wishful thinking.

Public policy and the polycrisis

Video featuring Thomas Homer-Dixon

A discussion about the public policy implications of the polycrisis at the Canada School of Public Service’s Deputy Minister’s breakfast.


14 lessons for social movement success

Amy Janzwood

This brief summarizes lessons from the academic literature for building successful social movements. It outlines several core insights with an eye on their practical application for social movements, advocacy campaigns, and their supporters.


‘Trigger fixation’ and trauma in the midst of global wildfires

Video featuring Scott Janzwood

Royal Roads President Philip Steenkamp speaks with the Cascade Institute’s Research Director, Scott Janzwood, who says we need to overcome our fixation on wildfire triggers, like lightning or irresponsible campers. Instead, he stresses the importance of looking at the underlying reasons for the increased frequency and intensity we’re seeing across the country.