Interventions for

rapid global change

NASA-Earth-PS1800

Interventions for Rapid Global Change

The Cascade Institute is a Canadian research center that addresses the full range of humanity’s converging environmental, economic, political, technological, and health crises. Using advanced methods to map and model complex global systems, we identify and help implement high-leverage interventions that could rapidly shift humanity’s course towards fair and sustainable prosperity.

What Happens When a Cascade of Crises Collide?

New York Times article by Thomas Homer-Dixon and Johan Rockström — Today’s mess is best understood as a global polycrisis—a term which implies that humanity is dealing with a complex knot of seemingly distinct but actually deeply entangled crises.

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.

Putin isn’t bluffing about using nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Globe and Mail article by Thomas Homer-Dixon — Russian President Vladimir Putin is forcing the West to play a dangerous game of chicken, and he’s about to throw his steering wheel out the window.

RECENT RESEARCH

14 lessons for social movement success

Amy Janzwood
January 21, 2022 • 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.

Pension funds and the post-pandemic economy: A shift to bold climate leadership

Scott Janzwood
February 23, 2021 • This Brief analyzes the impact of the pandemic on pension funds and presents strategies for organizations, activists, and researchers to accelerate pension fund leadership on climate change.

Network dynamics of the pandemic shock: Three network shifts and why they matter

Jinelle Piereder
January 11, 2021 • This Brief analyzes three major shifts in humanity’s networks that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered or accelerated: (1) network centralization, (2) network fragmentation and reconfiguration, and (3) network formation. It then examines the impact of these shifts across economic, food, information, and governance systems.

What is a global polycrisis?

Michael Lawrence, Scott Janzwood, and Thomas Homer-Dixon
September 16, 2022 • This discussion paper argues that the concept of “global polycrisis” provides a useful framework with which to understand and address major problems afflicting humanity today.

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

Ian Graham, Ellen Quigley, Scott Janzwood, and Thomas Homer-Dixon
May 27, 2022 • This opportunity analysis makes the case that Canada can and should become the global leader in ultra-deep geothermal electricity production.

A call for an international research program on the risk of a global polycrisis

Thomas Homer-Dixon, Ortwin Renn, Johan Rockström, Jonathan F. Donges, and Scott Janzwood
March 8, 2022 • This paper calls for a research program to investigate this moment’s seemingly sharp amplification, acceleration, and synchronization of systemic risks.