Global Polycrisis Project

Humanity faces an array of grave, long-term challenges, now often labeled “global systemic risks.” They include climate change, biodiversity loss, pandemics, widening economic inequalities, financial system instability, ideological extremism, pernicious social impacts of digitalization, mounting social and political unrest, large-scale forced migrations, and an escalating danger of nuclear war. Compared to humanity’s situation even two decades ago, most of these risks appear to be increasing in severity and at a faster rate, while the crises they generate seem to be occurring more often simultaneously.

The ultimate result of these converging and interacting systemic risks could be a global polycrisis—a single, macro-crisis of interconnected, runaway failures of Earth’s vital natural and social systems that irreversibly degrades humanity’s prospects.

The Global Polycrisis Project aims to create an international consortium of institutes to pursue a collaborative research program that:

  1. identifies mechanisms that could lead to sharp nonlinearities in global systems;
  2. identifies mechanisms that are synchronizing stresses and behavior across physical and social systems, increasing the risk of a global polycrisis; and
  3. identifies high-leverage intervention points in cultural, institutional, and technological systems that, if exploited, could greatly reduce this risk—and in turn accelerate humanity’s transition to a more just, prosperous, and stable future.