Archives: Technical Papers

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.

Correcting Canada’s “one eye shut” climate policy

Angela V. Carter and Truzaar Dordi

April 15, 2021 • This paper shows how growing oil and gas production is impeding Canada from meeting its climate commitments, outlines how the federal government is now supporting oil and gas production growth, and recommends specific policies the federal government could adopt in the near-term to begin a phase out of oil and gas production.

Pension funds at a crossroads: Incremental greening or bold climate leadership?

Scott Janzwood

February 23, 2021 • This paper investigates the forces constraining pension funds from taking a bolder leadership role in the net-zero carbon energy transition. It presents strategies for organizations, activists, and researchers to accelerate pension fund leadership on a timescale that is commensurate with the urgency of the climate crisis.

Max – a thought experiment: Could AI run the economy better than markets?

Edward A. (Ted) Parson

October 29, 2020 • This paper explores how recent advances in AI have re-opened questions around the feasibility and desirability of central economic planning. It presents a thought experiment about how an AI-directed economy might work, based on a powerful AI agent (whimsically named “Max”).

The social distancing norm cascade

Scott Janzwood

April 27, 2020 • This paper analyzes the rapid and widespread changes in attitudes and behaviours toward social distancing practices during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights how incentives and social network dynamics interact with belief systems to determine whether or not people act consistently with their underlying beliefs.