Positive Pathways report

The Cascade Institute's analysis on positive pathways through polycrisis

Technical Paper #2024-2

Version Number: 1.0

June 27, 2024

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Michael Lawrence and Megan Shipman

Polycrisis analysis reveals the complex and systemic nature of the world’s problems, but it can also help us pursue “positive pathways” to better futures. This report outlines the sorts of systems changes required to avoid, mitigate, and navigate through polycrisis given the dual nature of crises as harmful disasters and opportunities for transformation. It then examines the progression between three prominent approaches to systems change—leverage points, tipping points, and multi-systemic stability landscapes—by highlighting their advances and limitations. The report concludes that new tools like Cross-Impact Balance analysis can build on these approaches to help navigate through polycrisis by identifying stable and desirable multi-systemic equilibria.