Today, we know more about the universe than about our society. It's time to use the power of information to explore social and economic life on Earth and discover options for a sustainable future. Together, we can manage the challenges of the 21st century, combining the best of all knowledge.
The FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator is a previously unseen multidisciplinary international scientific endeavour with focus on techno-socio-economic-environmental systems. The three main achievements of the FuturICT flagship will be the establishment of
- a Living Earth Simulator (global-scale simulation of techno-socio-economic systems),
- Crisis Observatories (for financial instabilities, scarcity of resources, emerging risks and conflicts, epidemics, etc.), and
- an Innovation Accelerator (identifying innovations early on, evaluating them across disciplines and supporting co-creation projects between different scientific disciplines, business, and governance).
Comment: This is not a new idea but has expanded to a great extent. The 2004/2005 proposal “Re-configuring the Global Organisms' Operating System Through Mobile Democracy” mentions a whole earth simulation of knowledge layers + mobile connectivity to access & add to systems so that more people are involved in the shaping of our world. The Earth Intelligence Network in connection with Medard Gabel has been advocating an EarthGame + a strategic analytic model to jump-start a prosperous world @peace.
Below was posted at the Games for Change forum on the subject:
Knowingly or unwittingly, these efforts (and countless other virtual globes) are progeny of the early dreams of visualizing observed and numerically predicted phenomena and metabolic flows of our planet like Lewis Fry Richardson's Forecast Factory and Buckminster Fuller's Geoscope. Fuller proposed that global visualization tools be integrated with what he coined design science – hoping that making the interconnections between environmental, social, and economic trends would encourage comprehensive and anticipatory approaches to designing societies within his World Game. Though data was critical within these proposals, he was also attempting to demonstrate how aesthetics, narrative, meaning, and play are essential elements for creating engaging experiences to engage participants. Many of the more scientifically-focused efforts haven't been too concerned with these non-data aspects of the design, though that's gradually changing due to the pragmatic challenges of communicating complexity for effective action.
Of course today we have unparalleled volumes of freely available observational datasets about planetary systems as well as the ability to visualize them, though surprisingly very few games actually taking advantage of these. A recent notable exception is Fate of the World, which contains a climate model for running scenarios (though it relies more on card game play than visualizations). Also, my company works closely with different agencies to incorporate datasets into immersive gaming and visualizations environments. There will undoubtedly (or at least hopefully) be many more developed over the coming years as humanity grapples with the interconnected challenges presented by our attempts to evolve into a responsible superorganism…