We now find ourselves as a systems thinking community inquiring into planetary governance for climate and ecological politics. The Anthropocene demands a planetary response, and yet we often find even our fellow travelers tethered to discourses of technological management, cultural change, and right action. We might now advocate a stronger role for social systems design as a process for continual engagement of citizen stakeholders, and between these citizens and policy makers, as advocated by Christakis, Ulrich and others. As we have seen power (economic and political) separate from its cultural histories, and become globalized, we may find ourselves in trajectories of action but with marginal power to effect societal outcomes.
We are faced with a dual mandate of restorative system design, recovering human needs in our communities, and policy system design, restoring the long historical arc toward democratic governance. And as these are both designable contexts, systemic design can integrate ecological, technological and design thinking to guide policy in more productive ways.
• We find ourselves captured in the politics of solutionism. Most presentations of the “problems” as stated before us reveal a trajectory of preferred solutions and their possible shortcomings.
• Climate change, even the entire Anthropocene aeonic perspective, represents a problematique of multiple effects systems. We are bound up in political discourses of “system change” and do not share a compelling common view of a flourishing world. We seem unable to reregister the most compelling societal choices and drivers save carbon mitigation.
• We have not conducted, to my knowledge, a substantial stakeholder discovery that extends beyond the immediate and obvious primary combatants in the climate change wars.
• As citizens and political actors on the planetary stage, we have been afraid or unable to present a clear view of the risk scenarios, possible governance strategies, or a normative plan for serious global investment. If the planet were a business concern, it would be in receivership by now.