Cocktail of crises

30Nov09

A cocktail of crises will overcome the world if we do not act according to Jean Francois Rischards. If we could establish networks of experts to create worldwide solutions and norms, a yearly performance dashboard will urge governments into action. The question raised is the openness of the expert-network, if it’s not truely open, how do we prevent these expert-networks from becoming the same laggards as the politicians?

Crises-cocktail: According to Jean Francois Rischard the economic(bank) crisis is just the first we will experience the coming years. He foresees another crisis next year (2010) when only 50% of people are working, due to a shrinking birthrate and higher life-expectation. This will endanger the pensions of the vast growing elderly generation, because governmental-balance sheets are already in the red since they helped out the banks.

After that (around 2015) the demand for oil and gas will outgrow the offer of mineral fuels. By that time the demand in China’s and other emerging countries will have risen enormous and the price-pressure on fuel will do the rest. To complete his cocktail of crises he concludes with the ecosystem crisis in 2025. Erosian and deforestation together with the melting icecaps (and the rise of the sealevels) will bring a substantial lack of clean (drink) water and the extinction of numurous types of fish. It will distort the ecosystems that we depend on for our living.

Politicians are laggards, could expert-networks energize new solutions?

Not a nice view of the world and it leaves out the possible solutions we (as a world) could and will come up with. Rischards is not all that optimistic if we leave that quest to politicians and the nation-states. In his view it will take networks of experts from NGO’s and businesses who will be facilitated by institutions. Each of the 20 or so issues that have to be solved will be taken on by such an expert-network. It’s an expertise driven effort that would go in a seclusion mode for 2 or 3 years (to become a global citizen). The networks have to come up with (detailed) normsets as if the world was under a single management. Once a year they would publish the leadtable (dashboards) that shows what the big issues are and where each government is on the scale of being a good citizen on those 20 issues. It would help create new directions for politics and push the nation states politician more twords the global issues and the long term problem solving. In Rischards view it is a substitute for not being able to have global government.

Networks and norms

The network approach is a nice start to energize new solutions. It’s true that the naming and shaming would push governments into action. Though in a network approach the experts would not be appointed by the institutions, they would emerge from the worldwide involvement with these issues. If the delegates at Copenhagen 2009 will be the representatives of the global debate on these issues, it would still be political controlled. So how can we solve the composition assignment and prevent this collection of experts from being influenced by its reigning-powers? In a network this is prevented by the activitystream. If you are no longer trusted, people will not endorse or follow your talks. Who would you trust to be the judging-audience of the experts?

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