Use the future to build the present
Managing the Global Commons
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

4.5.4Managing the Global Commons

The oceans, the atmosphere, the polar regions and outer space are part of the global commons that humanity relies on for a wide range of resources and activities.
They are governed in part by international treaties and environmental laws but new technologies and better understanding of these regions often reveal serious shortcomings in this system of governance.13,14 Tension over these commons is often a potential source of conflict and finding ways to reduce these tensions will be a significant goal for science diplomacy.15,16 At the same time, new forms of digital commons now underlie much of our society and provide an increasingly important environment for communication, for economic activity and for virtual conflict. An important role for science diplomacy will be to anticipate the effects of science and technology on the global commons and to find innovative ways to avoid or mitigate the shortcomings in governance.

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

National bodies call for action over resources held in common

Studies of large parts of oceans protected from exploitation — Marine Protection Areas — provide evidence that international action can bring about significant beneficial change to global commons. Cyber commons are increasingly exploited in ways that threaten the stability, freedom and utility of the online world. Academic efforts in science diplomacy begin to formulate solutions.

10-yearhorizon

Unilateral geoengineering creates science diplomacy challenges

Non-state actors begin pumping sulphur dioxide into the upper atmosphere to reduce the amount of energy reaching Earth from the Sun. The move tests the limits of environmental law and challenges conventional governance models and climate justice processes. Non-state actors begin to recruitstaff trained in science diplomacy.

25-yearhorizon

Science diplomacy limits damaging exploitation of commons

State and non-state actors working with science diplomacy experts, come together to formulate and update international agreement on some global commons exploitation, such as active cooling of the atmosphere.

Managing the Global Commons - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

GESDA Best Reads and Key Resources