Disruptions for the future: A new chapter for Sino-EU climate change cooperation (Article in China Watch)

Preview Policy Report.png

Role: Author

Short context
Here is my article about a new disruption approach to climate change that was published as part of China Watch first "Policy Review Report" for the China-EU Summit. Download the full Preview Policy Report here. Or see a web-version of my article here.

Full text
All major studies clearly indicate that current climate measures are far from enough. Still, most of the discussions about climate action revolve around more of the same. This makes little sense, as we need radical reductions, have just entered the fourth industrial revolution, and will see major changes in all parts of society. We have a unique opportunity to leapfrog current obstacles and focus on paths toward an ecological civilization by supporting the disruptive and exciting changes needed, rather than incremental improvements in existing systems.

To move beyond more of the same will require us to rethink first, why we need to reduce emissions; second, what we want to achieve;and third, how we can achieve it. The standard answers to the above questions are:

1. We need to reduce emissions in order to avoid a 1.5°C, or at least a 2°C, warming.

2. We want to achieve a zero-carbon economy sometime between 2050 and 2100.

3. We can achieve what we want by engaging the big polluters and help them reduce their emissions.

Let’s start with why we need to reduce emissions. Over the years the 2°C goal, and lately the updated 1.5 °C goal, has become the way to express the dangerous climate change that we must avoid. There is no doubt that a 1.5°C , let alone a 2°C, warming is likely to result in extremely severe suffering and irreversible damage to the world's ecosystems. Still, for the vast majority of both citizens and decision makers the 2°C goal has not been enough to move them outside their comfort zone.

If we instead answered the question why we need to reduce emissions by saying: To avoid the end of human civilization, and even the end of the human species, we are likely to get a fundamentally different response.

We can expect an initial period of doubt where many would initially dismiss climate change as an existential threat as hyperbole. This is understandable, as we live in a time of exaggerations. In this case, however, it would become clear that theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC)and leading scientists for a long time have provided probabilities for extreme warming that potentially could end human civilization.

The latest assessment report by IPCC indicated, for example, that the exceedance probability for 5°C is more than 1 in 100 for the current amount of emissions in the atmosphere. If we reach 600 PPM, something that is highly likely looking at current trends, the probability of more than 5°C warming is above one in four and the probability for more than 10°C warming is 1 in 100. This kind of extreme and rapid warming would threaten human civilization as no meaningful adaptation measures exist.

If we compare the acceptance for other events such as fatal flight crashes (approximately one in a million probability), the probability for 10°C warming that could mean the end of human civilization, is magnitudes higher. It is worth noting that the uncertainty regarding these numbers are significant, a fact that makes rapid action even more urgent.

With climate change understood as an existential threat we could move from a discussion about how much we can still emit, so called carbon budgets, to how fast we must reduce emissions in order to keep the probability of catastrophic events as low as possible. New groups, with a focus on large-scale disruptive solutions and unafraid of ambitious projects, could emerge as the next generation of climate action leaders.

Some people will argue that talking about an existential threat is too scary, and that people need inspiration, not fear. Let’s start with the argument that the information is too scary. What should matter is if the information is true or not, not if it seen as scary by some people. Many of those who are objecting to discuss climate change as an existential threat are those afraid of rapid change, both in business and in the environmental community.

What these groups see as only scary, a new generation of policymakers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and climate activists, also view as scary, but also inspirational. The urgency is a call to action, to explore new ideas and try new things, and to do this in collaboration on a global scale. Many individuals and groups have begun to base their whole way of working around the need to deliver what is actually required.

This brings us to the second question, what we want to achieve, a question that also addresses the need for inspiration. The current goal – a zero-carbon world – is important but is only an absence of a bad, not a positive, vision of the future. With rapid technological development, emerging new business models, values in support of global collaboration and greater understanding about the complexity of nature, we have the opportunity to establish a much more exciting and ambitious vision.

A seed for such an inspirational vision could be the idea of a global eco-civilization by 2100 with a focus on science, natural beauty and art, where everyone has a flourishing guaranteed income and society is based on what half of the earth can provide (to leave room for other species to thrive). Solving the urgent climate challenge would then be an important step toward the next era for humankind. Instead of different groups addressing different problems in isolation, we would likely see different groups come together to help accelerate the change toward an eco-civilization from different directions.

Now for the third question, how we will achieve this? If we view climate change as an existential threat and have an attractive vision for the future, it becomes obvious that the kind of tinkering with carbon prices, transparency in relation to emissions and attempt to get big emitters to reduce emissions, might actually be part of an incremental problem-based approach. Instead we need to embrace disruptive change and promote the tools and initiatives that support such change. A global network of solution accelerators for zero-carbon solutions in support of an eco-civilization should be launched as soon as possible.

If the Sino-EU annual summit makes progress in at least one of the areas above it would be an important contribution to a new chapter for global climate action.

Dennis Pamlin, founder and CEO of 21st Century Frontiers and senior adviser at the Research Institutes of Sweden. The author contributed this article to China Watch exclusively. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of China Watch.

 

UNDP and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden launch ‘SDG Trend Scanner’

cq5dam.web.1280.1280.jpeg

Role: Project supervisor

Link to webpage:
https://sdg.trendscanner.online/ 

Press release
New York, July 17 – The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden today jointly launched ‘SDG Trend Scanner’— a new initiative to explore ways to harness rapid and disruptive trends to help advance the 2030 Agenda and deliver on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Disruptive trends are becoming increasingly important because they change the way we think, behave or do business. They uproot traditional thinking and alter the way we go about our day-to-day activities, as many of the technologies underpinning them are more powerful and interlinked than ever. The SDG Trend Scanner initiative will enable companies, the public sector, and other stakeholders to strategically use trends as drivers for accelerated progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including by catalyzing scalable innovations and opportunities for public-private partnerships.

“Disruptive trends in technologies, business models and values, sometimes perceived as threats, can be harnessed and leveraged to empower people and countries to pursue their development aspirations. We look forward to working with RISE and explore the opportunities that our joint SDG Trend Scanner initiative provides,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

Through this joint initiative, UNDP and RISE will engage with key stakeholders such as the industry leaders, international organizations and academia to help facilitate a platform for collaboration and partnerships. The initiative will also explore ways for different stakeholders to leverage disruptive trends through collaborative research, innovative pilots in specific areas, development of new tools or expansion of existing tools to leverage trends for global sustainability, and capacity development of policymakers and relevant stakeholders towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

Ms. Kajsa B Olofsgård, Sweden’s Ambassador for the 2030 Agenda, stated, “We live in times with fast technological and societal changes; with a need to understand and adapt in a pace we are not accustomed to. The challenges raised by climate change, conflicts and increasing amounts of people in vulnerable conditions are also more imperative than ever. We must be capable of finding solutions and actions that not only present a short-term relief but takes us in the direction of the world we want to create for ourselves and for coming generations. The SDG Trend Scanner initiative will provide us with better basis for wise decisions.”

“Global sustainability and the 2030 Agenda are rapidly emerging as key drivers for innovation. For RISE this collaboration is an important step towards our goal to become a stronger innovation partner for businesses and society. We will bring decades of innovation experience and look forward to use different parts of our organization in collaboration with UNDP to ensure a successful outcome of the SDG Trend Scanner initiative,” said RISE CEO Pia Sandvik.

Media Queries:

At UNDP: Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, sangita.khadka@undp.org, Tel: +1 212 906 5043

At RISE: Dennis Pamlin, Senior Advisor, RISE: +46 10 516 60 07, dennis.pamlin@ri.se

Disruptive Trends for Global Sustainability (Concept Note) UNDP-RISE

Role: Project Supervisor

Summary
This project explores different ways of identifying and understanding disruptive trends, so that they can be used to deliver on global sustainability, starting with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): the 17 global goals set by the United Nations.

Rapid changes in society triggered by disruptive trends, including rapid technological development, new business models and shifting values, provide a window of opportunity for a platform that explores how these disruptive trends are understood; and how they can be leveraged to accelerate progress towards global sustainability goals.

Disruptive trends are becoming increasingly important as the pace of change in society is increasing and many of technologies underpinning them are more powerful and interlinked than ever. By better understanding different disruptive trends, including their likely impacts, probabilities, uncertainties, links to each other, time horizons, etc, we
can support strategic decisions that can help deliver on our global sustainability goals.

The project will initially identify the potentially disruptive trends and their relation to the SDGs by analyzing leading trend assessments. In a second phase AI/machine learning will be used to gather additional information about potential disruptive trends.

New ways to visualize, collect and process information, as well as tools that allow for interaction with large data sets, make it possible to present complex information in ways that can be understood and used by more stakeholders, eg they can be tailor-made for different users depending on need.

In summary, in order to ensure global sustainability there is an urgent need to ensure that disruptive trends can be used strategically by all relevant stakeholders.

Link to concept note leaflet

Digital Sustainability (full report)

Role: Author

Summary
This report is an introduction to digital sustainability and a net-positive approach.

Digital sustainability is the means by which digitalisation,
as a key part of the fourth industrial revolution, can deliver on
the global sustainability goals. In this report, when we refer to ICT solutions, we mean any solution that is enabled by digitalisation: not only classical ICT solutions such as teleworking, but also many of the new innovative solutions, including most new business models based on services rather than products, as these require ICT systems.

In a net-positive approach, the focus is on how an organisation can provide the sustainable solutions that are needed in various different parts of society, beyond its own operation. This differs from a traditional sustainability perspective, in which the focus is on philanthropy and the
organisation’s negative impacts over its life cycle.

Link to full report 

Digital Sustainability (abridged version)

Role: Author

Summary
This is an introduction to digital sustainability and a net-positive approach for companies, as well as an overview of how Cybercom is working with clients to deliver sustainable solutions. Net positive is an approach in which the focus is on how a company, primarily through its goods and services, can provide the sustainable solutions that are needed in various parts of society. This differs from a traditional sustainably perspective, which tends to consider only the company’s negative impacts over the lifecycle.

Link to the abridged version

Belt and Road Initiative's 'new vision' (article in China Daily)

Role: author

Op-ed in China Daily

Full text
The Belt and Road Initiative is one of the most important initiatives on the planet right now. Not because of its economic and geographical magnitude, but because of its potential to create something new and much needed. The initiative has the potential to take a significant step toward a 21st-century sustainable network that connects all countries in a way that benefits everyone on more equal terms.

In order for Belt and Road to be the first major infrastructure project to integrate a digital sustainability perspective for the 21st century, and actually deliver on the ground, global collaboration is needed.

At China's 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China last month, the Belt and Road Initiative was included in the Party's Constitution. There now can be no doubt about the long-term commitment on the Chinese side. Minor delays and setbacks are therefore less important, but partnerships that support the initiative's ambitious agenda, especially the sustainability and digitalization agenda, are needed. Here, the European Union could play an important role, especially in central and eastern areas where significant investment will occur.

At the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in May, President Xi Jinping summarized the sustainability and digitalization aspect of Belt and Road in the following way:

For sustainability, "we should pursue the new vision of green development and a way of life and work that is green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable. Efforts should be made to strengthen cooperation in ecological and environmental protection and build a sound ecosystem so as to realize the goals set by the (United Nations') 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

For digitalization, "we should pursue innovation-driven development and intensify cooperation in frontier areas such as digital economy, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and quantum computing, and advance the development of big data, cloud computing and smart cities so as to turn them into a digital silk road of the 21st century."

An infrastructure project with such an approach to sustainability and digitalization is very different from what we see today around the world, including in the EU and China.

In the same way as we cannot any longer only think of paper books in a world with e-books, or CDs in a world where it is possible to stream music, we cannot think of roads, bridges and tunnels only as physical constructions. We need to include all-new sustainable ways that can provide the service the old infrastructure used to provide.

Today, people can have meetings virtually and work remotely, and we are just in the beginning of a revolution with additive manufacturing. Rapid technological development in key areas allows goods and people to move in new ways, from drones to ultra-high-speed trains. The combined result of trends like these is the possibility of a radically different infrastructure, one that can be globally sustainable.

We must ask what goods must move physically, what can be produced more efficiently locally, what can be dematerialized, and what can use new smart means of transportation, in order to ensure global sustainability and fair economic development.

Further, the physical infrastructure must merge with the digital. A smart resource-efficient and fossil-free physical infrastructure can even be a net producer of renewable energy in many cases.

For international collaboration to happen, it is important that the vision and goals of the Belt and Road Initiative are communicated; a dedicated webpage would be appropriate. On this webpage, different aspects, including digitalization and sustainability, but also peace, prosperity and innovation, could be reported in close to real time. This would allow interested stakeholders to help improve and access relevant information.

A global sustainability filter should also be developed and implemented in all strategic projects. Such a filter would increase the probability that all infrastructure projects, not just Belt and Road projects, support a sustainable global economy in 2100. This future world is likely to include at least 11 billion people, must emit no greenhouse gas emissions, and must be based on a sustainable and equitable use of natural resources.

If the Belt and Road Initiative contributes to such global sustainability, it will be a physical and digital road toward an ecological civilization.

The author is founder of Sweden-based consultancy 21st Century Frontiers. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

(China Daily European Weekly 11/24/2017 page9)

Link to the article 

Without US, progress still possible (Article in China Daily)

f04da2db112219ab001e4b.jpg

Role: author

Full text
The retreat by the White House from the international sustainability debate could free rest of the world to find solution to daunting environmental challenges

There was an unprecedented outcry from many leading sustainability experts - especially in the United States - when Donald J. Trump was elected as president. Several challenges exist, but his lack of understanding when it comes to climate science and other environmental challenges, as demonstrated during the campaign process, is deeply troubling.

There are many other difficult challenges, but from a global perspective there could also be a number of interesting opportunities. If the next US government continues with the campaign's disrespect for science, lack of interest in climate change, reluctance to engage in global challenges, etc., the US will find itself isolated.

Such a situation presents an opportunity - one could argue a responsibility - for countries like China to take on a much more active role in global sustainability.

Before we consider the opportunities, let's remember that while the US is still a very important country, it is still only one among many on the planet. US influence is also dwindling as a new generation of countries are emerging (and re-emerging) on the global scene.

So, in some ways Trump's lack of interest in global sustainability issues could provide a situation similar to the one we would be likely to face anyway in a few years, where global leadership will come from outside the US.

It is easy to forget that more than 7 billion people, 94 percent, of the global population, are living outside the US. Even from an economic perspective, 75 (nominal) or 87 (PPP) percent of the global economy is found outside the US.

Given the current situation, the world is likely to be presented with an opportunity for significant improvements on a global level in three areas.

First is the role of science in society. There is a significant opportunity for the rest of the world to strengthen the status and role of science. There is now room for a global science initiative with a huge budget and a mandate to begin the work to create new institutions. Such an initiative could be launched by the G20 and include all interested countries. This initiative could explore how we can increase collaboration around key future issues, from space exploration to the next generation of particle accelerators.

Equally important is to strengthen the level of general education in society. Here, the media, both old and new, have a significant role to play. For the first time in human history, we could see a global science initiative by all major news organizations around the world.

To ensure engagement from the younger generation, stakeholders like the Kahn Academy and leading science communicators, such as Derek Muller of Veritasium and video journalist Brady Haran, could help develop new ways of communicating science and support global scientific education.

Not only is scientific knowledge important for many future jobs, it is increasingly important to understand the world as a citizen. Without an understanding of science, the assumptions, methodologies, probability estimations, uncertainty, global challenges like climate change and pandemics are difficult to understand.

Second is global governance. With the withdrawal of the United States, the rest of the world could potentially see the first attempt at real global governance. This might be the most significant opportunity from a long-term perspective. We need to move from an international to a global perspective; we need to move from a reactive to a proactive agenda; we need to move from global competition to global collaboration. Perhaps most important, we need to move beyond an international perspective to a global perspective because members of the next generation see themselves as global citizens to a much larger degree than today.

The urgent need to work together as a global community to solve global sustainability challenges has never been greater. There are at least 12 global risks that threaten human civilization, and it is only a matter of time before the old structures need to be replaced or fundamentally reformed if we are to avoid a global catastrophe. When structures fundamentally change, old stakeholders tend to cling on to what they have. With the US potentially becoming uninterested in proactive global governance, the probability for a smooth transition might now be higher than it ever will be.

Third is city collaboration. For many issues we need concrete action all around the world. Climate change, for example, requires that emissions all around the world must be reduced, and that must start now.

Slow progress in international multilateral negotiations so far will only be slower with a reluctant US. However, much of the actual implementation falls on local governments, mainly cities. New tools for city collaboration should be a global priority, as this could accelerate the uptake of sustainable solutions as well as strengthen global collaboration.

In all three areas above, China has a leading role to play. China is one of the most, if not the most, science-driven society on the planet. Few governments have the scientific skill set or culture that China has. Its society is also supported by media, including initiatives like ScienceNet. It's a population that has significant understanding and respect for science.

China, together with other emerging countries, has also made significant progress when it comes to new international financial institutions. The G20 presidency demonstrated China's capacity and interest in long-term global policy-making.

In China, there are also several leading cities, such as Baoding, Hebei province, that are already leading providers of sustainable solutions. The country's network of low-carbon cities could become a core part of a global network of zero-carbon cities with global exports.

In conclusion, we are likely to see some significant challenges and frictions over the coming years, but we should not ignore the unique opportunities for historic changes that lie before us.

The author is the founder of 21st Century Frontiers in Sweden. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

Link to original text

Zero-Carbon Transition Index (ZTI) 2016

Role: author

Summary
As the world moves into implementation of the Paris agreement, an agreement that is notoriously vague even by international environmental agreements standards, it is important to understand the broader context for a transition to a zero-carbon society. One of the most important factors that will decide the outcome of the Paris agreement is the kind of stakeholder that will influence the international agenda.

There are many ways that different stakeholders can influence the international agenda in many different ways, but based on historic experience international media, leading policy makers, key academic institutions, international organizations, etc. will act very much in line with the companies that are the most powerful and the agenda they promote.1 These companies does not only have significant investments in R&D and enormous PR /lobby budgets, they are also overrepresented in key fora, including industry groups and agenda-setting processes such as OECD, B20, and WEF.

Currently, and perhaps surprisingly, the domination by pro-fossil companies among the world’s top-50 companies is record high. The situation today is even worse than back in 1996, when the Kyoto protocol was negotiated. In other words, 20 years of negotiations, discussions and actions to reduce global carbon emissions have failed to deliver a new generation of proactive zero-carbon companies on the same scale as the old fossil companies. What we have today is a situation when the top-50 companies on the planet are dominated by fossil friendly companies on an unprecedented scale.

The zero-carbon transition index (ZTI) is a tool to enhance transparency regarding how biggest companies on the planet are likely to use their influence. The ZTI uses the revenue data from Fortune Global 500 to select the top-50 companies in the world as measured by revenue.2 These companies are then divided into five categories depending on how they invest, communicate and lobby with regards to the greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions needed to avoid dangerous climate change.

The five categories are “very obstructive”, “obstructive”, “neutral”, “supportive”, and “very supportive”. The companies in the category very obstructive are given the value -100, the obstructive -50, the neutral 0, the supportive +50, and the very supportive +100. The values are added together and then divided by the total number of companies to get the ZTI.

The ZTI for 1996 was -38, for 2008 -27 and now for 2015 it is -39.

Download the full report

Beijing’s plan shows path to the future (article China Daily)

Role: author

Full text
Unhampered by old vested interests, the 13th Five-Year Plan is a good guide for how the world can support global sustainability

Different parts of China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) have been discussed intensively in recent months. Now, after the National People's Congress has approved the plan, it is time to put the full final document in a global context.

This five-year plan is probably one of the most important documents on the planet when it comes to long-term global security and sustainability. There are many aspects that deserve further elaboration, but three parts are of particular importance for governments, companies and NGOs around the world that want to support global sustainability.

Before discussing the three key sustainability areas of the plan, a historic perspective is needed to fully understand its importance.

From a Chinese perspective, this might be the most important five-year plan ever. For all previous plans, China could draw on inspiration from other countries. Now, China is moving so fast into uncharted territories that it is hard to use any country as inspiration to any significant degree. The transition from an old industrial economy to a new and sustainable service economy also requires the kind of systemic overview that the plan provides.

From a global perspective, this is also a unique five-year plan. If implemented successfully, the 13th Five-Year Plan would position China as the global leader when it comes to the next economic revolution. On the research side, it is now on the same level as the European Union, Japan and the United States. But when it comes to actually ensuring implementation for the transition, the five-year plan is ahead and is a global reference document.

This leadership when it comes to strategies for implementation is not because China has better experts, but rather because its planning processes are not held back by old vested interests in the same way as in Western countries. The result is a strategy in which, instead of setting the old economy against the new, China focuses on how the old industries can help and be helped in the transition to the connected and sustainable service economy.

From a global perspective, three areas are especially important to support and ensure positive development in China that will be crucial for global sustainability.

First, promote new business models that support sustainability. These new models will be based on concepts such as connectivity, sharing, circular economy, networked solutions, transformative transparency, and global sustainability. For new business models to be sustainable they must deliver solutions that are so resource efficient that 10 billion people or more can use the service without destroying the planet.

Such solutions tend to require new clusters of companies, and these need support. Among the actions needed in China and abroad are a review of current incentive structures, new guidance for public procurement, smarter taxation, and a review of old laws that today support old unsustainable companies while holding back new sustainable clusters of companies. New business models often are much more resource efficient, using information and communication technology together with new materials and robotic solutions, so it is important that the benefits are shared within society. If sharing is not ensured, inequity on the national and international levels is likely to explode, given already unsustainable levels today.

Second, open international innovation platforms for global public goods should be established. Support for the establishment of a permanent international coordinating body for global public goods is one important aspect. It could also include strategic support for smart city development in China that supports an accelerated uptake of a new generation of sustainable solutions around the world.

Third, it is time to ensure that we can turn global catastrophic risks into drivers for innovation. There are already a number of challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and nuclear weapons where better collaboration is needed. But there are also emerging challenges in areas such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. All these areas have many things in common and a coordinated approach is needed. The sooner it can begin the better.

As acknowledged in the five-year plan, the transition from an old industrial economy based on traditional drivers to a new service economy based on new drivers will be difficult and sometimes painful. However, there is no realistic alternative. The old economy is destroying the planet and is not resource efficient enough to allow the approximately 10 billion people that will live on the planet by 2100 to live a good life.

Action in the three areas above will not cost very much, but will be crucial to secure a strategic transition to a sustainable economic system globally and establish a new generation of international collaboration. The international support for global sustainability that the 13th Five-Year Plan can deliver must begin now.

The author is an entrepreneur and founder of 21st Century Frontiers in Sweden. He works with companies, governments and NGOs as a strategic economic, technology and innovation adviser. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

Link to original text

12 Risks that threaten human civilisation (Executive Summary)

Role: author with Stuart Armstrong

Summary
This is the executive summery of a report about a limited number of global risks that pose a threat to human civilisation, or even possibly to all human life.

With such a focus it may surprise some readers to nd that the report’s essential aim is to inspire action and dialogue as well as an increased use of the methodologies used for risk assessment. The real focus is not on the almost unimaginable impacts of the risks the report outlines. Its fundamental purpose is to encourage global collaboration and to use this new category of risk as a driver for innovation.

The idea that we face a number of global challenges threatening the very basis of our civilisation at the beginning of the 21st century is well accepted in the scientific community, and is studied at a number of leading universities.I However, there is still no coordinated approach to address this group of challenges and turn them into opportunities.

Link to the Executive Summary
Link to the Full Report

 

12 Risks that threaten human civilisation (Report)

12riskscover.png

Role: author with Stuart Armstrong

Summary
This is a report about a limited number of global risks that pose a threat to human civilisation, or even possibly to all human life.

With such a focus it may surprise some readers to nd that the report’s essential aim is to inspire action and dialogue as well as an increased use of the methodologies used for risk assessment. The real focus is not on the almost unimaginable impacts of the risks the report outlines. Its fundamental purpose is to encourage global collaboration and to use this new category of risk as a driver for innovation.

The idea that we face a number of global challenges threatening the very basis of our civilisation at the beginning of the 21st century is well accepted in the scientific community, and is studied at a number of leading universities.I However, there is still no coordinated approach to address this group of challenges and turn them into opportunities.

Link to report

From a risk perspective the most important in the new IPCC reports are numbers that are not included, i.e > 4 °C (Paper)

Role: author

Summary
GCF welcomes the new AR5 summary for policy makers (SPM) from WGII on Impacts, Adaptation, and vulnerability, and from WGIII on Mitigation as scientifically indisputable and therefore incredibly robust reports that clearly show how serious the impacts for humanity would be already at 2 °C warming, and the devastating impacts at a 4 °C warming. They furthermore clearly show the urgency for global concerted collaboration in order to ensure a world transition to a low-carbon world economy by 2050, only 36 years away.

GCF in particular welcomes that WGII and WGIII emphasise that “assessment of the widest possible range of potential impacts, including low-probability outcomes with large consequences, is central to understanding the benefits and tradeoffs of alternative risk management actions”1, and that “risks associated with the full range of outcomes are relevant to the assessment of mitigation” 2.

While WGII clearly state the need to assess low-probability high-impact outcomes there is no information included about impacts beyond a 4 °C warming. This is unfortunate as the WGI report showed that already 450 ppm concentration can result in more than a 4 °C warming. Similarly, WGIII emphasizes the necessity to consider risks associated with extreme climate change and in particular low probability high impact “tipping points” that could trigger new climate regimes

Link to report

Meetings and mobility in the 2000s (Feasibility study)

Role: author with support from Jeanette Hemmingsson (SIC) and Annika Bondesson (SIC)

Summary
This feasibility study proposes the creation of a web-portal for optimised meetings and mobility. By using new information technology in an easy to understand way that helps government agencies to make strategic choices based on scientific fact, a portal of this kind will contribute to significantly more efficient and less expensive meetings. The portal could also contribute to achieving the environmental objectives formulated by the Government and the EU.

The procurement investigation (Swedish Government Official Reports 2013:12) has identified meetings and mobility as an area where there are many new opportunities and where the goals require transformative changes.1 The starting point for the procurement investigation was that the coming years will involve major changes for government agencies. Technological development, for example, provides entirely new opportunities in a range of areas, from virtual meetings to tools that make it easier to analyse the consequences of different choices. At the same time, the government and the EU's ambitious goals when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions require transformative solutions.

The feasibility study indicates that the portal could contribute to more transformative solutions that can help government agencies to optimise their meetings and mobility. This could allow the government agencies to achieve their goals and reduce their costs by, among other things;

  1. That government agencies receive scientifically verified data when it comes to various environmental and economic consequences of the meetings.

  2. That government agencies can obtain customised information when they need it in the format they require.

  3. That the platform can connect to existing initiatives at the government agencies and build on existing systems for the collection of data enabling the platform to reduce the workload of the agencies.

  4. The platform makes it easier to develop strategies for an increased share of virtual meetings.

  5. Creating a better understanding of all the elements of an agency by allowing customised information to be generated can clarify the consequences of individual choices.

Download the full report

Offentlig upphandling: Möten och mobilitet på 2000-talet (Förstudie)

Role: author with support from Jeanette Hemmingsson (SIC) and Annika Bondesson (SIC)

Summary
Denna förstudie föreslår att en portal för optimerade möten och mobilitet etableras. Genom att använda ny teknik som på ett lättförståeligt sätt underlättar för myndigheter att göra strategiska val baserade på vetenskapliga fakta kan en sådan portal bidra till betydligt effektivare och billigare möten. Portalen skulle även kunna bidra till att de miljömål som regeringen och EU formulerat uppnås.

Upphandlingsutredningen identifierade möten och mobilitet som ett område där många nya möjligheter finns och där mål finns som kräver transformativa förändringar. Utgångspunkten för upphandlingsutredningen var att de kommande åren innebär mycket stora förändringar för myndigheter. Teknikutvecklingen ger t.ex. helt nya möjligheter inom en rad områden, från virtuella möten till verktyg som gör det lättare att analysera konsekvenserna av olika val. Samtidigt har regeringen och EU ambitiösa mål då det gäller minskade utsläpp av växthusgaser som gör att transformativa lösningar krävs.

Förstudien indikerar att portalen skulle kunna bidra till fler transformativa lösningar som kan hjälpa statliga myndigheter att optimera möten och mobilitet. Detta skulle kunna resultera i att myndigheterna kan uppnå sina miljömål och sänka sina omkostnader genom bl.a.

  1. Att myndigheter får vetenskapligt verifierade underlag då det gäller olika miljömässiga och ekonomiska konsekvenser av möten.

  2. Att myndigheter kan få skräddarsydd information när de behöver det i det format som de önskar.

  3. Att plattformen kan knyta an till existerande initiativ på myndigheter och bygga på existerande system för insamlande av data vilket gör att plattformen minskar arbetsbördan för myndigheter.

  4. Att plattformen gör det enklare att utveckla strategier för en ökad andel virtuella möten.

  5. Att skapa en ökad förståelse inom alla delar av en myndighet genom att skräddarsydd information kan genereras som tydliggör konsekvenserna av enskilda val.

Download the full report

From green savings to green profit: Moving towards a 21st century green business model (Article in Economy China)

Role: author

Comment
As I saw how the old CSR perspective from the west undermined interesting work in China I spent some time trying to explain that the reactive/ 0-approach tended to take the company into a dead-end where they did not focus on what society needed, but how they could communicate a zero-impact (often though offsetting). if they wanted to use sustinability as a driver for innovation they needed to take another path. 

Summary
The last years leading companies around the world have begun to shift focus. From only working on their internal environmental problems, they now focus on how they can help provide the solutions the world needs and how their business models can change from a focus on products to the services needed in society.

The reason behind this change is that incremental improvements are not enough, new markets are growing, smart solutions are ready at the same time as we understand the need for transformative solutions. The 21st century company must focus on new green business models that deliver sustainable services and have CEO’s that take the lead.

Link to full article

迈向二十一世纪的绿色商业模式 从专注节能环保到寻求绿色利润 (Article in Economy China)

Role: author

Summary: 

过去的几年,世界各地领先企业的关注 点都在悄然地发生着变化。不同于过去只关 注内部的环境问题,当今的企业正在专注于 如何提供符合世界市场需求的解决方案,以 及企业自身的商业模式如何从关注产品转变 为关注于社会所需要的服务。

产生如此变化是基于以下几点原因:其 一、原有改善速度过慢;其二、新市场的不 断增长;其三、智能解决方案已准备就绪; 以及我们理解了对变革性解决方案的需求。 21世纪的企业必须着眼于可提供可持续服务 的新型绿色商业模式,而且其领导者必须起 到引领作用。

Link to full article

Nano-solutions for the 21st century: Unleashing the fourth technological revolution (Report)

Role: author with Eric Drexler

Summary
The world faces unprecedented global challenges related to depleting natural resources, pollution, climate change, clean water, and poverty. These problems are directly linked to the physical characteristics of our current technology base for producing energy and material products. Deep and pervasive changes in this technology base can address these global problems at their most fundamental, physical level,
by changing both the products and the means of production used by 21st century civilization. The key development is advanced, atomically precise manufacturing (APM).

This report examines the potential for nanotechnology to enable deeply transformative production technologies that can be developed through a series of advances that build on current nanotechnology research. The report has ve sections:

1. Nanotechnology and global challenges
The first section discusses the basics of advanced, atomically precise nanotechnology and explains how current and future solutions can help address global challenges. Key concepts are presented and different kinds of nanotechnology are discussed and compared.

2. The birth of Nanotechnology
The second section discusses the development of nanotechnology, from the first vision fifty years ago, expanding via a scientific approach to atomically precise manufacturing thirty years ago, initial demonstrations of principle twenty years ago, to the last decade of accelerating success in developing key enabling technologies. The important role of emerging countries is discussed, with China as a leading example, together with an overview of the contrast between the promise and the results to date.

3. Delivery of transformative nanotechnologies
Here the different aspects of APM that are needed to enable breakthrough advances in productive technologies are discussed. The necessary technology base can be developed through a series of coordinated advances along strategically chosen lines of research.

4. Accelerating progress toward advanced nanotechnologies
This section discusses research initiatives that can enable and support advanced nanotechnology, on paths leading to APM, including integrated cross-disciplinary research and Identi cation of high-value applications and their requirements.

5. Possible next steps
The final section provides a short summary of the opportunities and the possibilities to address institutional challenges of planning, resource allocation, evaluation, transparency, and collaboration as nanotechnology moves into its next phase of development: nanosystems engineering.

Download the full report

Public procurement and transformative solutions: A migration strategy for India’s procurement in the 21st century (Report)

Role: author with Sachin Joshi

Summary: 
This report is an outcome of thought-leadership collaboration between stakeholders in India and Sweden that seeks to spur momentum to ensure innovative and global sustainable development through the mainstreaming of transformative solutions.

The collaboration is based on two national public procurement projects, one in India and one in Sweden. The objective is to explore ways that allow public procurement to deliver economic development, innovation, poverty reduction and global environmental sustainability by supporting transformative solutions. 

The migration strategies include the following elements:
• Establishment of a “migration bridge”: To allow an organization in a structured way to move from current procurement to a situation where they rethink what they need. To ensure that this happens it is important to clarify responsibility within the organization, when in time as well as where in the organization it is best to move from refining current procurement to also re-thinking the way services can be provided.

• A change of reference point: To ensure that use of new transformative solutions is the reference, not current unsustainable practices.

• Cluster support: To encourage new groups of companies to deliver the solutions that are needed.

• Clear goals: To support transparency, identification of best practice as well as evaluation.

• A global perspective: To promote a perspective where transformative solutions can be used by those most in need.

Link to report

Transformativa lösningar och offentlig upphandling (Report)

Role: author

Summary
Denna text är en slutredovisning av arbetet med att analysera hur offentlig upphandling kan stödja innovation för hållbarhet som levererar transformativa lösningar.

Arbetet utgår från tre grundfrågor:

  • Hur kan innovation för hållbarhet ges bättre stöd inom befintligt regelverk för offentlig upphandlingen?

  • Hur kan myndighetsvärlden engagera olika delar av företagsvärlden i proaktiva

    samtal kring hur viktiga hållbarhetsproblem kan lösas?

  • Hur kan myndigheter via upphandlingen bli ”early adopters” och inte ”laggards” som håller utvecklingen tillbaka då det gäller användandet av transformativa hållbara lösningar?

    Metoden utifrån insamlat material och föreslår möjliga vägar framåt. Texten är baserad på textanalyser, intervjuer, två workshops, en enkät och ett pilotprojekt.

The procurement investigation (Swedish Government Official Reports 2013:12) has identified meetings and mobility as an area where there are many new opportunities and where the goals require transformative changes.1 The starting point for the procurement investigation was that the coming years will involve major changes for government agencies. Technological development, for example, provides entirely new opportunities in a range of areas, from virtual meetings to tools that make it easier to analyse the consequences of different choices. At the same time, the government and the EU's ambitious goals when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions require transformative solutions.

The feasibility study indicates that the portal could contribute to more transformative solutions that can help government agencies to optimise their meetings and mobility. This could allow the government agencies to achieve their goals and reduce their costs by, among other things;

  1. That government agencies receive scientifically verified data when it comes to various environmental and economic consequences of the meetings.

  2. That government agencies can obtain customised information when they need it in the format they require.

  3. That the platform can connect to existing initiatives at the government agencies and build on existing systems for the collection of data enabling the platform to reduce the workload of the agencies.

  4. The platform makes it easier to develop strategies for an increased share of virtual meetings.

  5. Creating a better understanding of all the elements of an agency by allowing customised information to be generated can clarify the consequences of individual choices.

Download the full report