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In partnership with Future Earth & , the Worlds We Want is a new podcast exploring cutting-edge research, projects and people working for positive transitions in the Anthropocene. Can hope trump apocalypse?

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Science Borealis

Mar 30, 2018


Today we are talking about the Future.

What then of our future? Yours and mine. How do we, as a society, think about the future? How do we think about our future becoming better for more people? How might we think, plan, and work towards the kind of worlds we want - rather than the kind of worlds we just stumble upon?

Well, on today’s show we talked to some people who wake up to these kinds of questions every day.

We’ll start with a conversation that we had one-afternoon last week, in an unusually warm boardroom in downtown Montreal. We joined a conference call with a few of the folks working at Policy Horizons - namely Marcus Ballinger and Pierre-Olivier Desmarchais. 

Next up is our conversation with Dr. Andrew Merrie from the Stockholm Resilience Centre. We spoke with him about his project, Radical Ocean Futures, which uses science fiction prototyping and mixed media to imagine multiple futures, based on emerging research into oceans.

Music featured in this episode:

The people interviewed in this episode are:

  • Pierre-Olivier Desmarchais is a policy researcher at Policy Horizons, a think-tank in the federal government of Canada’s public service with the mandate “to identify emerging policy issues and explore policy challenges and opportunities for Canada, as well as to help build foresight literacy and capacity across the Government of Canada.” He is also a PhD candidate in law at Laval University where his doctoral thesis class="graf graf--li graf-after--li">Marcus Ballinger is Senior Policy Adviser at Environment and Climate Change Canada, currently on assignment at Policy Horizons. He has 20 years of experience in international affairs and policy related to multilateral environmental agreements, trade and development.
  • Dr. Andrew Merrie finished his PhD in Sustainability Science at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, based at Stockholm University, in 2016 and currently works as a communications officer at the Centre. He’s one of the principal authors of the Radical Ocean Futures project which seeks to “explore tools that can help us to think creatively and imaginatively about our future oceans and assess how unexpected changes, along with human responses to those changes, may play out in a complex world that is, at its heart, surprising.” You can read more about it in WIRED Magazine here or even in Nature!

A few things referenced in the show

Worth visiting:

Recommended reading

From Horizons:

From Radical Ocean Futures:

Did you miss that show we mentioned on Transdisciplin-whatnow?