A. Planetary boundaries

conditions for the survival of mankind

C. Social foundation

new communication paradoxes

B. Technological ceiling

restrictions of new forms of digital life and human reactions

D. Cognitive & spiritual foundation

changes in body and mind management

A. Planetary boundaries

Crisis of non-renewability
Industrialization led to a disregard for nature's limits, causing massive pollution, non-renewable resources elimination, and soil fertility depletion. Various forms of waste are now contaminating the land, water and air all over the world, with e-waste from consumer electronics being one of the most serious contamination sources. Another concern is the soil fertility decline due to monoculture production that threatens future of food production: FAO forecasts that soils can around 60 cycles of crop production before experiencing drastic declines in productivity globally. To ensure a sustainable future, adopting a "spaceship Earth" paradigm with cyclical material processing akin to ecological systems is crucial for future generations' well-being and the planet's health.
A 1.2


Driven by water cycle disruption
A 1.4

  • Plastic pollutions
  • E-waste pollution

Climate crisis
The climate crisis is the main current natural challenge, with the nearly certain long-term scenarios of increased annual temperature resulting in massive ecological and social consequences. Sea levels will continue to rise, endangering coastal cities. Rising temperatures will make many densely inhabitable territories inhospitable and traditional agricultural lands unsuitable for production. Unpredictable climatic phenomena, including “tipping point” events such as “permafrost bomb”, will further aggravate the situation. This will lead to significant disruptions in human socio-economic dynamics, including the potential climate migration of over 2 billion people by 2100. Geoengineering solutions offered to solve the problem pose more risks that opportunities. Addressing the climate crisis requires systemic transformation of society and governance, not just technological solutions.
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Biosphere collapse
The climate crisis is a symptom of humanity's imbalanced relationship with the planet. James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis suggests that Earth is a holistic organism that regulates its conditions for self-preservation. Ecosystems play a critical role in regulating the planet, including the sequestering of greenhouse gases. Extinction rates are alarmingly high, 100s to 1,000s times higher than “normal” – and one of the most threatening signs is the extinction of key species such as bees essential to the biosphere's survival. With loss of 2/3 of wildlife in the last 50 years, the biosphere is facing the Sixth Mass Extinction event. Rebuilding diverse natural habitats is thus crucial for our civilization's well-being and requires regenerating the biosphere's mechanisms for biotic regulation.
B. Technological ceiling

Risk of existentially lethal technology deployment
As the destructive potential of lethal technologies continues to grow exponentially, the deployment of future lethal weapons with the potential to surpass the danger of nuclear weapons is raising concerns. Examples include bacterial weapons targeting specific gene carriers, as well as nanoweapons capable of deconstructing matter at the molecular level. Similarly, the development of military artificial intelligence (AI) poses risks of unintended consequences and an arms race if AI surpasses human control, potentially leading to catastrophic conflicts without human oversight.

Misuse (intentional or not) of existentially dangerous technologies
Technological advancements aimed at addressing global challenges come with inherent risks, particularly in the fields of climate management systems, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Climate engineering techniques could trigger extreme weather events including “global colding”, exacerbating the crisis they aim to mitigate. Biotechnology's potential for food security and medical breakthroughs is marred by the risk of releasing genetically modified organisms that disrupt ecosystems and biodiversity. The misuse of nanotechnology could lead to resource depletion, ecosystem disruption, and health risks.


Technologies that can create "evolutionary dead ends" for humanity
The development of digital technologies to manipulate human behavior on a global scale, such as China's social credit system and algorithm-driven consumer behavior manipulation, could lead to societal stagnation and suppression of individual expression. As technology gains human-like qualities, the challenge arises of navigating interactions with an autonomous and intelligent technosphere. Ensuring transparent and responsible technological governance is vital to avoid unintended consequences and safeguard the well-being of humanity and the planet.
C. Social foundation

Biomedical policy crisis
COVID-19 has highlighted the potential for even greater global pandemics in the future due to the increasing frequency of zoonotic diseases, exacerbated by the destruction of natural habitats and increased human-animal interactions. Another concern is the ability to cope with these diseases as antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat, due to rise of drug-resistant pathogens caused by the overuse of antibiotics. The current healthcare system's focus on prioritizing sterility, and treating acute illnesses rather than preventing them, hinders an ability to deal with pandemics in the longer term. A more sustainable approach promotes a balanced coexistence with microorganisms, recognizing their essential roles in the ecosystem.

Social injustice crisis
Today’s income distribution polarization is evident, with the top 10% owning 75% of global wealth and the top 1% controlling 45%. This dynamic is particularly pronounced in "new capitalism" states like India, Brazil, and Russia. Ethnic and gender dimensions exacerbate economic inequalities. Digitalization, while initially seen as democratizing, has given corporations excessive control over both workers and consumers. The demand for justice has called many populist movements into being, but they hardly provide a solution. The calls for new social fairness, including ownership and control of personal data, may become one of the key social conflicts in the coming decades.

Global food threats
The global eradication of food shortages in the past 50 years faces a resurgence due to climate change, soil fertility depletion, urbanization, deforestation, unsustainable water usage, limited arable land, and diminishing water supplies. These factors, along with conflicts, natural disasters, and cyberattacks, threaten global food supply chains. The reliance on monocultures and limited genetic diversity in the food system also makes it vulnerable to disease outbreaks and pests, potentially causing significant crop failures and regional or global food shortages.

Threat of a global war
The reemergence of the possibility of World War III in the 2020s is driven by global geopolitical tensions. As more countries obtain nuclear weapons, the risk of catastrophic nuclear war increases, and the escalation of such a warfare towards the Mutually Assured Destruction cannot be ruled out. Military actions falling outside the categorization of war and peace, such as cyberwars and persuasive design techniques, increase propensity towards “grey zone” conflicts which could further ignite a full-blown war. On the more distant horizon, the focus on enhancing military potential through AI could lead to a war triggered by program failures or AI becoming self-aware and intentionally targeting humans.
D. Cognitive & spiritual foundation

Inability to comprehend & govern complexity
The global socio-cultural landscape undergoes a swift transformation characterized by escalating Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) reality. Traditional hierarchical management systems are struggling to cope with the surging complexity of modern metropolises and the exponential growth of population, economy, and technology. Distributed governance systems, involving direct democracies, emerge as potential alternatives, empowering individuals to make informed decisions - but they are also challenged by cognitive complexity. Simplistic approaches to control complexity, are on the rise but proves futile in addressing crises as they overlook diversity and complexity, and thus lead to inefficient and failing solutions. Addressing the crisis requires revisiting governance and information management foundations, with the roles of thinking patterns and communication models becoming pivotal.


Crisis of trust and understanding: disappearance of shared values and worldviews
The expansion of human knowledge and the growth of complexity lead to the fragmentation of the scientific understanding of reality. This is further exacerbated by the political engagement and commercial corruption of scientific research, that erodes the public trust in science as the provider of “unified” worldview. The failure of the “Enlightenment Project” gives rise to a resurgence of religious traditionalism and worldview eclecticism, but both of these perspectives fail to provide a basis for better shared understanding and decision-making. With proliferation of digital media and social networks, the spread of fake news and disinformation, society steps into the post-truth reality. Instead of moving into a unified “world village”, the global civilization gets fragmented into a multitude of disconnected “worldview bubbles” of communities that do not have shared values and worldviews, creating the paralysis of collaborated efforts to address global challenges.

Disruption to collective sanity and empathy
The expansion of digital technologies poses even greater risks to collective sanity and empathic ability. The growing online presence of humans negatively impacts mental health, with depressions and other mental conditions, as well as the suicide rate, on the rise. The global populace is overwhelmed by information overload, resulting in shortened attention spans and an inability to focus on complex issues. Digital platforms produce addictive behaviors and reduced empathy, desensitizing individuals to real-world suffering. These impacts can intensify over the coming decades due to emerging technologies such as virtual reality and AI, potentially eroding the foundation of our civilization.

Depletion of the scientific knowledge creation capacity
The prevailing paradigm of continuous progress through scientific and technological advancement is facing limitations, as the cost of generating new knowledge steadily increases while the benefits become less understandable to the general public. The expansion of technology also exhibits signs of saturation imposed by organizational and natural limits. These constraints can lead to a plateau in scientific and technological progress, potentially enhanced by society's diminishing willingness to support and sustain further advancements. The scenario of declining scientific activity, and the erosion of the ability to generate intricate technological knowledge is reminiscent of complex societies collapsing, and it calls for a transformative breakthrough in how we perceive, acquire, and apply knowledge.