Rethinking Disruption

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Dropping Silk Stockings Created an Oral Health Revolution (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 7)

For most of human history, it was not routine for people to brush their teeth. But by the 1960s, majorities of most Western countries had a daily oral hygiene routine. Because oral hygiene is so central to wider health, the mainstreaming of dental care had a huge impact on the global disease burden, reducing the …

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The Coming Global Fertilizer Crisis – and How to Solve it (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 5)

A global food crisis is looming, with high natural gas prices driving up the cost of ammonia fertilizer and the war in Ukraine threatening this year’s crops from both there and Russia. The consequences of mishandling this crisis could be dire. Research by complexity theorist Yaneer Bar-Yam suggests that high food prices are directly connected …

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How Energy Disruption Led to Russia-Ukraine Crisis – and How the Crisis Will Accelerate Disruption

Conventional analysts are looking at the Russian invasion of Ukraine through the lens of military strategy and geopolitical rivalry. But the invasion and its geopolitical consequences can only be properly understood in the context of wider transformations in the global economy, driven by disruptions unfolding across every major sector, namely, energy, transportation, food, information and …

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The Pattern of Disruption

The first in a new series about how the ‘pattern of disruption’ explains how our societies and economies change and evolve, and where they might be heading. It’s often assumed that ‘disruption’ is a uniquely modern phenomenon. But it’s not. Technology disruptions can be found at the heart of major societal and civilizational upheavals going …

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JP Morgan’s misinformation on the clean energy disruption – a handy guide

  The JP Morgan Asset and Wealth Management Annual Energy Paper is one of the most influential publications among global investment and business leaders in the energy sector. But JP Morgan Chase’s 2021 Annual Energy Paper is a deeply flawed piece of work that promotes some serious misinformation about the clean energy transformation, reinforcing the …

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How to Achieve Rapid, Cheap Energy Decarbonization Using the RethinkX Clean Energy U-Curve

We are witnessing the start of the most profound disruption of the energy sector in over a century. Like others throughout history, this disruption is the result of a convergence of several key technologies – namely, solar photovoltaics, onshore wind power, and lithium-ion batteries (SWB). A 100% SWB energy system is possible as soon as …

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Restoring Our Faith in Progress: Part 2 – How Science Justifies Optimism

This is part 2 of a series. See part 1 on ‘How Prosperity Solves Problems’ Understandable despair    The trouble with climate change – as I explained in Part 1 of this series – is that the incumbent authorities to which the public looks for guidance, including most especially the scientific community, have failed to provide …

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How Kevin Bacon Can Save the Planet and Regenerate the Earth

Decision-makers at the COP26 UN climate summit might do well to remind themselves of a game called ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’. Because only by understanding the interconnection of the world’s problems can we recognize how they can be rapidly solved by addressing them systemically at the root. Invented in the 1990s by three college …

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Restoring Our Faith in Human Progress: Part 1 – How Prosperity Solves Problems

OK, Doomer…  Doom and gloom are everywhere, and not just because of what the COVID-19 pandemic has done to societies and economies across the globe over the last 18 months. A deeper contagion of pessimism has been spreading as well. The belief that we are doomed by climate change, and that all other human progress …

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