I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the design and management of society’s core infrastructure systems (which I define broadly to include things like healthcare, education, housing and “money”) in an era marked by several important trends (for reasons suggested below, I refer to this as the “digital anthropocene”):
substantial (and currently destructive) impacts of human activities on natural systems, a planetary phase referred to as the Anthropocene;
continued and arguably mounting evidence that the status-quo dynamics within our dominant political and economic systems are aggravating rather than reducing inequalities in wealth and related factors;
the dramatic expansion in scope, content and functionality of digitally-mediated connectivity among humans and “things” via ever-more-capable information and communication technology (ICT).
To flesh this out a bit, here are some examples of developments reflective of these trends (some of which I’ve already written about here):