When it comes to engineering planetary sunshades or carbon sinks, there is no crystal ball. But economists, climate modelers, scholars of technology governance, and futurists have generated numerous methods by which to explore the future: from simulating natural or societal dynamics in models, to horizon-scanning surveys that generate educated speculation, to scenarios that imagine experimental depictions of an engineered climate. But each method comes with different objectives, ‘ways of knowing’ the future, communities of usage, and access to decision-making processes. Separately, how can we compare them? As a whole, how is knowledge and decision-making - on potentially game-changing technologies that don’t exist – better served? Are we predicting the future, exploring possibilities, presenting alternatives, or setting our own conceptions of the future into play?
Sean Low is a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany. His research focuses on the uses and limits of scenario and gaming methods, as part of anticipatory frameworks for the governance of emerging technologies, to explore how solar geoengineering approaches can be assessed and regulated. Sean has previously done research on the politics of climate engineering and global climate politics at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the University of Waterloo (Canada).
Stefan Schäfer leads the research program “Emerging Technologies and Social Transformations in the Anthropocene” at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany. His research examines the politics, philosophy and history of science and technology, with a particular focus on the emerging field of climate engineering. He was a guest researcher at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) from 2009-2012 and a fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation’s Global Governance Futures program in 2014-2015. He is a contributing author to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, lead author of the European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering (EuTRACE) report, and chairs the Steering Committee of the Climate Engineering Conference (CEC) series. He holds a doctorate in political science from Freie Universität Berlin.
Ben Kravitz is a climate scientist in the Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His research involves using climate models to understand climate response to perturbations on a variety of timescales. Ben's focus is on climate model simulations of geoengineering. He is the coordinator of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP), an international effort to understand the robust responses of climate models to standardized scenarios of geoengineering.
Holly Jean Buck is a NatureNet Science Fellow at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Her research interests include agroecology and climate-smart agriculture, energy landscapes, land use change, new media, and science and technology studies. At present, she is studying the socio-political feasibility of using solar geoengineering to scale up carbon removal. She has written on several aspects of climate engineering, including humanitarian and development approaches to geoengineering, gender considerations, and the social implications of scaling up negative emissions. She holds a doctorate in Development Sociology from Cornell University and a MSc in Human Ecology from Lund University, Sweden. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Andrew (Drew) Jones is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Climate Interactive, named the 2017 “Best U.S. Energy and Environment Think Tank” by Prospect Magazine. An expert on international climate and energy issues, his quotes and data stories appear frequently in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other media. Jones and his team at CI and MIT Sloan developed “C-ROADS”, the user-friendly climate simulation in use by thousands of climate analysts around the world.
Trained in system dynamics modeling at Dartmouth College and through a M.S. at MIT, Jones has worked at Rocky Mountain Institute and served dozens of clients ranging from the CDC to Harley-Davidson Motor Company. He co-accepted the "ASysT Prize" for “a significant accomplishment achieved through the application of systems thinking to a problem of U.S. national significance" and co-accepted the System Dynamics Society’s award for the best real-world application of modeling. He won Dartmouth College’s Ray W. Smith award for the most significant contribution to the status of the College.
Andrew Jones teaches Systems Thinking and Sustainability at MIT, Stanford University and UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan Flagler Business School.
Silke Beck studied Political Science and German Language and Literature Studies at Heidelberg University. She earned a doctorate in Sociology in 2000 at Bielefeld University. In 1999/2000 she was Research Fellow in the Global Environmental Assessment Project, Harvard University.
Since 1994, Beck works in the field of technology assessment and applied environmental research. In 2005 she began serving at Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig. She was speaker of the interdisciplinary working group on Climate Change and is now director of the working group Governance as well as vice director of the department of Environmental Politics. In 2014 she was guest lecturer at Wien University.
Silke Beck is Senior Editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science and member of the Council of Science and Democracy Networks, Harvard University.
Peter Healey trained as a sociologist and researched on criminology and education before a spell working at the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Over the past thirty years he has developed and managed research programmes and networks on science and technology (S&T) and innovation policy for a variety of funders including the ESRC and the European Commission, initially through the Science Policy Support Group. His interests are in science and technology governance, especially in relation to democratisation, S&T indicators, and international and distributional aspects of S&T.
Earlier, Healey engaged in the European Thematic Network Science, Technology and Governance in Europe (STAGE), the James Martin Institute (the predecessor to InSIS), the 10-country EU-funded project Researching Inequality through Science and Technology (ResIST) and the Climate Geoengineering Governance (CGG) research project. He is now working on the related Greenhouse Gas Removal Instruments & Policies Project (GRIP). Healey has been closely involved in the development of InSIS's new area of research Changing Ecologies of Knowledge and Action (CEKA).