An overall transdisciplinary challenge
Our ability to respond creatively to challenges, human and environmental, for the Global South imposes new transdisciplinary knowledge, which should contribute definitely to foster Human Agency and a cultural movement based on collaborative innovation and a trans-disciplinary approach. This requires understanding collective behaviours and the social norms under which diferent societies evolve. It addition, it requires:
- understanding that science and innovation for development depend on the ability to encourage people and institutions to produce and difuse ideas, insights and practices in every single region (Joseph Henrich, 2016);
- understanding the governance of decentralized digital networks and an increasingly responsible use of Artificial Intelligence;
- revisiting regulatory systems fostering behavioral changes and inclusive growth paths for a number of quite diversified contexts.
K4P Alliances has been driven by recent research analysis, including the following:
- Human Climate Horizons, 2022, a data platform launched in November 2022 providing localized information on future impacts of climate change across several dimensions of human development and human security. It is fed by an evolving stream of multidisciplinary frontier research;
- Steering Research and Innovation for Global Goals (STRINGS, 2022) project: a major global study into the alignment between science, technology and innovation (STI) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It highlights a glaring mismatch between STI and the SDGs; warns that, if this mismatch is not addressed, it will undermine progress on the SDGs; and makes recommendations about how to tackle this imbalance; October 2022;
- Do the science on sustainability now (Nature, Vol. 610, 27 October 2022, pp 605-606): shows that since 2015 the rate at which research from high-income countries on, or about, the SDGs is being published has mostly either plateaued or is falling. Two-thirds of research published in the poorest countries has some connection to the SDGs. That compares with around 35% in high-income countries, although these shares are rising slowly.
- An Industrial Policy for Good Jobs (September 2022), The Hamilton Project, at the Harvard´s Kennedy School of Government and the Brookings Institute: a modern approach to industrial Policy to target “good-jobs externalities”, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/20220928_THP_Proposal_Rodrik_GoodJobs.pdf;
- Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World; UNDP (September 2022), “The Human Development Report 2021-22”, UNDP, New York: it shows that a new “uncertainty complex” is emerging, never before seen in human history. Constitut¬ing it are three volatile and interacting strands: the desta¬bilizing planetary pressures and inequalities of the Anthro¬pocene, the pursuit of sweeping societal transformations to ease those pressures and the widespread and intensi-fying polarization;
- Stewardship of global collective behavior (June, 2021), by Joseph B. Bak-Coleman, Mark Alfano, Wofram Barfuss, Carl T. Bergstrom, MIgue Centeno, Iain D. Couzin, Jonathan F. Donges, Mirta GAlesic, Andew S Gersick, Jennifer Jacquet, Albert B Kao, Rachel E. Moran, Pawel ROmamnczuk, Daniel I. Rubenstaein, Kaia J Tombak, Jay J Van BAvel and Elke U weber, PNAS, June 21, 2021: argues that it is necessary to guarantee a transdisciplinary approach to collective behaviors in a way that citizens, at large, improved user responsibility in an emerging digital age;
- In AI We Trust: Power, Illusion and Control of predictive algorithms (2021), Polity Books: Helga Nowotny argues that the massified use of AI-enabled innovations is not free of additional questions because the power it has to make us act in the ways it predicts, reduces our agency over the future.
It is under this context that the initiatives to be developed under “K4P Alliances” should be designed together with new research work to consider the following issues: