“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
Five causes of collapse appear paramount: major episodes of climate change, crises-induced mass migrations, pandemics, dramatic advances in methods of warfare and transport, and human failings in crises including societal lack of resilience and the madness, incompetence, cultic focus, or ignorance of rulers.
Liberal democracy and capitalism have been the two commanding political and economic ideas of Western history since the 19th century. Now, however, the fate of these once-galvanizing global principles is increasingly uncertain.
In her new book, Not for the Faint of Heart, Ambassador Sherman takes readers inside the world of international diplomacy and into the mind of one of our most effective negotiators―often the only woman in the room. She discusses the core values that have shaped her approach to work and leadership: authenticity, effective use of power and persistence, acceptance of change, and commitment to the team. She shows why good work in her field is so hard to do, and how we can learn to apply core skills of diplomacy to the challenges in our own lives.
The Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP) is at the center of the Harvard Kennedy School's research and outreach on public policy that affects global environmental quality and natural resources management.
"...[I]t is clear that the international community possessed neither the analytic tools nor the institutional capabilities to deal with a world order in which ethno-religious groups, and not nation-states, were the primary operative actors. Which brings us back to the question: what if organized state violence and warfare is the exception rather than the rule in international security?"
The Winter 2010/11 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This issue highlights a major Belfer Center conference on technology and governance, the Center's involvement in the nuclear threat documentary Countdown to Zero, and a celebration of Belfer Center founder Paul Doty.
- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter
Five years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, one stand-out recovery success story is the neighborhood of Broadmoor and its unique collaboration with Harvard Kennedy School through the Belfer Center's Broadmoor Project.
"The question of whether we can "act in time" on energy and climate change poses one of the most profound challenges facing the world today. No human activity, other than the wide-scale use of nuclear weapons, has greater potential to reshape and harm our planet and our species than the rapidly expanding generation of greenhouse gases. What is so frustrating about the issue is that even though the dangers are widely accepted in the scientific community, and even though failing to act in time could set off a chain of events that would be all but irreversible, action to date has been weak at best."
- Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center
The Bali climate change conference was a qualified success. Before we went to Bali, we observed that it will be good news if there’s no bad news coming out of the negotiations. This was achieved, and then some.
Gallagher articulates China's need for institutions, policies, and enforcement mechanisms that can foster technology transfer and environmental protection, and she charts a path forward for how the United States and China can work together to meet tomorrow's climate challenges.
- Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center
Report on a workshop jointly organized by the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Summary report from a joint ENRP/Sustainablity Science Program workshop convening experts from academia, international institutions, government, and the private sector to explore possible implications of emerging global biofuels markets for economic development and international trade.
- Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center
The Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group (ETIP) seeks to combat global warming and climate change by promoting strategies for efficient energy technologies in China, India, and the United States, such as advanced coal technologies, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and advanced vehicle technologies.