PlanetWorks bridges the natural and social sciences as we enter the Anthropocene – the Age of Humans – to help Earth’s first intelligent planetary species develop the capacity to design and manage the complex, interwoven systems of ‘spaceship Earth’.
The Anthropocene is the first epoch of Earth’s history in which an intelligent species is altering the Earth on a global scale. Today, we are impacting the planet inadvertently, raising the specter of dystopian futures. However, humans also have the potential to design and manage Earth’s future at a planetary scale. We envision a thriving future in which humanity addresses climate change and other planetary-scale problems (e.g., biodiversity loss, air pollution, soil erosion) through effective management at global as well as local scale.
ASU PlanetWorks is a faculty-led university initiative dedicated to developing solutions for the planetary-scale challenges of the Anthropocene. This initiative is composed of four intersecting components: We seek to develop solutions to planetary problems through the design and integrated risk analysis of innovative technologies and approaches. We drive discussion about planetary management through transdisciplinary events involving diverse stakeholders. We explore Earth’s future by developing conceptual and modeling frameworks to better understand and forecast an Earth system in which humanity plays an integral role. And we inspire the next generation to manage the planet through highly scalable education programs and activities that engage and empower as well as inform.