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’.
Background: The Anthropocene is a new planetary epoch defined by the emergence of human activity as one of the most important Earth systems, rivaling and stressing the other systems that govern the planet’s habitability. Often viewed as unnatural – as though humanity is separate from the natural system in which we evolved – the Anthropocene is more realistically seen as the natural result of the most recent innovation in the 4-billion-year history of life on Earth: the rise of technological intelligence. It follows that the Anthropocene is not an event that can be reversed. Rather, it is an evolutionary transition to be managed, navigating pragmatically between the extremes of denial and defeat. This is the guiding premise of PlanetWorks’ programs.
PlanetWorks is a network of ASU academic units, centers, and individual faculty with a shared vision, building and sustaining a “more than the sum of parts” platform as a way to secure resources, coordinate activities, and project impact in ways that none of us can do alone.