The Climatographers have read a lot of science fiction over the years, and of our favorite series is Catharine Asaro’s saga of the Skolian Empire. The good-guy Skolians are always in some kind of a war with the bad-guy Traders, who are more numerous and in principle more powerful. The Skolian Empire persists because a small number of individuals in its ruling family have a unique ability to establish and operate the “Kyle Web,” which allows for instant communication across space, a capability the Traders lack. That gives the Skolians the flexibility and speed they need to keep the more numerous Traders at bay.
We have always envied the idea of a Kyle Web that could help us combat Risk 2.0 problems like climate change. To draw the analogy more tightly, consider the metaphor of I:ClimateChess (Deep Dive), arguably the ultimate planetary board game. Climate Chess pits Team Urgency against the larger and more powerful Team No-Urgency. Team No-Urgency has been winning at Climate Chess for decades, and looks likely to win it all (if by that we mean a continued inability to prevent potentially disastrous climate change).
What if Team Urgency were able to take advantage of a “Climate Kyle Web” to simultaneously visualize and take time-specific advantage of thousands of potential moves on the Climate Chessboard. Could such a capability help Team Urgency ultimately prevail?
What we’re referring to as the “Climate Kyle Web” is basically climate change knowledge management, and we’ve built the Climate Web to that end. We use TheBrain software, which we’ve used for personal knowledge management for even longer than we’ve been building the Climate Web. We’re not kidding when we say that if we lost our personal (digital) brains, retirement or hara kiri would be our only option. That’s how valuable knowledge management becomes over time.
Knowledge Management, and the sub-field of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) are large disciplines in their own right. and there are all kinds of reasons individuals and organizations use or should be using KM and PKM tools. Just FYI, the relevant KM and PKM literatures are extensively covered in the Climate Web.
I:KnowledgeManagement (Deep Dive)
Unfortunately, KM is one of the least-taught and least-utilized personal and professional skillsets, notwithstanding what is commonly referred to as today’s “knowledge economy.” That’s one reason we’re such a strong proponent of teaching knowledge management as a skill much more broadly in high school, college, and through ongoing professional development. If you know of university programs that might be interested in a “Knowledge Management Through Climate Change” course, we’d love to hear about it.
What if, as suggested by Carla O’Dell, we could all know we know?
Or what if, as suggested by E.O. Wilson, more “synthesizers” were available to help tackle Risk 2.0 problems?
Or, using knowledge management, we were able to scale “The Great Wall” of climate change inaction?
In the process breaking through the numerous climate silos everyone talks about tearing down?
That’s what the Climate Web is trying to do, using hugely versatile yet easy to use TheBrain software, the power of which is reflected in this short story.
The potential of knowledge management to help better tackle climate change, including through playing better Climate Chess, is nothing short of putting wheels onto a cart!
We hope this explains why the Climatographers have focused for so long on the seemingly quixotic quest of climate change knowledge management, and why we continue to use TheBrain platform. We think its key to tackling climate change and other Risk 2.0 problems, and we’d welcome your support and collaboration.