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GreenATP: APPortunities to catalyze local to global positive tipping points through collaborative innovation networks

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Abstract Humanity's unceasing ingenuity is generating vast economic gain for billions of people with goods unavailable to even kings and queens throughout most of history. Unfortunately, this economic growth has triggered unprecedented security challenges of global and historical magnitude: more absolute poor than any time in human history, the sixth largest extinction spasm of life on earth, climate destabilization with mega‐catastrophic consequences, and multi‐trillion dollar wars over access to energy. These multiple, inextricably interwoven challenges have low probability of being solved if decision makers maintain the strong propensity to think and act as if life is linear, has no carrying capacity limits, uncertainty is controllable, the future free of surprises, planning is predictable and compartmentalized into silos, and Gaussian distributions are taken as the norm while fat‐tail futures are ignored. Although the future holds irreducible uncertainties, it is not fated. The emergence of Internet availability to one‐third of humanity and access by most of humanity within a decade has spawned the Web analogue of a ‘Cambrian explosion’ of speciation in knowledge applications. Among the most prodigious have been collaboration innovation networks (COINs) reflecting a diversity of ‘genome’ types, facilitating a myriad of collective intelligence crowd‐swarming phenomena (Malone T, Laubacher R, Dellarocas C. The Collective Intelligence Genome. MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring; 2010, Vol. 51). COINs are essential tools for accelerating and scaling transformational solutions (positive tipping points) to the wicked problems confronting humanity. Web COINs enable acceleration of multiple‐benefit innovations and solutions to these problems that permeate the nested clusters of linked nonlinear complex adaptive systems comprising the global biosphere and socioeconomy [Raford N. How to build a collective intelligence platform to crowdsource almost anything. Available at: http:news.noahraford.com. (Accessed November 30, 2011)]. The Web initiative, GreenATP, illustrates this opportunity. This article is categorized under: Energy and Climate > Economics and Policy
A safe operating space for humanity. Estimates of how the different control variables for seven planetary boundaries have changed from 1950 to present. The green shaded polygon represents the safe operating space. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 7. Copyright 2009, Macmillan Publishers Limited.)
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McKinsey Version 2.1 global GHG abatement curve beyond BAU, 2030. Average cost of abatement opportunities up to 38 Gt CO2 equal zero € per ton CO2e, if benefits from negative cost on left‐hand side are fully captured. The curve presents an estimate of the maximum potential of all technical GHG abatement measures below €80 per ton CO2e if each lever was pursued aggressively. It is not a forecast of what role different measures and technologies will play. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 71. Copyright 2010, McKinsey Global Institute.)
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The emergence of VERGE. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 66. Copyright 2011, GreenBiz.com.)
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Trust network visualization. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 59. Copyright 2004, Springer‐Verlag.)
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Size of English Wikipedia as of August 2010 (2647 Encyclopedia Britannica volumes). (Source: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Size_of_English_Wikipedia_in_August_2010.svg.)
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Internet users in the world—distribution by world regions, 2011. (Source: Internet World Stats—www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm. Basis: 2,095,00,005 Internet users on March 31, 2011. Copyright 2011, Miniwatts Marketing Group.)
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