It has been almost two months now since we entered the turbulences of the New Year, and we already feel quite overwhelmed by the complex of concurrent alarming issues in the global affairs. In this regard, we should not be under any illusion that we possess the necessary means that can help us grasp the vast changes currently shaping the life of people, nations, or even big multinational organisations. The main message from the global elites’ gathering in the Davos ivory tower in January had a similar tone. They identified four areas of global significance — environmental degradation, cybersecurity breaches, economic strains and geopolitical tensions — as “the urgency of facing up to systemic challenges has intensified over the past year amid proliferating signs of uncertainty, instability and fragility”. Generally, they concluded that the systemic challenges are “fractures and failures affecting the environmental, economic, technological and institutional systems on which our future rests.” Moreover, there is, according to the Davos elites, a high possibility that the current generation’s problem solving might take the world to the brink of a system breakdown.
In short, complexity has clearly become too overwhelming, but our approaches to deal with it — too reductionist. Should we brace for storm while navigating through 2018, if the pace of change is continuously accelerating and the risks’ interconnections continue deepening?