resources re systemic bio-socio-technical change (three ecologies)

Here are four thoughtful, relevant articles and a video by Varoufakis

Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University

COVID-19 et capitalisme génétique
Thierry Bardini

Closing remarks: novel approaches to complex societal change and sustainability
Sander van der Leeuw

Plausible and desirable futures in the Anthropocene: A new research agenda
Xuemei Baia, Sander van der Leeuw, et al.

Sophie, would you kindly add these to our psf archive?  Thanks!

PSF zoom Tuesday 2:30 PM EST?

Dear Prototyping Social Forms friends,

The world has tilted since our dinner at Sophie’s place a couple of months ago.  And our polyphonic concerns and aspirations seem more urgent than ever.

Can we zoom Tuesday 14:30-15:30 EST

to relight the pilot flame ?

PS.  Here are some recent links ..

— An Indian perspective by Arundhati Roy, ‘The pandemic is a portal’:

— A characteristically lucid, strategic and concrete analysis by Varoufakis:

The coronavirus pandemic illuminates the vast structural catastrophe of capitalism which has rolled on and on since 2008.

— A caveat about how to interpret the coronavirus data:

Balance & Structures / Prototyping Social Forms gathering

Thanks everyone,

Let’s reach out to our Prototyping Social Forms B21  as well as present company.  

Please check out past conversations at

Sophie, How about if we collect more references from the recent email into that Google drive I think we set up. (I don’t have the link handy...)

Let me digest our recent emails and propose some new seeds... maybe we can even try to gather telematically with refreshments.  A practical question :  I’ve been thinking about reaching out to the PSF group in a constructve and senators way but how should we weave the several strands of conversations together?

Xin Wei
 Building21 McGill | ASU-Santa Fe Center for Biosocial Complex Systems
European Graduate School |  AI & Society Journal |  Topological Media Lab

On Apr 4, 2020, at 12:19 AM, Garrett Johnson <> wrote:

I'm certainly happy to join the conversation! 

Apropos, Muindi Fanuel Muindi (UW, poetry, philosophy) and I are kicking off a reading group spurned by how the self is being produced and modulation by mediated, narrative, sociological, and ecological virality. Here are the readings

On Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 3:00 PM Sophie Strassmann <> wrote:
Dear Social Forms Community,

I would like to have a Skype call centered around social organizing because it is absolutely fascinating to see the adaptive nature of human beings amid this crisis from a social theory research point of view. 

The other amazing angle is the massive win to the environment. Spring is bringing flowers and baby animals  all over the natural world beyond the confines of our apartments, funeral homes, and empty wedding halls. 

>>> Please send me an email ( if you are interested in having a Zoom/Jitsi or otherwise meeting.

Xin Wei, as you know, I am not at all in the world of art installation/theater. I CAN coordinate a discussion of our artistry network and simply make sure it stays on topic. 

If this is a bad time for such a discussion (ex: artists' block), I'd be happy to stay in the realm of theory and dive into the brilliant buzzing thriving social phenomena emerging from this sad time, which is more my area.

To all pease be well,


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ASU GFL: COVID-19: The Ultimate Stress Test for Our Global Futures


Vulnerability in a globally connected world

co-authored by Peter Schlosser, Manfred Laubichler, Clea Edwards, Steven Beschloss, Nina Berman, Sander van der Leeuw, Joni Adamson, Michael Barton, Mark Bernstein, Shauna BurnSilver, Gary Dirks, Jason Franz, Nico M. Franz, Nancy B. Grimm, Julianna Gwiszcz, Deborah Helitzer, Carrie Lloyd, Kathleen Merrigan, Osvaldo Sala, Christopher Wharton and Dave White

COVID-19 must be seen as the largest shock that has hit global society since World War II, with this globally spreading disease resulting in an accelerating loss of lives and societal and economic disruptions of staggering proportions. This global pandemic brings into stark relief the increasingly complex, interconnected and vulnerable systems that define the modern world.

One certainty in this uncertain world is the increasing extremes of many types. Despite this reality, the world’s population was patently unprepared for COVID-19. In principle, we knew from previous events such as the SARS and MERS outbreaks, the Ebola virus occurrences, or — a century ago — the 1918 Pandemic (H1N1 virus), that it was only a matter of time before we would be hit by another, possibly more devastating epidemic. Although the exact time and location of these events remain unpredictable, science had suggested how to prepare for such a shock. Reality laid bare our vulnerability across all sectors, scales and boundaries.

COVID-19 hit global society like an earthquake, and it is an event we can expect to happen again, but cannot predict when. This places extreme hardship on most people on our planet because there is little time to respond, and because of the potential for significant loss of human life. A great many authors have addressed various aspects of this crisis, especially the epidemiological dynamics, projections of spreading rates and patterns and the effects of mitigation and suppression scenarios. Here, we focus on the connection of this current crisis to another that is steadily building, although at a much slower pace and on longer time scales: How will a globally interconnected society design, shape and manage its future, in light of all the challenges related to human-induced perturbations of the Earth system?

Possible trajectories of global futures will depend crucially on how the globally interconnected Earth system, including the human domain, can withstand and respond to: (a) known and ongoing changes that frequently occur on long time scales, and (b) shocks that can be anticipated in principle, but whose timing and impacts cannot be predicted. An example of the former are already unfolding changes in the climate system and their consequences, including migration, biodiversity loss, sea-level rise, etc. COVID-19 falls into the latter category. This raises the fundamental question: What do we know about the basic dynamics of the globally interconnected Earth system and its resilience to shocks?

Dunne & Raby : What it means to prototype?

Design researchers Dunne & Raby brilliant speculative design research.  Worth careful study.

dunne raby speculative everything

See their work for striking ways to present and work through complex systems
using articulatory techniques that complement (not replace):
equational simulations,
animate objects,
forum theater and movement / somatic.




PROJECT #26765: FLIRT, 1998-00 (multi-scale)


(Thanks to OSK.)

Sha Xin Wei | skype: shaxinwei | mobile: +1-650-815-9962 |