MY NEW BOOK

Heroes of Environmental Diplomacy: Profiles in Courage 

Available Now.

 
   

Home Life in 2030 - a podcast from Tomorrow's People and New Technology

Tomorrows People and New Technology is now out and available at all good bookshops or directly from Routledge here. Written by Felix DoddsCarolina Duque Chopitea and Ranger Ruffins

"More often than not, we see technology as something that is happening to us--that is, ordinary people are impacted in both positive and malign ways without agency or voice. In addition to helping us understand the scope of emerging technologies, Tomorrow's People and New Technology calls on the reader and individual to be proactive and help shape trends in ways that support the sustainable development agenda and our immediate social lives."
Gavin Power, former Executive Deputy Director, UN Global Compact

Felix Dodds joins us on the podcast this week to help us explore the future of home life. We discuss the emerging technologies that will shake up our living spaces and the roles they play in our lives. We also examine the potential benefits and ramifications — for us and the planet as a whole — that could come with the rise of “smarter” homes. Felix Dodds is co-author of the new book Tomorrow’s People and New Technology, which we are focusing on in our first seven episodes to imagine what life in 2030 might look like and how the emerging technologies over the next decade fit into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Book description

As we witness a series of social, political, cultural, and economic changes/disruptions this book examines the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the way emerging technologies are impacting our lives and changing society.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by the emergence of new technologies that are blurring the boundaries between the physical, the digital, and the biological worlds. This book allows readers to explore how these technologies will impact peoples’ lives by 2030. It helps readers to not only better understand the use and implications of emerging technologies, but also to imagine how their individual life will be shaped by them. The book provides an opportunity to see the great potential but also the threats and challenges presented by the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, posing questions for the reader to think about what future they want. Emerging technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, cloud computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), and fully autonomous vehicles, among others, will have a significant impact on every aspect of our lives, as such this book looks at their potential impact in the entire spectrum of daily life, including home life, travel, education and work, health, entertainment and social life.

Providing an indication of what the world might look like in 2030, this book is essential reading for students, scholars, professionals, and policymakers interested in the nexus between emerging technologies and sustainable development, politics and society, and global governance.

Table of Contents

Foreword
Meesha Brown

Introduction
Felix Dodds, Carolina Duque Chopitea and Ranger Sere Ruffins

1. The History of Industrial Revolutions

2. The World we Live in

3. Home Life

4. Traveling Around

5. Education, Working life and Health

6. Entertainment

7. Social Life

8. Living around the globe

9. Beyond 2030

 

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Podcasts for the new book Tomorrow's People and New Technology - Changing How We Live Our Lives

Tomorrow's People and New Technology - Changing How We Live Our Lives By Felix Dodds, Carolina Duque Chopitea, Ranger Ruffins is out on the 14th of  October. 

The theme of the book is looking at 2030 and where we might be in terms of new technology.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterized by the emergence of new technologies that are blurring the boundaries between the physical, the digital, and the biological worlds. 

This book allows readers to explore how these technologies will impact peoples’ lives by 2030. It helps readers to not only better understand the use and implications of emerging technologies, but also to imagine how their individual life will be shaped by them. The book provides an opportunity to see the great potential but also the threats and challenges presented by the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, posing questions for the reader to think about what future they want.

 Emerging technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, cloud computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), and fully autonomous vehicles, among others, will have a significant impact on every aspect of our lives, as such this book looks at their potential impact in the entire spectrum of daily life, including home life, travel, education and work, health, entertainment and social life.

Providing an indication of what the world might look like in 2030, this book is essential reading for students, scholars, professionals, and policymakers interested in the nexus between emerging technologies and sustainable development, politics and society, and global governance.

To supplement the publication of the book  we are celebrating the launch of Sustainable Society Cafe, Carolina Duque joins us on the podcast to walk us through the first three industrial revolutions humanity has experienced up to this point and how the Fourth Industrial Revolution of today compares. 

We discuss what the First through the Third Industrial Revolution meant for the world and the lives of ordinary people and how the Fourth Industrial Revolution might either make or break our global economy and our environment. Carolina Duque is co-author of the new book Tomorrow’s People and New Technology, which we are focusing on in our first seven episodes to imagine what life in 2030 might look like and how the emerging technologies over the next decade fit into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

 

 

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Podcast interview with Felix Dodds - on the climate change

An interview by  Lauren Eastwood with Felix Dodds on 'Cooperadio Radio' on the upcoming Glasgow Climate Summit. What are the issues? How do stakeholders engage?  Interview with Felix Dodds - Cooperadio invites people on a journey through the fascinating world of global cooperation research. Episode 7  is the one which Felix speaks on. The episodes features voices, opinions and research that address the multitude of global challenges that we are dealing with as inhabitants of a deeply globalized world - from the climate emergency, the challenges of global migration, the multitude of old and new conflicts, all the way to the digital revolution. All these transboundary problems have one thing in common: They cannot be overcome by singular actors from nations states alone and therefore call for global cooperation!
 
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Code Red for Humanity and the Planet

An article for Inter Press Service News By Felix Dodds and Chris Spence republished here.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is absolutely right to call the latest UN climate report a “Code Red for Humanity.” Without immediate and serious action, we are condemning future generations to a dismal future.

Already, we have wasted too much time. Next year, it will be half a century since first UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm warned us of the risks to our environment from human activities.  More than 30 years have passed since the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its first report (the latest report is its sixth). Even that first report in 1990 warned of humanity’s impact on greenhouse gas concentrations and planetary warming.  Again, our actions over subsequent decades have been woefully inadequate.

This year has given us the most vivid insights into what the new world will look like, whether it is droughts and fires in California or the latest tragic wildfires in Greece, as temperatures get so hot that even a small spark sets them off.

The IPCC report also looks at heat waves. If we were to permit a 2 °C increase in temperature, then the record temperatures recorded recently in the United States and unexpectedly in Canada would become 14 times more likely to happen again in future, both there and elsewhere.

There has already been an increase in the number and the strength of. Flooding is happening more often and again in places not expected as rain falls in a different way to how it did before These heavy downpours, most recently in Germany, show that the flood defenses were built for a different type of downpour and will required huge infrastructural overhauls if this is to be the new normal.

Then there is the cascading effect if the forests and vegetation have burnt down. When the rain comes again there is now nothing to hold the water back, meaning floods will have a greater impact on already devastated communities.

The key here is water. The UN’s climate negotiations only added water as a key issue to the negotiations in 2010 due to campaigning by the multi stakeholder efforts of the Water and Climate Coalition. The approach to greenhouse targets missed a huge opportunity to address the key sectors that were either contributing to the problem or would be impacted by it.

No Minor Injuries

Why are so many political leaders either in denial about the need for urgent action, or simply paying it lip service? The current sense of denial is unsettlingly reminiscent of the comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In one painfully funny scene, a mysterious dark knight bars the path of our hero, King Arthur. The two fight and King Arthur expects the knight to stand aside when he cuts off the knight’s arm. But the knight refuses, claiming at first that it is merely a “scratch”. The fight resumes and the knight loses his other arm. Again, he refuses to submit or step aside, claiming it is “just a flesh wound.”

This is where we stand with climate change. Already, we have inflicted great injuries on our planet and we need to respond accordingly. We cannot pretend the globe has just suffered a few minor cuts and scrapes. If our world was the dark knight, you could argue that we have, through our actions, already severed a limb. We must cease our attacks and treat this as a global emergency for our global health. No band aid solution or plastering over the damage will do. Inaction will not cut it.

In a health emergency, time is of the essence. You cannot wait to call an ambulance or try to carry on as normal. If you do, the patient may not survive. The IPCC’s latest report shows we must act immediately and take the strongest action possible.  

A Call to Action

So, what can be done with the UN IPCC’s new warning?

First, those countries that have not yet submitted new Nationally Determined Contribution targets under the UN’s Paris agreement should do so immediately.

Secondly, developed countries should increase their contribution promised in 2015 for funding from $100 billion a year for climate work to at least $200 billion by the Climate Summit in Egypt in 2022.

Thirdly, and even more importantly, governments need to aggressively focus on the corporate sector and its responsibilities. This should include making it a requirement for all companies listed on any Stock Exchange to have to produce their sustainability strategy and their Environmental, Social and Governance Report (ESG) every year. This should be a requirement for remaining on the stock exchange. This should also require them to produce science-based targets to achieve net zero greenhouse gases by 2050. Companies’ voluntary, self-created goals are no longer sufficient.  

Perhaps it is even worth considering having Stock Exchanges publish the total carbon of their members and to start considering them putting a cap on what the Exchange would allow and what their contribution to net zero will be.

Fourthly, the role of local and sub-national governments needs to be supported and enhanced. Actors at the local and regional levels are critical to delivering what we need. They need to be supported to set their own 2030 targets and 2050 net zero strategies. To enable them to achieve this, central governments will need to support them and provide the extra funding. All planning decisions should be based on the new projections of climate change and building in flood plains should stop.

Fifthly, governments should review the impacts on climate change of all existing policies and not proceed unless they are within the strategy to deliver the NDC and the 2030 and 2050 Net Zero strategies. In short, governments need to start incorporating climate change into all of their thinking across all sectors. The problem is too vast, and too urgent, to do otherwise.

Sixthly, all governments need to urgently review their disaster risk reduction strategies ahead of a major UN conference on this subject scheduled for next May in Bali.

At all levels of government we need to review the interlinkages between water, agriculture, energy and climate change to ensure that planning is climate proofed. Without accounting for each of these sectors, the solutions will not be big enough to meet the challenge.

Finally, as voters, taxpayers and citizens, we need to press our political leaders to put climate change at the top of their list of priorities. They need to be reminded that it is not just future generations that will judge them and their policies—we can do so, too.

A Code Red Emergency

We have a decade to turn this around. Already, we have seen global temperatures rise by 1.09 °C. The IPCC suggests we may pass the all-important threshold of 1.5 °C by 2034 to 2040.

In fact, things may be even more pressing. The report that came out on Monday was the “summary for policymakers”, which means it was a negotiated document with both progressive nations and more climate sceptic and cautious countries negotiating the exact wording.  While the findings were certainly scientifically sound, it is quite likely the language could have been—and probably should have been—even more urgent. We would do well to remember what some politicians have said over the last few years; if they have denied the science in the past then now is surely the time for them make way for others who are willing to give this issue the weight it so clearly deserves.

 

Felix Dodds is an Adjunct Professor at the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina where he is a Principal Investigator for the Belmont funded Re-Energize project. He co-coordinated the Water and Climate Change Coalition at the Climate Negotiations (2007-2012).  His new book is Tomorrow’s People and New Technology: Changing How We Live Our Lives (October 2021).

Chris Spence is an environmental consultant, writer and author of the book, Global Warming: Personal Solutions for a Healthy Planet. He is a veteran of many climate summits and other United Nations negotiations over the past three decades.

 

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Financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement: The UN Ecosystem of Initiatives on Private Sector Finance

I had the pleasure of editing this paper "SDG 2030 Series Report No. 2 – ‘Financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement: The UN Ecosystem of Initiatives on Private Sector Finance’"

On July 13, 2021, on the virtual sidelines of the 2021 United Nations High-level Forum on Sustainable Development in New York – the HLPF, Stakeholder Forum and New World Frontiers held an HLPF ‘Pop-up’ Side Event to launch a new paper:

Financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement: The UN Ecosystem of Initiatives on Private Sector Finance

About the paper:

This timely paper is an overview of the UN Ecosystem of Initiatives on the private sector finance role in helping to finance the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. The delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been estimated by several organizations, from the World Bank to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, to be in the region of US$3-$5 trillion annually. This dwarfs the contribution from Overseas Development aid, which is in the region of US$150 billion annually.

The financing for the SDGs and the Paris Agreement will need a refocusing of private sector finance. In that context, this paper explores the state of the UN ecosystem of initiatives on private sector finance in support of this.

The realignment of private sector finance to support sustainable development and to stop funding activities that take us in the wrong direction has accelerated since the 2012 Rio+20 conference, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (2015), the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, and the Paris Agreement.

2021 has seen action on fossil fuel company boards where, recently, three directors committing to move them towards renewables (EXXON-Mobile) have been elected. And a Netherlands court ruled that the Royal Dutch Shell company needs to slash its greenhouse gas emissions. Moody’s estimated in 2019 that the total green bond market was heading to $250 billion with the COVID recovery packages being built around green technology; this is going to increase substantively in the coming years.

A RECORDING OF THAT SIDE EVENT CAN BE FOUND HERE.  THE PRESENTATIONS, A SINGLE PDF

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My comments at the Connect Aid World Summit of Social Media Influencers for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Felix Dodds: You have participated in the conceptualization of the SDGs, could you please explain to us how the SDGs came about and in what way are they different from the MDGs?

I was attending the informal for Rio+20 in July 2011 on institutional framework for sustainable development in Solo Indonesia when the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were proposed by Paula Caballero who was then Director of Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombia. It was Colombia who played the critical leadership role initially supported by Guatemala and Peru. The SDGs from the beginning differed from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in several critical ways:

  • they were for ALL countries and not just developed countries and 
  • they covered the three pillars of sustainable development economy, environment and development.  

Another difference was that the MDGs were not negotiated and were originally opposed by NGOs and other stakeholders because they were had not been involved and because they reduced the outcomes from the conference outcomes of the 1990s to 8 goals and 21 targets.

The SDGs were the most participatory process that we have ever seen. I chaired the UN Conference Sustainable Societies ResponsiveCitizens two months after the Solo workshop, and we re-organized the conference declaration to include a set of indicative SDGs we also came up four years before the SDGs were agreed with 17 goals. Because this was a UN Conference the suggested goals were then put into the policy briefs of the Rio+20 conference.

At the same time as Colombia were proposing the idea of the SDGs Paul Ladd of UNDP in May 2011 had prepared a paper for I think the UN Development Group under Helen with a similar idea.

Initially it wasn’t supported by the development NGO and the development ministries. In fact at the Colombia retreat in November 2011 the development agencies attending it were focused on renewing the MDGs were a few changes on the margin…AUSAID suggested maybe an additional target and a few additional indicators on the environment might be the way forward. I think Save the Children opposition to the SDGs continued through to the end of the negotiations in 2014.

My work from July 2011 to Rio+20 was to support Colombia and to promote the suggested goals from the Sustainable Societies Responsive Citizens conference. That it was the NGOs and other stakeholders who put the first set of indicative SDGs forward is important as it laid the foundation for a huge impact in the process for stakeholders. My work after Rio+20 was focused on setting up a coalition for what would be SDG 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities. The Communitas coalition played a critical role behind the scenes working with member states on building support for the goal and in facilitating discussion on possible targets. Finally, an additional difference between he SDGs and the MDGs was the interlinkage between goals and targets. This built on the work started by the German government at their Nexus Conference on Water-Food-Energy and the Green Economy in 2011 which I was the board of and managed the engagement of stakeholders with. I followed this with a second Nexus Conference in March 2014 in Chapel Hill at University of North Carolina which I codirected and which a section of the key SDG negotiators attended which helped the interlinkage targets on food and water emerge.

Felix Dodds: How did COVID19 change the way we communicate and what is your vision of how the world will evolve after covid?

I think for many people COVID has made us more internet savvy whether its using Hopin, Zoom or Virbela where you appear as an avatar in a virtual conference space. This isn’t universal and we have seen the limits of this for negotiations. 

For the UNFCCC informals this last three weeks Egypt with UNDP created a high level space in  Sharm El Sheikh for key African negotiators could coordinate and engage in person with the virtual setting. Its clear to me over the last eighteen months that the virtual setting has added the ability of people from around the word to attend intergovernmental meetings particularly those that are not negotiating like the High Political Forum or World Water Week and this is good news for increasing knowledge and sharing best practice what its not good for is negotiating difficult issues and for the participation of stakeholders to enable them to influence policy changes. So great for sharing bad for negotiating.

Felix Dodds: During the COVID crisis,  how we can counter misinformation and influence others as an international collective to take action for the SDGs?

This is not new and you will find in some of the developed countries new NGOs such as in the UK the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit that supports informed debate on energy and climate change issues in the UK. Addressing misinformation and supporting journalists, parliamentarians and other communicators with accurate and accessible briefings on key climate and energy issues. We may need similar national organizations set up on the SDGs

Felix Dodds: What interesting online communities have popped up in regards to the SDGs?

A new space Clubhouse has emerged is an invitation-only social media app where users can communicate in voice chat rooms that accommodate groups of thousands of people. The audio-only app hosts live discussions, with opportunities to participate through speaking and listening. It started for celebrities but has widened out and has some interesting groups which discuss issues with a wide range of people. The SDGs are mostly dealt with in the UN Clubhouse but with the announcement of the Glasgow Finance Alliance for New Zero it is now being addressed in spaces for the finance sector.

I think the HLPF being virtual has increased the outreach and understanding of the SDGs. We have seen academic conferences that focus on the SDGs such as Future Earth enable researchers to participate and learn in a way they couldn’t before. One great example is also the Virtual Island Summit in September which brings together  stakeholders from islands around the world many who would never have had the chance to meet together.  So this has grown existing communities as opposed to new online communities.

Felix Dodds:  Do you think the COVID will be a waking up call for more solidarity?

It is making it more obviously the inequality in countries and between developed and developing countries.  I am hopeful that that will build stronger solidarity in our communities online and in person. But only time will tell. Building stronger online communities in support of the SDGs should be what we are working for and ConnectAID can play a critical role.

Felix Dodds: As the world is changing, how can we prepare to build forward better?

I have just handed in a new book Tomorrow’s People and New Technology: Changing How We Live Our Lives written with Carolina Chopitea and Ranger Ruffins. The book provides an indication of what the world might look like in 2030,  it looks at the nexus between emerging technologies and sustainable development, politics and society, and global governance.

We are witness a series of social, political, cultural, and economic changes/disruptions this book examines the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the way emerging technologies are impacting our lives and changing society.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterized by the emergence of new technologies that are blurring the boundaries between the physical, the digital, and the biological worlds.

The book allows readers to explore how these technologies will impact peoples’ lives by 2030.

It helps readers to not only better understand the use and implications of emerging technologies, but also to imagine how their individual life will be shaped by them.

The book provides an opportunity to see the great potential but also the threats and challenges presented by the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, posing questions for the reader to think about what future they want. Emerging technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, Big Data and analytics, cloud computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), and fully autonomous vehicles, among others, will have a significant impact on every aspect of our lives, as such this book looks at their potential impact in the entire spectrum of daily life, including home life, travel, education and work, health, entertainment and social life.

The new goals agreed in 2030 will probably be for 2050 and will need to address some of this. 

"I simply love Tomorrow's People and New Technology. Teasingly playful, inquisitive rather than just another turgid tome trying to be politically correct and accurate with each forecast, the authors' bandwidth is wonderfully broad, the insights incisive, and the writing welcoming. This book is a speculative triumph. It invites us into an imaginative world of endless fascination and ingenuity, at once allying suspicions that the future belongs only to the smart machines we have created and are in the process of letting loose."

 

Richard David Hames, Executive Director, Centre for the Future

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