Global Change

The topic of Global Change ties together almost all my interests. In particular, I am concerned with how learnings, theories, experiences, and products from anthropology, archaeology, and even the arts, can be combined with our understanding of complex systems, international relations, and social change—and applied to help comprehend the dramatically increasing transformations we are experiencing around the world today.

My 5-part television documentary series, “A World On the Brink” (with Real Vision Television), and a recent article “Flattened: Disintermediation Goes Global” in the September-October 2017 issue of “The American Interest” both represent efforts to explore these themes.

I am interested in how societies develop and deploy narratives, and then use those narratives to generate social cohesion . . . and in what happens when such narratives start to fail in the context of internal and external changes.

In particular, I’m interested in the interaction between radically advancing technologies and more ossified human social structures that are not changing at the same pace.

  • What is the interaction between those two factors and our individual selves?

  • To what extent are our actions and reactions constructed, and to what extent innate?

  • How do our conceptions of ourselves—and the storylines we live by—have to change to allow us to exist with the technologies we are building and the transformations that are resulting?

  • Do we have the capacity for such transformational change? And will we allow ourselves to change to the extent we need to?

Scott Malcomson