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Journal of the National Research University Higher School of Economics

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SSN 1995-459X print
E-ISSN 2312-9972 online
ISSN 2500-2597 online English

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Leonid Gokhberg

   




John Casti

X-Events as Determinants of the Sixth Kondratieff Wave

2013. Vol. 7. No. 1. P. 58–71 [issue contents]

John Casti — Co-founder, The X-Center (Austria). E-mail: casti@xevents.com Address: Trattnerhof 2, Top 211, 1010 Vienna, Austria.

Many experts believe that our civilization is on the verge of shifting to a new long-term economic cycle — the sixth Kondratieff wave. Increasing diffusion and convergence of ICT, bio- and nanotechnologies, movements favoring «green» technologies and business models and holistic health, among others, are typically viewed as drivers of the new wave. The majority of futurists tend to look favorably upon these supposed trends, ways of resolving major challenges facing mankind. Others, including the author of this paper, argue that there are risks related to the development of new technologies, as well as factors of natural and social origin, which may impede the implementation of rosy scenarios. Implied is a reference to so-called «extreme events» (X-events) — hardly predictable, often unexpected short-term phenomena, whose intervention reverses the current trend in an opposite direction and may cause huge destructive effects. Their occurrence is pre-determined by a set of matured contextual prerequisites (primarily the complexity gap between governing system and addressed challenges, as well as changing social mood) and the random factor playing a role of a catalyst.

Using the complexity theory, the author evaluates the ability of a number of extreme factors to disrupt the abovementioned megatrends driving the sixth Kondratieff wave. Events and processes, such as global climate change, epidemics, famine, collapse of the Internet, and enslavement of human artificial intelligence, may produce scenarios that are totally different from those projected by most experts. However, as shown in the paper, the ability to predict and diligently consider the possible X-events followed by adoption of appropriate measures may allow the prevention or at least diminution of the devastating impact of such events.

Citation: Casti J. (2013) Ekstremal'nye sobytiya kak determinanty «shestoy kondrat'evskoy volny» [X-Events as Determinants of the Sixth Kondratieff Wave]. Foresight-Russia, vol. 7, no 1, pp. 58-71 (in Russian)
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