Saturday, March 16, 2013

Strategies and policies for advancing the environmental agenda

This post, contributed by Max Iacono, starts from the proposals and the ideas in the site "Cognitive Works" with regard to communicating the urgency of the problem of climate change. It develops into is a complex post examining various ways to attain change in organizations, from companies to whole states.

Guest post by Max Iacono

Abstract.  This post attempts to describe succinctly the relevant intellectual territory with respect to both macro and micro types of policies and strategies at both the national and the organizational levels.  It also highlights similarities and differences between "policies" and "strategies".  It does this to encourage those who are environmentally engaged  to consider how their own environmental agendas could be advanced through the range of macro and micro policies and strategies identified, and their many variables.  It also brings attention to some of the generic political and political economy obstacles which both policy-making and "strategy-making" actors and stakeholders typically face in the course of the complex and ongoing multi-actor processes of policy (or strategy) formulation, adoption, implementation and evaluation.  An additional related objective is to provide an introduction and cursory review of the website "Cognitive Policy Works",  identify some of the novel ways it works with policy-making actors and stakeholders, and bring attention to its excellent work on the  "framing" of issues and the tacit "mental models"  which may be in use.  

Outline of the post

1. Introduction
2. Cognitive Policy Works
3. Strategic planning
4. Frame Analysis
5. The realm of policy and strategy
6 . Policies
7. Macroeconomic public policies
8. Sector – level public policies
9. Synergy of multiple policy areas and national public policy frameworks
10. Organizations and their strategies and policies at the organizational level
11. Organizational level macro variables and the Mc Kinsey 7-S model
12. Organisations and their strategies at functional areas of management level
13. Implementing change at national and organizational levels
14. Conclusion

1. Introduction

I was asked by a colleague to review and comment the very interesting website “Cognitive Policy Works” and provide my views and opinions, and so I did.  My analysis and comments follow below.  I would like to state from the outset that these are only my own personal views which I don’t consider necessarily either complete nor necessarily a correct analysis or representation of the site and of its contents. (both of which are very rich and with a good deal of complexity embedded in them).  But I also would like to say that I thought the website and the work which its creators are doing seem very worthwhile and useful to me.  And definitely have a role to play in various areas and aspects of environmentalism. But thinking about the site and its contents also prompted me to consider some other aspects of policy and of its various meanings and domains of application,  which I then did in the second half of this post. Various policies and aspects of policy also can play a constructive role in the environmentalism agenda. 

2. Cognitive Policy Works

The site "Cognitive Policy Works" starts off  with a title and name that I thought engaged in a bit of a play on words.  Cognitive Policy "works" can mean that the site presents some "works," that is some think pieces and articles, or tools and educational materials in "cognitive policy",  in whichever ways such a concept may be defined and understood;  but it also can mean that Cognitive Policy "works" in the sense that it functions and can achieve (or help to achieve) certain objectives.  (including, I believe, various objectives of an environmental nature)

Regarding the second meaning, the site then makes a distinction in one of its readings between "cognitive policy" and "material policy".  I think this is important because "policy"  has a cognitive or intellectual dimension but it also has a practical dimension which has to do with its processes of formulation and implementation.

In other words it is a necessary condition to have the right ideas or understandings, (the so-called "cognitive policy" piece) but this is different from:  a) formulating (and adopting) actual policy and b) implementing (and evaluating) actual policy. Both of which, moreover,  are part of a single ongoing cycle rather than necessarily being two distinct activities which occur in sequence.  And often the entire process is simply called "policy making";  that is, as current policies are being implemented, new revised policies (or the same policies) are being formulated.

The cycle almost never “stops” so that its actors can have time to prepare brand new policies calmly and from scratch, since the old ones (whether explicit or tacit) are always in the process of being implemented, and this with all of their attendant flows of effects, outcomes and impacts.  Please also note that a policy cycle can be conceived in various ways but often includes also policy adoption and policy evaluation stages, as well as an initial broad policy agenda-setting phase,  in addition to the more commonly considered policy formulation and policy implementation stages, for specific policies or policy areas.

And as I understand it,  some of the articles and think pieces and their ideas found on the site "cognitive policy works",  would form an input to the policy formulation process.   Which is itself not a simple "one-time" activity but rather a process with various steps and which takes place over time and typically involves many actors and their groupings.  And these include both those actors who traditionally we may consider as being  “policy makers” (e.g. parliamentarians, cabinet ministers, parliamentary think tanks and special governmental policy and planning units,  and etc.) as well as many others who play various types of roles. (e.g. external think tanks, lobbyists, NGOs, political parties, and also many others) .

But "cognitive policy" also could interest itself with the policy formulation and implementation processes themselves (and their steps) (in addition to the content of various policies) and thereby be able to inform and make a contribution regarding how better to achieve improved policy formulation or improved policy implementation.  (for any policy, or at least for various different specific policies with different contents and objectives).

The site then has four parts each of which features various resources: Strategic Planning, Frame Analysis, Resource Center  (which provides tools and methodologies with which to do those activities covered by each of the other three parts) and Training and Workshops -which  identifies courses, workshops and seminars to train people in how to work with the preceding concepts, tools and methodologies.

The term "Policy" can be understood in different ways and also applies to different contexts.  Typically the word is used to refer to the policies of governments (whether central, regional or local) in which instance it is typically called “public policy”.  If a public policy formulation and implementation process is transparent, responsive to real needs, accountable, and follows the law, and is reasonably well regulated, and its actors are honest and not corrupt, and also are held accountable (democratically and/or bureaucratically) ex-post,  one then often says that the country or region displays so called "good governance".   So public policy plays a role in government and in governing, as well as in governance and its quality.

Private sector entities and N.G.O.s  -and civil society institutions more broadly- (e.g. universities) also can and do have "policies".  National level policy making processes (at the level of a nation or of a province or of a region or locality) have some similar but also some different characteristics from organizational level policies and strategies at the level of organizations or groups.

Coming now to the four sections or parts of the website,  I found the section on Frame Analysis much more interesting (and potentially more useful) than the section on Strategic Planning.

3. Strategic planning

Strategic Planning as a concept and as a practice has been around for a very long time (and much has been written on it) and although it can help the actors who participate in organizational strategic planning processes to understand where they and their organization want to go, most often the plans themselves are "dead on arrival".   Meaning that often something else ends up being done rather than the Strategic Plan which was formulated, and in some instances even formally endorsed by management and adopted.  And this is because both external and internal organizational conditions and contexts are always evolving and changing, and ever more so under current conditions of advancing and accelerating globalization, including also the arrival of its many “game changers”.   But that does NOT mean that such exercises are useless.  I would say the contrary.  They are very useful because they help their participating actors figure out much better what they want and where they stand with respect to various internal or external issues facing the organization.  But then once their ideas meet reality, (which as I just indicated is also often rapidly changing)  the plans often will need to be modified or adjusted with the result that the Strategic Plan and the Strategic (or actual) Execution will end up being different.  

I also can perhaps usefully mention that during a period  (a long time ago) when I worked at the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank  (from 1990 to 1993) the Institute had established a Strategic Planning methodology and a corresponding training workshop series for N.G.O.s  of developing countries and at that time the program was considered an innovation and a pilot program to be tested and then perhaps scaled up.  I was not directly involved with that program but I knew the person who ran it , and we sometimes discussed its interim results.  (which I believe overall were mixed and probably did not bring about sustainable organizational change) But I also am quite sure that the program has since then been revised and upgraded and improved (and scaled) many times. Knowledge Management also has become a key area of interest and activity for the World Bank as a cursory look at the World Bank Institute website quickly will reveal to anyone who may be interested.

4. Frame analysis

Returning now to Cognitive Policy Works with a focus on its relevance to environmental agendas,  personally I found the material on "Frame Analysis" far more interesting (and also far more innovative) because -as the introduction to that section states- "frame analysis reveals spin and manipulation".  And since the areas which we, the readers of Cassandra Legacy, are most interested in always involve PLENTY of spin and manipulation, it is useful to obtain ideas and tools and methods for countering it so that the truth about these issues can reach the wider public and so that -as a result- positive and constructive action can be taken.

So anything that can help make various policy actors (either upstream actors involved in policy formulation or downstream actors involved in policy implementation) see much better their own ideology, their own biases, their own mental models,  as well as of course those of others who may not share them or who they may be trying to influence or convince to take various specific actions, can (at least potentially) be very useful.  Since if one has the wrong understanding or "framing" or "mental model" of a problem or an issue (e.g. climate change)  it is almost impossible to decide to implement effective actions or any meaningful change in that area.

But again the issue is most often not only one of making cognitive changes so that various people will frame important issues in a better or more realistic and productive way, (for instance the reality of climate change, or of peak oil, or of limits to growth and the carrying capacity of the planet) but rather being able to counter the political influences and the interests which bring about those wrong framings and mental models in the first place.

In other words "cognitive policy"' training is not likely to help Fox Channel to "frame" climate change differently (or to receive less funding from the Koch Brothers) nor will pointing out correct ideas necessarily change the behavior and practices of the many so-called  "trolls" who often appear on blogs.

I also am assuming that the people who came up with the website are at least in part a commercial venture and therefore market and sell their various (quite useful) services which they list. And it looks to me like they may have started out with policy as it applies to N.G.O.'s (Oxfam and etc.) and then perhaps "graduated" to providing their services also to private sector entities and to governments.  Or at least to participants coming also from those sectors.  Probably, whether from "developed" countries or from "developing" countries;  which incidentally is itself a "framing" and  a "mental model issue".  That is,  what do we understand by "developing"  or "developed"?; and given the understanding which we may have of that term,  we then might proceed to attempt to bring about further “development” through various national and micro policies in quite different ways.  For instance, does “development” mean creating more industry or does development mean creating more human rights or more gender equality, or much improved education of girls, or more environmental or ecological businesses and fewer polluting ones,   or various other such?  And what kinds of public or corporate policies will favor each type of national development,  and what should be the priorities in various countries at various stages of  their “development”?

And also what kinds of policies are more generally involved in development and how are they made and implemented?

5. The realm of policy and strategy

Roughly speaking we can divide the realm of policy and strategy as follows:  There exist national public policies and strategies (for the 196 nation states and their administrative subdivisions that now exist in the world and which sit at the United Nations) and there also exist a broad range of organizational or company or N.G.O. policies and strategies,  for the very large numbers of such organizations which also exist in the world.   Each of these categories can be further subdivided into “core or macro policies” and “sector or micro policies”.  All of these policies are relevant in one manner or another and to some extent or another to key environmental issues.

Influencing the policy process at organizational levels is considerably easier than influencing the public policy process at national levels but both can be done (or at least attempted).  At the national level, political economy of change issues and  politics are factors which I believe typically cannot be handled by "cognitive policy", or at least not by cognitive policy alone (which deals mostly with having the correct ideas) because good ideas are not sufficient to shift or change the positions of various interest groups which shape and determine actual policy.  But such political economy issues also can exist at the broad organizational level and if you consider your own university as a possible example, (the colleague who asked me to review the website is also a university professor)  I am sure you easily can see how internal university politics and the interests of various actor groups ends up shaping university policies or “strategies”,  or at least easily may end up shaping what is actually done or not done operationally,  or what emphasis is given to what types of activities (e.g. research or teaching or consulting) by the administration and by the faculty, and through such actions or inactions,  also  eventually will shape various educational outcomes.  I chose universities and academic institutions as one example of a type of civil society organization but I believe these kinds of issues apply to all organizations and whether found in the private sector or in the civil society “sector”.  (or for that matter, also in the public sector as some of its many public entities and agencies)

6. Policies

I would now try to define and exemplify the term “policy” a bit better.  I ask readers to remember that this is not an academic treatise on what policy is, or what kinds of policies or strategies exist, -but only a summary-, and that many good articles and literature on policy DO exist and can be consulted by anyone who is interested in learning more about the topic.

I would reiterate the few distinctions I have made above also here. Policies as they exist (or as the term is typically being used) at the national level and policies as they exist or are being used at the organizational level.  (e.g. at the level of a corporation or of a civil society organization or a public agency)

A further distinction is the one between so called “macro” policies which affect an entire country or a region,  and “sector or industry level policies”,  that is, of those “micro” policies which affect  particular sectors, districts, neighborhoods or groups.  I will start off with a basic definition of “public policy” which can be found in the Wikipedia and then I will provide a number of examples and illustrations of each type of policy.  But please note that various other definitions of the term “policy” also exist,  and that different definitions apply to the policies (and strategies) of organizations than those which apply to “public policy or policies”.  

“Public policy is the principled guide to action taken by the administrative executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs. In general, the foundation is the pertinent national and substantial constitutional law and implementing legislation such as the US Federal code in the U.S. Further substrates include both judicial interpretations and regulations which are generally authorized by legislation.

Some scholars define it as a system of "courses of action, regulatory measures, laws, and funding priorities concerning a given topic promulgated by a governmental entity or its representatives." Public policy is commonly embodied "in constitutions, legislative acts, and judicial decisions.

“A policy at the organizational level is instead defined as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is an intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by the Board of or senior governance body within an organization whereas procedures or protocols would be developed and adopted by senior executive officers. The term may apply to government, private sector organizations and groups, and individuals. Presidential executive orders, corporate privacy policies, and parliamentary rules of order are all examples of policy. Policy differs from rules or law. While law can compel or prohibit behaviors (e.g. a law requiring the payment of taxes on income), policy merely guides actions toward those that are most likely to achieve a desired outcome”

7. Macroeconomic public policies

The main widely recognized national level so-called “macro-economic” public policies are (roughly) the following:

- Fiscal policy  (also called revenue policy –or its subset of  “tax policy”-,  and expenditure policy –or budget policy- (including also public investment policy),   and their various component policies. And the two main policies of revenues and expenditures should be viewed together.  Revenue policy usually comes under the Ministry of Finance or the Treasury and budget or expenditure policy (including public investment) usually comes under a variety of core and line ministries and agencies

- Monetary policy (including interest rate policy and money supply policies and etc.) usually comes under the Central Bank which often also enjoys a certain degree of independence from the rest of government.

- Trade policy

- Exchange rate policy

Macroeconomic policies are basically those national level policies which deal with monetary, fiscal, exchange rate, and trade conditions which in turn affect economic growth, employment and inflation.  And with respect to which different national or regional (e.g. EU) monetary and fiscal authorities also may have different objectives or mandates.   Governments typically can shape and determine the four policies above,  which then indirectly shape and affect economic growth, employment and inflation (which are effects).   In other words “the levers” which governments have with respect to employment, inflation and growth are “through” the above core macro policies but also through some of the associated sector policies that now follow:

8. Sector – level public policies

Examples of six  “micro” policies which typically also are quite important are:

- Education policy or policies (for primary, secondary and tertiary education, and for training and development)

- Health policies (publicly or privately provided and also regarding the balance between preventive or curative care,  and the access to health care by various social groups)

- Infrastructure investment policies (for various types of infrastructure that are needed and used for various purposes and national or local objectives in both the infrastructure and the social sectors.

- Research and Development policies  (usually directed at trying to improve medium and long term competitiveness and productivity)

- Active labor market policies typically to better orient and improve the quality and quantity of employment (which as indicated above, is largely a derivative effect of macroeconomic policies)

- Transport sector policies for land, sea and air and for multi-modal transport. (these can be particularly important for supply and value chains and for their logistics but also for the movement of persons and the mobility and flexibility of the labour market)

Please note that other very important cross-cutting policies such as Energy Policy,   Population Policy,  and Communication and Information Policy are not normally considered to be “macroeconomic” policies because they are not directly or strictly speaking “economic”.  Therefore they are not typically listed as part of the above previous “macro economic policies” of a country, that is alongside with fiscal, monetary, trade and exchange rate policies.  But because they typically affect the entire nation and not just segments or sectors or particular areas of it, they nonetheless can be considered to be  “macro” policies, instead of being considered only as some additional micro level policies or sector policies.  

Additionally the presence or absence and the nature of various other:  a) industrial (or industry) policies, b) agricultural policies and c) policies regarding various services (including banking and financial services) also are very important. 

9. Synergy of multiple policy areas and national public policy frameworks

There is clearly also an interaction between these types of sector or micro level policies and what happens at the national level depending on how such sector policies interact with the main macroeconomic policies.    A clear example of this is the effect of the EU’s common agricultural policy both on the fiscal position of various member countries –and the foregone potential alternative use of funds and budgets- as well as on national and global trade balances; (the EU’s CAP contributed to the failure of several “Doha Rounds” ) and another example is how banking sector policies (including those for banking regulation and banking supervision,  or lack thereof) –and the policies and practices of some of the major banks regarding such items as mortgages, derivatives, so called leverage, and reserve capital requirements, have affected the fiscal and macroeconomic stability position of various countries.

Institutions such as the World Bank and in a different way also the IMF construct overall “national policy frameworks” which include all the various public policies –both at the macro and the sector level-, which typically exist or that may apply to a country and to its economy and society and which also try to take into account more holistically how various policies or policy areas may interact to produce various desirable overall effects or avoid undesirable ones. “Poverty reduction strategy papers” are examples of such World Bank national policy frameworks intended specifically to reduce poverty. Such public policy national frameworks also could be designed and implemented in ways that favor other important national objectives such as equity, a reasonable widespread level of prosperity, and environmental sustainability.

As stated earlier each of the above policies and policy areas (both macro and micro) can be thought of as having a policy formulation phase and a policy implementation phase.   In reality typically both these phases are ongoing simultaneously.   Old policies are being implemented and evaluated while new ones are being formulated and adopted.   So the distinction between these phases is often not clear or sharp.  And each phase of policy is developed by many different societal actor groups (acting sequentially or in parallel) who try to influence policy formulation (according to the cognitive policy ideas they may have and/or also according to the various political and economic interests they are trying to represent and favor or promote)  and who then also will assist or hinder policy implementation, and for much the same reasons or motives. 

The politics and the various economic interests and the political economy of these processes, represent what could be called “the politics and processes and the political economy of policy making and implementation”.  And also of “strategy making”  if one is considering the organizational level which I now will discuss a bit more below.

10. Organizations and their strategies and policies at the organizational level

So moving from the national level to the organizational level, one finds various differences in the ways policy is formulated and implemented and also in what is considered to be “policy” and what is considered to be “management”.   And we all often have heard –and whether this is correct or not- that “China is run more like a  corporation” than the Western democracies; so these differences are in fact real and significant.

If one wishes to try to create some similar categories (or a parallel taxonomy of policies) to the one listed above for nations but  for the core and sector / micro policies and strategies of large companies or corporations,  one could perhaps think and proceed as follows:

The equivalent of macro economic policies at the national level could be considered to be the following “core” policies or managerial and ownership strategies at the corporate  or company,  or organizational level :

- The company’s (or the organization’s) basic area(s) of business and its business model(s) and what is often called the company’s “mission”

- The company’s financing strategies (equity, debt, venture capital and other forms of capital and working capital raising, and etc.)

- The company’s human resources management policies and strategies

- Company strategies on the sourcing of materials, equipment and supplies, as well as on the marketing and sales of products and services

- Technology and equipment strategies and policies.

In other words the key “analogous” “macro” or core policies of a company and of organizations which are somewhat equivalent to those of a nation would be (if one were to use the word “policy” in the same way that it is being used when talking about public policy at the level of a country or region (and it is NOT used that way, but I will come to that aspect in a minute) would be (as is the case for the macro policies of a nation) those policies and strategies which determine the fundamental elements and the basic cross cutting operational workings and characteristics of any company,  and which do so company-wide. 

That is, what is the basic business model of the company and what is its mission, where does the company get the money it needs to start and to operate the business, how does it recruit and manage and further develop its people,  how does it handle its inputs and outputs and their respective supply and value chains and logistics, and how does it handle its throughput processes and transform materials, energy, money and know how into marketable products and services?

But let me come straight away to the fact that the term “policies” as used in the term “company policies and procedures” typically has a far narrower and restrictive meaning -which is much closer to “rules and regulations”-  than it is to the meaning of public “policies” since it often refers to such aspects as the company policy on matters like security, or working hours and flexi-time for employees, or other personnel rules and regulations and procedures.  But there exist however also some company –wide “policies” which can affect directly a company’s overall profitability such as a company’s quality assurance “policies” and programs. And typically there also exist such policies on company ethics, human resources, customer service and accounting which equally have company wide-effects and impacts just as macro-economic policies have country-wide impacts.   

Typically, what are called “core or macro policies” at the national level are not called policies at the company or organizational level but rather are called “strategies” or areas of something called either Strategic Management;  or they are the activities that come under the remit of General or “Top” Management and the layer of functional management operating directly below it. And Strategic Management as explained earlier also can be thought of as being made up of two phases i.e. a Strategic Planning phase and a Strategic Implementation phase, which can be thought of as having roughly the same relationship as that described earlier for the national level as Policy Formulation and Policy Implementation.

There is a great deal of literature on both policy-making in nations and strategic management in companies,  and here I am only providing my own personal  summary based on those understandings and notions which I have found useful,  while also trying to draw some parallels and highlighting some differences that I hope will be interesting and thought-provoking.  

11. Organizational level macro variables and the Mc Kinsey 7-S model

Another way of conceiving the main “macro” factors operating in an organization is by using the Mc Kinsey so called Seven S model which views an organization as the interaction and synergy of seven broad (or “macro”?) factors (all of which start with the letter S) and namely its:  Strategy, Structure, Systems, Staff, Skills, (managerial) Styles, and Shared Values (and/or organizational culture).  And please note that in a different way, these same variables also can apply at the level of a nation.  That is, a nation too has a tacit or explicit economic and national development strategy, a certain administrative or governmental structure, certain fiscal and taxation and other systems, appropriately skilled human resources and processes for how to create and develop them, various political and bureaucratic  “styles”, and a national political, social and economic culture. 

And to both of these conceptualizations I also would add an “eighth S” namely the Situation or the context of either the organization or the nation which then will have various external dimensions such as the political, economic, institutional, cultural, competitive, technological and other broad dimensions which affect or interact with either the internal context of the organization (thereby affecting its internal 7S)  or –with respect to the effects of the various dimensions of globalization- will affect and interact with the internal context (and above other 7S) of a nation. 

All of these are of course only “mental models” of organizations and of nations and the actual realities are clearly more complex and also more “organic” and integrated and hence also less amenable to simple reductionist dissections and their categories.  And like any other “mental model”, may have been “framed” correctly, or incorrectly or some situation-contingent combination of these.

12. Organisations and their strategies at functional areas of management level

Finally, to complete the above picture at least conceptually,  the equivalent of  national  “sector level and micro policies” - but at the organizational level-,  could be considered to be the so-called  “functional areas of management” and the respective company strategies for each area.  (e.g. for the marketing and sales strategy) And once again with respect to the formulation and implementation of environmental agendas both macro policies or strategies, and micro policies or strategies -and their several variables listed above- will end up playing a role.

I am listing here only what I consider to be the top ten typical company functional areas of management (each of which also will have a tacit or explicit development and implementation strategy) but there could be others or the ones I listed could be packaged differently in keeping with the preferred organizational structure and functions decided upon by an organization’s management.  And these functions and their strategies can then be “green” or “ecological” or “environmental” in various ways, or not: i) planning ii) research and development iii) technology support (engineering); iv) purchasing and supply logistics v) production (of products or of services); vi) finance and accounting; vii) human resources management and development viii) marketing ix) distribution and sales ; x) administration.   And cross-cutting each of these basic managerial or organizational functions are also the three levels of so-called “organizational behavior” namely those of individuals, groups or teams, and of the organization as a whole. (each  of which then will have their own properties, characteristics and dynamics and various effects on the various functional areas)

13. Implementing change at national or organizational levels

When we think of trying to bring about change at either the national level (or at the global level) or at the organizational or corporate levels  –for instance- in order to implement more climate friendly public policies through better national or local energy policies-  (and down to their narrower specifics such as a carbon tax)  and/ or through improved company strategies which would introduce more renewable forms of energy,  and phase out fossil fuel energy , or implement cleaner production, we are going to come up against at least some of the above “generic policy and strategy”  variables and their respective political-economy-of change realities. Complicating this already highly complex picture further,  is the issue of “framing” also addressed quite well by the site “Cognitive Policy Works”.


The above was a brief summary intended to help readers arrive at their own conceptualizations of the territory in order to better be able to navigate it and influence it towards achieving various environmental goals. 

The  Cognitive Policy Works site is very well constructed and presented and readers who are interested in these topics can consult it here.

For those interested in climate change in particular, (probably the top environmental issue in the world at the moment and therefore likely to be near the top of any environmental agenda, but certainly not the only issue)  they can go directly here:

In addition to the climate change category immediately above other categories also are listed on the website and are available for review -and are certainly worthwhile having a look at-.   And these other categories are -according to the site- those on communication, design science, economy, environment, funding, marketing, news, the political mind, poverty, progressive infrastructure, social movements, and training and workshops.


Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)