The first Executive Forum of the European Observatory of the New Human Condition (NHC) met in Uppsala, Sweden in May 2014. Participants included Iain McCalman (University of Sidney), Maurice Biriotti (SHM Foundation / University College London), Michael Evan Goodsite (University of Southern Denmark in Odense), Kimberly Karlshoj (Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust), Dominic Scott (University of Kent), Flemming Besenbacher (Carlsberg Foundation), Ruth Byrne (Trinity College Dublin) Steven Hartman (Mid Sweden University) and Roderick Lawrence (University of Geneva).
The Forum recommended that workshops to be held in October 2014 and January 2015 should focus on the themes of ‘Threat’ and ‘Action.’ The findings and recommendations of these workshops will be considered by the second Executive Forum in April 2014. These recommendations will aid the European Observatory in surveying, mapping and devising strategies and the means to encourage scientists, businesses leaders and the general public to engage with the humanities in addressing the problem of the NHC.
Two workshops to be held in October 2014 and January 2015 will focus on ‘Threat’ and ‘Action’ respectively to address three overlapping concerns:
1. How to mobilize the humanities;
2. Creating dialogue with other parties; scientists, policy-makers, businesses, media, the public; and
3. What is the role of humanities in changing perception, consciousness and agency in the face of global climate change on individual, institutional and social levels?
The first Executive Forum recognizes that the NHC is both a baseline and opportunity to employ the visible and hidden strengths of humanities to address the wicked and tricky problems of anthropogenic global climate change.
Outcomes of Mellon European Observatory of the NHC Project will include:
• Three peer reviewed papers to be published in high profile international journals (dealing with the Forum process, threat, and action);
• A major edited book;
• A Forum statement; and
• The possible establishment of a permanent foundation of the NHC to further Forum objectives on a long-term and sustainable basis.