Welcome to the Polycene – an era to engage with the polycrisis.

Lauch of a Polycene Design Manual

"Despair is a form of mental laziness... The collapse of the Earth system is possible, but it is not necessary." - Donna Haraway

The Anthropocene marked an era where human activities significantly harmed the Earth's climate and ecosystems. The term Polycene is meant to describe a geological epoch representing our aspirations for 'what could be' as we navigate our way through the polycrisis.

In the Polycene, caring and relating will replace dominion, and mastery will be redefined as a balanced coexistence with the natural world. The Polycene encourages humanity to unfold its interconnective potential.

Here, design processes and frameworks can enhance our collective imagination. However, many of them require an upgrade to better support us in recognizing the growing complexity of biophysical realities and more-than-human relationships.

What can equip this upgrade?

The Polycene Design Manual is dedicated to this question. It seeks to highlight the potential of shared values and responsibilities, favoring aspirations for an expanded sense of self. It is an invitation to commune and collaborate, to seek identity in the collective, and to demand accountability and mutual flourishing.

Recently, version 0.5 has been launched by members of Center for Complexity at RISD, Horizon 2045, in collaboration with Dark Matter Labs and Politics for Tomorrow, aligned with 10x100.