Stewardship is Security

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 — 8:00 am EDT

Stewardship is Security


Washington, DC — On Monday, April 24, 2017, at the National Press Club, the Geoversiv Foundation made the case that across the full spectrum of human activities, stewardship is security. This Global Status Update aimed to reposition the public discourse, by showing that we do not live where we think we live—not in terms of the gravity of planetary challenges, and not in terms of our evolving, emerging technical capabilities for addressing them.

The global unsustainability crisis extends not only to food and water supplies, the endangerment of species and habitats, and life-sustaining ecosystems, but also to the future viability of the stable climate system and of nation states. The choice between unsustainable practices and a sustainable future is a choice about the security of human civilization, and the liberating values we have come to cherish.

The Geoversiv event put forward critical path strategies for evaluating ongoing trends and enhancing our ability to target investment in future successes. Specifically, the event examined how tracing macro-critical pressures (those that affect the overall size and health of the economy), developing generative investment strategies (those that add sustainable value at the human scale), and mapping critical pathways to collaborative innovation, can help us to solve problems faster, and build an economy that works for everyone.

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There is no non-generative pathway to ongoing economic resilience, much less routine prosperity. There is no non-generative pathway to 21st century global leadership.

The Peace Synapse Climate, Peace and Security Relational Dynamics Graph reveals both active and accidental knowledge relationships between individuals, institutions, crisis situations, and response scenarios.

Geoversiv GSU 170424.019

This global knowledge graph also represents a planet-wide network of human capability and information flows. It will become an anchor for a world-leading effort to pinpoint high-value capacity-building and knowledge-enrichment opportunities.

The ACCESS to GOOD Project will connect people around the world in a participatory information-sharing network. It will work like a resource library that is also a convening space and an innovation lab, for solving local and global problems. ACCESS to GOOD will be a Partnership for Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and will provide locally rooted tracking of national and global progress toward Paris Agreement goals on climate.

The Geoversiv Foundation is developing a detailed, action-oriented Commitment to Ocean Stewardship, intended not only to establish the foundation as an ocean-neutral institution, but to provide an example and a roadmap to others. A first-of-its-kind institutional ocean-climate stewardship strategy, this action-focused plan integrates remote observation, waste and emissions management, agriculture and observational innovations.

The voluntary commitment will be formally presented at the UN Ocean Conference in New York City, in June.


In addition to a briefing about the state of play in climate disruption and the Geoversiv Foundation’s programs for expanding our technical capability and generative economic strategies for sustainable futurebuilding, two climate system explorers (one geospatial, the other in social sciences) provided their insights into the situation we find ourselves in, and how we can work together to ensure wider and more regular access to truth.

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David Thoreson, Geoversiv Senior Advisor for Geospatial Exploration, told his story of pioneering expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. As an eye-witness to rapidly evolving climate history, he described his feeling of ethical responsibility to communicate what he has seen, so that the up-close experience of radical change can be part of the scientific and cultural record that informs our decision-making in these times.

John Cook, of Skeptical Science, and an associate research professor at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, shared his research into what allows recipients of technical information and political opinion to distinguish between myth and evidence-based fact.


The simplest explanation is that fact alone succeeds in communicating truth. Misinformation impairs the ability for fact to be received. Even when both are presented, misinformation tends to undermine reception of demonstrable truth. But by providing complete information—first fact, then an explanation of how misinformation works, and an example—allows for reversal of the impact of misinformation.


Joseph Robertson, the founder and president of Geoversiv, ended the day’s discussions with an impromptu summation of the issues at stake:

The unknown is a vast and threatening landscape. Acting without exploring the boundaries of what we know is still more perilous. Misinformation disempowers people and institutions. Confusion disrupts our sense of capability.

Exploration gives purpose. In finding truth, we learn about ourselves—about our limits and how to transcend them, and about our role as witnesses and world-builders.

You cannot make a world with untruth. The world is built truth by truth, whether by accident or with insightful planning. Knowledge comes from discovery, which comes from exploration. There is a need for that quiet daring that allows us to go beyond our day to day limits and commit to keep learning about our universe.

This is the Geoversiv commitment: embrace complexity; find actionable clarity for human resilience. To support people’s own efforts to do this, we must: empower, connect, build.

A note on the Geoversiv Foundation

The Geoversiv Foundation exists to identify challenges and opportunities related to achieving a clean future of global abundance. This means addressing the global unsustainability crisis by focusing on six areas of catalytic convergence: climate, energy, enterprise, education, peacebuilding, and civics. From these six challenge areas, the Geoversiv Foundation is then developing Living Future Strategies, visualizations of how we are connected, what problems are where in their evolution, and how we are already empowered to achieve bold technical and collaborative solutions.


In service of the need to ensure fresh, thoughtful, relevant, and valuable information is flowing to people, institutions, media, and government, the Geoversiv Foundation commits to embrace complexity and provide clarity. The stakes are high; we cannot afford to leave out any useful insights or the transformational power of anyone’s imagination.

Additional Resources

Contact and Follow-up

For all media contacts, please write to the Geoversiv Foundation’s leadership team, at

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