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First published 20 July 2015

The Overshoot Curriculum: Artificial Life, Education and the Human Predicament

Barry McMullin

Abstract (Excerpt)

It is well established in the scientific literature that global human civilization is in serious ecological trouble. The most comprehensive survey is perhaps that of the Planetary Boundaries framework (Rockström et al., 2009). The unfolding of these challenges will, of course, be a very complex process; and some detailed impacts are certainly still open to significant human management and moderation. Nonetheless, it seems clear that we are no longer dealing with a “problem,” or even set of “problems,” that might be “solved”; rather, this is a predicament—an uncertain, dynamic, and at least partially chaotic, disruption in global human development (Gilding, 2012). A predicament calls not for “solution,” but for engagement, and continuous, long term, refinement of response. The purpose of this contribution is to propose a particular educational (curricular and pedagogic) response: one that specifically draws on the tools, techniques and understandings of the field of Artificial Life.