Thu, May 31, 2018: How to Save the World

How to Save the World is a major Science for Peace conference at Room 140, University College, University of Toronto, May 30-31, 2018. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite; and visit for more info and resources.


You may already be trying to save the world from something—or at least to reduce its risk to humanity. Maybe you’re working against war and weapons. Or global warming. Or famine. Or pandemics. Or exposure to radiation from reactor explosions. Or cyber attacks. You’re probably doing your part.

Since these risks are all connected causally, whenever you work on one of them, you’re actually working on the whole system. However, that’s not always apparent. We’d be more effective if everyone saw how all six global threats fit together as a system and how countless civil society organizations are working together to save the world. That’s the goal of this project.

Let’s list several potential ways of reducing each of these six global risks to make a single comprehensive checklist of policy proposals. As we go along, let’s discuss the likely effectiveness of each policy — pro or con. When we have a sizeable list, let’s hold a public forum for the experts and organizations who are trying to prevent these catastrophes. That meeting (which can be livestreamed to participants all over the world) will narrow down the proposals to three or four best ones for each threat. All the groups that attend will vote for or against this shorter list of, say, 25 proposals. If they adopt it, they will all have a common Platform for Survival. Afterward, each group will continue its own work agenda, conscious of being part of the larger project: to save the world.

If you wish to participate, please suggest one or more proposals for the list. Then in May 2018 you’ll be invited to the forum in Toronto where we’ll compile the final Platform for Survival.

Procedure for Proposing a Public Policy for Inclusion on the Platform for Survival

  1. Notice the style exemplified by the ‘Platform for Survival’.
  2. In a text document, specify which of the six threats your proposal addresses. (Remember, our aim is to reduce its risk, not repair its aftereffects, which may be beyond remedy.)
  3. Phrase your public policy proposal in English as a sentence of 15 words or less, naming the organization that should be responsible for implementing it.
  4. Each proposal should apply in every society.
  5. Type your proposal sentence in ALL CAPS to make it readily identifiable.
  6. If you wish to elaborate on it, do so in a footnote and/or send an article for inclusion in a separate bibliography.
  7. You are welcome to submit several policy proposals, but insert lines between them for the sake of clarity.
  8. You may want to identify yourself as the author, but that is not required.
  9. Keeping a copy for yourself, email your proposal to Metta Spencer: If you prefer, you may enter the proposal instead on one of the Facebook pages or as a comment to the Platform for Survival page on the website.
  10. The subject line of your email should be “PLATFORM SUBMISSION.”