Note — Oct 10, 2021

Networked Planetary Governance

An interview with Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America, at Noema on the “disconnect between sovereignty, which is held exclusively by national governments, and the actual work of governing, which is often done by many different actors working at multiple scales.” I’m noting it here particularly for the first quote and highlight below, and for the last part on fluid, hybrid networks and the role city-states could play in such a network.

With this alternative approach [of using impact hubs], we don’t wait for the big players — we just go do it, knowing that our younger folks are going to be with us. I’m not saying we should work against states — just that we should not necessarily start with them. Assume that governments are still important, but don’t wait for them. Let the great power rivalries play themselves out as they will; get the important work done other ways. […]

We need to tear that down and connect every single person who’s an expert, regardless of their place in the hierarchy. We need them to be able to connect, disconnect and reconnect dynamically. […]

[A]ll these ancient edifices, which as you say are literally cast in concrete in D.C., present a huge challenge for getting to the world of ad hoc and self-assembling networks that are capable of dealing with problems as they emerge in a fluid manner.