biomatrix systems theory blog

reflections on transversal issues

Transversal issues: a colleague recently made a study of the different approaches, outcomes and insights on poverty research by experts from different universities. He was concerned about the alarming divergence in statistics and what to do about it.

Oh, déjà vu: some 30 years ago, as a futurist within the Institute for Futures Research (IFR), I was involved in forecasts on poverty (also giving input to the Second Inquiry into Poverty and Development in Southern Africa in 1984) and encountered the same problems.

Concerning the divergence of statistics (e.g. some say global poverty is increasing, others decreasing), two sources of error seem most prevalent: assumptions and relative figures.

Concerning the diverging opinions on the causes of poverty and proposed strategies for solving it, two reasons need to be highlighted: current logic thinking and scientific fragmentation. They permeate practically all research related to all global problems.

One of the greatest transversal challenges is sustainability.

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