The following is a collection of literature that greatly influenced our thinking as we out together this manual. We offer four primary readings to start you off, with opportunities for further reading listed right after. You may go through these at your own pace.

Getting Started

  1. Spivak, G. C. (2015). ‘Planetarity’ Box 4 (Welt). Paragraph, 38(2), 290–292. In this paper, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak presents  the concept of 'planetarity.' Originating from her 1997 paper "Imperatives to Re-Imagine the Planet," Spivak use the concept o critique the current environmental narrative as being overly focused on sustaining global capitalism and imperialism, emphasizing a limited custodial view of the planet. She contrasts the 'planetary'—often tied to geological or DNA-based perspectives like those of Richard Dawkins—with 'planetarity.' The latter represents a fundamental otherness, an acknowledgment of the planet's alterity that resists full cognitive grasp or control, thereby challenging human understanding and pushing for an acknowledgment of the limits of our cognitive faculties in relation to the planet.
  2. Janzwood, S., & Homer-Dixon, T. (2022). What is a global polycrisis? Cascade Institute. This discussion paper presents the concept of a global polycrisis, exploring interconnected global challenges such as climate change, economic inequality, and political instability. The authors argue for a systemic understanding of these crises, emphasizing the need for integrated solutions and collaborative efforts.
  3. Rao, V., Beiko, T., Ryan, D., Stark, J., Van Epps, T., & Aue, B. (2023, March 6). The unreasonable sufficiency of protocols. Summer of Protocols. This essay explores the value of protocols in solving complex coordination problems. Defining protocols as “sets of rules and behaviors that enable individuals to interact and coordinate with each other”, Rao et. al. argue that good protocols tend to form persistent Scheling points (i.e. solutions good enough to live with) and invite more complex patterns of participation than competing systems of centralized coordination.

  4. Steffen, A. (2021, May 19). We’re Not Yet Ready for What’s Already Happened. The Snap Forward. Framing the planetary crisis as “interlocking, complex, accelerating changes our actions are bringing on in the natural world,” Steffen defines our current risks as a “discontinuity” i.e. a watershed moment where past experiences lose value as guides for future decision-making. He invites us to accept discontinuity as an irrefutable fact of our current trans-apocalyptic reality, warning of the dangers of denial in the face of the growing challenges (and opportunities) put forth by the planetary crisis.

  5. Bratton, B. (2021, June 17). Planetary Sapience. NOEMA. In “Planetary Sapience”, Bratton points to the evolving exoskeleton of tech infrastructure (satellites, fiber optic cables, etc.) that surround the planet, suggesting that it functions as a new sensory organ that engenders “planetary-scale computation.” Armed with this new perspective, he compels us to envision a deliberate and meaningful endeavor: the transformation of the Earth at a planetary scale.

Additional Reading

  1. Bendik-Keymer, J. (2020, May 27). "Planetarity," "Planetarism," and the interpersonal. e-flux.

  2. brown, a. m. (2017). Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. AK Press.  ISBN: 9781849351721.

  3. Boyer, B., Cook, J., Steinberg, M (2019). Legible Practises: Six Stories About the Craft of Stewardship. Helsinki Design Lab.

  4. Bridle, J. (2022). Ways of Being. Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence . Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN: 978-0374601119.

  5. Chakrabarty, D. (2019). The Planet: An Emergent Humanist Category. Critical Inquiry, 46(1), 1–31.

  6. Davis, A., Spivak, G. C., & Dhawan, N. (2019). Planetary Utopias. Radical Philosophy, 205, 67–78.

  7. DeLoughrey, E. (2014). Satellite Planetarity and the Ends of the Earth. Public Culture, 26 (2), 257–280.

  8. Escobar, A. (2015). Commons in the pluriverse. In Patterns of Commoning. The Commons Strategies Group.

  9. Escobar, A. (2018). Designs for the Pluriverse. Duke University Press. ISBN: 9781478002916.

  10. Esposito, E. (2012). The Structures of Uncertainty: Performativity and Unpredictability in Economic Operations. Economy and Society, 42(1), 102–129.

  11. Frank, A. B., & Bartels, E. M. (Eds.). (2022). Adaptive Engagement for Undergoverned Spaces: Concepts, Challenges, and Prospects for New Approaches. RAND Corporation.

  12. Gafni, M. (2017, February 8). Crisis of imagination. Medium. Thrive Global.

  13. Gahman, L. (2017). Building “A world where many worlds fit”: Indigenous autonomy, mutual aid, and an (anti-capitalist) moral economy of the (rebel) peasant. In D. Bollier & S. Helfrich (Eds.), Sustainable Food Futures: Alternative Networks and Models for Transforming our Food System. 114–136. ISBN: 9781315463131.

  14. Haraway, D. J. (2014). Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene: Staying with the trouble.

  15. Horst W. J. Rittel, & Webber, M. M. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4(2), 155–169.

  16. Kimmerer, R. W. (2020). Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions. ISBN: 9781571313560.

  17. Kimmerer, R. W. (2020). Skywoman Falling. Emergence Magazine, 22(1), 34–35.

  18. Latour, B. (1992). Where are the missing masses? The sociology of a few mundane artifacts. In W. Bijker & J. Law (Eds.), Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change. 225-259. ISBN: 9780262521949.

  19. Macfarlane, R. (2015). Desecration phrasebook: A litany for the Anthropocene. New Scientist, 228(3052), 200.

  20. Machado de Oliveira, V. (2021). Hospicing Modernity: Facing Humanity's Wrongs and the Implications for Social Activism. North Atlantic Books. ISBN: 9781623176242.

  21. O'Hara, M., & Leicester, G. (2019). Dancing at the Edge: Competence, Culture and Organization in the 21st Century. Triarchy Press. ISBN: 9781913344466.

  22. Ostrom, E. (2015). Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9781107407391.

  23. Pedersen, S. (2020). Planetarism: A paradigmatic alternative to internationalism. Globalizations, 18(2), 141–154.

  24. Querejazu, A. (2016). Encountering the pluriverse: Looking for alternatives in other worlds. Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, 59(2).

  25. Rao, V., Beiko, T., Ryan, D., Stark, J., Van Epps, T., & Aue, B. (2023, March 6). The unreasonable sufficiency of protocols. Summer of Protocols.

  26. Rancati, A., & Snowden, D. (2021). Managing complexity (and chaos) in times of crisis – A field guide for decision makers inspired by the Cynefin framework. Publications Office of the European Commission.

  27. Shah, S. (n.d.). Planetarity – Rethinking relations. Affect and Colonialism. Accessed April 30, 2023.

  28. Unger, R. M. (2023, January 17). How to govern the world without world government. NOEMA.