How ‘Cultural Evolution’ Can Give Us the Tools to Build Global-Scale Resilience (

Cultural Evolution

Brewer is a change strategist dedicated to ensuring a thriving global civilization exists 100 years from now—and he believes this is becoming less likely every year. There’s rising instability in our fragile and rapidly changing biosphere, he says, and society is unlikely to escape harm.

During our discussion, Brewer cited a list of urgent crises including climate change, soil degradation, ocean acidification, and biodiversity loss alongside techno-social issues like the breakdown of trust in institutions, a lack of effective governance structures, the increased ability for manipulation with propaganda and misinformation, and extreme structural wealth inequality.

To address these challenges, he has devoted himself to developing and promoting the application of a multidisciplinary set of tools in a field of study called “cultural evolution.”

The goal? To help us make ethical decisions about how to govern society.

“If we want to make ethical design choices for how to build communities, we have to connect our thinking to biology. That’s a big reason for integrating fields of knowledge across the social sciences, humanities, and biology,” he says. “If you don’t make design choices about how to govern that match how living systems work—then you’re going to create maladaptive responses and create suffering.”

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