Thematic Area: 
The planet Earth has taken approximately 4.5 billion years to assume its contemporary form. Humanoid life has been in existence for about 2.5 million years. Our genus: Homo sapiens sapiens has an evolutionary history of approximately 200, 000 years. Our current geological epoch has been termed the Holocene and established itself about 12,000 years ago. Since then until now, human development has spanned evolutionary change and been accelerated during periods of revolutionary transformation. This research area is concerned with the current precarious state of life and human development on the planet. It also considers emerging trajectories and unfolding alternative scenarios. The themes under this focus include ecosystems, contemporary anthropology, transitions, and prospective studies. Long waves of change are also interrogated with respect to the socio-technical and techno-economic paradigms.