Introduction: two tables, two chairs, many worlds
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An analogy is drawn between the challenge of introducing the unintuitive realities of modern physics to a wider audience a century ago with the that of introducing the changes involved in the knowledge economy and society. Making sense of the properties and potential of knowledge-based value creation defies the dominant economic views and opens yet untried possibilities to organize human life. This might prove the last opportunity to effectively respond to the existential risks of the Anthropocene. This book addresses three key issues: i) a critical overview of the emergence and evolution of the knowledge societies and economies over the turn of the millennium; ii) an integrated view of knowledge ranging from epistemic assumptions through scientific explanation, technical analysis, practical application and societal design; iii) a knowledge systems agenda responding to the existential challenges of the Anthropocene and the urgency to reinvent our relationship with a more-than-human world.