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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: interviews » A magnetic solar storm hits the earth and therefore the electricity supply of the world turns out to be severely damaged.

version: 4 / updated: 2011-11-18
id: #1890 / version id: #1890
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Ivan Montenegro Perini
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Last changed by: Ivan Montenegro Perini
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Source of inspiration


The source of the Wild Card is

Manus Hayne, University of Lancaster, interviewed by RTC North


(max. 9 words)

A magnetic solar storm hits the earth and therefore the electricity supply of the world turns out to be severely damaged.


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
As a technology dependent society, if a major magnetic solar storm was to hit the earth, there would be lasting damage to electric power grids and potentially the electricity supply of the world could be severely damaged. If a major magnetic solar storm was to hit the earth, the effects could be catastrophic for technology. We are such a technology dependent society. It would cause billions, if not trillions, to repair, and there would no doubt be an effect on water supplies, perishable food, medicines and other necessities. Being forewarned is forearmed...hence further research and adequate procedures are required to hinder the storm or prepare for its arrival. Perhaps there are modifications to the power grids that could be researched to alleviate the impact of such an event.


energy crisis, water quality; water supply, technological crisis


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Type of event

Natural event (e.g. earthquake, tsunami, asteroid)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A new development/situation
(e.g. a Romani state is established in central Europe; A message from an alien civilisation existing on a distant planet is received and understood, etc.

Type of systems affected





please specify:
please select
Level 4: important for the whole world

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
scientific filters (knowledge/technology access)
political filters (party or ideological interests)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

Very uncertain

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Collapse of a system

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Coexistence and conflicts
Diseases, health and well-being
Education dynamics
Governance and trust in democracy
Energy security/dynamics
Economic prosperity/dynamics
Globalization vs. localization
Innovation dynamics
Techno-security, hazard & risk

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
ICT - Information & communication technologies
Environment (including Climate Change)
Social Sciences and Humanities

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Strengthening research institutions and universities
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Addressing cohesion through a localised articulation between supply and demand
(e.g. making research institutions more engaged with their own context and local users; reinforcing knowledge flows into and out of regions; etc.
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.