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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: blogs » The mystery of 21 December 2012

version: 1 / created: 2010-04-06
id: #769 / version id: #769
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Originally submitted by: Ondrej Valenta
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(max. 9 words)

The mystery of 21 December 2012


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
Various historic systems, both evolutionary (e.g. I-T’ing or systems of ancient Egypt or Indian system of Vedas, Bible – revelation of John the Baptist), and calendar (e.g. Mayan calendar, Platonian year) indicate that around the winter solstice of 2012, humankind is expected to face a crucial event, may it be in form of a spiritual transformation, world collapse, or just a new economic cycle. Perhaps the most sophisticated approach towards 2012 phenomenon was given by Terence and Dennis McKenna by a time-analysis (Time Wave Zero) of ancient Chinese system of I-T’ing (the Novelty Theory). The 2012 is nevertheless significant also from the astrological point of view: within the Platonian year, the planet Earth leaves Age of Pisces and enters the Age of Aquarius. Also in 2012, the reversal of poles of the Earth is envisaged.


2012, new era, transformation, Terence McKenna, astronomy


(max. 250 characters)

A sudden event might happen on a winter solstice of 2012, with a tremendous impact on humankind. Although his has been subject to many fanciful and commercial interpretations, there is a certain probability that some event might actually happen.


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

Type of event

Unplanned consequence of events/trends/situations (e.g. financial crisis, accidental breakthrough)

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

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

current economic crisis

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
cultural/religious filters (values, traditions, faith, spiritual beliefs)
institutional filters (rules, laws, regulations)
economic filters (business/market interests)
affective filters (emotions, anxiety, self-doubt)
political filters (party or ideological interests)
social filters (class, status, education level)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably pervasive way (contagious or transmittable)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Transformation of a system (e.g. new applications, change in stakeholders relations/influence)


The extent and the form of the after-effect phase is highly unknown since no one knows yet what is actually going to happen.

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Behavioural change
Coexistence and conflicts
Crime and terrorism
Diseases, health and well-being
Food security and diet
Governance and trust in democracy
Social pathologies & ethics
Social exclusion & poverty
Social cohesion and diversity
Economic prosperity/dynamics
Globalization vs. localization
Innovation dynamics
Techno-security, hazard & risk
Sustainability and climate change

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
International S&T Cooperation

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

please justify:
particularly relevant
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
Overcoming sub-criticality and systemic failures
To be subcritical means that the effort in a particular field or subfield lacks resources, equipment or a sufficient number of researchers to achieve a desired goal
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.