1. We need a crisper definition of what we mean by GSS. All new fields suffer from this problem, but a first step to establishing GSS as a valuable new approach to solving global problems is to be able to explain concisely and in plain language what it means and intends.
2. Phenomenology In my experience it is hard to get modelers out of their offices, but frankly we have little structured understanding of what goes on in cities and this is most likely going to require a small army of Jane Jacobs’. The goal of this work is to develop archetypes of patterns and principles that can be refined over time by validating them in Big Database. I do not believe in simply collecting Big Data and then hoping that the data mining tools will find these patterns for us without any guidance.
3. I found the debates about how GSS will sort out the massive problems of global financial, governance,, climate change, and a few other problems to be very inspirational. I am sure we would all love to see these problems solved. But I generally encourage learning to walk before engaging in hyper-marathons. These problems have been around a long time and many very bright people have worked hard to solve them. Why should anyone believe the GSS can succeed where they have failed? We need some proof points based on tackling smaller but still quite important problems. There are many of these.
4. I was surprised that no one spoke about supply chain networks or more generally the ecosystems that bind multiple players together into industrial systems. These systems are rather invisible but have direct impacts on our lives when things go wrong, e.g. the Tohoku EQ, Hurricane Sandy. These are also the cradles of industrial innovation as networks are disrupted by new members or new technologies.