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Here we highlight individuals who are unaffiliated with a single planetary-focused organization, but
nonetheless act as nodes of planetary thinking. As individuals are notably more mobile than fixed centers,
they are not included in the portal map. However, in our estimation, a comprehensive database of planetary
thinking hubs, such as this site endeavors to be, would not be complete without including such individual
This list is always growing and never complete. Submissions of additional individuals for consideration to include here are most welcome.
The Planetary is an emerging concept in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, and politics that
draws attention to the basic fact that human affairs take place on a planet — and the innumerous and complex
implications that flow from this realization. To think with and through the Planetary is to acknowledge that
human life is inextricably embedded within the biogeochemical ferment of an ever-changing planet — a planet that
expands spatially from the Earth’s core to interplanetary space, temporally from nanoseconds to cosmic time
scales, and materially from elementary particles to the dark matter of the universe.
In contrast to concepts like “global,” “international,” and “transnational” — premised, as they are, on human perspectives and institutions — the concept of the Planetary does not privilege humans or any other particular species. Rather, it makes plain that Earth is not humanity’s alone. We share it with other living beings, nonliving matter, and forms of energy. In fact, these other-than-human agents, conditions and processes are what make human existence possible – though the reverse is not true. The Earth affects humans and is affected by humans, but it was here before humans evolved and will be here long after humans have gone. A planetary perspective, then, requires grappling with the political consequences, necessities, and possibilities of properly placing human experiences and sensibilities within the inhumanly vast frames of geological timescales, and Earth-spanning biological, chemical, and physical phenomenon.
This website, the Planetary Portal, aims to serve as a hub for planetary thinking, connecting disparate communities where theoretical and practical ideas on the Planetary are being developed. A collaboration between the Panel on Planetary Thinking at the University of Giessen and the Planetary research program at the Berggruen Institute, the Planetary Portal maps institutions around the world that are working on or within a planetary framework. They include university research centers, independent research institutes, NGOs, and other organizations that approach policy, politics, and philosophy through a planetary lens. It is our hope that representing the many diverse institutions that are working on the Planetary in one place will help visitors visualize the contours of this emerging field, draw connections between the various intellectual ventures, provide basic structure for the nascent category, and further the development of planetary thought, with the aim of developing a viable planetary politics.
The list of institutions and individual forerunners included on this website was compiled by the Panel on Planetary Thinking at the University of Giessen and the Planetary research program at the Berggruen Institute. It is a work in progress: if you would like your institutions to be considered for inclusion (or to be removed from the site), please contact us through the submission form.