Category Archives: Reorganization

Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis

Historian Stephen Mihm writes in the Boston Review on Hyman Minsky‘s work on the unstable dynamics of capitalism in Why capitalism fails:

Minsky called his idea the “Financial Instability Hypothesis.” In the wake of a depression, he noted, financial institutions are extraordinarily conservative, as are businesses. With the borrowers and the lenders who fuel the economy all steering clear of high-risk deals, things go smoothly: loans are almost always paid on time, businesses generally succeed, and everyone does well. That success, however, inevitably encourages borrowers and lenders to take on more risk in the reasonable hope of making more money. As Minsky observed, “Success breeds a disregard of the possibility of failure.”

As people forget that failure is a possibility, a “euphoric economy” eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers – what he called speculative borrowers, those whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called “Ponzi borrowers,” those whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further. As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit.

Once that kind of economy had developed, any panic could wreck the market. The failure of a single firm, for example, or the revelation of a staggering fraud could trigger fear and a sudden, economy-wide attempt to shed debt. This watershed moment – what was later dubbed the “Minsky moment” – would create an environment deeply inhospitable to all borrowers. The speculators and Ponzi borrowers would collapse first, as they lost access to the credit they needed to survive. Even the more stable players might find themselves unable to pay their debt without selling off assets; their forced sales would send asset prices spiraling downward, and inevitably, the entire rickety financial edifice would start to collapse. Businesses would falter, and the crisis would spill over to the “real” economy that depended on the now-collapsing financial system.

It sounds very similar to Holling’s adaptive cycle and the pathology of natural resource management.

Planetary Boundaries

nature-climate-graphic-225A number of resilience researchers, and many others, have proposed the concept of planetary boundaries in a new paper A safe operating space for humanity in Nature (doi:10.1038/461472a).

Johan Rockstrom and others propose nine planetary boundaries, beyond which the functioning of the earth system will fundamentally change.  They argue that we have crossed the climate, nitrogen and extinction boundaries, and need to change the course of our civilization to move back into  conditions which provide a safety for human civilization.

Nature has a special feature on Planetary Boundaries.  It has also published seven independent essays by experts who reflect upon each of the defined boundary (two of the nine were not defined due to a lack of information), and their blog Climate Feedback is also hosting a discussion of the article.

Science journalist, Carl Zimmer has written a good article about the paper and concept on Yale’s Environment 360.

The Stockholm Resilience Centre provides links to the full paper, and supporting information, as well as a number of videos explaining the concept.

After Iceland’s crisis – social reorganization?

From the Guardian After the crash, Iceland’s women lead the rescue

Icelandic women are … more likely to be thinking about how to put right the mess their men have made of the banking system than about cooking them comfort food. The tiny nation, with a population of just over 300,000 people, has been overwhelmed by an economic disaster that is threatening its very survival. But for a generation of fortysomething women, the havoc is translating into an opportunity to step into the positions vacated by the men blamed for the crisis, and to play a leading role in creating a more balanced economy, which, they argue, should incorporate overtly feminine values.

The ruling male elite is scarcely in a position to argue. The krona has collapsed; interest rates and inflation have soared; companies and households which have borrowed in foreign currency are overwhelmed by their debts and unemployment is at record levels. An exodus of young people is feared from the capital only recently held up as a centre of cutting-edge cool. Walking along Laugavegur, touted until a year or so ago as the Bond Street of Reykjavik, the gloom is palpable.

The idea that Reykjavik, an attractive, low-rise provincial place, could be a financial nerve centre on a par with the gleaming skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and Wall Street now seems utterly absurd. Over the past 10 years, however, little Iceland became a test-bed for the new economic order. Led by businessmen such as Baugur boss Jón Asgeir Jóhannesson, a nation previously best known for cod and hot springs reinvented itself as an Atlantic tiger. The Icelanders bought stakes in huge tracts of the British high street, including House of Fraser, Whistles and Karen Millen. Their banks were equally buccaneering, adopting free market reforms with gusto and moving with relish into financial engineering. The upshot: they now owe at least six times the country’s income for 2008 and have been taken into state hands.

Unlike in the UK, Iceland’s women are at the forefront of the clean-up. The crisis led to the downfall of the government and the prime minister’s residence – which resembles a slightly over-sized white dormer bungalow – is now occupied by Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, an elegant 66-year-old lesbian who is the world’s first openly gay premier. When she lost a bid to lead her party in the 1990s, she lifted her fist and declared: “My time will come.” Her hour has now arrived – and the same is true for a cadre of highly accomplished businesswomen.

Prominent among them are Halla Tómasdóttir and Kristin Petursdóttir, the founders of Audur Capital, who have teamed up with the singer Björk to set up an investment fund to boost the ravaged economy by investing in green technology. Petursdóttir, a former senior banking executive, and Tómasdóttir, the former managing director of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce, decided just before the crunch to set up a firm bringing female values into the mainly male spheres of private equity, wealth management and corporate advice.

Habits of Resilient Organizations

EcoTrust‘s blog/web magazine People and Place first issue is on Resilience Thinking, and features a number of articles on resilience including a interview with Brian Walker.  One interesting article proposes Six Habits of Highly Resilient Organizations:

1. Resilient organizations actively attend to their environments.
2. Resilient organizations prepare themselves and their employees for disruptions.
3. Resilient organizations build in flexibility.
4. Resilient organizations strengthen and extend their communications networks – internally and externally.
5. Resilient organizations encourage innovation and experimentation.
6. Resilient organizations cultivate a culture with clearly shared purpose and values.

The authors write:

Most companies live fast and die young. A study in 1983 by Royal Dutch/Shell found only 40 corporations over 100 years old. In contrast, they found that one-third of the Fortune 500s from 1970 were, at that time, already gone.

What differentiates success and failure, resilience and collapse? The Royal Dutch/Shell study emphasizes shared purpose and values, tolerance of new ideas, financial reserves, and situational awareness.

More recently, Ceridian Corporation collected best thinking and strategies to publish an executive briefing on organizational resilience. They highlighted the paradox that successful, resilient organizations are those that are able to respond to two conflicting imperatives:

* managing for performance and growth, which requires consistency, efficiency, eliminating waste, and maximizing short-term results

* managing for adaptation, which requires foresight, innovation, experimentation, and improvisation, with an eye on long-term benefits

Most organizations pay great attention to the first imperative but little to the second. Start-ups often excel at improvisation and innovation but founder on the shoals of consistent performance and efficiency. About half of all new companies fail during their first five years.

Each mode requires a different skill set and organizational design. Moving nimbly between them is a tricky dynamic balancing act. Disruptions can come from anywhere – from within, from competitors, infrastructure or supply chain crises, or from human or natural disasters. The financial crisis has riveted current attention, but it’s just one of many disruptions organizations must cope with daily. Planning for disruption means shifting from “just-in-time” production and efficiency to “just-in-case” resilience.

Transfomation of the Klamath

Many rivers are more valuable without their dams.  Years ago it was unthinkable, but now dams are scheduled to be removed on the Klamath River.  Robert Service writes in Science News (Nov 13) Four Dams to Come Down:

A tentative agreement has been reached to begin decommissioning four dams on the Klamath River, an issue that has been a hotbed of controversy in recent years. The news was announced today by top officials with the U.S. Department of Interior, the states of California and Oregon, and the utility company PacifiCorp. If the deal goes through, it’s expected to mark the largest dam-removal project ever undertaken.

The agreement marks a major shift in bitter battles over water that have racked the Klamath Basin in recent years and often placed scientists in the center (see Science, 4 April 2003, p. 36). PacifiCorp had been seeking to relicense its dams, and the Bush Administration has long opposed dam removal. The Klamath, which flows from the central portion of southern Oregon to the coast of northern California, is the third most important river for salmon in the West behind the Columbia and Sacramento rivers. Dams along the river provide cheap renewable energy, as well as vital irrigation water for farmers. A drought in 2001 led federal officials to shut off irrigation water, a move that sparked widespread conflicts among farmers, fishermen, and conservationists. With irrigation restored the following year, low river levels contributed to a disease outbreak that killed at least 33,000 salmon, according to a 2004 report by the California Department of Fish and Game.

In the NYTimes, Felicity Barringer writes:

All the parties had coped with worst-case situations in the past decade. In 2001, irrigators had their water shut off, crippling agricultural production. In the dry year of 2002, the Interior Department ordered water distributed to irrigators and tens of thousands of salmon in the Klamath died; in 2007, low salmon populations in the Klamath led to sharply curtailed commercial fishing.

“After living through moments that would tax the character of most anyone, the good people of the basin came together,” Mr. Kempthorne said.

The agreement also sets out a requirement for several years of scientific analysis of how removing the dams would affect water quality and fish habitat. The aim is to ensure that the environmental impact of the release of sediment would not be worse than leaving the dams in place. The oldest dam was installed more than a century ago.

Financial crisis: bad models or bad modellers

Australian economist, John Quiggin writes on Crooked Timber about the contribution of models to the financial crisis:

The idea that bad mathematical models used to evaluate investments are at least partially to blame for the financial crisis has plenty of appeal, and perhaps some validity, but it doesn’t justify a lot of the anti-intellectual responses we are seeing. That includes this NY Times headline In Modeling Risk, the Human Factor Was Left Out. What becomes clear from the story is that a model that left human factors out would have worked quite well. The elements of the required model are

  1. in the long run, house prices move in line with employment, incomes and migration patterns
  2. if prices move more than 20 per cent out of line with long run value they will in due course fall at least 20 per cent
  3. when this happens, large classes of financial assets will go into default either directly or because they are derived from assets that can’t pay out if house prices fall

It was not the disregard of human factors but the attempt to second-guess human behavioral responses to a period of rising prices, so as to reproduce the behavior of housing markets in the bubble period, that led many to disaster. A more naive version of the same error is to assume that particular observed behavior (say, not defaulting on home loans) will be sustained even when the conditions that made that behavior sensible no longer apply.

…More generally, in most cases, the headline result from a large and complex model can usually be reproduced with a much simpler model embodying the same key assumptions. If those assumptions are right (wrong) the model results will be the same. The extra detail usually serves to produce more detailed results rather than to produce significant changes in the headline results.

Björk discusses Iceland’s response to financial crisis

From Pitchfork – the Icelandic musician and star Björk, on the Icelandic response to the financial crisis (which locked up Iceland’s imports as massive bank failures lead to a currency crash):

… the Náttúra Campaign, the Icelandic environmental movement co-founded by Björk. Náttúra’s original mission was to protest the construction of foreign-backed aluminum factories in Iceland, but in recent weeks, the movement has taken a dramatic turn. ….

Björk: For the last two weeks, Icelanders are getting a crash course in economics. I mean, I didn’t know about these things two weeks ago. The news is full of right-wing guys saying, “Stop the environmental value stuff! We should just build factories everywhere now, because that’s where the money is!” …

These aluminum smelters, nobody wants to build them in Europe, because there’s so much pollution. So it’s like, “Oh, just go dump them in Iceland.” We are getting them energy for so cheap that they are saving so much money by doing all this here.

Instead, what we are saying is, we’ve got three aluminum factories, let’s work with that, we cannot change that. Why not have the Icelandic people who are educated in high-tech and work already in those factories in the higher paid jobs, why not let them build little companies who are totally Icelandic with the knowledge they have? Then they get the money and it stays in the country. Then we can support the biotech companies and the food companies and all these clusters. I think that if you want to be an environmentalist in Iceland, these are the things you’ve got to be putting your energy into.

A lot of investors [are] coming, and I’m hoping they will want to invest in the high-tech cluster. There are money people here that did not lose a lot of money. For example, here is one investment company in Iceland only run by women. They are doing fine. [laughs] They aren’t risk junkies. They just made slow moves. The people who are crashing, they took a huge loan and then another huge loan, and so on. And it’s all just air. But these women didn’t build on air.

I’ve also been trying to get someone to Iceland to suggest green industries to Icelanders and introduce us to the companies that haven’t even been built yet in the world. This man Paul Hawken, who is famous in the States, he has agreed to come here in November. He’s supposed to be a green capitalist. He’s a functionalist, not just an idealist. I’m hoping he can unite these two polarized groups in Iceland. I’m setting up a meeting with him and the people in power. Because I think private money people can put money into those seed companies, but most of all, the government has to do it. It has to be a mixture of two things. It cannot just be visionary money people.

Systemic risk reflections

TED spreadSome recent reflections on systemic risk and the financial markets – ranging from details to the big picture.

First, Gretchen Morgenson in the New York Times writes Behind Insurer’s Crisis, Blind Eye to a Web of Risk:

“It is hard for us, without being flippant, to even see a scenario within any kind of realm of reason that would see us losing one dollar in any of those transactions.”— Joseph J. Cassano, a former A.I.G. executive, August 2007

…Although America’s housing collapse is often cited as having caused the crisis, the system was vulnerable because of intricate financial contracts known as credit derivatives, which insure debt holders against default. They are fashioned privately and beyond the ken of regulators — sometimes even beyond the understanding of executives peddling them.

Originally intended to diminish risk and spread prosperity, these inventions instead magnified the impact of bad mortgages like the ones that felled Bear Stearns and Lehman and now threaten the entire economy.

In the case of A.I.G., the virus exploded from a freewheeling little 377-person unit in London, and flourished in a climate of opulent pay, lax oversight and blind faith in financial risk models. It nearly decimated one of the world’s most admired companies, a seemingly sturdy insurer with a trillion-dollar balance sheet, 116,000 employees and operations in 130 countries.

Second, America’s National Public Radio’s Planet Money has a lot of recent indepth coverage of the financial crisis in this vein available of podcasts.  Including a recent one called the day America’s economy almost died.

Looking a more the big economic picture,  Predicting Crisis in the United States Economy a profile of Nouriel Roubini discusses the selective vision of models and the biases against discontinuities or nonlinear change.

Recessions are signal events in any modern economy. And yet remarkably, the profession of economics is quite bad at predicting them. A recent study looked at “consensus forecasts” (the predictions of large groups of economists) that were made in advance of 60 different national recessions that hit around the world in the ’90s: in 97 percent of the cases, the study found, the economists failed to predict the coming contraction a year in advance. On those rare occasions when economists did successfully predict recessions, they significantly underestimated the severity of the downturns. Worse, many of the economists failed to anticipate recessions that occurred as soon as two months later.

The dismal science, it seems, is an optimistic profession. Many economists, Roubini among them, argue that some of the optimism is built into the very machinery, the mathematics, of modern economic theory. Econometric models typically rely on the assumption that the near future is likely to be similar to the recent past, and thus it is rare that the models anticipate breaks in the economy. And if the models can’t foresee a relatively minor break like a recession, they have even more trouble modeling and predicting a major rupture like a full-blown financial crisis. Only a handful of 20th-century economists have even bothered to study financial panics. (The most notable example is probably the late economist Hyman Minksy, of whom Roubini is an avid reader.) “These are things most economists barely understand,” Roubini told me. “We’re in uncharted territory where standard economic theory isn’t helpful.”

Finally, Science Fiction writer Charlie Stross writes about the increasing difficulty of projecting the near future at all:

We are living in interesting times; in fact, they’re so interesting that it is not currently possible to write near-future SF.

… Put yourself in the shoes of an SF author trying to construct an accurate (or at least believable) scenario for the USA in 2019. Imagine you are constructing your future-USA in 2006, then again in 2007, and finally now, with talk of $700Bn bailouts and nationalization of banks in the background. Each of those projections is going to come out looking different. Back in 2006 the sub-prime crisis wasn’t even on the horizon but the big scandal was FEMA’s response (or lack thereof) to Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, the sub-prime ARM bubble began to burst and the markets were beginning to turn bearish. (Oh, and it looked as if the 2008 presidential election would probably be down to a fight between Hilary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.) Now, in late 2008 the fiscal sky is falling; things may not end as badly as they did for the USSR, but it’s definitely an epochal, historic crisis.

Now extend the thought-experiment back to 1996 and 1986. Your future-USA in the 1986 scenario almost certainly faced a strong USSR in 2019, because the idea that a 70 year old Adversary could fall apart in a matter of months, like a paper tiger left out in a rain storm, simply boggles the mind. It’s preposterous; it doesn’t fit with our outlook on the way history works. (And besides, we SF writers are lazy and we find it convenient to rely on clichés — for example, good guys in white hats facing off against bad guys in black hats. Which is silly — in their own head, nobody is a bad guy — but it makes life easy for lazy writers.) The future-USA you dreamed up in 1996 probably had the internet (it had been around in 1986, in embryonic form, the stomping ground of academics and computer industry specialists, but few SF writers had even heard of it, much less used it) and no cold war; it would in many ways be more accurate than the future-USA predicted in 1986. But would it have a monumental fiscal collapse, on the same scale as 1929? Would it have Taikonauts space-walking overhead while the chairman of the Federal Reserve is on his knees? Would it have more mobile phones than people, a revenant remilitarized Russia, and global warming?

There’s a graph I’d love to plot, but I don’t have the tools for. The X-axis would plot years since, say, 1950. The Y-axis would be a scatter plot with error bars showing the deviation from observed outcomes of a series of rolling ten-year projections modeling the near future. Think of it as a meta-analysis of the accuracy of projections spanning a fixed period, to determine whether the future is becoming easier or harder to get right. I’m pretty sure that the error bars grow over time, so that the closer to our present you get, the wider the deviation from the projected future would be. Right now the error bars are gigantic.

Shipping containers and world trade

The BBC is planning to follow and report on the progress of a container around the world for a year.  They have painted a container and bolted a GPS transmitter to allow is readers to follow its progress around the world on their map (as I write this the container full of whiskey in Scotland).

The BBC named their project The Box after The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger an interesting book on the history of containerization and its effect on globalization by Marc Levinson (here is a book review from Ethan Zuckerman and an essay by Witold Rybczynski).

I read the book earlier this year and enjoyed it.  I would have liked more economic history and statistics in the book, but its main problem was that people mocked me when I told them I was reading a book about containers. However, containers have become an essential part of global trade and of its rapid growth.

Trends in world trade of total merchandise, intermediate goods and other commercial services, from 1988-2006 (100=1988).  From WTO\'s World Trade Report 2008.
Trends in world trade of total merchandise, intermediate goods and other commercial services, from 1988-2006 (100=1988). From the WTO’s World Trade Report 2008.

Below are some maps of parts of global trade.  They give a bit of an idea of where such a container is likely to move between.

Structure of world trade of between 28 OECD countries in 1992. The size of the nodes gives the volume of flows  in dollars (imports and exports) for each country . The size of the links stands for the volume of trade between any two countries. Colors give the regional respectively memberships in different trade organisations: EC countries (yellow), EFTA countries (green), USA and Canada (blue), Japan (red), East Asian Countries (pink), Oceania (Australia , New Zealand) (black).  From Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
Structure of world trade of between 28 OECD countries in 1992. The size of the nodes gives the volume of flows in dollars (imports and exports) for each country . The size of the links stands for the volume of trade between any two countries. Colors give the regional respectively memberships in different trade organisations: EC countries (yellow), EFTA countries (green), USA and Canada (blue), Japan (red), East Asian Countries (pink), Oceania (Australia , New Zealand) (black). From Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.

World trade imbalance web for the years 1960 and 2000. Directed network of merchandize trade imbalances between world countries. Each country appears as a node and the direction of the arrow follows that of the net flow of money.  (Serrano et al 2007).
World trade imbalance web for the years 1960 and 2000. Directed network of merchandise trade imbalances between world countries. Each country appears as a node and the direction of the arrow follows that of the net flow of money. (Serrano et al 2007).

The book – The Box – includes lots of interesting history of the container system, and how as a system it lead to innovations, efficiencies, and had many unintendend consequences.  One example, is that it made many old ports obsolete which reshaping many city centres (over decades), but also the creation of new ports and the changes in container ships they triggered – caused ongoing shifts in global trade patterns.

One key cycle of change was a postive feedback between ship size and port attributes. Because the fuel consumption of a ship does not increase proportionately to the number of containers a ship can carry – containers ships have become bigger and bigger – which has had the effect of focusing trade into ports that can handle the large ships and the trade volume.  These big ports then lead to the construction of more bigger ships. Wikipedia lists the world’s busiest container ports – the top are Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong , Shenzen, and Busan.  This concentration of big ships in big ports has had the effect of making world trade unexpectedly (for economic theory) “lumpy.”  Paul Krugmann explains:

[Economic theory suggests] a country like China should export a wider range of products to a small country, like Ecuador, than it does to a big country, like the US. Why? Because Ecuador, being small, probably has fewer industries that are cost-competitive with Chinese exports. In fact, however, China seems to export a wider range of stuff to bigger economies.

A possible explanation is the lumpiness of transport costs: there are more container ships heading from China to US ports than to Ecuadorian ports, so that it’s worth sending over a bigger range of stuff. It’s like the reason there are fewer food choices in supermarkets on St. Croix (where we spent our last vacation) than in New Jersey — there’s just one boat with groceries coming over every once in a while, so you can’t keep, um, arugula in stock.

Reading the Box also makes it clear that while higher fuel prices will reshape trade patterns and probably boat designs, neither global trade patterns nor transportation costs will return to those of the 1960s or 1970s.  This is due to huge improvements in logistics that have radically dropped the labour cost for shipping goods long distances, and this has also decreased fuel costs.

The rapid expansion of skills in logistics is a hidden environmental efficiency of the moden world economy – in that it allows things to be moved around for less cost than earlier in history.  However as occurs with most increases in efficiency, modern society undoes the environmental advantages of efficiency by using the cost saving to simply move more stuff for the same amount of money.

Logistics makes at least parts of the world “flatter.” And the ease of making these connections appears to make it easier to spread tools and ideas as well as goods.  The World Bank claims that countries with the most predictable, efficient, and best-run transportation routes and trade procedures are also the most likely to take advantage of technological advances, economic liberalization, and access to international markets.  While countries with higher logistics costs are more likely to miss the opportunities of globalization.  The World Bank ranks countries using a logistics performance index which measures the ease with which the country connects to the global economy.  Singapore, Netherlands, and Germany are at the top as the most accessible; while Rwanada, East Timor, and Afghanistan are at the bottom of the rankings.

Of course, novel solutions also produce novel problems.  Discarded containers litter landscapes worldwide (finding uses for them has become a standard architecture project), container ports are centres of environmental and biotic pollution, and the ease of using containers is also useful for smuggling.

And at least my impression from reading The Box, was that containerization has not finished trasnforming the world economy.

P.S. Ethan Zuckerman also has a long post Mapping a connected world discussing containers and world trade.

A transforming Arctic

Arctic sea ice, Sept 8, 2008 (From NASA EO).

From EO Newsroom

This image shows Arctic sea ice concentration on September 8, 2008, as observed by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer–Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) sensor on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The observations are collected on a pixel by pixel basis over the Arctic. The percentage of a 12.5-square-kilometer pixel covered by ice is shown in shades of dark blue (no ice) to white (100 percent ice). The gray line around the Arctic basin shows the median minimum extent of sea ice from 1979-2000. (The median of a data set is the middle value if you arrange the numbers in order from smallest to largest.)

The southern portions of the Northwest Passage through the Arctic (the western route from Europe to Asia through the islands of northern Canada) opened in early August. Then in early September, ice scientists confirmed that the waters around the Russian coastline—the Northern Sea Route— were navigable, but still treacherous, with shifting floes of thick, multi-year ice, that could coalesce rapidly. The image shows that the widest avenue through the Northwest Passage, Parry Channel, still harbored some ice, but the more circuitous, southern waterways were clear. On the other side of the Arctic Ocean, the passage around Russia’s Taymyr Peninsula, normally locked in by ice, was similarly open. According to a press release from the U.S. National Ice Center, “This is the first recorded occurrence of the Northwest Passage and Northern Sea Route both being open at the same time.”

The summer opening of the Arctic means that new uses of the Arctic are likely to emerge. International legal experts believe that “existing laws governing everything from fish stocks to bio-prospecting by pharmaceutical companies” are inadequate.

To date, the eight Arctic nations (the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and Finland) have limited discussions to existing agreements, such as the law of the sea. Environmental groups would like new laws, but others have suggested a more feasible, and adaptive response may be to strengthen the role of the existing Arctic Council to better govern a changing Arctic in a more adaptive way.