Horizon 2045



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Horizon 2045 (H2045) is a 25-year initiative to end the nuclear weapons century.

We urgently need to manage the intertwined existential risks of the Anthropocene—the geological era that began with the 1945 Trinity Test and is characterized by humankind’s newfound capacity to destroy itself along with all life on the planet.

Recent research has shown that concerns about existential threats have become palpable, as has the desire to solve human-made problems and move to a brighter future. This offers an important opportunity: By considering nuclear weapons in the context of other dangers, we can dismantle conventional wisdom that nuclear weapons are tools for maintaining global stability, drawing new energy to the effort to rid ourselves of them.

What makes H2045 unique is that we bring a new theory of change. Rather than centering solely on nuclear weapons, our theory of change creates common ground for organizations and thought leaders who share our vision: Humanity can, and will, move beyond the existential challenges we now face. By shifting our sole focus from nuclear challenges to a broader conception of global security, we increase the surface area for collaboration and shared learning. In so doing, we lay the groundwork for a much larger-scale effort.

This document is an invitation to think with us. It is the product of a collaborative effort. It is a snapshot of a work in process. It raises more questions than it answers. It is intended to shake the current paradigm. It uses speculative techniques to bring alternate futures to life. It may cause discomfort. It may cause inspiration.

We think this kind of work is important in shaping debates, changing narratives, and provoking change. We invite you to use this document as a jumping off point for thinking big and long term. It does not need to be read all at once. You may skip to the section that seems most intriguing and start there. What questions does it raise for you? What questions remain to be asked and answered? What answers might you have?

There is a great deal that must be done. In our next phase we will be working to translate these insights into pragmatic solutions. Inspiration and vision light the way for that journey. H2045 will expand to include others in the development of a vision that inspires change.

Publication Date



Center for Complexity, Rhode Island School of Design


Providence, RI


Horizon 2045; Center for Complexity; nuclear; nuclear weapons.



Theory of Change

Included in

Nuclear Commons



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