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Top photo: Volunteers at the World Trade Center, New York, NY, September 29, 2001.
Credit: Andrea Booher, FEMA News Photo

Bottom photo: Volunteer welders cut up large pieces to help clear debris from the wreckage at the World Trade Center, New York, NY, September 13, 2001.
Credit: Andrea Booher, FEMA News Photo

How Do People Effect Change?
In what ways does change affect human behavior and how do people effect change in today's complex environment?

Large changes are happening rapidly. Communications, money and information quickly reach all parts of the globe. Farmers in the western states of America are affected by market prices in Asia. Companies outsource low-tech and high-tech jobs. Foreign political policy is as important as domestic policy. Technological interventions become possible in very personal decisions, such as having children and eating certain foods. Human rights questions become complicated and confusing.

People have always reacted and adapted to change, so what is different today? The changes themselves are different: genetic modifications and new weapons of destruction are just two examples. Also, scientists have new tools to study the dynamics of change – computer-assisted modeling and methods such as geographical information systems, that can integrate the work of many different kinds of scientists. "The new scientific capabilities hold significant promise for making breakthroughs in understanding impacts and human responses to changes of all types."

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