Hello @nadia, hello All - I like to chip in a little part. Having followed the recent webinar I read part of the description about Witness and got puzzled. By the way, I am reading SF (favourite: Octavia Butler or the Strugazki brothers). Hence, I do not feel estranged by the genre / approach.
(a) As expected, Witness seems mainly about interaction of people, governance, power-plays, etc. Drawing on this I was expecting to find little in the description of Witness about features like fluxes of matter (and energy), although these fluxes underpin (any) economy. I found reference to energy attribution, circular economy, reduction of waste, food etc. I was looking (in vain) for matters like ‘waste water treatment’ (pie, poo and washing), ‘use of soil, minerals, irrigation water’ etc. Likewise, I found no reference that human economies (all/ often / mainly) are open systems; fluxes of energy and matter in/out of the system. Thus, it seems to me that attention was little (so far) to some very basic processes / interactions (at the society-Earth-interface) that relate to basic ‘material’ features of societies / economies. Drawing on this it seems to me some study is needed in ‘Track #2’ about what kind of material fluxes have to be ‘modelled’; e.g. is treatment of human waste water a matter for Witness?.
(b) Also, much expected, Witness eclipses the issue of reproduction of humans (pregnancy, birth, child-hood, schooling, education, vocational training,… illness, and death do not seem to be treated (in detail & over time)). However, these processes are relevant in any functioning society / economy. Again, it seems to me a subject for ‘Track #2’.
Rapid forwarding from (a) and (b), I am wondering how any of the districts of ‘Witness’ would go about building and maintaining a hydro-power infrastructures (in a valley) to provide energy and irrigation water for the community for many cycles of human reproduction? A suchlike subject could be a manner to federate studies under ‘Track #2’ that could address the issues mentioned under (a) and (b).