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Environment

The Global Risks Report 2018

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Last year’s Global Risks Report was published at a time of heightened global uncertainty and strengthening popular discontent with the existing political and economic order. The report called for “fundamental reforms to market capitalism” and a rebuilding of solidarity within and between countries. One year on, a global economic recovery is under way, offering new opportunities for progress that should not be squandered: the urgency of facing up to systemic challenges has, if anything, intensified amid proliferating indications of uncertainty, instability and fragility.
Humanity has become remarkably adept at understanding how to mitigate conventional risks that can be relatively easily isolated and managed with standard risk management approaches. But we are much less competent when it comes to dealing with complex risks in the interconnected systems that underpin our world, such as organizations, economies, societies and the environment. There are signs of strain in many of these systems: our accelerating pace of change is testing the absorptive capacities of institutions, communities and individuals. When risk cascades through a complex system, the danger is not of incremental damage but of “runaway collapse” or an abrupt transition to a new, suboptimal status quo.
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80
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A Strategy for the Trans-Pacific Century

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The open, rules-based international order in Asia is under threat. The set of post-World War II arrangements designed by the United States and its allies and partners provided an unprecedented degree of stability, security, prosperity, and freedom globally and in the region but the continuation of this system under US leadership is no longer guaranteed. As the United States and its Asian and European allies and partners face a diverse array of new challenges in the Asia-Pacific and at home, Washington must reassess its goals, strategy, policies, and its very commitment to leadership in the region. At a time when the United States promotes “America First,” to what extent does a dated order in Asia continue to serve US and allied interests? Will the United States be willing to sustain its long-standing security-provider role in the region, and do its allies find preexisting US commitments credible? How can the United States, and likeminded Asian and European states, best contribute to security, prosperity, and democratic values in the region? Does China’s rise permit the possibility of greatpower cooperation, or is some level of competition —and even outright conflict— inevitable? To what extent, in the changing regional economic architecture, are the United States and its partners willing to make alterations in governance structure in order to adapt to the new economic weight of emerging economies? How do issues that are likely to be high-priority agenda items in the near future (e.g., food, water, and energy security; the environment; urbanization; demographic change; and disruptive technologies) challenge existing frameworks that have shaped regional affairs and societies? These are among the questions that must be addressed as the United States seeks to secure its interests in Asia, and as Asian partners look to the United States for leadership. The Asia-Pacific may be the world’s most dynamic geopolitical region. According to some projections, the majority of all global economic activity could take place within Asia by 2050.
Military might often follows economic power, and Asian countries are already spending more than European states on defense. Both of these developments reflect a broader shift in global power from West to East. If the twentieth century could be characterized as the “Trans-Atlantic Century,” the twenty-first century may well become known as the “Trans-Pacific Century.”
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69
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Key challenges and opportunities for Cities and Regions and MFF post 2020

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The EU budget is indeed facing unprecedented challenges which may have profound impacts in the size and structure of the post-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF). One of the greatest challenges will be to handle the impact of Brexit on the EU budget’s revenues. This is not only a budgetary issue; it may well entail a shift in the ambitions of EU action as well as in its focus. Part of the foundations of Brexit are also to be found in the EU budget and should not be ignored.
The EU is under pressure to deliver in critical areas such as economic growth, environmental protection, climate change, security and migration. Depending on the role the EU will be expected or have to play, this may have considerable budgetary implications.
But the challenge is also how to adapt the budget given its limited (and unlikely to be increased) size. There is also a risk that member states, rather than focusing on Europe’s changing needs, will fall prey to pork barrel politics in order to protect their receipts from the EU budget.
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Number of pages: 
90
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Circular by design - Products in the circular economy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Abstract in English: 
This report explores the circular economy from a product perspective, applying a systemic approach and transition theory. Drivers of product design and usage are discussed in the context of emerging consumption trends and business models. For governance to be effective, it has to address the product life-cycle and the societal context determining it. Indicators and assessment tools are proposed that can help fill the current data and knowledge gaps.
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56
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What role for cars in tomorrow’s world?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Abstract in English: 
What lies ahead for cars? The need to improve air quality and the quest for more fluid means of mobility, and sometimes dogmatic viewpoints have led some to want to exclude cars from towns.
Despite the undeniable progress that has been made to mitigate its impact, cars remain a source of undesirable externalities. In France, transport represented 26.9% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 and 28% of particulate emissions in the Île-de-France region.
Congestion in city centres leads to increase in both of these emissions and a considerable loss of time (estimated at 38 minutes per day in Paris) and money for those who drive.
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190
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Shaping the Future of Construction Inspiring innovators redefine the industry

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Abstract in English: 
3D-printed houses, automatically designed hospitals, prefabricated skyscrapers — once futuristic dreams are now a reality as described in the new report Shaping the Future of Construction: Inspiring innovators redefine the industry developed with the World Economic Forum. It showcases and analyses 10 Lighthouse innovation cases – prominent flagship projects as well as start-ups and pilot projects – that demonstrate the potential of innovation in construction and give a glimpse of the industry’s future.
In the context of the Forum’s Future of Construction initiative, over the past year six Working Groups comprised of industry leaders, academics and experts met regularly to develop and analyse innovative ideas, their impact, the barriers to implementing solutions and the way forward to overcoming obstacles and implementing modern approaches in the construction and engineering industry.
This white paper presents the outcome of this work in the form of insight articles proposing innovative solutions on how to address the construction sector’s key challenges.
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96
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The circular economy: reconciling economic growth with the environment

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The circular economy transition embodies the actions and transformations which allow the different economic players (including the final users) to pursue value creation by reducing negative externalities as well as the resources that only exist in limited amounts.
Thus, the concept meets the perspective of a sustainable economic growth and relies both on innovation and on the collaboration of all economic players. This transition calls for a change, from a linear model of society based on “extraction, production, consumption, waste”, to a circular model that turns waste into resources.
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Number of pages: 
104
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Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016 - Taking on Inequality

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Poverty and Shared Prosperity series provides a global audience with the latest and most accurate estimates on trends in global poverty and shared prosperity, as well as in-depth research into policies and interventions that can make a difference for the world’s poorest. The 2016 edition takes a close look at the role that inequality reduction plays in ending extreme poverty and improving the livelihoods of the poorest in every country. It looks at recent country experiences that have been successful in reducing inequality, provides key lessons from those experiences, and synthesizes the rigorous evidence on public policies that can shift inequality in a way that bolsters poverty reduction and shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. In doing so, the report addresses some myths about the global picture of inequality, and what works to reduce it.
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193
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The World Social Science Report 2016: Challenging Inequalities – Pathways to a Just World

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Never before has inequality been so high on the agenda of policy-makers worldwide, or such a hot topic for social science research. More journal articles are being published on the topic of inequality and social justice today than ever before.
This is the Summary of the 2016 World Social Science Report. It draws on the insights of over 100 social scientists and other thought leaders from all over the world, across various disciplines, to emphasize transformative responses to inequality at all levels, from the grass-roots to global governance.
It concludes that:
- unchecked inequality could jeopardize the sustainability of economies, societies and communities;
- inequalities should not just be understood and tackled in terms of income and wealth: they are economic, political, social, cultural, environmental, spatial and knowledge-based;
- the links and intersections between inequalities need to be better understood to create fairer societies;
- a step change towards a research agenda that is interdisciplinary, multiscale and globally inclusive is needed to inform pathways toward greater equality.

In short, too many countries are investing too little in researching the long-term impact of inequality on the sustainability of their economies, societies and communities. Unless we address this urgently, inequalities will make the cross-cutting ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ‘leave no one behind’ by 2030 an empty slogan.

The World Social Science Report 2016 was prepared by the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and is co-published with UNESCO.
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Number of pages: 
361
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Electric vehicles in Europe

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, September 26, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This report provides a non-technical summary of the latest information on electric road vehicles in Europe, including those with hybrid technologies. It focuses upon electric passenger vehicles, explaining the different types that are now available on the market, how each type works, and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
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39
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