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Globalisation

What is DARPA? How to Design Successful Technology Disruption

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Throughout history, humanity’s successes and failures and the survival of societies and nations have derived in large parts from technical innovations and disruptive technologies that have replaced the status-quo with new and better ways of doing things. It is thus understandable, indeed necessary, that nations and governments ask what mechanisms and instruments they should put in place to encourage scientific discoveries and to create technical breakthroughs, particularly for technologies with a transformative, strategic dimension that a nation can ill-afford to miss or fail to understand, control and
shape.

Many funding schemes and government programs already exist around the world that aim to support scientific discovery and societal innovation. Many are curiosity driven scientific endeavors that -like artadvance our understanding of the world and our lives and our identity as humans. Others attempt to promote more pragmatic goals and improve engineering and development processes. All are important and necessary mechanisms to drive science forward.
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18
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OECD‑FAO Agricultural Outlook 2019‑2028

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 8, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Global agriculture has evolved into a highly diverse sector, with operations that range from small subsistence farms to large multinational holdings. Farmers’ products are sold fresh in local markets, but also across the world through sophisticated and modern value chains. Beyond their traditional role of providing humankind with food, farmers are important custodians of the natural environment and have become producers of renewable energy. In order to meet the high expectations society places on agriculture, public and private decision makers require reliable information on the likely trends of global demand, supply, trade and prices and the factors driving them. To this end, the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook is an annual reference that provides a comprehensive medium-term baseline scenario for agricultural commodity markets at national, regional and global levels. In addition to providing a plausible baseline scenario for agriculture markets in the coming decade, the Outlook identifies a widening set of risks to agricultural markets that can help policy makers better anticipate and manage them.These include the spread of plant and animal diseases and the growing risk of extreme climatic events, as well as possible supply disruptions from growing trade tensions. This OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2019-2028 foresees that the demand for agricultural products will grow by 15% over the coming decade.
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326
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OECD Economic Outlook

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Abstract in English: 
A year ago, the OECD warned about how trade and policy uncertainties could significantly damage the world economy and further contribute to the growing divide between people. A year later, global momentum has weakened markedly and growth is set to remain subpar as trade tensions persist. Trade and investment have slowed sharply, especially in Europe and Asia. Business and consumer confidence have faltered, with manufacturing production contracting. In response, financial conditions have eased as central banks have moved towards more accommodative monetary stances, while fiscal policy has been providing stimulus in a handful of countries. At the same time, low unemployment and a slight pickup in wages in the major economies continue to support household incomes and consumption. Overall, however, trade tensions are taking a toll and global growth is projected to slow to only 3.2% this year before edging up to 3.4% in 2020, well below the growth rates seen over the past three decades, or even in 2017-18. While growth was synchronised eighteen months ago, divergence has emerged between sectors and countries depending on their exposure to trade tensions, the strength of fiscal responses and policy uncertainties. The manufacturing sector, where global value chains prevail, has been hit hard by tariffs and the associated uncertainty on the future of trade relationships, and is likely to stay weak. Business investment growth, also strongly linked to trade, is set to slow to a mere 1¾ per cent per year over 2019-20, from around 3½ per cent per year during 2017-18. However, services, less subject to trade jitters and where most job creation takes place, continue to hold up well. In parallel, growth has weakened in most advanced economies, especially those where trade and manufacturing play an important role, such as Germany and Japan, with GDP growth projected to be below 1% in both countries this year. In contrast, the United States has maintained its momentum thanks to sizeable, albeit waning, fiscal support. Divergence is also visible among emerging-market economies, with Argentina and Turkey struggling to recover from recession, while India and others are benefitting from easier financial conditions and in some instances fiscal or quasi-fiscal support.
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Interconnections of global trends

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The tool examines interconnections of global trends. Its goal is to promote integrated thinking and to spark debate and further research on trend relations.
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ESPAS Report 2019 : Global Trends to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
Abstract in English: 
For something as unknown as the future, it appears to have become surprisingly predictable. A Google search of ‘future 2030’ yields more than 97 million results, all more or less claiming similar things: that 2030 will see a more connected, yet fragmented world, with hazardous shifts in demography and energy, and dangerous changes in technology, environment, and politics.
The future, while overall negative, appears to be a rather certain place.
This illusion of definitiveness is created by two dynamics: first, the pessimistic tone that runs through the vast majority of foresight reports. This is a common feature when it comes to future thinking, with one study showing that all studies undertaken on the future over the last 70 years have one thing in common; pessimism. The reason for this is simple: although both optimism and pessimism are natural human dispositions, the latter is more prevalent by far. Humans are, genetically speaking, biased towards the negative – some studies even indicate that this is particularly the case for Europeans. Second, pessimism in foresight is encouraged by the grave air that surrounds it: in general, negative statements are given more attention than positive ones. That said, more pessimism in foresight does not equal greater accuracy, as one study shows.
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52
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Unexpected Developments in International Politics. Foresight Contributions 2018

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Abstract in English: 
How might we have to imagine the Middle East if there were a political thaw between Iran and Saudi Arabia? Could Turkey leave NATO in the near future? What would happen if security-related EU databases were successfully hacked; if South Korea were to arm itself with nuclear weapons; or if an American woman were to head the United Nations? Of course, these situations, as explored in the SWP’s latest Foresight research paper, are only hypothetical. Why address them? Because unexpected events have abounded in international politics in recent years. Brexit; the election of Donald Trump as US President; and Russia’s annexation of Crimea are only the most striking examples. Science and politics should therefore ready themselves for likely future surprises. The Foresight research paper aims to assist with this. We cannot and do not want to predict the future. However, with the help of systematic foresight we can better prepare for unplanned situations. This means improving our view of conceivable – albeit unlikely – developments that would seriously impact on German and European foreign and security policy. It also includes reviewing previous expectations – as this research paper likewise tackles. What actually happened to the battery revolution that was supposed to secure our power supply? Did the negotiation process on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU unfold as experts had anticipated? Such reviews are instructive, and can be used to gain insights for the future.
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50
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How Canada, the EU, and the U.S. Can Work Together to Promote ICT Development and Use

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, June 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Governments in Europe and North America want to harness information and communications technology (ICT) to boost productivity and innovation, but uncoordinated strategies and incompatible regulations make it difficult for them to benefit fully from the mutual gains that would come from greater transatlantic cooperation in the development and use of ICT. This report analyzes key policies shaping ICT innovation in Canada, the European Union, and the United States, and identifies opportunities for policymakers to ensure policies maximize productivity and innovation.
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59
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How National Governments Can Help Smart Cities Succeed

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 30, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Cities around the world are undergoing two important transformations. First, they are growing. For the first time in history, a majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas.1 Second, they are beginning to evolve into “smart cities”—cities capable of collecting and analyzing vast quantities of data to automate processes, improve service quality, provide market signal feedback to users, and to make better decisions. While city governments can and should manage much of this transformation, national governments have an important role to play in accelerating and coordinating the development of smart cities. Indeed, the long-term success of smart cities in any particular nation will likely depend on whether the national government supports their development.
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27
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Global Economic Prospects - Darkening Skies

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Global growth is expected to slow to 2.9 percent in 2019. International trade and investment are moderating, trade tensions remain elevated, and financing conditions are tightening. Amid recent episodes of financial stress, growth in emerging market and developing economies has lost momentum and is projected to stall at 4.2 percent this year, with a weaker-than-expected rebound in commodity exporters accompanied by deceleration in commodity importers. Downside risks have become more acute. Financial market pressures and trade tensions could escalate, denting global activity.
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264
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Our Shared Digital Future Building an Inclusive, Trustworthy and Sustainable Digital Society

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, December 10, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Our Shared Digital Futures is a publication shaped by leaders from business, government, academia and civil society who collectively acknowledge the need for shared goals and coordinated action to shape an inclusive, sustainable, digital future. Facilitated by the World Economy Forum’s System Initiative on Digital Economy and Society, the paper reviews current status, offers an illustrative list of ongoing initiatives at global and local levels, and identifies developments to watch in at least six shared goals around universal internet access and adoption, digital transformation, digital identity, governance, cyber resilience, and data. It calls on global leaders and organisations to strengthen cooperation and to evolve shared platforms for shaping our digital future.
The publication seeks to serve as a conversation starter, as the world celebrates the milestone of more than half of the world’s population now connected to the internet, and while less than half of those already online trust that technology will make their lives better.
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48
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