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Governance

World climate and security report 2020

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Abstract in English: 
While there has been progress over the past decades, with militaries and security institutions increasingly analyzing and incorporating climate change risks into their assessments, plans and policies, the “World Climate and Security Report 2020” shows that the risks are increasingly urgent, and more must be done. This contributed to the report’s “Key Risks and Opportunities” findings.
This report is published by the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) chaired by Tom Middendorp, former Chief of Defence of the Netherlands and Senior Research Associate at the Clingendael Institute. Louise van Schaik, Head of our EU & Global Affairs Unit & Planetary Security Initiative, is a co-author.
The report is written from the vantage point of international military and security experts, providing a global overview of the security risks of a changing climate, and opportunities for addressing them. It recommends “climate-proofing” international security – including infrastructure, institutions and policies, as well as major emissions reductions to avoid significant-to-catastrophic security threats.
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152
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What if... ? - 14 futures for 2024

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, January 24, 2020
Abstract in English: 
According to a famous science fiction film, the future is what you make of it. This Chaillot Paper takes this quote from Back to the Future to heart, proposing 14 different portraits of the future for the year 2024.
These are not ‘Grey Swans’ we want to avoid – on the contrary, they are ‘White Reindeers’, positive developments we can make come true. The scenarios do not just depict a desirable future, but include pathways and concrete recommendations on how to get there. The scenarios outlined here therefore amount to more than strategic foresight since they are highly operational; in addition, they describe futures that are just beginning in 2024, but which will have wide-ranging positive repercussions in the decades beyond that date.
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93
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Megatrends in Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The reports are not academic research as such. The authors are academically qualified researchers, however, and they base their findings on academic studies. In this study, six major trends in Africa are defined as megatrends: population growth, climate change, urbanisation, migration, techno­logical development and democratic development.
Megatrends in Africa are deep and long-term transformation processes that are irreversible. They can and should be mitigated, but will inevitably require adaptation as well. The trends also have an element of foresight, in regards to how they are set to develop in the future.
All the megatrends are interlinked and affect each other. Population growth and climate change can be seen as mega-megatrends that have an especially strong effect on the other trends.
The study contains reports on all six megatrends, which are examined through a Pan-African lens. The study also includes a summary of all megatrends and the interaction of their effects.
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56
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Foresight Conference 2019 Report : Society 4.0

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 15, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Foresight Conference 2019 is organised by the Centre for Strategic Futures (CSF) in Singapore. The conference will be held on 25 and 26 July 2019, with the theme “Society 4.0”. This is CSF’s fifth Foresight Conference, which brings thought leaders and practitioners from different backgrounds together to explore emerging issues of global significance.
We loosely use the term “Society 4.0” to mean the society that will be and is already being shaped by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Just as the First Industrial Revolution mechanised production via water and steam power and consequently reshaped economic, political and social structures, the 4IR is likely to have an equal or even more disruptive impact on the texture of society.
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38
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Future of Europe

Title Original Language: 
Future of Europa
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
A decade after the crisis that came close to destroying it, the Eurozone remains fragile. Fiscal indiscipline, a key cause of the crisis, remains a relevant issue. Progress has been made to make the banking system safer, but much more is required to contain risk. Eurozone governance remains weak. This paper argues that six key steps are required to refashion the Eurozone into a robust monetary union capable of dealing with unexpected shocks in the future. These steps are: 1. Subsidiarity should be rigorously applied to straighten the existing muddled governance structures. 2. Banking Union needs to be completed to break the doom loop between banks and governments. 3. Pan-European banks and fully integrated financial mar-kets offer the best solution to absorb national disturbances. Implicit protectionism – through regulations and support for national champions – should not be accepted. 4. The responsibility for fiscal discipline must lie where the budget authority is exercised: at the national level. 5. The no-bailout clause is the best protection against fiscal indiscipline. It should be formally restored. 6. Some countries with large public debts remain vulnerable market sentiment fluctuations. However, there are ways to reduce these debts without any transfer or mutual guarantees.
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28
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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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Trends in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This paper addresses the present state of play and future trends, uncertainties and possible disruptions of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data in the following areas:
Political: AI is biased, difficult to scrutinise and to estimate its power, and – more so when embodied in autonomous systems – potentially dangerous. Policy responses are accountability, transparency, safety and control, and public debate. These should be based on ethics. AI will lead to better governance, more debate, new policy actors and processes, a contest over centralisation, and the EU catching up. AI might progress in a revolutionary or evolutionary mode, lead to new political divisions, and change democracy. AI might be misused as a “superior orders” defence. What if data analysis changes or replaces democracy?
Socio-economic: Big Data is changing the role of data, is often dependent on sensitive information, is handicapped in the short term but better in the long term due to data protection, and its industry is in danger of monopolisation. AI lowers the cost of prediction, replaces human prediction and human labour and causes social problems, increased nudging and misuse of the term AI. AI will lead to more data, economic growth and more job market distortions. AI might lead to new industry giants, a request for more privacy, new state solutions, yet unknown jobs, AI taxes and increased state ownership. What if new economic ideologies emerge, singularity strikes or AI monopolies are broken up?
Geopolitical: AI is increasing the power competition between the US and China and gives both more power. Europe tries to create businesses and find its strengths. All are investing in military solutions and the west has a slight disadvantage here. AI will lead to a shakeup of the international system, hierarchies and networks becoming more powerful, and real-life deception being more difficult. AI might lead to China becoming the most powerful power overall and in AI. The future of AI R&D and the success of Europe’s broad approach is uncertain. What if there are two digital worlds, China becomes a data-privacy defender, and AI become targets?
Technological: Superintelligent AI is invested in and researched, challenged by philosophy, and possible this century. It might imitate the brain, be assembled together or be designed by other AIs. An intelligence explosion or a conscious AI could be possible, and might be the last invention of humanity. It would require long term funding, need to overcome many technical hurdles, be dangerous due to its intellect, possibly be contained with collective intelligence, and maybe have humans lose their jobs, safety or purpose.
Key questions for policy-makers: What makes European AI distinctive? What areas can and should we prioritise, if any? What should be regulated? How could and should the EU foster AI development, avoid monopolisation, provide data pools, use high data standards, link researchers and corporations, balance fundamental with applied AI research and private with state funding, boost applications, compensate for job loss, keep AIs away from dangerous actors, support EU foreign policy (neighbourhood, FPI, democracy and human rights, aid and development, economic freedom), improve our lives with AI, change the geopolitical AI race, deal with autonomous weapons and superintelligent AI and organise Foresight?
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19
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The Future of Government 2030+ - A Citizen Centric Perspective on New Government Models

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The Future of Government 2030+: A Citizen Centric Perspective on New Government Models project brings citizens to the centre of the scene. The objective of this project is to explore the emerging societal challenges, analyse trends in a rapidly changing digital world and launch an EU-wide debate on the possible future government models. To address this, citizen engagement, foresight and design are combined, with recent literature from the field of digital politics and media as a framework. The main research question of the project is: How will citizens, together with other actors, shape governments, policies and democracy in 2030 and beyond? Throughout the highly participatory process, more than 150 citizens, together with CSO, think tank, business and public sector representatives, as well as 100 design students participated in the creation of future scenarios and concepts. Four scenarios have been created using the 20 stories emerged from citizen workshops. They served as an inspiration for design students to develop 40 FuturGov concepts. Through the FuturGov Engagement Game, the project’s ambition is to trigger and launch a debate with citizens, businesses, civil society organizations, policy-makers and civil servants in Europe.
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102
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Rebalancing the Euro Area: A proposal for Future Reform

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Under a monetary union, fiscal and monetary discipline have to go hand in hand if macroeconomic stability is to be maintained. The question is how to set up the right institutions to achieve this stability in a credible manner. This policy brief proposes a new institutional arrangement for the euro area to restore fiscal discipline. It places the responsibility for compliance entirely on the shoulders of the member states. It also provides for the mutualisation of 30% of the member states’ debt-to-GDP ratio.
This would help to maintain a stable currency and to limit the risk of contagion should another crisis occur in the future. However, this comes at a cost. Under the fiscal scheme proposed, member states, which would be fully fiscally sovereign, would need to run long-term sound fiscal policies to benefit from euro membership.
In addition, this brief proposes a reform of Target2 under which overspending economies would have to pay the financial cost of accessing extra euros, which would deter the accumulation of internal imbalances within the euro area. All this is expected to change the current fragility of the architecture of the euro, provide member states with the right incentives to abide by sounder economic principles and make them fully responsible for the policies they adopt.
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20
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