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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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A new energy strategy for the Western Hemisphere

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 6, 2020
Abstract in English: 
The Western Hemisphere has a unique advantage in global energy markets. It is rich in natural resources, from conventional fuels such as oil and natural gas, to critical minerals such as lithium for batteries. The region is also poised to become a leader in newer and emerging energy resources. It has, for example, abundant potential for solar and wind energy and other advanced energy technologies, such as nuclear energy. It enjoys high and rapidly growing levels of renewable energy, especially in power generation, largely based on significant levels of legacy, utility-scale hydropower.1
Many of the Americas’ subregions share cross-border electric power or liquid fuel interconnections. The vast majority of its nations share common values, including a commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and shared prosperity. The countries of the Americas are bound together through market-based trade, mutual investment, and deep cultural and security ties. Moreover, the hemisphere is indispensable to US energy security. The United States derives the majority of its imports of oil, gas, and electricity from its neighbors and there is considerable potential for trade in increasingly high-value minerals.
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24
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The Digitalisation of Science, Technology and Innovation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Abstract in English: 
This report examines digitalisation’s effects on science, technology and innovation and the associated consequences for policy. In varied and far-reaching ways, digital technologies are changing how scientists work, collaborate and publish. While examining these developments, this book also assesses the effects of digitalisation on longstanding policy themes, from access to publicly funded research data, to the diffusion of technology and its absorption by firms. New and emerging topics are also explored. These include the roles of artificial intelligence and blockchain in science and production, using digital technology to draw on the collective intelligence of the scientific community, advances in the digitalisation of biotechnology, and possible "dark sides" of digitalisation.
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182
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Munich Security Report 2020 - Westlessness

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, February 14, 2020
Abstract in English: 
The Munich Security Report 2020 provides an overview of major security policy challenges and features insightful data and analyses across selected geographic and thematic spotlights. In addition to its role as a trusted companion and conversation starter for the Munich Security Conference, the report series has also become a go-to resource for security professionals and the interested public around the world. The previous report was downloaded tens of thousands of times and received widespread coverage in German and international media.
The Munich Security Report 2020 analyzes current security policy developments in China, Europe, Russia and the United States, and furthermore examines regional dynamics in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and South Asia. In addition, it provides insights into the issues of space and climate security, as well as into the threats arising from new technologies and increasingly transnational right-wing extremism.
The Munich Security Report features a number of exclusive and unpublished materials. For the preparation of the report, the Munich Security Conference Foundation collaborated with renowned partner institutions, including the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), The Brookings Institution, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, International Crisis Group, The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), McKinsey & Company, Pew Research Center, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and the Zentrum für Osteuropa- und international Studien (ZOiS).
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102
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OECD Economic Outlook

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The OECD Economic Outlook is the OECD's twice-yearly analysis of the major economic trends and prospects for the next two years. The Outlook puts forward a consistent set of projections for output, employment, prices, fiscal and current account balances.
Coverage is provided for all OECD member countries as well as for selected non-member countries. This issue includes a general assessment, a series of focus notes on selected macroeconomic and structural issues, and a chapter summarising developments and providing projections for each individual country.
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Number of pages: 
220
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Supply Chain Collaboration through Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

Title Original Language: 
Supply Chain Collaboration through Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This report is the result of a collaboration between members of the World Economic Forum Council on Advanced Manufacturing and Production. It summarizes the main findings of work conducted on the application of advanced manufacturing and digital technologies on future production and supply-chain models. The applications set out in this paper highlight the importance of collaborations across supply-chain partners as crucial to technology adoption and exploitation. Five advanced manufacturing transformations are presented that offer real-world examples of how advanced manufacturing and digital technologies are driving new supply-chain capabilities achieved through supplier-producer-user collaboration. These five transformations, while not aiming to be exhaustive, demonstrate 1) smart manufacturing, 2) flexible supply chains, 3) authentication and consumer engagement, 4) supply chain visibility and resilience, 5) remanufacturing, reduce, reuse and recycling.
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Transforming Infrastructure: Frameworks for Bringing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Infrastructure

Title Original Language: 
Transforming Infrastructure: Frameworks for Bringing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Infrastructure
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, November 3, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have fundamentally altered society in ways both seen and unseen. This digital transformation has changed how people live and work, and everything in-between. One area of daily life, however, seems to be largely missing out on this revolution: infrastructure. It remains one of the least digitally transformed sectors of the economy. While individual examples of highly advanced infrastructure systems exist, the sector at large lags behind others in innovation, a fact made all the more apparent by infrastructure’s ubiquity. When the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Infrastructure gathered for its annual meeting in Dubai in November 2018, it sought to understand why.As it began to think through solutions, the Council found a situation full of opportunity. Infrastructure is far from being a staid industry devoid of innovation – indeed, new technologies and ideas are flourishing. Integrating these innovations, which could change the way infrastructure is designed, developed and delivered, requires aligning stakeholders, implementing effective strategies and creating fertile enabling environments. This will allow existing innovation into the space and provide opportunities for new ideas.The Council thus decided to create a guidebook, contained here, that explores major questions about how to bring the Fourth Industrial Revolution to infrastructure. The guidebook surveys some of the fundamental issues and provides robust frameworks that can help public- and private-sector decision-makers decide how to create the right enabling environments for their situations. It also contains case studies to help illustrate how public- and private-sector entities can work together to integrate exciting existing technologies into infrastructure and spur the creation of new innovations. Overall, the content illustrates three main imperatives: (1) The importance of focusing on community outcomes, not physical assets: It is tempting to define future infrastructure requirements in terms of specific assets: “this city needs light rail” or “we must expand our motorway” are some examples. Defining projects in terms of social outcomes, such as delivering affordable public mobility between specific points, leaves an opening forechnological innovation to deliver those outcomes. (2) The need to adopt a “flexible architecture” approach to infrastructure planning: The technological transformation of infrastructure can be accelerated by recognizing that, while technology-driven disruption cannot be predicted, it can be allowed for and positively leveraged. Planning traditional infrastructure with a more flexible architecture is a way of achieving this; it allows for change and innovation at the edges while protecting and extending the life of core elements. It also permits the use of policy frameworks to allow new innovations to move from idea to commercial success. (3) The necessity of recognizing and respecting infrastructure’s “data layer”: As the world moves into an era of ubiquitous sensors and an ever-connected internet of things, infrastructure assets will become data assets. These technologies offer great potential to increase the social and economic value of infrastructure assets through predictive maintenance, real-time optimization and peak demand management. Much like traditional infrastructure assets such as airports, utilities and community facilities, these data pools will become highly valuable and highly sensitive assets, requiring owners with the right character operating under the right oversight.For planners and policy-makers, there is potential for enhancing efficiency, value and user experience for the publics they serve. Infrastructure owners have the prospect of improving long-term viability, project development and asset management. Technology providers could develop new innovations, forging new partnerships and technologically transforming a new sector. Using this guidebook, decision-makers can begin the conversation on how technological innovation can be nurtured in infrastructure to continue to meet the callenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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Work for a brighter future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Abstract in English: 
New forces are transforming the world of work. The transitions involved call for decisive action. Countless opportunities lie ahead to improve the quality of working lives, expand choice, close the gender gap, reverse the damages wreaked by global inequality, and much more. Yet none of this will happen by itself. Without decisive action we will be heading into a world that widens existing inequalities and uncertainties. Technological advances – artificial intelligence, automation and robotics – will create new jobs, but those who lose their jobs in this transition may be the least equipped to seize the new opportunities. Today’s skills will not match the jobs of tomorrow and newly acquired skills may quickly become obsolete. The greening of our economies will create millions of jobs as we adopt sustainable practices and clean technologies but other jobs will disappear as countries scale back their carbon- and resource-intensive industries. Changes in demographics are no less significant. Expanding youth populations in some parts of the world and ageing populations in others may place pressure on labour markets and social security systems, yet in these shifts lie new possibilities to afford care and inclusive, active societies. We need to seize the opportunities presented by these transformative changes to create a brighter future and deliver economic security, equal opportunity and social justice – and ultimately reinforce the fabric of our societies.
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78
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The future of work? Work of the future!

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, May 3, 2019
Abstract in English: 
We are used to thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) in the future tense, speculating how technological developments in this area will affect us. But if we spend too much time trying to figure out what to expect in the future, we risk not seeing that AI and robotisation have already started transforming our daily lives.
While historical evidence suggests that previous waves of automation have been overwhelmingly positive for the economy and society, AI is in a different league, with the potential to be much more disruptive. It builds upon other digital technologies but also brings about and amplifies major socioeconomic changes of its own.
What do recent technological developments in AI and robotisation mean for the economy, businesses and jobs? Should we be worried or excited? Which jobs will be destroyed and which new ones created? What should education systems, businesses, governments and social partners do to manage the coming transition successfully?
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160
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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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