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Regions

African futures: Horizon 2025

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Abstract in English: 
If Sub-Saharan Africa’s future had to be encapsulated in a single word, it would be transformation. In recent years the continent has undergone significant economic, socio-political, and technological transformations, a process which is likely to accelerate over the coming decades. While it would be an overstatement to proclaim that the future will be African, there are strong indications that the global importance of the continent is set to rise – and not only as a source of risk factors spilling over from poverty and instability. By 2045, approximately a quarter of the world’s population will be African. Looking ahead, there is also the potential for Africa’s economic growth to outpace the global average. The expansion of foreign direct investment (FDI), which today already outstrips aid, could drive further integration of African countries in the world economy. The diversification of Africa’s relationship with external partners – which now not only include traditional Western partners such as the EU, but also Asian, Middle Eastern and Gulf countries – will also contribute to increasing Africa’s prominence in the global arena.
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84
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OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 10, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Over the ten-year Outlook period, agricultural markets are projected to remain weak, with growth in China weakening and biofuel policies having less impact on markets than in the past. Future growth in crop production will be attained mostly by increasing yields, and growth in meat and dairy production from both higher animal stocks and improved yields. Agricultural trade is expected to grow more slowly, but remain less sensitive to weak economic conditions than other sectors. These demand, supply and trade pressures are all evident in Southeast Asia, where this report identifies scope to improve agricultural productivity sustainably. Real prices are expected to remain flat or decline for most commodities.
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142
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The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa Preparing the Region for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Abstract in English: 
With more than 60% of its population under the age of 25, sub-Saharan Africa is already the world’s youngest region today – and, by 2030, will be home to more than one-quarter of the world’s under-25 population. As this young population, the best-educated and globally connected the continent has ever had, enters the world of work, the region has a demographic opportunity. But the region can only leverage this opportunity by unlocking latent talent and preparing its people for the future of work.
The Executive Briefing – drawing on the insight and project work of the Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work – aims to serve as a practical guide for leaders from business, government, civil society and the education sector, and finds that the region’s capacity to adapt to the requirements of future jobs leaves little space for complacency. While a number of African economies are relatively under-exposed to labour market disruptions at present, this picture is changing rapidly. This window of opportunity must be used by the region’s leaders to prepare for tomorrow.
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28
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The future of industry in Europe

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Abstract in English: 
This study analyses the key challenges for Local and Regional Authorities (LRAs) in developing a long-term, structured industrial policy, with a global view. The policy should promote structural change and raise the industrial contribution to GDP to the 20% target set by the European Commission (EC) in December 2014.
New means of production incorporate a mix of processes located in both high-cost and low-cost countries and are based on a wide range of factors enabled by technological developments. Significant changes in consumption are increasingly driven by individual needs which are more sensitive to social and environmental aspects. Together these require a more flexible, hybrid and servitisation-oriented industrial paradigm.
The way LRAs can guide this shift strictly depends on their ability to combine strengths in traditional sectors with innovative trajectories of industrial development in dynamic new sectors. Faced with a growing complexity of industrial challenges, LRAs are called on to design and implement a systemic industrial policy coordinated with national and EU level policies, pulled by vision and pushed by competition.
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140
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Regional innovation ecosystems - Learning from the EU's cities and regions

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This book is produced by the Members of the European Committee of the Regions in close collaboration with Europe's cities and regions. The book is all about pioneering cities and regions - or reviewing the content of the book from activities perspective: about regional innovation ecosystems. In recent years it has increasingly become apparent that only through sharing knowledge and working in partnership it is possible to create truly competitive and sustainable economies meeting the needs of the 21st century. In order to achieve this, the European Union can and must work with and for our citizens. For this to happen we need to achieve a change in mindset. This publication therefore seeks to stimulate bench-learning between regions and cities, sparking new ideas and fundamentally stirring economic development. Presenting some of the most inspiring projects across the EU, this book offers readers an opportunity to understand and explore how Europe's cities and regions are breaking new ground in regional development. The European Committee of the Regions is the EU's Assembly of 350 regional and local representatives from all 28 Member States, representing over 507 million Europeans. This book is an essential part of the process of implementing our political priorities for 2015-2020 and giving Europe's citizens the fresh start they need. In order to overcome its current challenges, Europe must establish a culture of co-creation and break its boundaries by moving towards entrepreneurial discovery, open innovation, experimentation and action
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288
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Global Order and the New Regionalism

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Regional institutions and initiatives have proliferated in the twenty-first century. This latest wave of regional innovation raises, in new guise, a long-standing conundrum for global order and U.S. foreign policy: When is regional organization a useful, even essential, complement to the ends of global governance - financial stability, an open trading system, sustainable development, robust protection of human rights, or the end of civil wars - and when does it threaten or undermine the achievement of those goals? The new regionalism presents the prospect for new benefits for global order as well as new risks. How those challenges and risks are addressed, by the United States and by other member states, will determine whether a fragmented global order or more effective global and regional governance emerge over the next decade.

Five authors examine these dilemmas across five issue areas: finance, trade, development lending, human rights, and peace operations. In each issue area, regional actors and institutions have emerged that reopen and recast earlier debates about regionalism and its effects on global order. In four of the five issue areas, a single, established global institution contends with regional alternatives: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, and the United Nations. In the domain of human rights, the newly redesigned UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) does not enjoy a similar, central position; global human rights conventions set the normative frame for regional human rights commissions and courts. Each author suggests ways in which the new regionalism can be harnessed to serve global purposes and the contribution that U.S. policy can make to those ends.
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88
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Identifying Future Disease Hot Spots - Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, September 12, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Recent high-profile outbreaks, such as Ebola and Zika, have illustrated the transnational nature of infectious diseases. Countries that are most vulnerable to such outbreaks might be higher priorities for technical support. RAND created the Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index to help U.S. government and international agencies identify these countries and thereby inform programming to preemptively help mitigate the spread and effects of potential transnational outbreaks.
The authors employed a rigorous methodology to identify the countries most vulnerable to disease outbreaks. They conducted a comprehensive review of relevant literature to identify factors influencing infectious disease vulnerability. Using widely available data, the authors created an index for identifying potentially vulnerable countries and then ranked countries by overall vulnerability score. Policymakers should focus on the 25 most-vulnerable countries with an eye toward a potential "disease belt" in the Sahel region of Africa.
The infectious disease vulnerability scores for several countries were better than what would have been predicted on the basis of economic status alone. This suggests that low-income countries can overcome economic challenges and become more resilient to public health challenges, such as infectious disease outbreaks.
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96
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A New Skills Agenda for Europe

Abstract Original Language: 
‘A New Skills Agenda for Europe’ was published on 10 June 2016. Its focus is on equipping Europeans with the right skills in order to increase Europe’s workforce employability and to respond to changes in labour market requirements. The agenda is grounded on the evidence of the existence of skills gap and mismatch across the Union and within countries. There is a shortage of basic, digital, transversal, and entrepreneurial skills. A common understanding of key competences on the job is missing. Vocational education and training (VET) is undervalued and its attractiveness and opportunities may be enhanced. Overall, skills intelligence allowing for more informed choices is indispensable for skills policies to make a difference in addressing the extent of mismatch of supplied competences and the occurrence of gaps. All these aspects are relevant at the territorial level. In fact, the outlining of policies and/or interventions in the domains of education and training as well as of youth, employment and migration is not solely a prerogative of national governments. It also occurs at the local and regional level. Furthermore, it is at this same level that labour market needs meet the skills supply and that future trends of job opportunities as well as cooperative approaches among different stakeholders of the labour market are shaped.
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Abstract in English: 
‘A New Skills Agenda for Europe’ focus on equipping Europeans with the right skills in order to increase Europe’s workforce employability and to respond to changes in labour market requirements. The agenda is grounded on the evidence of the existence of skills gap and mismatch across the Union and within countries. There is a shortage of basic, digital, transversal, and entrepreneurial skills. A common understanding of key competences on the job is missing. Vocational education and training (VET) is undervalued and its attractiveness and opportunities may be enhanced. Overall, skills intelligence allowing for more informed choices is indispensable for skills policies to make a difference in addressing the extent of mismatch of supplied competences and the occurrence of gaps. All these aspects are relevant at the territorial level. In fact, the outlining of policies and/or interventions in the domains of education and training as well as of youth, employment and migration is not solely a prerogative of national governments. It also occurs at the local and regional level. Furthermore, it is at this same level that labour market needs meet the skills supply and that future trends of job opportunities as well as cooperative approaches among different stakeholders of the labour market are shaped.
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91
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Future of Cities: An Overview of the Evidence

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, May 9, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Cities matter to the UK’s future. They are already concentrations of population and employment, and will be home to much of the country’s future population and economic growth. Cities are centres of commercial, cultural, institutional, and socia life. In short, they are both central to the shaping and delivery of national policy objectives, and the locations where broad social, environmental and economic changes play out in practice.
UK cities are highly diverse, each with a distinctive history and its own set of relationships with its neighbours and with central government.
This Foresight project has developed a broad evidence base and consulted local actors to understand challenges and opportunities from those most experienced in the issues affecting UK cities. The single theme which runs throughout this work is providing the best possible evidence for national and city level decision-makers.
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66
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State of the World's Plants

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has released the first annual report on the State of the World’s Plants.
The report provides a baseline assessment of current knowledge on the diversity of plants on earth, the global threats plants face, the policies in place and their effectiveness in dealing with threats. The report has taken a year to produce and involved more than 80 scientists.
This is the first ever global assessment on the state of the world’s plants.
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84
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