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Options for Sustainable Food and Agriculture in the EU

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
How should Europe respond to the increased demands on our food and agriculture systems arising from global population growth, changing diets, and competing demands on agricultural land? This report offers a view on how the EU could play a role in meeting these challenges in the coming decades and sets out some of the options which merit particular attention. It focuses on options for increasing agricultural productivity whilst adapting to the effects of climate change and reducing emissions from agriculture, the means of reversing continued declines in farmland biodiversity, the reduction of food wastage, ways to achieve a more resource-efficient food sector, and the options for using wastes and residues to meet biomaterial and bioenergy needs in a sustainable way. It brings together some of the analysis and results of five commissioned studies in a synthesis, considering the state of play today and some of the key developments on the horizon moving towards 2050. The European Union has strongly developed common environmental and agricultural policies, and a recently reformed Common Agricultural Policy with a greater emphasis on both the environment and innovation, providing Member States with an opportunity to initiate a change in direction. At the same time, there are major challenges to increasing productivity in an appropriate way whilst reducing damage to European agricultural and natural resources and biodiversity. It will be important to produce more with less in Europe and to cut wastage.
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129
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The Future of Cohesion Policy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The report Future of cohesion policy examines the main issues of debate around the cohesion policy in order to set up the political framework of discussion. Methodologically, this first report is based on an analysis of past debates, predominantly in regional EU fora. Desk-based research was supplemented by thematic discussions with other EU institutions, experts and key stakeholders in the scope of a seminar. Furthermore this study series on the Future of cohesion policy should provide a new impetus to the work of the Committee of the Regions and its members in the policy debates on the efficiency and effectiveness of Cohesion Policy from the perspective of local and regional authorities as well as the main topic of the research: The Cohesion Policy beyond 2020.
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196
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African Futures 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
Major transitions are rapidly reshaping Africa. Populations are growing substantially and urbanising. Economic growth has accelerated over the last decade. New technologies, including mobile phones and solar cells, are sweeping across the continent. Longstanding confl icts have been or are being addressed. On the broader stage, but with important regional implications, the rise of China, India and other major emerging countries are changing our trading and investment patterns.

Yet major uncertainties face us. How rapidly will we bring communicable diseases under control and advance the education of our citizens? Can Africa diversify its economies and employ its growing populations in manufacturing and services, as well as successfully managing the wealth generated by its raw materials? Will climate change increase pressures on agriculture or will Africa have its own green revolution? How will the continent build the extensive infrastructures that it desperately needs? What will be the quality of our governance? How will external actors, both governments and fi rms, approach and affect Africa?
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66
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“Just Imagine!”: RICS Strategic Foresight 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
In a changing world of work and governance, there is a widespread perception that the traditional professions are under siege. Their authority and status, their exclusive access to specialised knowledge, and their right to regulate their own affairs are all seriously being challenged. No longer able to claim special privileges as disinterested, altruistic occupational groups acting detachedly in the public interest, professions are finding their traditional values and loyalties eroded.

The challenge is coming not only from a better informed and less deferential public, but also from governments sensitive to public concerns, from the media which reflect and amplify them, and from the organisations in both public and private sectors which employ their members.

Representatives of ‘old’ professions are being asked to work in entirely different ways, and ‘new’ professions are emerging all the time in areas like management, culture, meditation, counselling and the environment.

Do we still need ‘professions’ based on the 20th century model (itself a creation of the 19th century before) – self‐appointed, self‐assessed and self‐serving guardians of standards, values and social stability?
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113
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Expect the Unexpected: Ten Situations to Keep an Eye On

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The individual elements that come together to create the crises and problems politicians and policy-makers find themselves dealing with are generally already well-known. It is their interaction that is unpredictable, and therefore not plannable. Unplanned situations are increasingly becoming the norm, especially in the international context, as globalisation accelerates the speed of events and the number of actors exerting direct or indirect influence grows apace. Of course we cannot predict the exact situations in the foreign policy and security environment that German politicians will have to respond and adapt to. This study outlines possible future scenarios that are deserving of special attention because the situations they could create would present great challenges to Germany and Europe.
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49
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Delivering Tomorrow: Logistics 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
This study starts with two essays laying the groundwork for the very idea of futures studies and future scenario forecasting. The first, by renowned futurist from the University of Hawaii, Professor James Allen Dator, introduces the discipline. In the second, respected futurist and business strategist Peter Schwartz describes the scenario planning context, process and application for business and policymakers.

This study aims to foster a dialogue about the future of logistics by describing a number of different scenarios, or pictures of the world, in 2050.
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184
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Global Food Security

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, September 25, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The overall risk of food insecurity in many countries of strategic importance to the United States will increase during the next 10 years because of production, transport, and market disruptions to local food availability, declining purchasing power, and counterproductive government policies. Demographic shifts and constraints on key inputs will compound this risk. In some countries, declining food security will almost certainly contribute to social disruptions or large-scale political instability or conflict, amplifying global concerns about the availability of food.
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58
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PREDICT: Projections and Relevant Effects of Demographic Implications, Changes, and Trends

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
The Strategic Foresight Analysis (SFA) identified five themes: Political, Human, Technology, Economics/Resources and Environment. Under these themes 15 trends were identified that are expected to shape the future security environment out to 2030 and beyond. From these 15 trends, one trend was analysed in more depth - Demographics.

Project PREDICT (Projections and Relevant Effects of Demographic Implications, Changes, and Trends), was launched at the end of 2013 as a follow-up study to the SFA. Building on long-term cooperation between ACT and the University of Bologna (Italy), the PREDICT project also involved the active participation of the University of Warwick (UK), Sabanci University (Turkey), Johns Hopkins University – SAIS (US/Italy) and the Bruno Kessler Foundation (Italy).

SFA was designed as an iterative process and one which NATO intends to update regularly to provide NATO, national leaders and defence planners with a perspective of the challenges facing the Alliance in the decades to come. Within this framework, the PREDICT goal has been to further develop the research of the “human theme”, focusing on human demographics as the main forecasting variable employed to build different scenarios for NATO in 2035. PREDICT provides an analysis of demographic trends such as population growth, aging, and population composition all of which play a fundamental role in the current and foreseeable shifting distribution of international power. The report also provides security challenges which largely depend on the broader socio-political context in which demographic trends interact with economic, environmental, energy, health and technological trends.
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152
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Shaping Globalization – Expanding Partnerships – Sharing Responsibility

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The world is becoming increasingly multipolar. States that were long thought of as developing or newly industrialized countries are now an influential force in shaping international policy in an interdependent world. They are economic motors and key regional players, active beyond their own regional boundaries. They also play an increasingly important role in international decision-making processes. They are confidently taking their place on the world stage, in international relations, and are assuming ever more responsibility for global issues. In our view they are more than just emerging economies. They are new players with a voice in the conduct of world affairs.
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68
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Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is set to register another year of solid economic performance, expanding at 4½ percent in 2015. This said, the expansion will be at the lower end of the range registered in recent years, mainly reflecting the adverse impact of the sharp decline in oil and other commodity prices.
The effect of this shock will be quite heterogeneous across the region. The region’s eight oil exporters will be hit hard and, with limited buffers, are expected to effect significant fiscal adjustment, with adverse implications for growth. For much of the rest of the region, near-term prospects remain quite favorable, with many countries benefiting from lower oil prices—although, for a number of them, this positive effect will be part offset by the decline in the prices of other exported commodities. Notable exceptions are South Africa, where growth is expected to remain lackluster, held back by continuing problems in the electricity sector, and Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola outbreak continues to exact a heavy economic and social toll.
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123
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