‘The Soul of Great Britain at the beginning of the 21st Century’ – NHJ June 2014 Article

14 Jul

This is a pivotal time in our history. On the global scale it is a time of great uncertainty and change. Science and modern developments point to extraordinary and wonderful opportunities, but there are flip side risks to some of these developments. Anyone who questions this point should read Al Gore’s latest book ‘The Future’. Whilst not everyone’s favourite, even as one Gore critic admiringly put it, it is a compelling read, and if only 20% turns out to be true…..

Zoom in on Great Britain and we find further layers of uncertainty and challenges. Will we remain a United Kingdom? Will we be a major player in Europe – in or out of what sort of European Union? Will our economic recovery turn into an enduring sustainable period of growth? Will we be at ease with our new 21st century identity both at home and abroad? How will changes in climate affect our villages and cities?

Outcomes of Singapore Consultation on Developing Foresight Capacity within the Public Service

4 Jul

On 29 April 2014, Cat participated in a Consultation on Developing Foresight Capacity within the Public Service, held in Singapore by the UNDP.

This consultation was convened to engage thinkers and practitioners in discussion to advise UNDP on avenues for building government foresight capacity in developing countries. Alongside Cat, the consultation consisted of 16 participants, including UNDP experts, consultants with expertise and experience in foresight/futures work, and researchers/academics from diverse disciplines such as sociology, education, political economy, systems science and public policy. Cat gave one of the three presentations given by foresight practitioners with experience in working with governments, and these were followed by a 90-minute roundtable discussion.

Cat presented on the topic of Institutionalising Foresight in Government. She highlighted how Foresight is becoming an increasingly important skill for civil services and government because we’re in a 21st century complex environment. When making decisions under complex environments, foresight is vitally important. The role of government will need to change in an environment where there are more doers and actors; where the role changes from being at the top of the pyramid to being part of a network of actors. She outlined the difficulties facing foresight, and why it is so important that we attempt to overcome these challenges to utilise it to its fullest advantage.

The Millennium Project: ’2013-14 State of the Future’

2 Jun

At the beginning of this month, Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project, will be presenting on the Executive Summary of the 2013-14 State of the Future report.

The ’2013-14 State of the Future’ report offers a comprehensive overview is of humanity’s situation, potentials for the future, and directives on what needs to be done today to account for these risks and opportunities. It is the Millennium Project’s 17th annual report card on the future of the world, and has accumulated intelligence from over 4,500 thought leaders selected by its 50 Nodes around the world to inform the report. It covers the global landscape with a short overviews and regional considerations of 15 global challenges such as: energy, food, water, science & technology, ethics, economics, health, education, organized crime, decision-making and foresight, gender relations, demographics, war & peace, and others.

Watch New ‘Pakistan Calling’ Videos Now @PakistanCalling

6 May

The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has recently released 14 new films as part of its Pakistan Calling Project.

The RSA is an organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability in order to close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world.

Pakistan Calling is a project founded by the RSA in collaboration with The Samosa, that seeks to highlight the social problems faced by Pakistan. It does this by providing a platform for films showing links between civil and cultural organisations and communities in Pakistan and the UK, and showcasing some of the moving and inspiring work undertaken by individuals and organisations tackling these problems. The project aims to promote cross-cultural dialogue and community trust in the UK by promoting the many different faces of Pakistan and supporting filmmakers working in areas such as arts, social welfare and citizen journalism.

Making Law More Accessible: EU Launches openlaws.eu Project

10 Apr

Today is the official starting date for the openlaws.eu project, an EU Project funded by DG Justice. Openlaws will make legislation, case law and legal literature more accessible for citizens, businesses, legal experts and also public bodies and legal publishers. It aims to work with the public to add a social layer on top of existing legal information systems, intending to make it easier to work with others and to organize legal information. The project is built on open data, open innovation principles and open source software.

The project is currently in its initial starting phase, with a term of 24 months. At the moment it is offering a meta-search engine for legal content in Europe (based on N-Lex databases) and a legal App environment, and over the next few years it will be providing a variety of tools to further assist the public.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation Release Report on ‘Climate Change and Social Justice: An Evidence Review’

28 Mar

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has released a new report entitled ‘Climate change and social justice: an evidence review’. JRF are a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to identify the root causes of poverty and injustice, and support the communities struggling through these problems.

This latest report from JRF explores the social justice aspects of climate change in order to build an evidence base and support the development of socially just responses to climate change. There is a considerable lack of understanding about the implications of climate change on social justice in the UK and JRF attempt to amend this by exploring the long-term, systematic views on the issue and strengthen solutions to climate vulnerability. It collects current research and ideas in this emerging field to support the development of socially-equitable responses to climate change and considers the implications of this perspective for policy. It examines both direct and indirect impacts of climate change on UK populations and recognises aspects of UK policy to mitigate climate change by bringing down carbon emissions, identifying the costs and benefits of these policies.

Thoughts on the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System Conference

18 Mar

Back in February, Cat attended the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS) Conference in Brussels. Over the course of two days, a number of speakers and panels addressed the key concerns facing Europe in the coming years, ranging from the future of the European economy, to its response to resource scarcity and its role in an increasingly polycentric world. Speakers included a range of public figures and policy experts from across the world, who took this chance to explore current global trends, the impact on the European Union and possible policy options for the future. Read more about the conference here.

The ESPAS project started in 2010 as an attempt to assess the long-term political and economic environments for the EU over the next 20 years. This year, the process will culminate in the publication of a detailed appraisal of long-term global trends and the challenges and options for the period 2014/2019. This shared commitment to collective, strategic thinking will lay the ground for more permanent cooperation and dialogue.

My @Wikistrat Report Released: “The Bicentennial Woman”

10 Mar

The first 200-year old woman is coming – or maybe she is already here…

With the 21st century promising to be the “century of biology”, one can plausibly conceive of a human – most logically a woman – finally breaking the 200-year age barrier. She will probably be born within the next century: indeed, some experts believe that the first “Bicentennial Woman” (BCW) may already be alive today