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Home > Publications > Reports and Reviews > ICSU Foresight Analysis Report 1 (2011)

ICSU Foresight Analysis

Report 1 International science in 2031 - exploratory scenarios

This, the first of two reports recounting the ICSU Foresight Analysis, describes the analysis carried out under Phases 1 and 2 of a process that has engaged the ICSU community in an important long-term planning exercise—exploring the future of international science in 20 years’ time.

Under the guidance and direct involvement of the ICSU Committee on Scientific Planning and Review (CSPR), a foresight scenarios exercise began in late 2009 to identify the key drivers that are likely to have a major influence on science and society over the coming decades. Through broad consultation, a range of issues from science literacy to geopolitics and global warming were identified and used as a basis for developing four draft potential scenarios of how the world might evolve. These scenarios described in the Report are not specific to ICSU and should also be of use to other organizations such as ICSU Members as a means of exploring their own longer-term roles in the international arena.

From an ICSU perspective, the next step is to develop a ‘success scenario’ for 2031 and extrapolate back to identify feasible steps that ICSU can take to help realize this scenario. Of course, the future cannot be predicted, and this is not the aim of the foresight exercise. However, ICSU and international science can make a significant contribution to shaping the future; exploring where we would like to be two decades from now can help in selecting the best pathways to achieve this vision.

Publication of Report 2 devoted to the ‘success scenario’ is expected during the first half of 2012.

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