Stories from 2050: Radical forward-looking imagery of sustainability opportunities and challenges ahead

The overall objective of the project is to support the implementation and further development of the ‘European Green Deal’ in order to achieve the ‘Clean Planet 2050’ vision. ‘Stories from 2050’ aims to bring new narratives, out of the box thinking and controversial/ contrasting visions into the policy debate on sustainability and the interconnection with science, technology and innovation.

Client: DG RTD

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Scientific, technological and societal conditions for the end of the Covid-19 crisis

COVID-19 has led to a global public health crisis and changed the course of lives for billions with ensuing social and economic damage. The study used the Dynamic Argumentative Delphi method to explore experts’ views on what Europe may look like in 2023, in domains relating to medicine, public health, and socio-economic conditions. Based on the experts’ responses, the points of consensus and the areas of diverging opinions, the study developed five scenarios of exit from the crisis in 2023, associated with the relative success of efforts to develop immunity and with lessons learned as a result of those efforts. The report draws some conclusions for EU R&I policy, but together with its data annex, it can support strategic discussions across many different policy fields.

Reimagining the Food System: scanning the horizon for emerging social innovations

Client: EEA Emerging Issue Factsheets Soulful soil: Alternative methods for nutrient and pest management Agroecology – a way of producing food, a way of life, a science, and a movement for change The power of many: community-supported agriculture networks and initiatives to support sustainable food production Food growing cities: smart solutions and citizen involvement Muscle … Read more

Soil Health and Food

The project aimed to provide forward-looking evidence to support the Mission Board in the drawing of a shared vision, making the most of the geographical and disciplinary diversity of its members. Adopting a long-term perspective, the project first offered insights to better understand the drivers, trends and weak signals with the most significant potential to influence the future of soils health and food. This analysis served as background for the organisation of a Scenario workshop with the Mission Board in which three different and plausible scenarios at 2040 were sketched. In the final step, the FOD team built on existing system-thinking knowledge to identify concepts, solutions, and practices able to promote systematic change in the soil health and food sector.

Healthy Oceans, Seas, Inland and Coastal Waters

The project aimed to provide forward-looking
evidence to support the Mission Board for this area. The objective was to think along with the board and to stimulate the debates by raising surprising and challenging issues
based on forward-looking analysis and exploration. The project provided the Mission Board with new
information, (systemic) insights and/or alternative future visions that connect the extremely multi-
dimensioned topics tackled by this Mission Board.

Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation

The project was meant to complement the Mission Boards’ deep and wide – ranging expertise by exploring longer – term time horizons, up to and beyond the year 2050. Building on existing future – oriented work, the project employed dedicated foresight methods, in particular workshops and a Delphi survey, to explore this time horizon in a systematic manner, and involving experts and stakeholders as appropriate.

Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities

The foresight project “Climate – Neutral and Smart Cities” ( Framework Contract 2018/RTD/A2/OP/PP – 07001 – 2018 – LOT1) aimed to support the reflections of the corresponding Mission Board by providing future – oriented inputs on challenges and options in the area. The overarching goal of the project proposed was to c omplement the Mission Board’s deep and wide – ranging expertise with a foresight perspective.

In particular, the project intended to develop a forward – looking perspective on the importance and future significance of the mission area. Starting with a systemic analysis, the FOD team identified urban challenges in existing forward – looking studies in order to determine the thema tic scope together with the Mission Board, collected data about consolidated external and internal drivers, trends and practices as well as weak signals, potential disruptive events or incremental changes with a potentially substantial positive impact on c ities. We would like to express our gratitude to the entire Mission Board for Climate – Neutral and Smart Cities for their help, input and suggestions. In addition, the authors want to thank Paul Tuinder and Laura Hetel of Future Urban and Mobility Studies o f European Commission DG – RTD, for their feedback, guidance and practical help.

The emergent need for climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in cities as well as the Covid – 19 crisis and its potential impact on climate – neutral and smart cities have shown that cities and other authorities require different priorities in order to effectively accelerate their pathways towards climate neutrality (no one size fits all). However, it will for sure require a co – evolvement of technological innovations, know ledge capacity building within city authorities and businesses, large scale public and private investments in physical infrastructures and buildings, new business models and services that induce behavioural change of actors, and incentive systems and regul ative actions at national level. For all domains (urban mobility and transport, building and retrofitting as well as urban energy systems), digitalisation can play a key role besides calling the entire coalition of urban stakeholders to action in a coordin ated and holistic approach

Client: EC Mission Boards