Trends and New Realities - Challenges of the Future

Trends and New Realities - Challenges of the Future

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From November 14th to 16th, 2022, the "New Realities" workshop of the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) took place in Berlin. Around 160 participants from all over the world followed the invitation by ACT. After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, it was beneficial for the foresight community to finally discuss together once again the numerous challenges in the world as well as implications for NATO and the international community. Panels dealt with the topics "Climate and Security," "Technological Transformation," "Social and Economic Trends," "Geopolitical Drivers" and finally "New Realities”. With the exception of the last, more summary panel, each main topic was followed by breakout sessions, in which each topic was discussed in more detail.

New Realities Workshop

Future foresight experts met for the Allied Command Transformation's "New Realities" workshop in Berlin


The topic of "Climate and Security" was summed up by a short but very accurate quote from Prof. Hanns-Christian Gunga: "Climate Change is a Threat Multiplier - climate change multiplies the (security policy) threats." Accordingly, this topic was given top priority on the workshop agenda. In "Technological Transformation," one of the topics discussed was the impact of technology races on the actual goal of conflict prevention. Are these races possibly counterproductive? And how can they be handled responsibly?

Think ahead and plan

Current topics were discussed at the "Social and Economic Trends" session. Among others, "Gender Equality" was part of the portfolio, because this topic area definitely has security policy implications that are relevant for NATO and its member states. The particular impact of "Geopolitical Drivers / Regional Perspectives" can be seen in the current news, but the aspiration of NATO ACT and the Foresight community is to think and plan beyond the current acute issues.

Several people are sitting at the table.

In breakout sessions each topic was discussed again in depth


Finally, it was agreed that in an increasingly uncertain world, all policy fields and areas of life must be considered jointly. NATO can and must make a significant contribution to reducing risks in a dynamic and complex world and "foresight" is the right tool to do so successfully.

The results of the workshop will form the basis for the next version of NATO's Strategic Foresight Analysis document, which will be prepared and published next year.

by   Bundeswehr Office for Defence Planning  email