By European Comission, 2012.

National/Regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3 strategies) are integrated, place-based economic transformation agendas that do five important things:
» They focus policy support and investments on key national/regional priorities,
challenges and needs for knowledge-based development.
» They build on each country/region’s strengths, competitive advantages
and potential for excellence.
» They support technological as well as practice-based innovation and aim
to stimulate private sector investment.
» They get stakeholders fully involved and encourage innovation and experimentation.
» They are evidence-based and include sound monitoring and evaluation systems.

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By De Ruijter, 2013

What will Europe look like in 2030? Will the Union have a top-down government or will citizens take the lead in governance? And will the process of unification proceed to the next level or will countries drift apart?

Based on these last two key questions the Networking European Citizenship Education (NECE) initiative developed four scenarios during the ProDemos workshop in The Hague in the summer of 2013. De Ruijter designed and facilitated the workshop, wrote the scenario’s, scripted the film, and coordinated the production process.

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Globalization is either considered as a new era or as in continuity with long terms trends in the world capitalist history. From the latter view point, the extension of markets is in the very nature of capitalism. The increase in cross border flows between economies of the world is not a new or recent phenomenon. As early as the sixteenth century, European powers built a world system of economic exchange, supplying their own needs, which resulted in growing trade across seas.

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By ESPON, 2012.

The ‘ESPON TANGO’ (Territorial Approaches for New Governance) project delves deeply into the conceptualisation and operationalisation of territorial governance. The goal is to provide evidence to support future territorial development policies in general and Cohesion Policy that improves regional competitiveness, social inclusion and sustainable and balanced growth of the European territory in particular.


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By ESPON, 2012.

This Second Interim Report follows the Project Specifications requirements1 as well as the orientations given in the First Interim Report by ESPON CU the Sounding Board in March 2012.

It contains the results produced after the delivery of the First Interim Report:
- Final results for the 2030 Baseline and Exploratory scenarios produced by MULTIPOLES, MASST3 and MOSAIC forecast models.
- Final results for the 2050 Baseline and policy-oriented variant scenarios produced by SASI.
- Firsts results by METRONAMIC land-use forecast model
- Analysis of results, at European and regional level.
- Draft of policy-recommendations to be further developed.


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By ESPON, 2010.

Metropolises are the central nodes in a globalising world. Above all, they are the cross-roads of economic flows, political power, and infrastructure settings. Traditionally, cross-border regions seem to be the counterpart of metropolitan regions as they are characterised by the most important spatial barriers of the modern world – the nation state boundaries. As long as borders have predominantly functioned as barriers, border areas have often been seen as peripheries. So until recently, border areas have been considered to be hardly metropolitan, and metropolises have been considered to be far away from national borders.


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By Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Reigons, 2013.

Adaptation means anticipating the adverse effects of climate change and taking appropriate action to prevent or minimise the damage they can cause, or taking advantage of opportunities that may arise. It has been shown that well planned, early adaptation action saves money and lives later.

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World Economic Forum, 2013.

The Future Role of Civil Society project was launched in June 2012 with the desire to explore the rapidly evolving space in which civil society actors operate. The project focuses on two central questions:
−− What might the contextual environment for civil society look like
in 2030?
−− How might models of engagement for civil society, business,
government and international organizations evolve in these new

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labour leaders, faithbased organizations, religious leaders and other civil society representatives play a critical and diverse set of roles in societal development. In the last two decades these roles have shifted as the external environment for civil society has changed. Recently, a renewed focus on the essential contribution of civil society to a resilient global system alongside government and business has emerged.

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World Economic Forum, 2013.

The Scenarios for the Russian Federation were developed through a strategic dialogue process engaging over 350 business, policy and academic leaders throughout 2012. The scenarios report focuses on possible future pathways for the Russian economy and pays particular attention to three critical uncertainties: ongoing evolutions in the global energy landscape, the quality of Russia's domestic institutional environment and dynamics of social cohesion within the country. Each scenario is aimed at challenging conventional wisdom and questioning existing assumptions about Russia's economic future. The purpose of these scenarios is to support quality long-term policy and strategy decisions. They are a central area of focus of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013 in Davos-Klosters, as well as the subject of further strategic dialogues.

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World Economic Forum, 2013.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2013 report is developed from an annual survey of over 1,000 experts from industry, government, academia and civil society who were asked to review a landscape of 50 global risks. The global risk that respondents rated most likely to manifest over the next 10 years is severe income disparity, while the risk rated as having the highest impact if it were to manifest is major systemic financial failure. There are also two risks appearing in the top five of both impact and likelihood – chronic fiscal imbalances and water supply crisis.

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World Economic Forum, 2011.

The rapid integration of global trade and capital flows over the past decades has made the links that connect different parts of the world economy ever more central to global prosperity. Yet the practices and institutions that regulate these links – the international monetary system – as well as the main international currencies that underpin this system are increasingly challenged. Against this backdrop, it is clear the current dollar-based international monetary system needs to evolve. But how it will evolve is highly uncertain. The widespread view is that the world is moving towards a multipolar currency system based on the euro, dollar and yuan. But each of these currency areas faces the need for significant internal adjustments that constrain their future international roles: – The Eurozone is plagued by a weak governance structure, fragmented sovereign debt markets and an uncertain growth outlook. – The United States must contend with a dim fiscal position, a persistently large trade deficit and a political system at risk of resorting to protectionism. – If the yuan is to rise to international significance, China will have to ensure continued growth, resolve systemic weaknesses in its financial system and address limitations stemming from its system of capital controls. These adjustment processes play out as complex two-level games. While at the global level synchronous and coordinated adjustments between individual players may be desirable, the challenges they face at the national and regional levels may direct them to take decisions that can lead to sub-optimal global outcomes.

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World Economic Forum, 2011.

The Scenarios for the Mediterranean Region project began in August 2010 with the objective of exploring the long-term evolution of regional dynamics and the role of the private sector in the Mediterranean region, looking out to the year 2030. The project drew on the World Economic Forum’s deep expertise in multistakeholder scenario thinking, competitiveness analysis and our long-standing engagement with the wider Europe and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Scenarios for the Mediterranean Region report explores three possible futures for the region, based on long-term uncertainties related to the development of regional politics, regional resource management and the regional labour market.

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World Economic Forum, 2010.

The financial crisis of 2008 and the “Great Recession” of 2009 have shaken the very foundation of the financial architecture and raise challenging questions about the future of the global economy. They also highlighted the economic interdependencies, governance gaps and systemic risks intrinsic to globalization. These revelations compel us to rethink the purpose and business models of financial institutions, the role of financial innovation and governance of the global financial system. Rethinking has already triggered attempts at redesign. National legislatures, supervisory authorities and international organizations are now transforming institutions, policies and regulations with the aim of closing governance gaps, preventing systemic failures and restoring growth.

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World Economic Forum, 2009.

As the effects of the financial crisis continue to unfold, the world faces serious challenges to the functioning of both capital markets and the global economy. With aggregate demand falling, there is a significant risk of a severe global recession that will affect many sectors, asset classes and regions in tandem. It is in this context that the World Economic Forum is releasing this report. Its launch is timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum’s 2009 Annual Meeting, which will provide leaders from industry, government and civil society with a unique and timely opportunity to actively shape the post-crisis world in a holistic and systematic manner that integrates all the stakeholders of global society. A key track of the meeting will be focused on promoting stability in the financial system and reviving global economic growth, and we hope this report will both provide relevant background as well as catalyze dialogue on related issues. The crisis is rooted in global imbalances, including long regimes of low interest rates, rapidly rising asset prices, massive leverage and trade and savings imbalances. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report pointed to associated risks of these phenomena in early 2007 and 2008.

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By World Economic Forum, 2007.

Since the 1970s, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have witnessed impressive social and economic progress. Economic rents from the energy sector have been channelled into infrastructure development and the advancement of the private sector. However, the region still faces important political, economic, social and environmental challenges, and stakeholders should be aware of some of the possible futures that the GCC countries may experience. To gain a better understanding of possible outcomes, and of the key trends and events that might shape them over the next 20 years, the World Economic Forum set out to develop a set of scenarios for the GCC countries to 2025. The resulting scenarios are the joint creation of those who took part in the project – they go beyond the assumptions and perspectives held by any individual, interest group or organization.

World Economic Forum, 2006.

China’s economic development over the past two decades has surprised both her critics and supporters. Since 1978 when China launched its “Four Modernizations” reform process under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, growth has averaged 9.5% annually. As a result, China has climbed in world rankings to become the sixth largest economy in terms of nominal gross domestic product. Thus in the last few years China has become the focus of much attention. Some parts of business, academia, government and civil society are more highly engaged in China than ever before. All need to think about what could happen next. But China’s future is not merely of interest for experts. China’s impact on global growth, resource allocation, trade and investment, as well as geopolitical balance has direct consequences for every part of the planet.

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By World Economic Forum, 2005.

Few countries can boast the immense diversity of India: among its 1 billion people, there are 18 main languages, 844 dialects and six main religions. Rich in the traditions and learning of myriad ancient cultures, the sub-continent has long been a place of pilgrimage for travellers. Since India’s independence, ancient traditions have increasingly converged with modern influences, and India has become progressively more internationally integrated. Since the late 1940s the effects of government controls led observers to coin the term “the Hindu rate of growth” to describe the country’s sluggish economic progress. However, the reforms of the mid 1980s and early 1990s sharpened the pace of change and, as globalization has advanced, prompted by rapid technological developments, India has become more significant in international markets. Now many analysts are predicting India’s emergence as a global player, set to follow the blazing economic success of another giant, China.

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By IDC Government Insides and Empirica GmbH, 2009.

Europe's return to economic growth in the next years (2010-2015) may follow very different paths, depending on the role of ICT-based innovation. According to the scenarios developed by this study, possible futures vary from a return to moderate growth (Back to Normal) to the take-off of innovation in the medium term (Investing in the Future) or in the very near future (Turbo Knowledge Economy); but there are also risks of a slow development path with little innovation (Tradition Wins) or flat growth with a struggle to compete with emerging Asian economies (Stagnation). These scenarios highlight the critical role of e-skills availability to enable European competitiveness, but also the substantial risks of e-skills gaps and mismatches whenever ICT-based innovation accelerates its growth. However the factors of change are combined in the scenarios, the lack of human resources with the right skills remains a problem for Europe. There is a need for effective and proactive policies to sustain ICT investments and insure that e-Skills do not become a bottleneck for innovative enterprises and organizations in the private and public sector.

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By Pim Bilderbeek, 2011.

There are four likely scenarios that government officials will need to consider in planning public service accessibility and government digitalization for the next 10 years. The two axes to consider in these four likely futures are 1) the availability of public cloud infrastructure and the trust that citizens have in using this and 2) the digitalization state of the government itself. Will government embrace public cloud for both internal and external services, or will government limit the uptake of both? Will citizens trust government with their data and will everyone have equal access or will there be a dual Internet infrastructure and wide distrust? Next, four resulting scenarios:

Scenario 1: Digital Europe

Digital Europe is the preferred scenario of Neelie Kroes and the European Commission.

Scenario 2: Digital Divide

Digital Divide is a scenario where governments have embraced cloud services and are delivering on-demand services.

Scenario 3: Disconnected Government

Disconnected Government is a scenario where governments fail to implement cloud services, perhaps for budgetary reasons, perhaps for political reasons.

Scenario 4: Twentieth Century

Twentieth Century is a scenario where governments fail to implement cloud services and the Internet is no longer neutral.


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By National Intelligence Council, 2008

This study, prepared by the US National Intelligence Council, presents four scenarios for global economic and political futures. The study identifies trends that are seen as relatively certain, e.g.:

  • A global multipolar system is emerging with the rise of China, India, and other countries — the role and authority of 'the west' will decline
  • The United States will remain the single most powerful country but will be less dominant
  • Economic and population growth will put pressure on water, energy and natural resources
  • The potential for conflict will increase owing to rapid changes in parts of the greater Middle Eastand the spread of lethal capabilities.
  • The study also identifies key uncertainties, which include the following:
  • The extent of global transition away from oil and natural gas by 2025
  • The severity of local impacts of climate change
  • Advances in democracy in Russia and China
  • Reduction in Middle East instability
  • Europe and Japan's ability to address social and economic challenges from ageing
  • Whether global powers can adapt international institutions to the new geopolitical landscape

A World Without the West

In this fictionalized account, the new powers supplant the West as leaders on the world stage.  This is not inevitable nor the only possible outcome of the rise of new states.  Historically the rise of new powers—such as Japan and Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—presented stiff challenges to the existing international system, all of which ended in worldwide conflict.  More plausible in our minds than a direct challenge to the international system is the possibility that the emerging powers will assume a greater role in areas affecting their vital interests, particularly in view of what may be growing burden fatigue for Western countries.

October Surprise

In the following fictionalized account, global inattention to climate change leads to major unexpected impacts, thrusting the world into a new level of vulnerability.  Scientists are currently uncertain whether we already have hit a tipping point at which climate change has accelerated and whether there is little we can do—including reducing emissions—that will mitigate effects even over the longer term.  Most scientists believe we will not know whether we have hit a tipping point until it is too late.  Uncertainties about the pace and specific vulnerabilities or impacts from climate change are likely to persist over the next 15-20 years even if our knowledge about climate change deepens, according to many scientists.

BRICs’ Bust-Up

In this fictionalized scenario, Chinese fears of disruption of China’s energy supplies spark a clash with India.  With increasing resource constraints likely out to 2025, disputes over resources appear to us to be a growing potential source of conflict.  The sense of vulnerability is heightened by the dwindling number of energy producers and increasing concentration in unstable regions such as the Middle East.  A world in which there are more confrontations over other issues—such as new trade barriers—is likely to increase the potential for any dispute to escalate into conflict. As outlined in this scenario, misperceptions—along with miscom- munications—could play as important a role as any actual threats.  Also illustrated by this scenario is the competition by rising powers for resources.  Both China and India—though rich in coal—have limited and dwindling oil and gas reserves and must rely on foreign sources.  In thinking about the increased potential for conflict in this multipolar world, we need to keep in mind the scope for the emerging powers to clash with one another.

Politics Is Not Always Local

In this fictionalized scenario, a new world emerges in which nation-states are not in charge of setting the international agenda. The dispersion of power and authority away from nation-states has fostered the growth of sub-national and transnational entities including social and political movements.  Growing public concerns about environmental degradation and government inaction come together in this example to “empower” a network of political activists to wrest control of the issue out of country-level officials in capitals.  Global communications technology enables individuals to affiliate directly with identity-driven groups and networks that transcend geographic boundaries.  Environmentalism is an issue for which there is a widespread confluence of interests and desires.

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