June 2015 Webinar

The second FLAGSHIP Webinar

“EU Governance Challenges” - 16th June 2015 - 11-12 am CET

The webinar presented our upcoming Policy Brief, with a focus on legal, territorial and EU governance and their evolution in the two opposed visions for the future proposed by FLAGSHIP (metamorphosis and perseverance).

Policies matters, and their content will depend on the objectives, preferences and aspirations policy makers have in mind for society at large. This goes beyond the idea of anticipatory and reactive policy, in the narrow sense, which refers to uncertainty about the future. The spotlight of the meeting was on EU governance: the existence of centrifugal forces in the economic realm, if not stopped, will reduce the rationale of EU integration (not for further integration!) and may lead to the collapse of the Union.

Download the Webinar presentation

December 2014 Webinar

The first Flagship Webinar

Looking beyond to a Sustainable and Desirable World - 5th December 2014 –10 am CET

“We have to decide where we want to go, and balance that with where it is possible to go. It is the only way to change the world”

The sentence above is from Robert Costanza and Ida Kubiszewski. The Flagship project has taken the very same attitude to analyze the future for Europe in the world. The 5th December Webinar made the point of the project’s progress in envisioning two possible futures, one moving forward with the perpetuation of the current policies and paradigms at global and European Union level (the “perseverance” vision), and the other looking beyond to a sustainable and desirable future, entailing a substantial change of paradigm and direction.

Again as R. Costanza and I. Kubiszenski put it “creating a shared vision of a sustainable and desirable future” is the most critical task facing humanity today. This vision must be of a world that we all want, a world that provides permanent prosperity within the Earth’s biophysical constraints in a fair and equitable way to all of humanity, to other species, and to future generations. (…) There is a tendency in thinking about the future to simply extrapolate from past trends. For example, if we have been getting materially richer in the past, then the future will be more of the same; if the environment has been deteriorating, then it will continue to do so. But one of the lessons we can learn from history is that trends often do not continue smoothly. There are tipping points and discontinuities that are impossible to predict from past trends. (…) We are learning more about the “process of change”. For example, a necessary ingredient to making changes in a positive and specific direction is having a clear vision of the desired goal that is shared by a large fraction of the members of the organization or community. The challenge for the current generation of humans is to develop a shared vision that is both desirable to the vast majority of humanity and ecologically sustainable”.

The Flagship project has been coping with the challenge evoked above, in particular from the perspective of the European Union, the grand societal challenges that the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program will address in the next years, and the impact its expected outcomes and the Innovation Union may achieve to drive sustainable changes in Europe and the world. We contend in our future storylines that we ware going to face a tipping point, with some seeds of change that will increasingly emerge and shift the future away from what we are used to imagine today based on the current paradigms and policies (the “perseverance” vision) towards a new sustainable and desirable world, resulting from a radical and systemic change of paradigm (the “metamorphosis” vision).

At the Flagship Webinar we presented schematically the two storylines and collect participants feedbacks and suggestions about our forward looking approach, and in particular the reactions to the vision looking beyond to a sustainable and desirable world, and the European Union place in this vision.

 

First FLAGSHIP Webinar recored videoLooking beyond to a Sustainable and Desirable World - 5th December 2014 –