ESPAS and Aspirational Futures From our Next Generation


In late 2018, EPRS hosted the annual ESPAS conference in Brussels.ESPAS (European Strategy and Policy Analysis System) became the major interinstitutional foresight piece of last year aiming to promote cooperation between European bodies, working towards a common analysis of major global trends, and of the choices and challenges they pose for Europe.

Throughout the two days of the conference, a select community of global foresight practitioners and strategists discussed the latest and most pressing social, economic, technological and geopolitical trends shaping the future of Europe and the world in various panels.

In day two, our director, Cat Tully, also participated as a panelist in the conference’s second day, hosted by the European Parliamentary Research Service, the Parliament’s own think tank. In the panel Foresight: Thinking About Tomorrow Today, chaired by Ann Mettler —  chair of ESPAS; head of the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) — Cat discussed the importance of strategic foresight and its role in the 2030 agenda.

SOIF’s director, Cat Tully, at ESPAS2018 Brussels.

Cat’s thoughts on foresight and the next generation were also discussed in a thought-provoking essay published on ESPAS thinkpieces handbook. In the piece Thinking About Tomorrow Today, Cat stresses the importance of strategic foresight and SOIF’s work with young foresight practitioners with her essay titled “Aspirational Futures of the Next Generation”.

“Will our aspirations fall by the wayside as we face the realities of these growing challenges?” With this thought-provoking question, Cat introduces foresight as a powerful tool. A tool, which offers adaptability and hope — something that must happen by reflecting new voices and new approaches.

Equally, Cat information on the launch of the Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award (NGFP). The initiative recognises futures innovation and young leadership from new geographies. Over 70 participants from all the continents shared the projects and stories as part of the 2018 awards – a true inspiration. The 2019 Awards are now underway.



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