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Guidelines for foresight-based policy analysis

26-07-2021

Policy analysis examines and assesses problems to determine possible courses for policy action (policy options). In highly complex or controversial contexts, evidence-based policy options might not be socially acceptable. Here, policy analysis can benefit from a foresight-based approach, which helps investigate the issue holistically and assess considered evidence-based policy options against societal concerns. This is especially important in a parliamentary setting, as it enables analysts to consider ...

Policy analysis examines and assesses problems to determine possible courses for policy action (policy options). In highly complex or controversial contexts, evidence-based policy options might not be socially acceptable. Here, policy analysis can benefit from a foresight-based approach, which helps investigate the issue holistically and assess considered evidence-based policy options against societal concerns. This is especially important in a parliamentary setting, as it enables analysts to consider stakeholder views and geographical concerns/differences when assessing policy options. This manual establishes the methodology for the foresight process and foresight-informed policy analysis. It offers a conceptual clarification of foresight and foresight-based technology assessment, helps enhance the transparency of foresight processes and the quality of policy analyses, offers four general guidelines for conducting trustworthy policy analysis, and, finally, provides a practical framework with six basic components for foresight-based policy analysis.

What if consumers could use devices to sequence DNA?

11-05-2021

Sequencing and analysis of the human genome – all the genetic information stored in our DNA – provide us with understanding about a person's ancestry, health and other traits. Thanks to DNA sequencing, medicine and the life sciences are able to predict and cure diseases. As DNA sequencing technologies continuously improve and become less costly, what if we all soon possessed our personal, smart DNA sequencers and apps to analyse our DNA?

Sequencing and analysis of the human genome – all the genetic information stored in our DNA – provide us with understanding about a person's ancestry, health and other traits. Thanks to DNA sequencing, medicine and the life sciences are able to predict and cure diseases. As DNA sequencing technologies continuously improve and become less costly, what if we all soon possessed our personal, smart DNA sequencers and apps to analyse our DNA?

Carbon-free steel production: Cost reduction options and usage of existing gas infrastructure

26-04-2021

The steel sector is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise and has recently received special attention owing to the potential use of low-carbon hydrogen (green and blue) to reduce its fuel combustion and process-related carbon emissions. This report addresses concerns that might arise while evaluating the potential and limitations of the future role of hydrogen in decarbonising the iron and steel industries. The report provides a comprehensive overview of current technical knowledge, ...

The steel sector is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise and has recently received special attention owing to the potential use of low-carbon hydrogen (green and blue) to reduce its fuel combustion and process-related carbon emissions. This report addresses concerns that might arise while evaluating the potential and limitations of the future role of hydrogen in decarbonising the iron and steel industries. The report provides a comprehensive overview of current technical knowledge, (pilot) projects and road maps at national and EU level. This information is supplemented by previously published indicative price projections for the various steel production routes and a long-term study, analysing the evolution of the global steel sector up until 2100.

Evidence for policy-making: Foresight-based scientific advice

25-03-2021

The implementation of foresight routines will help in preparing future policies. Evidence-based foresight practices will ensure that policy-making is trustworthy and future-fit. This paper is partly inspired by the evidence-related policy issues encountered in managing the coronavirus outbreak. The Covid 19 crisis was, and remains, characterised by uncertainties and evidence that change by the hour through progressive insight. Policy-makers had to make decisions that balanced expert advice and presumed ...

The implementation of foresight routines will help in preparing future policies. Evidence-based foresight practices will ensure that policy-making is trustworthy and future-fit. This paper is partly inspired by the evidence-related policy issues encountered in managing the coronavirus outbreak. The Covid 19 crisis was, and remains, characterised by uncertainties and evidence that change by the hour through progressive insight. Policy-makers had to make decisions that balanced expert advice and presumed feasibility and public acceptance. Additionally, new virus- and vaccine-related evidence meant they had – and continue to have to – constantly review measures, in these exceptional times of uncertainties and evolution of insight, when experts' advice was occasionally inconsistent. This briefing first details the role of evidence in the policy ecosystem, with separate sections regarding science for policy and science- and technology-related policy. Subsequently, an evidence-based mechanism is suggested for rapid response during crises or emergencies. The paper concludes with four practical tips for trustworthy policy analysis: (i) seeing the broader picture; (ii) exploring possible biases; (iii) examining the policy issue from different perspectives; and (iv) stress-testing policy options by widely assessing possible impacts of the options considered.

What if we could engineer the planet to help fight climate change?

23-02-2021

Efforts to curb carbon emissions are falling short ‒ and geoengineering is again in the spotlight. Will governments end up tinkering with Earth’s thermostat?

Efforts to curb carbon emissions are falling short ‒ and geoengineering is again in the spotlight. Will governments end up tinkering with Earth’s thermostat?

What if fashion were good for the planet?

10-09-2020

Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, coming just after oil. Clothing manufacture and consumption have a huge negative impact on both the environment and people. Sustainability is not only about the environment, but is also an economic and social indicator, and the clothing industry is a good example illustrating their interconnections. Are technological innovations alone enough to 'tailor' a green and fair future for fashion?

Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, coming just after oil. Clothing manufacture and consumption have a huge negative impact on both the environment and people. Sustainability is not only about the environment, but is also an economic and social indicator, and the clothing industry is a good example illustrating their interconnections. Are technological innovations alone enough to 'tailor' a green and fair future for fashion?

What if AI could advance the science surrounding dementia?

10-06-2020

Artificial intelligence could help in the fight against dementia, a rapidly growing public health problem! Which AI applications in dementia diagnosis and treatment are already under way, and what are future directions and implications? What if, in the future, we could have access to human brains like Google maps? What if we could backup our minds and restore it when needed, such as in the case of getting dementia?

Artificial intelligence could help in the fight against dementia, a rapidly growing public health problem! Which AI applications in dementia diagnosis and treatment are already under way, and what are future directions and implications? What if, in the future, we could have access to human brains like Google maps? What if we could backup our minds and restore it when needed, such as in the case of getting dementia?

What if internet by satellite were to lead to congestion in orbit?

05-02-2020

American Starlink project aims to bring high speed internet access across the globe by 2021. It’s certainly a mission in the sky! But how will Elon Musk’s plans to deploy this mega constellation of satellites impact on European citizens?

American Starlink project aims to bring high speed internet access across the globe by 2021. It’s certainly a mission in the sky! But how will Elon Musk’s plans to deploy this mega constellation of satellites impact on European citizens?

What if we lived up to 150 years?

16-12-2019

Would you structure your life differently if the average life expectancy was 150 years? How would society reframe its conception of education and work, and the value placed on older generations? How can we ensure a coinciding increase in healthy life years? This latest foresight publication explores impacts and policy considerations in a dramatically aged population.

Would you structure your life differently if the average life expectancy was 150 years? How would society reframe its conception of education and work, and the value placed on older generations? How can we ensure a coinciding increase in healthy life years? This latest foresight publication explores impacts and policy considerations in a dramatically aged population.

What if Libra disrupted the financial system?

13-09-2019

Facebook’s envisaged cryptocurrency project Libra may enable a way of more connected, digital banking. However, it also triggered a debate around the added value of cryptocurrencies. What would change for banks, businesses and consumers with the new digital currency?

Facebook’s envisaged cryptocurrency project Libra may enable a way of more connected, digital banking. However, it also triggered a debate around the added value of cryptocurrencies. What would change for banks, businesses and consumers with the new digital currency?

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