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Food report launches in Brussels

The Food and Farming Futures project launched its findings in Europe today. Sir John Beddington spoke at the British Chamber of Commerce about opportunities for business and at the Joint Research Commission about how science can support food security.

30 March 2011

New project published

The Foresight project Global Food and Farming Futures examined how a rapidly expanding global population can be fed in a healthy and sustainable way. The project's new report helps identify a wide range of possible actions to meet the challenges facing food and farming, both now and in the future.

See all the project ouputs.

24 January 2011

Helping treat obesity

A new report commissioned by Foresight to better train health professionals to prevent and treat obesity was published today by the Royal College of Physicians.

Read the press release.

16 December 2011

New project announced

Foresight latest project will examine the Future of Computer Trading in Financial Markets, sponsored by Her Majesty’s Treasury. Advances in technology continue to transform how our financial markets operate and this project aims to make a significant contribution to the efficiency, integrity and resilience of financial markets, by identifying options for policy makers in the UK and internationally.

Read about the report.

23 November 2010

Exploring the future of the UK economy

The Technology and Innovation Futures project, led by the Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre, highlights potential technological developments that can help to grow the UK economy. The report argues that longer-term strategy is vital for sustainable growth.

Download the report.

12 November 2010

Feeding the world

A new paper published on Thursday 11 November 2010 identifies the top 100 questions for the future of global agriculture. The paper, funded by the Foresight project on Global Food and Farming, is an important contribution in answering the project's central question of how a future global population of nine billion people can be fed sustainably, healthily and equitably.

Read the paper.

12 November 2010

Feeding the world in 2050

The Foresight project on Global Food and Farming Futures has published 21 reviews of the major drivers affecting the food system up to 2050 in a Royal Society journal. Topics include factors affecting the demand for food, trends in future food supply, exogenous factors affecting the food system such as climate change and competition for natural resources.

Read the reviews on the Royal Society website.

15 September 2010

Impact on flooding policy

A video produced by Professor Colin Thorne, University of Nottingham, shows the contribution of geomorphology to the Foresight Flood and Coastal Defence project and, also, how that project has impacted government policy. It was funded externally.

See the video.

15 September 2010

Changes to Future Analysts Network

The Future Analysts Network (FAN Club) has been running since 2005 as a forum where those who have an interest in horizon scanning and futures analysis could meet to exchange new ideas, innovative thinking and good practice. Five years on the FAN Club has seen its initial purpose largely fulfilled. The event held on 19 May was the last under the current model. A report on that meeting will appear on the website in due course.

16 June 2010

2009 Annual Review published

Foresight's annual review highlights our activities and how our work is used by government in 2009 and beyond. Interesting features include examples of national and international impact and the publication of Land Use Futures.

Read the review.

11 June 2010

Visionary Thinking - Geographical Magazine reports on land use in the UK

This month, the Royal Geographical Society's magazine, Geographical, published an article on the Foresight report on land use. There is special mention of two of the lead experts: Mark Tewdwr-Jones, professor of spatial planning and governance at University College London; and John Goddard, Professor of regional development studies at Newcastle University.

Read the article.
27 May 2010

Foresight Programme releases strategic futures online training tool

The Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre today launches the online version of the popular strategic futures training. The training tool is aimed at strategists, policy makers, planners and operational staff responsible for shaping or implementing strategy so they can make better decisions about the future. The online tool complements Foresight's role in encouraging long term thinking and evidence-based analysis throughout government and public sector organisations.

Take the training.

1 April 2010

Feeding the world

Foresight lead expert Professor Jules Pretty from the project Global Food and Farming Futures contributed to a BBC World Service programme about the future of farming in the worlds' cities. The episode is part of series looking at the latest science and technology that could be used to feed a growing global population.

Listen to the programme.

1 April 2010

Government Chief Scientific Adviser supports the formation of 'Eastern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance

The African Union endorsed the movement towards the creation of the Eastern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (EACIDS) at a meeting in Kampala, Uganda in March 2010 supported by Foresight and the FAO. This development follows the successful establishment of EACIDS' sister organisation - the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance, in 2008 - which has attracted over £7 million in donations. These initiatives will combine as pillars of a trans-continental network as set out in the 'AU Science and Technology Framework for the Detection, Identification and Monitoring of Infectious Diseases in Africa' based on the Foresight project 'Infectious Disease: preparing for the Future - Africa', will put the future of disease management in plants, animals and humans in Africa on an integrated footing which is underpinned by science.

Find out more about the project.

16 March 2010

Foresight project Land Use Futures launches final report

The report, a two-year study involving over 300 experts in subjects ranging from ecology, economics, planning and geography, outlines that a new approach to managing the UK’s land will be vital to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

View the outputs from the project.

26 February 2010

Our Impact

You can now easily stay up to date with how Foresight has made an impact on policy change, both in the UK and internationally by visiting the new 'Our Impact' section in the main menu.

See how Foresight projects have successfully informed policy.

8 February 2010

The Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People

Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor John Beddington and experts from the Foresight project Global Food and Farming Futures have set out five strategies to combat the problem of how to feed a growing global population in the international journal Science. The population is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050, more than 30 percent higher than today. Professor John Beddington outlined how world food production can be increased in an interview with the Today Programme on BBC radio 4.

Listen Again on the BBC site.

29 January 2010

International Dimensions of Climate Change

This week saw the official launch of a new joint project between Foresight and Defra. The International Dimensions of Climate Change project will look at how global changes in climate will affect the UK.

27 January 2010

Global Governance: Future trends and challenges

A high-level conference asking 'Is there a shared understanding of the future of governance institutions?' and many other questions takes place at Wilton Park, Sussex on 11-13 January, where speakers include Professor John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser, Baroness Ann Taylor, Minister for International Defence and Security and Philip Bobbitt, Herbert Wechsler Professor of Jurisprudence, Colombia Law School, New York. Delegates are expected from twenty countries.

This event follows on from last year's 'International Future Challenges and Opportunities' conference, and Foresight is again playing an important part in planning the conference, alongside the FCO, DFID, MoD and Cabinet Office. We will post a Conference report during February.

8 January 2010

Foresight project lead expert appears on BBC Radio 4

One of the lead experts from the Foresight project Mental Capital and Wellbeing, Professor Barbara Sahakian, joined eminent scientists Richard Dawkins, Sir Roy Anderson and Professor John Shepherd on Start the Week with Andrew Marr on 28 December 2009, Radio 4.

Listen again to programme.

7 January 2010

New FAN Club newsletter - September 2009

The Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre published the latest newsletter for the Future Analysts Network. The September issue features articles on UK climate projections, the Perfect Storm and the plight of the bumble bee.

Read it now.

18 November 2009

Guidance on analysing the future for policy development

The Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre has published a short guide outlining how futures techniques can be used for policy development.

View the guidance document.

This follows on from our recent guidance note on scenario planning.

View the scenarios guidance note.

11 November 2009

Are you looking to widen your horizons?

We are advertising three internships within Foresight. The posts will last between two to three months from Christmas time. This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience of working across a range of projects In a Government setting. Successful applicants will be quick learners, organised and will be able to work in a team.

NOTE: the closing date has now passed

11 November 2009

New scenario guidance published

Foresight's new guidance note for policymakers explains the nuts and bolts of a important futures technique called scenario planning.

Read the guidance.

15 October 2009

Piling on the pounds - Foresight in Business Voice

In the October issue of Business Voice, Dr Susan Jebb one of the lead experts from the Foresight report, talks about the issues surrounding obesity and how it affects the UK population.

See the article.

13 October 2009

New project announced

Foresight's latest project will examine how future environmental change could affect human migration around the world.

Read the press release and find out more about the project.

7 October 2009

New workshops for Global Food and Farming Futures

The Foresight project Global Food and Farming Futures held two workshops this month.

Find out more.

23 September 2009

New book on Mental Capital and Wellbeing

The lead experts from the Foresight project Mental Capital and Wellbeing have written a major new reference book based on the findings of the final report.

The book offers a comprehensive exploration of how mental capital and wellbeing operate over the lifespan; how experiences in the family, in school, at work and following retirement augment or reduce mental capital and wellbeing, and the impact that this has for the individual and for the welfare and economic progress of the nation.

For more information and instructions on how to order a copy, please click here.

28 August 2009

Latest FANClub newsletter available

The newsletter from the May FANClub meeting is now available.

View the newsletter here.

19 August 2009

Infectious diseases monitoring in Africa boosted

Wellcome Trust has donated £30 million to strengthen research capacity in Africa, including its ability to monitor infectious diseases. The recently established regional disease surveillance network called SACIDS (Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance) will receive some of the funding.

Based on the key findings of the Foresight study 'Infectious Diseases: Preparing for the Future’, SACIDS is the first regional network to embrace the idea of 'One Health' by linking 25 human and animal health institutions in Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and South Africa. Over time, it hopes to include other countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

SACIDS was developed through meetings with key stakeholders over a period of over two years. Its mission is to harness innovation in science and technology in order to improve Southern Africa's capacity to detect, identify and monitor infectious diseases of humans, animals and plants. By sharing data, experience, training, and tools, the countries participating in SACIDS can raise the quality and capacity of infectious disease surveillance for the entire region.

More information about the Wellcome Trust donation can be found here.
More information about Infectious Diseases: Preparing for the Future can be found here.

3 July 2009

Take Shape

Foresight has developed educational resources to help teenagers understand how to maintain a healthy weight in today's society. Take Shape communicates the main findings from the 'Tackling Obesities; Future Choices' project and will be available for teachers to use within the school curriculum. Click here to find out more about World Trade Week.
Click here to download the scenarios. (pdf format)

Click below to view the video presentations of the scenarios shown at the World Trade Week UK Conference (on YouTube)

Scenarios 1 and 2 (Global Innovation and Global Citizen)

Scenarios 3 and 4 (Fragile Alliances and Deglobalisation)

8 June 2009

Valuing our life support systems

Foresight is sponsoring the Natural Capital Initiative event 'Valuing our life support systems'. The three day symposium is exploring the health of our environment and looking at the challenges of an ecosystems approach.
To find out more about the initiative click here.

Current Foresight projects Land Use Futuresand Global Food and Farming Futures are exploring how to use an ecosystems approach in their work. Click on the project name to find out more about their work.

29 April - 1 May 2009

2008 Annual Review published

Foresight's annual review highlights our activities and achievements during 2008, including the two reports published in the autumn.

Click here to find out more about our projects and futures work. (Adobe PDF 2mb)

24 April 2009

Latest FANClub Newsletter Available

The newsletter from the February FANClub meeting is now available to download in PDF format. (4mb)

Download the newsletter here.

8 April 2009

Obesity policy: international perspectives and opportunities

Foresight, in collaboration with the Science and Innovation Network and the Cross-Government Obesity Unit, hosted a workshop on 'Obesity policy: international perspectives and opportunities'.

Leading policy makers from around Europe were invited to Lancaster House, London, to discuss the challenge of tackling obesity. The workshop highlighted the Foresight report Tackling Obesities: Future Choices, published in 2007. The report informed the Cross Government Obesity Unit's Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: a cross-government strategy for England, published in 2008. In particular, this workshop sought to underscore the importance of a strong scientific evidence base when developing policy to tackle the complex challenge of obesity.

24 February 2009

International Foresight workshop 17-19 February 2009

Foresight hosted a three-day international workshop to explore and share best practice for governments to achieve impact.

Several leading government foresight protagonists from around the world contributed to this event, which took place in Buckinghamshire, UK. The event recognised the increasingly global nature of many of the challenges facing us and examined the priorities of international foresight programmes and where they might converge, how they achieve success and how we can develop best practice in achieving impact.

18 February 2009

New Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project webpages available now

"How can a future global population of 9 billion people all be fed healthily and sustainably?"

Motivated by a number of major challenges facing the future of food and farming, the new Foresight project will be guided by the above question and aims to launch its findings in October 2010.

The project will look out to 2050 and take a global view of the food system; considering issues of demand, production and supply as well as broader environmental issues.

The project webpages can be viewed here.

Read the Press Release here.

5 February 2009

Focus on the wallflowers

Professor John Beddington describes buildings as the wallflowers of the climate change problem. Read his guest column about the Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment project in the FT's Clean Energy supplement here.

16 January 2009

Following the publication of the Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment project, Professor John Beddington argues in Prospect magazine this month that a major rethink is needed about the way we use energy and if we really want to sustain the planet, we must first fix the leaky buildings where we live, work and play.
To read the full article, click here.

14 January 2009

FANClub November Newsletter

The FAN Club is a forum where those who have an interest in horizon scanning and futures analysis can meet to exchange new ideas, innovative thinking and good practice. It is sponsored by the Horizon Scanning Centre in the Government Office for Science and is a key ingredient of the capacity raising programme.

Read the November newsletter.

5 January 2009