Building an international foresight community
ESPAS embraces an outward-looking and international perspective, and over time has widened and deepened its range of interlocutors worldwide. The annual ESPAS conference has increasingly attracted major international speakers, and this has been complemented by inward and outward visits with other political, academic and foreign policy communities, which taken together have enriched our work.
ESPAS is now planning to undertake outreach in the framework of a dialogue to be known as the International Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ISPAS).
Exchanging ideas with policy and foresight experts across the world has also strengthened our flagship publication, the ESPAS Global Trends Report, of which three editions have so far been produced. A fourth such report will be published in early 2024, to coincide with the beginning of a new, five-year EU institutional cycle.
In an era defined by transnational and geopolitical challenges that cut across the usual institutional external/internal and economy/security divides, ESPAS has a strong and identifiable interest in seeking to enhance its international reach. Such a development can help to inform and enrich its own collective, analytical work in a more structured and systematic manner. In an era of great upheaval and change, where the fluidity and uncertainty of global dynamics has been highlighted most recently and very starkly by the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine, joint international thinking and exchange on foresight are more necessary than ever before.
Widening the ESPAS dialogue
The development of a successful international dimension to the work of ESPAS is a goal shared by all nine of its EU partner institutions and bodies. The ESPAS process draws upon a deep pool of knowledge and expertise on global issues, and recognises that the EU needs to be outward-facing, engaged with partners, countries, and organisations, as well as be alert to perspectives of others around the globe with whom there may be less in common. In order to carry this dialogue forward, ESPAS would like to broaden its interface with others outside Europe, in a light, flexible, non-bureaucratic process that reflects the ESPAS philosophy itself.
Objectives of an ISPAS dialogue
ESPAS would aim, through the ISPAS process, to hold private consultations or public events, such as conferences and seminars, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of foresight perspectives and perceptions of international relevant partners and actors, developing foresight networks across the globe and supporting EU policy-planning and making.