Hot Topic, Russia Invades Ukraine: Foresight Resources
While events in Ukraine are unfolding, futurists and foresight professionals keen to integrate regional analysis into their work may wish to consult the following resources.
Eurasia Group (featuring political scientist Ian Bremmer, host of GZERO World on PBS):
- Top Risks 2022 Annual report (January 3, 2022). Top risk No. 5 is Russia “Relations between the US and Russia are on a knife-edge,” the report states. “What started with an incremental buildup of troops near Ukraine last year has morphed into a broader Russian demand to restructure the European security architecture. That, combined with ongoing concerns about election interference and cyber operations, means that Russia is on the verge of precipitating an international crisis.”
- Bremmer’s forthcoming book, The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats—and Our Response—Will Change the World (Simon & Schuster, May 17, 2022), focuses on global health emergencies, transformative climate change, and the AI revolution.
Center for Strategic & International Studies:
- Crisis Crossroads: Ukraine, project page
- “Scenario Analysis on a Ukrainian Insurgency” by Emily Harding, deputy director and senior fellow, International Security Program, CSIS (February 15, 2022)
- War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Great Power Competition and Conflict by Mick Ryan (Naval Institute Press, February 15, 2022)
- “Around the halls: Implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” [multiple authors], Brookings Institution (February 25, 2022)
- “What Sanctions Against Russia Can Do—and What They Can’t” by Nate Sibley, research fellow. National Review (February 23, 2022)
- background analysis on Russia and Eurasia available here.
Victor V. Motti's Future Wheel analysis of first, second, and third order impacts, shared on LinkedIn here. Motti is president and CEO of Alternative Planetary Futures Institute and director of World Futures Studies Federation.
Rand Corporation and Brookings Institution are also looking beyond Russia–Ukraine to similar scenarios involving China and Taiwan:
- “Why China Is Intensifying Its Military Flights Against Taiwan” by Derek Grossman, senior defense analyst. The RAND Blog (February 22, 2022).
- “The False Choice Between China and Russia” by Raphael S. Cohen, director, Strategy and Doctrine Program, RAND Project AIR FORCE; senior political scientist. The RAND Blog (February 21, 2022).
- “Learning the right lessons from Ukraine for Taiwan” by Ryan Hass, senior fellow, foreign policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies, John L. Thornton China Center (February 22, 2022)
- Ukraine’s Revolt, Russia’s Revenge by Christopher M. Smith, career U.S. Foreign Service Officer currently at National Defense University. Brookings Institution Press (March 15, 2022).
- Post Putin: Succession, Stability and Russia’s Future by Herman Pirchner Jr., president, American Foreign Policy Council. Rowman & Littlefield (2019).
- The Future Is History: How Totalitariansim Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen, New Yorker staff writer. Riverhead Books (2017).
[This story was updated March 2 to include Motti's Future Wheel analysis.]
News from the Futurist Community
- World Futures Studies Foundation (WFSF) will soon launch a new Futures Television channel on the Roku streaming service. WFSF will highlight its president, directors, and members in its programming as well as material from conferences and the association’s Human Futures magazine. [Learn more]
- Harish Shah, “The Singapore Futurist,” is offering his new e-book, Life in Techtopia—The Direction and Destination of the 21st Century Technological Evolution, for free “out of hope that it may inspire someone out there in the global human populace to pursue accelerated and expedited technological evolution and convergence,” he writes. [Download slideshare]
- Themis Foresight, a global think tank and foresight company launched in Berlin in April 2021, seeks a researcher, full or part time, beginning April or May. Among the responsibilities are conducting research to enrich the company’s in-house futures literacy and writing futures research papers for in-house, marketing, and client uses. [Learn more]
- The social impact organization Ashoka and Prudential Financial have named 25 young people from the United States as the inaugural class of Prudential Emerging Visionaries committed to improving the lives of others. Among the honorees—each of whom will receive $5,000 in funding—are Sriya Tallapragada, 15, who created “Girls Who STEAM,” empowering young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; Esther Chan, 15, who founded “Cyber Safe Seniors,” an initiative that helps older adults protect themselves from cybercrime; and Jonah Basi, 17, who founded “MangroLife” to restore South Florida’s waterways.
- March 19 online. “Where Is My Flying Car” is a Zoom-based webinar hosted by London Futurists celebrating the publication of J. Storrs Hall’s recent book of that title. Independent scientist and futurist Hall, whose previous books include Beyond AI and Nanofuture, will present key themes from his book and answer audience questions. [Register]
- May 2–13 online. Living Future 22 “unConference,” sponsored by the Seattle-based International Living Future Institute, will aim to “collaboratively address solutions in the built environment to our climate emergency, environmental and materials health, and share insights and strategies for rectifying racial inequities and injustices in our communities.” [Learn more]
- June 15–17 Turku, Finland, and online. The Finland Futures Research Centre’s 22nd Conference on the Future will focus on Planetary Futures of Health and Wellbeing. The event will address drastic transformations to the Earth’s systems “due to climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and other human-caused environmental pressures.” [Learn more]
- June 27–July 1 Oslo, Norway, and online. The Science Fiction Research Association Conference 2022 will feature “5 days of Keynotes, Lectures, Talks, Movie Screenings, Launch Events, Workshops, & more at the University of Oslo (and beyond).” The event will offer visions of human futures focused on issues relevant to those on the margins, including Indigenous groups and ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. [Learn more]
Recommended Resource: Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential
The Union of International Associations (Union des Associations Internationales) maintains print and online versions of its comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, initially seeded by data from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations.
“Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations,” states UIA’s website.
Sample problems covered include Unethical practices in politics, Sin, Mental Illness, and Environmental hazards of industrialization.
Sample strategies for handling interconnected problems include Articulating future vision, Improving foresight capacity, Recycling materials, Prosecuting racially motivated crime, and Constructing low energy buildings.
Learn more at uia.org/encyclopedia
Mark Your Calendar
Mack Report: Renewable Resources Industries
Europe’s forest products industry is deploying new technologies for recapturing and processing byproducts as part of the greater circular economy trend, reports Tim Mack, AAI Foresight managing principal, in his latest article for the Foresight Signals Blog.
Mack focuses specifically on the work of CMC Texpan in Italy, which is using technologies to identify and remove contaminants and pollutants from the wood byproduct, and HONEXT in Spain, which is working with a new waste reclaiming technology that turns cellulose residue into a construction-ready material.
“The ideal will be the development of distributed production networks, where waste is transformed to product at the point of waste generation,” Mack writes.
Read “Future Impacts in Renewable Resources Industries” by Timothy C. Mack, Foresight Signals Blog (February 14, 2022)
“If civilization has an opposite, it is war. Of those two things, you have either one, or the other. Not both.” Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)