Strategic Foresight - The Western Balkans in 2035

With the COVID-19 crisis, the world is experiencing unprecedented disruption to daily lives and to the social, economic, and governance systems that support them. The Western Balkans are no exception. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling hard and looking for ways to respond to the still unfolding situation. Foresight is the discipline of exploring, anticipating and shaping the future to help building and using collective intelligence in a structured, systematic and systemic way to anticipate developments. Foresight can therefore help to cope with such uncertainties and understand the implications for SMEs and policymakers in the long term. Lessons learned in today’s pandemic could be used to inform tomorrow’s policy actions.

While being overwhelmed by these challenges, all economies must not overlook the opportunities that crises can provide to re-imagine and rebuild our future. In the coming period, choices will be made on how to best allocate and invest resources to recover from the crisis. Such decisions will shape the coming decades and therefore it is important to start thinking about:

  • What are the biggest opportunities for transformation towards a more resilient WB6?
  • How will the WB6 economy, society, and governance evolve until 2035?
  • What role can Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) play in the coming decades?

On behalf of the European Commission, the International Service Facility (ISF) is currently conducting a strategic foresight study in the Western Balkans 6 in order to support policymakers in creating an enabling environment for STI policies to thrive and decide on priorities for strategic investments.

The study aims to co-design regional and national scenarios for 2035 together with stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, academia and government. The ISF invites all expert on Science, Technology, and Innovation interested in participating in this foresight study and in supporting the development of innovative policies, to take this 20 min online survey. The Survey is available in Albanian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Serbian, as well as English and will remain open until 14 March 2021.

With this survey, the EC and the ISF seek to reflect on current challenges and opportunities present for WB6 and provide tailored roadmaps and policy recommendations to the national governments.

For more information on the Survey and the project, please do not hesitate to reaching out to ISF-Foresight@dlr.de

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