ICT 2013, ESPAS and Digital world in 2030
















Last month I attended the ICT 2013 event in Vilnius. I already covered the session in which I was asked to participate in a previous blog( “Connecting the Futurium to research”)

In addition, I attended the session A journey into 2050′s futures and policy challenges which summarised below

Robert Madelin, Director General of DG Connect opened the session mentioning that the objective is not to predict the exact future but to make sense of eleven visions that emerge from the Futurium journey.

James Elles, Member of the European Parliament stressed the importance of universal access to networks and services and expressed disappointment because of the cuts to the broadband programme originally proposed by Commission. He appreciates the messages from the themes “cradle to grave work and play and the needed to revise our learning-working- retirement patterns. And then he explained the outcome of the inter-institutional foresight initiatives – ESPAS and the need to make foresight as a regular practice within governments to make policies more future proof and accurate.

The reference to ESPAS by MEP James Elles is also applicable to the EIF Digital world in 2030 report

The ESPAS report referred to (Global Trends 2030 Citizens in an Interconnected and Polycentric World) covers 3 global trends 10 big questions as below

I. The Empowerment of the Individual

II. Greater Human Development but Inequality,Climate Change and Scarcity

III. A Polycentric World,but a Growing Governance Gap

The 10 big questions are

  • Will the rising competitiveness of certain new players on the global scene make it more difficult for
  • Europe to sustain its social model(s) and welfare systems? Will future, potentially modest, growth in
  • Europe be ‘jobless’?
  • Can society adapt quicker to technological change,so increasing productivity, without exacerbating social imbalances? How radical is the change in the digital economy, especially the rise of ‘big data’?
  • What new, unpredictable technologies and other developments – whether positive or disruptive –are likely to reshape the world economy in coming decades?
  • What are the implications of rapidly rising average longevity in advanced economies – forecast up to 90 by 2050 – for our pension and social security systems?
  • What are the implications for public policy in Europe of a series of destabilising trends, notably growing inequality in the developed and developing world, migration, continued ethnic and religious conflict, water and energy scarcity, and climate change
  • What are the implications of the likely continued rise of China, as well as of other regional and global players, with their vast resources, wealth and population numbers?
  • Can the current rules-based system in the UN and other multilateral organisations (including the WTO) be maintained and, if possible, enhanced?Could the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) be a real game changer?
  • Can Europe develop security and defence policies –whether delivered through the Union or NATO, or both – to respond to shrinking defence budgets and likely threats? Is the European Union sufficiently equipped to make a stronger contribution to solving crises and conflicts world-wide?
  • Could there be wide-ranging social and political dissatisfaction facing democratic institutions? Will governance systems be able to respond effectively to the challenges ahead?
  • Can the EU develop an open and positive mindset about the future and its place in the world?


We will cover these trends in the discussion at EIF also EIF Digital world in 2030 report