16 November 2020 - 20 November 2020
Virtual meeting

IIASA brings scenario and foresight expertise to the Canadian Science Policy Conference 2020

IIASA is organizing two panels at the first online Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) 2020. These will offer participants the opportunity to join a live policy simulation about complex Arctic policies and explore horizon scanning, foresight, and scenario mapping as tools to solve the multifaceted issues of tomorrow.

© Mike Clegg | Dreamstime

© Mike Clegg | Dreamstime

The COVID-19 pandemic has mobilized scientists and policymakers to rapidly adapt to large-scale and complex issues. Reflecting on decisions made and looking forward to the short and long term future post-COVID, The Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) 2020 theme this year is “New decade, New Reality”. As one of the largest science and policy innovation conferences, CSPC2020 will bring together over 2,500 participants from across the globe to discuss how science and policy can work together to provide solutions and new perspectives for the years to come.

IIASA is organizing two panels at CSPC 2020. The first will explore intricate science and policy issues relating to the Arctic through a social simulation. The second will bring together international experts to discuss the role of horizon scanning, foresight, and scenario mapping across sectors and examine their contribution to tackling the challenges of tomorrow.

This event will take place virtually:

Please note that preparation materials will be shared with participants in advance of the social simulation session. CSPC panels will be recorded and made available to registered conference participants who cannot attend the meeting live. 

Helping Societies Address Cascading Climate Risks from Outside Geopolitical Boundaries: Case Study on the Arctic (Interactive Policy Simulation)

16 November 2020, 14:30-16:00 CET – 8:30-10:00 EST

Climate change impacts are both global and regional in nature, and do not stop at geopolitical boundaries. Societies, however, react in very geopolitical ways, often having a better understanding of how climate change will impact their geopolitical regions without as clear a view of how external stressors will play out and influence local outcomes.

This session will use a policy simulation as an international/transboundary foundation, grounding participants in a timely real-world complex situation where they can explore how globally relevant climate change impacts (Arctic) occurring beyond a geopolitical region, as well as the economic and social responses to these impacts, might cascade into its geopolitical space. The simulation exercise will be followed by a discussion with participants to deepen sharing of knowledge and experience between participants. It will also create opportunities for creative exploration of new ideas for better science-policy interface taking into account intertwined complexity of the coupled natural-human systems.

Learn more about the topic by reading the editorial authored by the panelists. 

Panelists include:

  • Nicole Arbour, External Relations Manager, IIASA
  • Monica Gattinger, Director, Institute for Science, Society and Policy and Professor, University of Ottawa
  • Brendan Frank, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Science Society and Policy, University of Ottawa
  • Piotr Magnuszewski, Program Leader, Centre for Systems Solutions, Research Scholar with the Risk and Resilience Program, IIASA 
  • Tim Giger, Sustainability Expert, Centre for Systems Solutions (CRS) 

The Importance of Imagining the Future: Horizon Scanning, Foresight and Scenario Mapping in a Rapidly Changing Wicked World

19 November 2020, 14:30-16:00 CET – 8:30-10:00 EST

There has never been a time in history when long-term critical thinking has been more needed to address complex challenges.  Globally, humanity is facing multifaceted, wicked problems, involving multiple stakeholders (often with competing interests), interdependencies and uncertain future prospects. Engaging with these challenges strategically today to identify and prepare for a variety of possible future scenarios – can help develop agility in policy-making that reflects todays volatile and uncertain world.  

This panel will explore some of the practical ways that horizon scanning, foresight and scenario mapping are currently being used by academia, industry, governments and international organizations to plan for uncertainties and build towards shared global futures. It will also explore how these tools can and are being applied to help in policy development in different contexts regionally and globally and how these approaches bring together multiple stakeholders towards shared goals.

Learn more about the topic by reading the editorial authored by the panelists. 

Panelists include:

  • Anu Shukla-Jones, Senior Policy Analyst, Cross-Functional Policy Mobility Program, Government of Canada
  • Mauricio Antonio Lopes, Senior Researcher, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation – Embrapa
  • Jean-Louis Trudel, Writer-in-Residence, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, University of Ottawa
  • Amanda Palazzo, Research Scholar, with the Ecosystem Services and Management Program, IIASA
  • Luke Tay, Principal Futurist, Singapore Food Agency
  • Cat Tully, Founder, SOIF

IIASA and Canada, since 2010

• IIASA researchers have collaborated with over 30 research partners in Canada.

• 12 Canadian students have participated in the Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP), which develops the research skills and networks of talented PhD students. For the YSSP and the Postdoctoral Program, IIASA gives preference to applicants from member countries.

• 121 Canadians have visited IIASA and participated in IIASA organized events.

• IIASA researchers have visited Canada 62 times to attend conferences, present their research, and to discuss research collaborations and activities.

• Canadian-IIASA collaborations have results in more than 200 publications.

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Last edited: 25 November 2020


Nicole Arbour

External Relations Manager

Communications and External Relations

T +43(0) 2236 807 629

Piotr Magnuszewski

Research Scholar:

Risk and Resilience

Water/Water Security

T +43(0) 2236 807 594

Amanda Palazzo

Research Scholar

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 457



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