F1. The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads towards improvement


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  • Quote from the GCARD Roadmap. This quote and the next one have shaped the structure of the Foresight breakout session. Please keep in mind the words that are highlighted, because this is what we will focus on during the foresight session
  • Quote from the GCARD Roadmap.
  • I will first present some elements to be shared here so that we can work together during these foresight sessions with a common understanding and language about foresightThen I will present the result of an inventory on the state of foresight in agriculture.This will be followed by a short introduction of the framework of the foresight session.
  • As defined by the European Union one of the most important provider of foresight studies, THE EU conducted comprehensive assessment of foresight works in all sectors in Europe and worldwide.
  • Why do people/organization engage in foresight?It is possible to define three types of objectives when engaging in foresight. (Talk about them briefly). This diversity of objectives shows that it is impossible to establish a normative way for doing foresight.  How and what kind of foresight work we conduct is determined by the way those who engage in foresight, users and practitioners, see the world, by the type of question they intend to answer and the scale at which they look at these questions.
  • This is about what foresight practitioners say about foresight methods (common position) . Diversity is the key word. Here for example the European Union has identified more than 30 different tools that can be used and combined in order to do foresight works. Some of them are specific to foresight others are more universal. But methodological advances are still needed.
  • There are two big families of approaches in foresight. The « likely » area is the domain of quantitative foresight methods (we know and can measure)The « unlikely » is the domain of the qualitative foresight method (what we know and cannot measure and what we don’t know and can imagine)Together they form the domain of plausible futures, this is why they are complementary and why improved foresight is about marrying so as to make the best of each, getting something more than just the sum of their specific virtues.
  • Let’s see now the result of an inventory on the state of foresight in agriculture that was undertaken with the objective of facilitating in-depth discussion during these sessions at GCARD. After this presentation you will see five examples of foresight, which will illustrate what we found in the inventory.
  • The inventory started with contacting more than 5000 people and resulted in more than 40 cases. Then explain Briefs and the report Criteria of selection: 1. long term (more than 10 years). This excluded all the purely planning exercises 2. recent (less than 5 years when it started in 2012) in order to provide feedback on the latest activities 3. focused on agriculture and/or rural development issues so as to keep concentrate on challenges for AR4DScreening was done by a group of 10 foresight practitioners who volunteered from the Global Foresight Hub.
  • First bullet: A lot of work has been done in foresight about the future of food security, concentrating on global food needs and production. Most foresight works indicate that more than availability, access to food is the future key challenge for food insecurity. They indicate that access is not just a problem of logistics, moving products from surplus areas to deficit areas, that can be solved by market mechanisms, it is an issue related with he capacity for people to acquire the quality they need, either producing it or purchasing it. Second bullet: What could be the future of those (smallholders) working on agriculture: who would be farming; what would happen with employment and more generally with the future of (rural) societies, how to achieve ecologically sustainable societies; conservation of local culture; what would be the impact of increasing urbanization on agriculture.Third bullet: The challenge for future foresight work is to integrate more systematically these new drivers in the analysis, rather than considering them as external factors. This means working on understanding how and why policies and societal values could evolve;
  • First bullet: this is a challenge to general views and a call to think out of the box. To think about alternative options to productivity increaseSecond bullet: More knowledge about consumer behaviour in the future is needed in order to understand the link between “people, profit, and planet” as mentioned in one of the BriefsThird bullet: ... taking into consideration variations at local/national level as different and multiple drivers do lead to different situations in different context: link global dimensions to regional, national and local level and reciprocally (see Indonesia, can Brazil feed the world)
  • The first controversy is due to the fact that the exploration of alternative scenarios lead to contrasted future situations to which different types of farms are more or less adapted. The second controversy is due to the facts that the potential of family small scale agriculture has not been realized yet, and that food security can be considered at various scales from global to local.
  • The first controversy is due to the fact that the divergent and opposite effect of different drivers of land use changes, such as expansion of urban area and non food land use versus need to produce more food, or intensification freeing more land versus demand for non food products. The second controversy is due to the uncertainty related to potential opposite effects of policy orientation and economic forcesThe third controversy by the uncertainties about the future states of the drivers of population migration toward urban area, such as services, quality of life, employment. Here again policies are important potential drivers which could shape the current trends in different ways
  • This controversy is due to the combination of uncertainties related to the possible evolutions of the dietary patterns and the capacity of different farming patterns to respond to these evolutions. The local dimension is adding to uncertainty.
  • First bullet: These works are developed by experts or scientists from international organizations or national organizations from advanced countries in the North/West. What is striking in our inventory is the absence of the LDC in foresigth, and the absence of FO and CSO when we look at who initiated or conducted the foresight works.
  • First bullet point: … is witnessed by the numerous cases which have raised awareness and/or provoked debates based on their result; Second bullet point: the type pf impact depends on the aim : producing knowledge (influence) or producing priorities and informing choices (change)Third bullet point: … is very much linked with the demand for foresight from a decision-maker, and the ability of foresight leaders to directly interact with decision makers in the policy setting process;Fourth bullet point: … and needs to be strengthened in future foresight works
  • Let’s see now the framework of the foresight session and how it relates to possible commitments from the participants here and the wider audience outside the GCARD2.
  • Session F1: We will have now the presentation of somme illustrative cases which will highlight some key elements of this presentation, such as the interest and need for diverse foresight approaches from global to local level, be they qualitative or quantitative, from various sectors… so that you get more concrete understanding through practical examples. Then Hartwig de Haen will present the Global Foresight Hub and we will then have a debate.Tomorrow morning we will have two parallel session F2.1 and F2.2: … in foresight needed to ensure that AR4D priorities focuses also on addressing future needs as identified under the concept of improved foresight borne by the GCARD Roadmap. Tomorrow afternoon we will have another two parallel Session F3.1 and F3.2 : …. so that the diverse views and farmers and stakeholders can be integrated in shaping research priorities as called for by the Roadmap. Fro those who will attend F2 and F3 sessions check the related Briefing papers on your USB pen.
  • F1. The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads towards improvement

    1. 1. The state of foresight in food and agricultureand the roads toward improvement Robin Bourgeois GFAR Secretariat
    2. 2. Background: improved foresight“Forward-looking, anticipatory researchand analysis needs to integrate a rangeof perspectives on key issues, making useof the best available data andinterpretations from different sources anddirectly integrating the diverse views offarmers and other stakeholders onspecific problems, so that important issuesare examined through multiple ‘lenses’.”
    3. 3. Background: improved foresight “The need for improved foresight must be addressed by mobilizing expert analyses within countries ... and bringing together, via GFAR and the regional fora and on a coherent and regular basis, the diverse national and international initiatives ..., learning from the outcomes of the different models and perspectives employed.”
    4. 4. Content Defining foresight What do we know? What can we do together?
    5. 5. Defining foresight“A process which combines three fundamental elements: prospective approaches: long-term or forward-looking, planning approaches: including policy-making and priority-setting, participative approaches: engaging stakeholders and knowledge sources”. A working definition for the GCARD2: Foresight = “forward-looking, anticipatory research and analysis”
    6. 6. Defining foresight: engaging in foresightKnowledge (how the future could be, why) Understanding the futuresInteraction (where we want to go together) Choosing our futureChange (what can we do, how) Creating our future
    7. 7. Defining foresight: methodsQualitative to QuantitativeContext dependentNo single/best approachFits objective and resources,Allows participatory approaches
    8. 8. Defining foresight: methodsProjections and simulations 6based on quantitative methods Wanted 5Scenarios and visioningbased on qualitative methods 2 Likely Plausible 1 Today 2025 3 Unwanted Rupture 4 2040
    9. 9. Content Defining foresight What do we know? What can we do together?
    10. 10. What do we know? The current state of foresight in agricultureThe inventoryNew challenges/prioritiesControversiesCurrent practicesImpact
    11. 11. What do we know : the foresight inventoryInventoryContacts: 5000 +Answers: 1000 +Positive: 400 +Selected: 43 36Answers: 45Contacts: 5000 +Feedback survey
    12. 12. What do we know? The current state of foresight in agricultureThe inventoryNew challenges/prioritiesControversiesCurrent practicesImpact
    13. 13. What do we know: new challenges/priorities More focus on food insecurity The “Farming World” questions Policies and societal values as drivers of changes
    14. 14. What do we know: new challenges/priorities Explore alternatives to technology-based farm productivity How consumers may change attitudes and behaviours Account more for diversity
    15. 15. What do we know? The current state of foresight in agricultureThe inventoryNew challenges/prioritiesControversiesCurrent practicesImpact
    16. 16. What do we know: controversiesEvolution of farming patternsLarger more concentrated farmsSmaller more diversified farmsSomething else?Food security ensured by:Family agricultureLarge industrial farmsSomething else?
    17. 17. What do we know: controversies Future agricultural land usesAgricultural land expansion Agricultural land reductionMultifunctional use Specialized useRural area abandonment Rural area revitalization
    18. 18. What do we know: controversiesFuture links between production and consumptionStandardization of consumptionpatterns and food supplied byinternational marketversusRegional and diversifiedconsumption patterns suppliedby local/proximity productionsystems
    19. 19. What did we learn? The current state of foresight in agricultureThe inventoryNew challenges/prioritiesControversiesCurrent practicesImpact
    20. 20. What do we know: current practices  Global/regional works more quantitative, less inclusive  National works more qualitative, more inclusive Absence of LDC Absence of FO/CSO
    21. 21. What did we learn? The current state of foresight in agricultureThe inventoryNew challenges/prioritiesControversiesCurrent practicesImpact
    22. 22. What do we know: impact Capacity to affect stakeholders Influence or change Capacity to change policy and orient actions Impact evaluation is still insufficient
    23. 23. Content Defining foresight What do we know? What can we do together?  Common understanding about foresight  In-depth discussion and related commitments
    24. 24. What can we do together?During the GCARDAfter the GCARD
    25. 25. What can we do together: during the GCARDSession F1: Reflect on the state of foresight and the Global Foresight HubSession F2.1 and F2.2: Identify the focus of, and commit to, collectiveactionsSession F3.1 and F3.2 : Identify, and commit to, collective actions neededto improve partnership in foresight and develop foresight capacities
    26. 26. The End and a Beginning :• All authors of the Briefs and foresight practitioners who contributed to the inventory• ILAC working group for the foresight inventory and GCARD preparation• KIT facilitators of the write workshops• All members of the Forward Thinking Platform for their revisions and comments• All individuals who have contributed/commented/supported this work
    27. 27. Which challenges for thefuture do you consider themost relevant for agricultureand rural development thatneed to be addressed nowthrough collective action?N=44. Open answers. Multiple answers allowed.
    28. 28. Question: For a better andstronger impact of foresight indecision making, resourcesallocation, researchpriorities, innovations, andpolicies, what kind of collectiveaction would you be willing tojoin?