What can foresight bring to the adaptation table - Megatrends and wildcards : powerpoint

G.T. Rohat, Rob Swart

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractOther research output


In 2015, the Paris Agreement at COP21 on climate change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction formed major steps towards increasing resilience to climate-related extreme events. Long-term risk and response analyses in support of these agreements and the IPCC assessments tend to be dominated by the development and formal analysis of Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). While such analyses are an important mechanism to advance analytical knowledge about future risks, they constrain creative analysis and there is a complementary role for more qualitative foresight developed by diverse experts and stakeholders to explore future risks and opportunities. Such foresight can strengthen both climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in terms of science, policy and practice, and also link with other international mechanisms such as the Sustainable Development Goals and explore the implications of the global agreements for European, national and local action. In this context, this presentation will synthesize the results of a workshop on foresight in support of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management that was held in October 2016 in Vienna in the context of the PLACARD project (EU Coordination and Support Action in the Horizon2020 programme aiming at advancing collaboration between the two areas). The presentation will cover how current megatrends affect the risks of/vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events and enhance the capacity to reduce these risks in three areas: Living and working (urbanization, technological change, magnitude and distribution of economic growth); Health and wellbeing (demographics, changing disease burdens and risks of pandemics, environmental pollution, pressures on ecosystems, climate change) and Safety and security (global competition for resources, migration, nationalism/polarization). In addition, in foresight it is important to think beyond megatrends: which surprise events or development could occur that would break or add to the megatrends that are currently considered?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2017


  • Vulnerability
  • Foresight
  • PLACARD Project


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