The conference and the resulting conference statement published today jointly with the Royal Academy of Engineering explore trends in key technologies for the next 30 years, and their implications for today.
In these rapidly changing times, foresight is an important tool for universities and decision-makers to adapt their strategic positioning. The focus is on foresight - imagining a desired future for science and technology, and learning and teaching in 2050 - combined with strategic recommendations - how should we act now to ensure this desired future comes true?
Professor G.Q. Max Lu AO DL FREng FAA FTSE (Chair of joint Task Force Key Technologies and President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey) said of the conference statement:
“The thirtieth anniversary of CESAER and the forty-fifth anniversary of the Royal Academy of Engineering provides a great opportunity to imagine what the world of tomorrow will need, to guide our actions today.
“In 2020, the two organisations launched a joint task force consisting of Fellows from the Academy and representatives from CESAER Members, which I had the honour of Chairing. The objective of the joint task force was twofold, i.e. to (i) imagine a desired future in 30 years (foresight) and (ii) explore how we should act now to mitigate risks towards ensuring a desired future comes true (strategic recommendations).
“The efforts of the joint task force culminated in the international conference ‘Key technologies shaping the future’ from 1 to 2 July 2021 (video recordings from the conference are freely available online). In addition, interviews were conducted with invited experts. This conference statement summarises key conclusions and provides a synthesis of findings from the conference and the interviews.
“Thirty years may sound like a distant future, but if we hope to be prepared for the challenges of tomorrow, we must start today to imagine what’s ahead. As leaders in solving problems and innovation, we must look over the immediate horizon, be visionaries, as well as practical, guiding governments and funders in shaping policy for a desired future.”
The conference statement includes five take-away messages:
The conference statement is available here (PDF) for distribution.
For more information please contact our Deputy Secretary General Mattias Björnmalm.