Global Trends to 2030: Society and Governance

16 November 2016 to 17 November 2016

What makes a prosperous society in the 21st century? What divides and unites societies in the Digital Age? What impact will new technologies have on issues of security and trust in general? How can connectivity contribute to inclusive and sustainable prosperity, and where can innovation make a difference? How can we better plan and decide in uncertain times?

These questions were at the heart of the 2016 Annual Conference of the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), which was held on 16-17 November 2016 as part of the inter-institutional collaboration between the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European External Action Service to monitor global trends and offer strategic foresight to the EU's decision-makers.

Drawing on the insights of the 2015 ESPAS report on ‘Global Trends to 2030: Can the EU meet the challenges ahead?’, we hosted experts and practitioners from around the world to stimulate strategic thinking and raise awareness of the innovations, opportunities, discontinuities and complexities affecting the world of work and welfare, public services and governance. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation and Sir Julian King, Commissioner for the Security Union, respectively discussed game changers for inclusive innovation in the 21st century and the EU's priorities in a changing security landscape.

To discover more about this inspiring two-day conference, please take a look at some of the videos from our speakers, as well as the conference’s accompanying publication ‘Shaping the Future: Thoughts on the Future of Society and Governance’, which contains a rich collection of over 30 original, forward-looking, anticipatory essays from our participating experts on the critical trends that are defining the future of our societies and governance systems.



The rolling programme of the conference covers two days. The first day will be hosted by the European Political Strategy Centre, the European Commission's in-house think tank, at its headquarters, the Berlaymont. The second day will take place on the premises of the European Parliament, hosted by the European Parliamentary Research Service.

Day 1 - Global Trends 2030: The Future of Society

  • When: Wednesday 16 November 2016; 9.00-19.00.
  • Where: European Commission, Berlaymont Building, 200 rue de la Loi, Brussels B-1049.
  • What: The first day of the conference will examine what divides and unites societies in the Digital Age, from the impact of new technologies on security and trust to the role of connectivity for inclusive and sustainable prosperity.

Day 2 - Global Trends 2030: The Future of Governance

  • When: Thursday 17 November 2016; 9.00-17.00.
  • Where: Library Reading Room, Altiero Spinelli Building, European Parliament, 60 rue Wiertz, Brussels B-1047.
  • What: The second day of the conference will focus on global trends affecting long-term policy planning, e-Democracy and urbanisation.


Carlos Moedas
European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation
Julian King
European Commissioner for the Security Union
Pascal Lamy
President Emeritus, Jacques Delors Institute
Ann Mettler
Head, European Political Strategy Centre
Pawel Swieboda
Deputy Head, European Political Strategy Centre
Geoff Mulgan
Chief Executive, NESTA
Jeremy Heimans
Co-founder and CEO of Purpose.com
Bruce Stokes
Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center
Heather Grabbe
Director, Open Society European Policy Institute
Aaron Maniam
Director, Industry Division, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore
Peter Neumann
Head, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, King’s College London
Alan James
VP Worldwide Business Development, Hyperloop One
Shiraz Maher
Senior Fellow, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, King’s College London
Mehmet Kinaci
Strategic Analyst, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, NATO
Hans Peter Lankes
Managing Director, Corporate Strategy, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso
Vice-President of the European Parliament, former President, European Committee of the Regions
Angela Wilkinson
Strategic Foresight Counsellor, OECD, and co-author of ‘Strategic Reframing’
Erik Swyngedouw
Professor of Geography at Manchester University
Marius Oosthuizen
Member of Faculty, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Anja Kaspersen
Head of Strategic Engagement and New Technologies,
International Committee of the Red Cross
Benjamin Barber
Political Theorist and Founder of the Global Parliament of Mayors, Author
Joseph H. H. Weiler
New York University School of Law; former President, EUI
Jeanette Hofmann
Head of the Project Group 'The Internet Policy Field', Berlin Social Science Centre
Stefano Scarpetta
Director, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD
Brigid Laffan
Director and Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute
Simon Schäfer
Founder and CEO, Factory
Enrico Giovannini
Professor of economic statistics, University of Rome Tor Vergata
Nik Gowing
Visiting Professor, School of Social Science and Public Policy, Kings College, London
Edgar Grande
Chair, Comparative Politics, University of Munich
Ibon Zugasti
Director of Prospektiker and Chairman of the Millennium Project Node Spain
Pierre Calame
Author, 'Democracy in Tatters' and 'Essay on Oeconomy'
Stijn Hoorens
Associate Director, Head of Office, RAND Brussels
Pierre Bollinger
Head of Outreach, Partnerships and International Affairs, France Stratégie
Mary Kaldor
Professor of Global Governance, London School of Economics
Klaus Welle
Secretary-General, European Parliament
Mark Spelman
Co-Head, Future of the Internet Initiative, World Economic Forum
Michael Ignatieff
President and Rector, Central European University, Budapest
Cinzia Alcidi
Head of Economic Policy Unit, CEPS
Matt Dann
Secretary-General, Bruegel
Jim Cloos
Deputy Director-General, Council of the European Union
Mairead McGuinness
MEP, Vice-President, European Parliament
Luis Planas
Secretary-General, European Economic and Social Committee
Karl-Heinz Lambertz
First Vice-President, European Committee of the Regions
Jiří Buriánek
Secretary-General, European Committee of the Regions
James Elles
Honorary President of ESPAS, MEP 1984-2014
Christian Leffler
Deputy Secretary-General, European External Action Service

Conference-related enquiries may be addressed to EPSC-EU-STRATEGIC-FORESIGHT@ec.europa.eu.