GCARD and the need for foresight

The future of agriculture, the future of rural and global poverty, the future of food and nutrition security and the future of our natural resources, will depend on the decisions we are making today.

These decisions have not only to answer the urgent and burning issues we are currently facing, but have also to integrate the challenges of the future. Research, innovation and policies are expected to provide answers or solutions to current problems where they can. They are also expected to anticipate and prevent future problems.

Forward looking, anticipatory research and analysis are particularly adapted to shed light on this complexity. It is impossible to predict what will happen in the long-term; but it is possible to inform on what could happen.

GCARD on Foresight

The GCARD Roadmap refers to forward looking, anticipatory research and analysis in a way that is fully consistent with the concept of foresight defined by the European Commission as: “a process which combines three fundamental elements: prospective (long-term or forward-looking) approaches, planning -including policy-making and priority-setting- approaches, and participative approaches, engaging stakeholders and knowledge sources”.

The GCARD2 process on foresight is intended to advance the Roadmap actions required, paving the way for developing more effective approaches in line with the partnership principles, smallholder farmer and impact-centred focus of the GCARD.

The key question the foresight session intends to address is: “What role could smallholder farmers play in meeting future needs in food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation and sustainablemanagement of natural resources?”

GCARD Foresight conference sessions

At GCARD2, the foresight breakout sessions will follow a progressive sequence enabling participants to:

  1. Advance in generating collective views leading to convergent actions through lessons learnt from diverse foresight studies (Session F1),
  2. Reflect on the emerging challenges for research, innovation and polices with long term perspective and on how these can be translated into priorities and actions (Session F2) at national/regional level (Session F2.1) and at global level (Session F2.2),
  3. Reflect on the processes associated with improved practices in foresight (Session F3) through equitable partnerships (Session F3.1) and capacity development (Session F3.2).

More reading (all .PDF):

Picture courtesy Robin Bourgeois

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