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Strategic Foresight — EU values DLR Projektträger's expertise

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With its foresight expertise, DLR-PT is establishing itself as an important partner at EU level. At a high-profile event organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), it was now able to present its expertise in strategic foresight. The next invitation from an EU institution has already been extended.

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4th February 2022 — For several years now, DLR Projektträger (DLR-PT) has been steadily expanding its foresight activities. Among other things, it has used this method to conduct a study on the future development of the Western Balkans on behalf of the EU Commission.

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We see politicians now calling on us as experts for strategic foresight, even independently of specific projects as an important signal.

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Dr. Simone Weske
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Policy Issues– European and International Cooperation Division
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Portrait Dr. Simone Weske
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At the beginning of February, DLR Projektträger was the only project management agency to participate in the EESC's "Strategic Foresight" conference, where the global political role of the EU and its citizens was discussed. Dr Simone Weske, head of the coordination group "Internationalisation: Strategies, Instruments, Monitoring" at DLR-PT, spoke about the role of civil society and stakeholders in front of representatives of the French Council Presidency as well as members of NATO and UNESCO, among others. "We see politicians now calling on us as experts for strategic foresight, even independently of specific projects, as an important signal,” Weske notes. "This shows us that we are perceived as an increasingly sought-after partner with our methodological expertise and our strong network." Among other things, she cites the continuous involvement of stakeholders from the conception to the conclusion of a project, a diversity of perspectives and the development of "futures literacy" among stakeholders and decision-makers as important success factors.

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Simone Weske, Koordinationsgruppenleiterin im DLR-PT, spricht auf der Strategic Foresight-Konferenz des EESC
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Simone Weske, Coordination Group Leader at DLR-PT, speaking at the EESC Strategic Foresight Conference
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Simulation of possible futures

Foresight explicitly does not aim at predicting or forecasting the future, but rather starts from possible futures and then searches, in a methodical and science-based manner, for measures with which these can be researched, anticipated and realised (or, if necessary, prevented). "For example, together with the space agency at DLR, we have sketched out what life on the moon might look like in 2050 in order to derive possible strategies for the coming years," Weske explains. "Of course, this requires creative thinking, but it often enables new approaches. That's one of the great strengths of foresight – it ultimately opens the horizon."

Strategic foresight as a focus in the Brussels PT office

Strategic foresight is also a focus at the DLR-PT Brussels office. In the "Future Talks", a new dialogue format for future topics, this theme, among others, was examined from different perspectives last year. High-ranking foresight experts were networked with each other – an approach that is to be continued in 2022. At the same time, DLR-PT remains visible at the centre of EU policy – with success. "We have already been invited to present our expertise to the European Committee of the Regions on the 1st April," explains Stella Reschke of DLR PT Brussels office.

Main and Other Contacts

Contact at the DLR Projektträger

Dr Simone Weske

Dr Simone Weske

Head of Department
International Strategies and Instruments
European and International Cooperation
+49 228 3821 1822