Umbrella Research

The main scope of the umbrella project is to bring together the research outcomes of the working groups in order to deliver ideas for the European foreign policy worth its name. In the first step, the umbrella team developed a comprehensive picture of the crucial factors in the relationship between the EU and the five countries/regions along each of the four tensions (socio-cultural, economic, political and security) which are the basis for the Dahrendorf project. In the second step, the umbrella team focused on the overarching question of the Dahrendorf project about the future of the EU´s relations with its border regions and the core regions of the world economy and produces policy recommendations for the European foreign policy. At the end, the umbrella team came up with a set of scenarios for the positioning of the European Union in 2025 in relations to its neighbours and to the wider world.

Strategic foresight process “European foreign policy 2025”

Dahrendorf Map IconThe Dahrendorf Forum initiated a strategic foresight process called “European foreign policy 2025”. The project focuses on the five countries or regions included in the Dahrendorf project: China, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Turkey, North America, Russia and Ukraine. The process itself brought together international experts on these regions and policy makers. They identified and discussed key drivers that influence the future trajectories of the relationship between the European Union and the respective regions and countries over the next ten years. Based on that, the experts developed different scenarios that define the most notable downside risks and new trends or dynamics that might be leveraged to create new opportunities.

This first set of meetings was held in December 2015 and the second in March 2016. Both sets of workshops took place at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. The outcome of the foresight process is a set of alternative future scenarios for the EU foreign policy 2025 which were presented at the Dahrendorf Symposium (25–27 May 2016 in Berlin).

Foresight Analysis and Scenario Planning

Decision-making in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world can quickly become a costly and risky endeavor – especially in the realm of foreign and security affairs. To lower risks in decision-making, to widen decision makers’ perspectives and to provide them with policy options, Foresight Analysis is one of the most powerful analytic methods in an analyst’s quiver. Foresight analysis helps analysts and political advisors to undertake estimative analysis, which involves thinking systematically about the various ways the future is likely to unfold and what is most likely to determine the eventual outcome.

The objective of Foresight Analysis is not to predict the future but to generate a solid set of scenarios that can bound the range of plausible alternative futures. Foresight analysis is most useful when a situation is complex and the outcomes too uncertain to trust a single prediction. It has proven highly effective in helping analysts, decision makers, and policymakers contemplate multiple futures, challenge their assumptions, and anticipate surprise developments by identifying “unknown unknowns” – i.e. factors, forces, or players that one did not realize were important or influential before commencing the exercise.

The foresight process was organized by the umbrella project team based at the Hertie School and run by Monika Sus and Franziska Pfeifer. The scenario workshops were facilitated by Oliver Gnad (GIZ) and Randolph Pherson (Globalityca).

Workshop I: Towards Key Drivers

In this first session, workshop participants entered into a critical review of their key assumptions regarding the current situation and identified a set of drivers that are likely to shape the future trajectory of the selected case. In a second step, facilitators led the group in a structured brainstorming exercise to develop a set of key drivers.

Workshop II: Towards Scenarios

In the second session, workshop participants reframed existing perceptions, mind sets, and concepts about the future through the use of the ‘Multiple Scenario Generation’ methodology. Different scenarios that define the most likely trajectory, the most notable down-side risks, new trends or dynamics and ‘unknown unknowns’, were developed. By using the scenarios policy recommendations for the EU foreign policy were elaborated due course.

European Union in the World 2025 – Scenarios for EU relations

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Umbrella Project Team

Dr Monika Sus, Postdoctoral Fellow, Hertie School of Governance

Monika Sus is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hertie School of Governance and is responsible for the umbrella project within the Dahrendorf Forum. She collects and coordinates the research results of all working groups in order to develop ideas for a European foreign policy worth its name. Before coming to Berlin, she held an assistant professor position at the DAAD-founded Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies at the University of Wroclaw in Poland. She has been granted scholarships by the Hertie Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, Academia Europea de Yuste, the Natolin European Centre and the National Science Centre of Poland. She has been a visiting fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, at the Centre Canadien d’études Allemandes et Européennes at the University of Montreal and the European Union Centre of Excellence at the University in Pittsburgh. She has published widely on European foreign policy, the Eastern Partnership, Europeanisation and policy advising.

Franziska Pfeifer, Research Associate, Hertie School of Governance
Franziska Pfeifer is a Research Associate to Helmut Anheier for the Dahrendorf Project, where she is working on the Umbrella-Project together with Dr Monika Sus. Before working as research associate at the Hertie School of Governance, Franziska worked at the collaborative research center (SFB 700) “Governance in the area of limited statehood” at the Free University Berlin. Also, she did an internship at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. She holds a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the Free University Berlin and a Bachelor’s degree in Governance and Public Policy from the University of Passau. In addition to her work for the Dahrendorf project, she is planning her PhD on the topic of “Coalitions of the willing”.

Dr Oliver Gnad, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH // Visiting Fellow, The Dahrendorf Forum
Since 2008, Oliver Gnad has been Director of GIZ AgenZ in Berlin, an in-house consultancy and staff unit of GIZ. He is also a Visiting Fellow at The Dahrendorf Forum, a joint initiative of the Hertie School of Governance and the London School of Economics to develop scenarios on the future of Europe. At GIZ, Oliver Gnad is responsible for project development and special tasks on behalf of the GIZ Board. From 2003 to 2007, he was Director for International Programs at the Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius ZEIT Foundation in Hamburg. From 1996 to 2003, he was research and teaching assistant at the Chair for Contemporary History at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt / Main and at the Chair for Political Science at the Ruhr University Bochum. He holds a doctoral degree in contemporary history from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt.

Randolph H. Pherson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Globalytica, LLC / President of Pherson Associates, LLC //Visiting fellow, The Dahrendorf Forum
Mr. Pherson teaches critical thinking and advanced analytic techniques to analysts throughout the intelligence community and the private sector both in the United States and abroad. In 1994, he helped launch a major initiative under the umbrellaof the Global Visions Group to stimulate more sophisticated global trend analysis. Their first major endeavor, “Global Futures for 1996-2005,” engaged over 50 experts and was theprecursor for a series of Global Trends papers published every five years by the US National Intelligence Council (NIC), the most recent of which is “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds”. Mr. Pherson completed a 28-year career in the Intelligence Community in 2000, last serving as National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Latin America. He has authored or coauthored five books.

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