The world will become increasingly congested, contested and climate-affected between now and 2050. Driven by resource pressures, environmental change and technological progress, the international community will need to consider access, control and exploitation of the shared spaces: cyberspace, the ocean, polar regions, the atmosphere and space.
In an uncertain future, potentially characterised by concentrated versus diffused power and competitive versus cooperative approaches, it is vital to consider opportunities for cooperation, managing competition and preventing and managing conflict. Security challenges will exist between as well as within the shared spaces, necessitating a systems thinking approach to future diplomacy, defence and security policies, strategies and capabilities.
This 13th annual meeting in Wilton Park’s International Futures series will explore security challenges which transcend national boundaries or governments, in the context of the supra-national environments of shared spaces and ‘future worlds’ based on ranges of power and competition. This event will bring together those developing long-term policies, strategies and capabilities along with those studying and utilising shared spaces. Cooperation, competition and conflict will be considered progressively, using a case study based on the polar regions to identify issues and generate approaches across all shared spaces.
In particular this meeting will:
- Challenge senior officials to consider alternative perspectives of supra-national environments looking across the next 30 years.
- Generate insights into how varied distributions of power and presence in shared spaces and differing approaches to competition versus cooperation might affect the future.
- Suggest major risks and opportunities across a range of policy areas.
- Consider implications for joint policy formulation across nations and practical application.
- Develop and deepen relationships with national and international partners, in a network of futurists.