SFG follows major global shifts in geopolitics, economy, technology, religion and other spheres that can influence the future of humanity.
In January 2008, we brought out a report on Global Security and Economy: Emerging Issues for 2011-2020.
In June 2008, we convened an international conference on Responsibility to the Future: Business, Peace and Sustainability to examine major global shifts in food and water security, energy, climate change, clean technologies, use of ICT for peace and humanitarian crisis, innovative education and responsible and ethical investments. It was inaugurated by Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India, co-hosted by the United Nations Global Compact, and attended by 250 delegates from 25 countries.
In 2009 SFG was invited to present its perspectives on global changes by Bertelsmann Global Policy Council and Aspen Italia in preparation for the G-8 Summit in Italy.
In 2010 it will also present its analysis on major global changes at a scenario planning exercise hosted by the office of the Prime Minister of Singapore.
Besides this, SFG is involved in several other collaborative projects concerning global futures.
We regularly carry a column - ‘Big Questions of Our Time’ by SFG President examining major global shifts. Until the beginning of 2010 we had already carried 40 parts of this series.
SFG has prepared country scenarios for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Asia, Malaysia, Central Asia, European Security, West Asia, etc.
In 2010 SFG will launch a horizon scanning programme focused on poor segments of the Asian populace.
Some of our scenario reports are available under the Research and Publications section on this website while others are confidential in nature and for specific clients.
Cost of Conflict
One of the tools developed by SFG is its Cost of Conflict Series for countries and regions involved in protracted conflicts. It is aimed at assessing past, present and future costs looking at a wide range of parameters. The first report in this series focussed on India and Pakistan. It was published in early 2004. It attracted significant media attention with almost 75 newspaper articles in India and Pakistan advocating the main findings of the report. The Times of India covered it in an editorial, which is exceptional for a leading newspaper with regards to a private think tank report. There were several debates in the Pakistan press, civil society and also on internet discussion groups that focused on the report.
The report has had a visible policy impact, following the media and public interest. Mr. Yashwant Sinha, India’s serving External Affairs Minister, lauded the report in a formal letter to our organisation. Senior Pakistani diplomats and leaders have referred to it in their speeches. HM King Abdullah II of Jordan implicitly referred to this report in his closing address at the World Economic Forum summit on the Middle East in 2004, recommending a similar study on the Middle East.
In 2005 the Peace Secretariat in the Prime Minister’s office of Sri Lanka indicated interest in SFG conducting a similar exercise pertaining to the conflict in Sri Lanka. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported the project, as Norway was the most significant interlocutor in the peace process in that country. This report, published in early 2006 was also widely debated in the Sri Lankan press, blogs and discussions. It has been actively disseminated by the civil society in Sri Lanka.
Strategic Foresight Group's (SFG) report on "Cost of Conflict in the Middle East" was published in 2009. It is the first time in the last 60 years that anyone has prepared detailed calculations of costs of various conflicts in the Middle East. The report uses 97 different parameters to measure costs in financial, economic, social, political, military, environmental, diplomatic terms for the entire region. In addition, there are special focus chapters on costs incurred by Israel, Palestine and the international community. The report also identifies the benefits of peace. The report uses 1991 as a point of departure for its calculations and calculates most costs up to 2010 and develops scenarios for 2010-2025. The report is full of diagrams and graphs with very little editorial text.
The project was supported by
The report was officially launched at the United Nations in Geneva, discussed by a Panel of cabinet ministers and senior diplomats at the United Nations Secretary General's Alliance of Civilizations, debated on the floor of the House of Commons and House of Lords, presented at the Aspen Institute and National Defence University in Washington DC, and mentioned in more than 300 newspapers, websites and blogs from 50-60 countries.
AK Party, Turkey
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Qatar Foundation, Qatar
SFG has been significantly involved in efforts to reduce the deficit of trust between Western and Islamic countries through Track Two diplomacy. It organised three international roundtables on Constructing Peace, Deconstructing Terror bringing together political leaders and decision-makers from the United States, Europe, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
Since 2009 SFG has launched two initiatives to find collaborative solutions to the problems of water stress in Asia and the Middle East. The initiative in Asia is focused on the Himalayan river basins. It involves 25 experts from Bangladesh, China, India and Nepal meeting from time to time in several workshops, supported by in-house research by the SFG research team. The initiative in the Middle East is focused on internal and trans-boundary water courses in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestinian Territories, and Jordan. About 50 experts will participate in various workshops in 2010. Green Prophet, a prominent blog in the region, will launch a debate on the subject. SFG will also be involved in consultations with government leaders and policy makers from the region to find solutions that are acceptable to parties in conflict.