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Czech Priorities: Megatrends and Grand Societal Challenges Summary

Author

Hanna Jertz

Jun 30, 2022

A proposal for a methodology to identify Megatrends and Grand societal challenges with a significance for Research and Innovation in the Czech Republic


FUTURE-PRO:

Megatrends and Grand societal challenges


A proposal for a methodology to identify Megatrends and Grand societal challenges with a significance for Research and Innovation in the Czech Republic


In 2021, we designed and implemented a methodology for identifying Megatrends and Grand societal challenges with a significance for the Czech Republic. This work was carried out via a research grant from the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA ČR). The final users included the Government Office of the Czech Republic with the aim to update Research and Innovation priorities in applied research as well as the Ministry of Industry and Trade, who is responsible for implementing the Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS3). The foresight process combined desk-research, workshops and a Delphi survey to select and prioritise relevant Megatrends and Grand societal challenges.


In the first phase of the project, a desk-research was carried on stocktaking information from foresight reports produced by various authoritative organisations. These included international organisations (e.g. EU, OECD, NATO), national reports (e.g. Finnish Government report on the Future, USA Global Trends Report), businesses (e.g. consultancy companies, insurances) and non-profit organisations (e.g. Oxfam, The Millennium Project). See the final report for the whole list of sources used.


These insights about Megatrends and related societal challenges were summarised into 18 cards covering a broad spectrum of topics along the STEEP framework:


Each card was then reviewed and discussed by a large panel of domain experts during a World café workshop as well as through individual consultations. Approximately 100 experts participated in these consultations.


The final version of the 18 cards was then distributed to 25 Delphi participants, who assessed their relevance for Research and Innovation priorities in the Czech Republic based on three criteria:

  • "The area will have a very significant impact on the quality of life in Czechia in the next decades."

  • "Public funding should be preferentially allocated to understanding it and addressing it."

  • "Czech Republic should preferentially allocate public funding for this area compared to the other areas to support research, development and innovation in social sciences, humanities and arts."

In addition, experts were tasked to reflect on the most significant societal challenges that stem from the implications of Megatrends.


To provide further information to the Delphi experts, we conducted two public consultations. One in the form of a forecasting tournament, where participants were tasked with forecasting the results of the Delphi survey. The second via a one-off questionnaire to young researchers participating in the Zeta program of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic.


The results of the Delphi survey clearly outline a cluster of significant areas that should be prioritised in Research and Innovation policy. These include Education and Employment, Digitisation, AI and automation, Environment, Democracy and Governance, Science and Innovation, Values, Poverty and Inequalities and Health. See the graph below for the full results of the Delphi survey.


The whole study in English can be found on this web address: https://www.vyzkum.cz/FrontClanek.aspx?idsekce=962481


If you have any questions, feel free to contact Alexandre Reznikow at alex@ceskepriority.cz



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