Co-organised by ASEF and UNU-CRIS, the workshop provided a platform on which the findings of the ASEM Outlook Report and other cross-cutting issues of relevance to Asia and Europe can be discussed. The Workshop participants reviewed the Report and shared their feedback.
The event brought together around 15 young representatives from the public sector, the business sector, civil society organisations, the media, think tanks and the academe, who will conceivably play important roles in Asia-Europe relations 20-30 years in the future, to further explore emergent policy issues relevant to ASEM in the future.
The key objective of the project is to analyse the future of Asia-Europe relations and its implications on the ASEM process. The ASEM Outlook Report features quantitative indicators of the state of relations between Asia and Europe. These include statistics on demographics, migration patterns, trade and investment. Other qualitative factors are presented as well. This will take the form of a mapping of relevant institutions engaged in Asia-Europe relations, important treaties, regional groupings and frameworks for cooperation.
The Report contains an analysis of Megatrends – the great forces in societal development that will affect many areas for many years to come. Some trends that are explored include; declining birth rates & ageing populations; climate change & other environmental impacts; information & communication technology; shifting migration patterns as well as new security challenges & asymmetric conflicts.
It also draws from ASEF’s work on Scenario-building in four distinct fields: soft security & conflict management, environmental governance, public health & pandemic preparedness as well as economic & financial integration – areas in which international or inter-regional cooperation on outstanding issues is key to their successful resolution.
The scenarios, created through a multi-stakeholder, consultative process, do not predict what will actually happen but rather what could happen in the next 20 years, allowing for a free exploration of possible futures through an integration of multiple perspectives. Through this innovative approach, the Report presents an analysis of the opportunities and threats embedded in the set of three wildly diverging yet possible futures.
Having identified the changing role of non-state actors as a significant megatrend, the analysis includes an evaluation of the roles states, non-governmental organisations, the old and new media, businesses as well as regional & international bodies currently play. This is followed by an assessment of their evolving roles in the context of the three possible scenarios of the future.