During the 7th and 9th of September, the second edition of the PARADISO international conference, part of the “Internet and Societies: New Innovation Paths” event organised with the support of PARADISO, was held at the European Commission in Brussels. The conference was officially opened by Ms Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and European Digital Agenda. During the conference, keynote speakers and panelists from Europe and the rest of the world shared their visions of the future of our societies and the internet. The last session of the event was used as an occasion for the PARADISO high-level expert panel, to introduce in detail a set of recommendations to the European Commission regarding research topics to be addressed in future EU-funded programmes. The conference also included on the second day the first “Dialogue on Platforms for Collective Awareness and Action”, a one-day workshop aimed at contributing to the identification of related multidisciplinary research priorities for the last Call of FP7 and for FP8.
The European Foresight Platform (EFP) was presented during an expert panel session that was based on the theme “Looking at the future of our societies”. In the framework of this session, the main tasks and analytical results that are expected toward the end of the EFP were presented to an audience of policy makers and target groups of stakeholders. The presentation also included the positioning of the EFP in the context of the upcoming European Forum on Forward Looking Activities (EFFLA) and a brief outline of the foreseen use of the EFP results for the purpose of the EFFLA.
In sum, the PARADISO conference was a good occasion to address the key questions underpinning the different activities of the EFP to a broad audience of interested stakeholders, such as the deficits in embedding foresight in decision making contexts at the national and EU-level as well as the relations between national and EU-level FLAs. The conference, which enabled the exchange of high-level expertise, was an excellent opportunity to learn from diverse experiences in the application of foresight in addressing research challenges in relation to the exploration of how might or should our societies evolve in the next decades and to derive from this analysis how can Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and the future internet in particular, contribute to making this future better. The participation of the EFP in this conference was highly appreciated by the organizers of the event and it offered a variety of interesting information relevant to the EFP as well as several opportunities for future collaboration of the EFP with a diversity of international projects and networks, which might also benefit the production of new EFP foresight briefs.