World Futures Studies Federation: Human Futures - April 2020 Issue

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CONVERSATIONS ON THE FUTURE WE WANT… UN AGENDA 2030 Interview with Fabienne Goux Baudiment

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015 as the universal call to action to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet and ensure inclusion, peace

care about politics or even policy design, that’s not their stuff. And I don’t think this will change as the new gen of engineers is increasingly more pragmatic and interested in developing

and prosperity for all by 2030. However, without active individual involvement Agenda 2030 is not capable of delivering wide scale impact. Understanding of the SDGs and actions towards achieving them should be integrated in everyday lives of ordinary people. We need ways to reach people in ways that speak to them and offer content in a form that allows them to engage.

sustainable innovative products and services.

In this interview we hear from FABIENNE GOUX BAUDIMENT, founder proGective and a Former President of the WFSF. Fabienne’s work centers innovative and foresight-oriented solutions. As an engineer, I have always believed that engineers should be considered as part of the vanguard of the construction of the future. Yet that voice is often not present as leaders in the policy spaces that are driving the conversations about the SDGs. Is that beginning to change and if so how? Well I think engineers are more pragmatic than leaders in the policy spaces: they are right now building new solutions, more sustainable, to face the current challenges such as desalinization, solar micro-grids, M-PESA, dew catchers, etc. They don’t really 30 HUMAN FUTURES

So much of Engineering is integral to the SDGs from providing solutions to water, health, energy, the ICT and Space Sciences and Technologies that are critical to the Sustainable Development Goals. How do we ensure that engineers, especially those working at the nexus of the policy and political spaces in the service of creating sustainable systems and futures have the capacity to do and use foresight as a design tool? That’s a very accurate point. The fact is that few schools of engineering dare to embed foresight as a discipline in their curricula, most probably because of the old-fashion way to oppose soft to hard sciences. Most engineers feel uncomfortable with social sciences, which foresight is part of. So they won’t change the curriculum to make some room for such a so improvable matter. However, here and there, some schools of engineering are more open than others and futurists like myself in France for ex., succeed to sneak in and thrive. Maybe the best way to bring foresight on the forefront would be to address the heads of such schools through their professional associations (like UNICON, if the same exists for the schools of engineering).

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