Photo by Icaro Cooke Vieira/CIFOR

Foresight @CGIAR


The landscape of agricultural R4D is evolving rapidly, as the world faces new, more complex, and more interrelated challenges—such as achieving food security in the face of climate change; meeting the growing global demand for agricultural commodities while reducing deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity; creating meaningful employment for a rapidly growing youth population; and, producing not just more food, but more nutritious food, in rapidly globalizing agri-food markets serving increasingly urbanized populations. There is pressing need to respond to these new challenges and develop innovative and effective solutions.

In this context, the ISPC is conducting a comprehensive foresight exercise to inform the strategy of the CGIAR, and to provide context and emerging insights as a basis for system level prioritization of research. Building on its previous work on Strategy and Trends, the ISPC initiated an independent foresight assessment in 2017, starting with a brainstorming workshop (April 2017, Naples-Italy), with a group of international experts and strategic thinkers on how the futures may look like around grand challenges, global trends and likely disruptions on food and nutrition security; and how the world is prepared to address them to reach the SDGs and beyond. This was followed by a workshop (May 2018, Aberdeen), with CGIAR foresight practitioners and selected partners, on the current state of foresight activities in CGIAR Centers and Research Programs (CRPs).

The aim of the proposed event is to inform the development of a process for strategic foresight in CGIAR drawing on the outcomes of the two foresight workshops—specifically, the reflections related to key drivers of change and trends that will influence the agri-food system.


  1. Synthesize results of ISPC foresight exercise on drivers of change and future trends affecting the global agri-food systems, and their implications for CGIAR research agenda.
  2. Consider options for the development of future ISDC work on foresight and horizon scanning.