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AccelNet Catalytic Project:
Global food production is an enormously complex enterprise crossing every conceivable barrier from geographical borders to scientific disciplines. Challenges to production that threaten our ability to feed the world’s growing population are multifactorial and will require the integration of many fields of knowledge and skillsets in order to discover sustainable solutions. It will require the synthesis of discipline-specific theories, protocols, and tools to create new models and a common language to address complicated research questions. The overarching research mission of the Accelerate Integration of Engineering and Agricultural Research using Artificial Intelligence (AI2EAR) Network-of-Networks is to leverage the expanding capabilities in fundamental science, engineering, and modeling to decipher the growing number of agricultural data sets that exist but are not widely available, understood, or actionable. To accomplish this, we will need the efforts of many collaborators with varying expertise and tools spread across the world cooperatively sharing resources. The AI2EAR Network-of-Networks will work to coordinate these experts and their institutions, with the ultimate goal of solving the grand challenge of feeding the world, through convergent research; transparency and open-source practices, education and training.
The Futures Toolkit:
Tools for Futures Thinking and Foresight across UK Government
The Government Office for Science (GO-Science) ensures that government policies and decisions are informed by the best scientific evidence and strategic long term thinking. The Futures Toolkit is a key resource that policy professionals can use to embed long term strategic thinking in the policy and strategy process. The Toolkit is designed primarily as a resource for those who are new to futures thinking but should also prove useful to more experienced practitioners. It provides an introduction to futures thinking and examines some of the important design questions that policy makers need to consider when introducing it into the policy process. The tools are organised according to their primary purpose – gathering intelligence about the future, exploring the dynamics of change, describing what the future might be like and developing and testing policy and strategy – and each procedure is set out in detail. The annexes provide examples of the outputs that different tools generate. The tools are adaptable and can be customised to meet the needs of most futures projects. To illustrate this, the Toolkit sets out a number of pathways that show various ways the tools can be combined to meet specific business needs. The Toolkit is practical rather than theoretical and each tool and pathway describes the design and facilitation steps required to deliver the technique. It is based on GO-Science’s1 own experience of running futures work and has been developed in collaboration with other government departments and futures practitioners who use these tools regularly in a wide range of settings.
An overview of major activities and milestones of the planned catalytic phase.