Our world is changing very rapidly, and the last 10 years have seen an acceleration of events with major implications for global governance and societies worldwide. Science and technology are taking an ever-growing role in these developments and are redefining multilateralism, just as they have already changed the world of work, politics and the functioning of our societies.
If we want to tackle the grand challenges of our time, there is no alternative to a renewed and efficient multilateralism that functions for the benefits of all. And anticipation is vital to this renewal. The Fondation pour Genève, which has supported the actions of the federal and Geneva authorities in favouring Geneva's international development since 1976, recognises the critical anticipatory role played by GESDA. Therefore, our foundation is proud to support its main project, the GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar, thanks to the commitment of local companies and entrepreneurs from the Geneva region.
Scientific breakthroughs and technological advances are now occurring at an unprecedented rate. They represent an exceptional opportunity to improve the well-being of populations around the world, but they also carry the risk of potential misuse. This is what the GESDA Foundation is all about: anticipating the technological developments of the next 5, 10 and 25 years, and coming up with new solutions to tackle emerging global challenges. This year's new additions, such as the geopolitical lens, provide additional tools for anticipating and rethinking the future international system.
The GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar has the potential to transform international Geneva and shape the future of modern multilateralism. It allows the different stakeholders to be aware of future scientific trends and, if necessary, to act sooner rather than later. By bringing together the different communities — scientists, diplomats, business leaders, civil society, public and private sectors — at an early stage, GESDA can significantly accelerate the development of solutions. GESDA's anticipation alongside the unique features of International Geneva's ecosystem is an ideal combination, making the GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar an exceptional tool for International Geneva.
Today's International Geneva is not the same as yesterday's, and the International Geneva of tomorrow — though it is yet to be conceived — will definitely be different. While the future remains very uncertain, it is crucial that we anticipate, and as GESDA puts it, “use the future to build the present”. When it comes to implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda and responding to today's mounting global challenges, the cost of non-anticipation for International Geneva is simply too high.
Marc Pictet, Président, Fondation pour GenèveGeneva, Switzerland, October 2022