GESDA - UNITAR Science and Diplomacy Week Geneva
The world is experiencing breakthrough science and technological advances at an unprecedented speed. These discoveries will reshape how we view ourselves as humans, how we relate to each other in society and how we care for our environment. To prepare for this future, our current and future scientific, diplomatic, and business leaders need to understand and jointly promote anticipatory Science & Diplomacy as an effective tool for a renewed multilateralism.
Initiated by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator, the Geneva Coalition on Anticipatory Science and Diplomacy was created in 2021 by 14 Swiss and global institutions to empower the current and next generation of leaders with a «multilingual» mindset in science and diplomacy to navigate the science-diplomacy interface and foster boundary-spanning professionals and institutions.
Hosted in the historic Palais des Nations – the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva – and organized in partnership with the key international agencies, diplomatic missions, academic institutions, global NGOs and technology leaders shaping the future of multilateralism, the Science Diplomacy Week will provide an unparalleled immersion, learning and networking experience into the Science and Diplomacy ecosystem of International Geneva.
The first two decades of the 21st century saw science diplomacy gain traction on the global agenda. Today, science diplomacy is facing a new challenge to adapt to both the speed of scientific progress and shifts in international relations, balancing the three following factors:
- the unprecedented pace of scientific and technological progress
- the urgency with which global challenges must be addressed
- the complexity of global geopolitics
The Objectives of the Science and Diplomacy Week Immersion Programme are:
- To serve as a vehicle for the implementation of GESDA’s - and other coalition partners - regional and global outreach strategy.
- To position International Geneva as the global hub of Science and Diplomacy for Multilateralism.
- To position the Geneva Coalition institutions in the emerging field of Anticipatory Science Diplomacy.
- To pilot multi-stakeholder laboratories for the future of multilateralism.
- To serve as a booster to test and validate anticipation methodologies and training materials derived from GESDA’s Science Breakthrough Radar and other key coalition partner sources.
- To expand the Coalition’s umbrella, networks and capacity development strategies to the rest of the world, especially the Global South.
The Science & Diplomacy Week will help you:
- Understand the growing importance of anticipatory science diplomacy as an emerging discipline that unites science with world affairs.
- Learn about the most significant scientific breakthroughs in ﬁve, 10, and 25 years and their impact on people, society and the planet.
- Jointly devise with science and policy leaders from around the world the future diplomatic envelopes needed to embrace science advances for the greatest beneﬁt of humanity, while minimizing their risks and undesirable consequences.
- Learn to apply cutting-edge anticipation methodologies, scientific insights and quantitative methods to diplomatic practices for improving negotiation processes, international conflict resolution and global governance for responding to global challenges.
- Get an insider view of International Geneva as the global hub of Science and Diplomacy for multilateralism and network with its key actors.
- Participate in a “Multilateralism Lab” with simulations and scenarios to help shape the future of science diplomacy
The programme will focus on the four GESDA thematic areas:
- Advanced artificial intelligence and the quantum revolution
- Global health and human augmentation
- Climate change, decarbonization and the future of the global commons
- Anticipatory science diplomacy tools and new diplomatic methods
- Interactive workshops, simulation exercises and negotiations based on GESDA’s newly introduced Science Breakthrough Radar® and anticipatory “Situation Room” methodology, on topics ranging from carbon capture and climate-altering technologies to neuro rights, gene editing, AI and quantum technologies.
- Expert dialogues, institutional visits and receptions with members of the Coalition and external partners on key anticipatory science and diplomacy topics.
- Public activities and events to stimulate engagement and reflection outside the disciplinary expert circles and promote public outreach on Anticipatory Science & Diplomacy.
- Private visits to key institutions and high-level networking opportunities with Geneva-based international actors.
- Skills building and career development sessions to foster the next generation of ‘multilingual’ scientists and diplomats.
Moving away from the one-way training model, all participants in the Science & Diplomacy Week are experts in their own fields, and will simultaneously act as trainees and trainers, with ample opportunities for peer exchange, mutual learning and expert input.
Most sessions will be delivered in an experiential learning format (e.g., interactive workshops, simulation negotiations), where participants are assigned different roles, sometimes close to their background, expertise and sector, but most of the time they will be placed in the shoes of another stakeholder to learn about their perspective, understand the trade-offs and competing interests, build trust across sectors, and develop a “multilingual science and diplomacy mindset”.
Participants will also have access to public lectures, events and networking opportunities during the Science Diplomacy Week Open Forum.
The Immersion Program will bring together current and future leaders from the diplomatic and scientific communities, as well as from industry, the NGOs and civil society, to foster a common understanding of each other’s perspectives and to work together on devising the diplomatic envelopes needed to maximize beneficial uses of frontier technologies for all, while minimizing their risks.
Around 30 participants will be selected for this pilot edition, ensuring a good mix of disciplines, sectors, career levels, gender balance and geographical backgrounds to set the basis for the expansion of the Geneva Coalition on Anticipatory Science and Diplomacy.
The partial cost of CHF 1000.- per participant includes:
- Tuition, all lectures, workshops and materials
- Exclusive guided tour of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
- Six nights hotel accommodation in central Geneva including breakfast
- Welcome reception, dinner cruise on Lake Geneva, scheduled meals and all social activities
- Local transportation
- Welcome package
- Official UNITAR & GESDA certificate of completion
Not included: airfare/transport to/from Geneva, non-scheduled meals.
Partial and full scholarships will be offered by GESDA to participants on a case-by-case basis. Please note that scholarship funds are limited and prioritized for Global South participants.