Peter Engelke

  • From the Gulf to the Nile: Water Security in an Arid Region

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    Fresh water is fundamental to human health, social development, peace, and economic growth everywhere in the world. Yet in a great many places, and for a great many people, clean freshwater is scarce. Current trends on both the supply and demand sides strongly suggest that clean freshwater availability will become more challenging in more places in the future. As a result, water will become even more important than it currently is in contributing to the degradation of social, political, and economic systems in troubled countries around the world. Nowhere are these dynamics more evident or more important than in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), where population growth and water scarcity threaten acute impacts in the years to come. An unreliable water supply can act as an important catalyst for instability, especially when present alongside other sources of discontent and unrest (such as ethnic, religious, political, or economic stressors).

     

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  • The Arctic’s Changing Frontier

    Our world is changing, and quickly. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Arctic region. For decades, Arctic sea ice has been shrinking, the result of higher temperatures driven by climate change. So too has Greenland’s ice sheet, for the same reason. While each new winter has brought with it evidence of deterioration in polar stability, the winter of 2016-2017 has been the most alarming of them all. In the first winter months of 2016, temperature readings in the Arctic were the highest ever recorded, by 20-35 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 11-19 degrees Celsius) above historic averages.

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  • Mediterranean Futures 2030

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    A region in flux, the Mediterranean of today–and tomorrow–faces an array of complex challenges. Demographic shifts, evolving political and security contexts, economic uncertainty, and climate change have created massive migration flows and regional instability, straining resources in southern Europe. These and other drivers of change have highlighted the increased importance of developing a transatlantic security strategy for the region. 

     

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  • Securing Latin America’s Future

    In the midst of a crucial transition period, Latin American governments must consider political, economic, and social challenges through the lens of strategic foresight in order to best prepare for the region’s future, said Jason Marczak, director of the Latin America Economic Growth Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

    Marczak joined Peter Engelke, a senior fellow with the Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, on November 29 for a Facebook Live discussion on their forthcoming report—Latin America and Caribbean 2030: Future Scenarios. Outlining a number of potential trajectories for the region based on current policy decisions, they emphasized the need to consider uncertainties and drivers of change in both regional and global contexts, and account for how these circumstances may affect the future of Latin America.

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  • For the New Administration: The Atlantic Council Strategy Papers Series

    WASHINGTON, DC – The Atlantic Council Strategy Initiative within the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security launched in 2015 to provide a blueprint for the next administration as it confronts the myriad global challenges facing the world today. As the Trump administration takes shape in the coming days and weeks, the Atlantic Council has a collection of papers on a range of issues available both to prospective members of the Trump administration and the public from a bipartisan group of leading foreign policy thinkers. Featuring reports in issues including global finance, state building, US-Iran relations, energy security, and the National Security Council from prominent voices such as former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, Governor Jon. M. Huntsman, Jr., former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Ambassador James B. Cunningham, and Ellen Laipson, the Atlantic Council Strategy Papers offer concrete proposals for the next administration that emphasize proactive, effective, and efficient approaches to the national security challenges facing the United States and the world.

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  • Toward Global Water Security

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    While numerous American public, private, philanthropic, scientific, and academic organizations are addressing water challenges the world over, there is no explicit strategy binding their diverse activities together into a coherent whole. This is an unfortunate situation, as the United States has considerable strengths, expertise and influence in the water space.

     

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  • Boulder, Colorado: Innovation in a Small Town and a Big State

    In mid-July, the Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI) conducted a research trip to Colorado, visiting Boulder, Denver, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden. The trip was part of the Future of American Technological Leadership project with Qualcomm, which seeks to investigate American innovation in the technology sector. The project will culminate in a report this winter exploring why the United States leads the world in innovation, and the challenges the country faces in maintaining this position. This was the second leg of SFI’s ‘innovation roadtrip’ to technology and innovation hubs around the US, with upcoming visits planned for Austin, Texas, and Silicon Valley later this year. The Colorado trip followeda trip in June to Madison, Wisconsin.

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  • Cities in An Age of Insecurity

    On June 22, 2016, the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative hosted a discussion on “Cities in an Age of Insecurity” ahead of the United Nation’s Habitat III Conference in October 2016 and at a time when cities face increasing transnational security challenges.

    Dr. Nancy Stetson, special representative for Habitat III at the US Department of State, gave the opening remarks, where she highlighted the importance of cities in combating critical transnational security issues, ranging across areas as diverse as food security and violent extremism. Dr. Stetson, the lead negotiator for the US delegation to the conference, noted that, in an era of national gridlock, local officials often can take quicker and more effective action to address these challenges. Building more effective and inclusive transnational networks, focusing in particular on city-to-city relations and policy exchanges, will be an important topic at the Habitat III conference in Uruguay, she added. Dr. Stetson finished her remarks by inviting other stakeholders to join her and the US delegation at the conference to better shape urban development in both the United States and around the world, and help counter security threats including violent extremism, climate change, and economic inequality.

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  • Madison, Wisconsin: How a City Becomes an Innovation Hub

    In early June, Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI) staff conducted a research trip to Madison, Wisconsin, as part of The Future of American Technological Leadership, a new project with Qualcomm to investigate American innovation in the technology sector. The Madison visit was the first leg of SFI’s ‘innovation roadtrip’ to technology and innovation hubs around the United States, which will also include Boulder, Colorado, Austin, Texas, and Silicon Valley in California.

    SFI staff and Qualcomm representatives visited Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, because the city is building a national reputation as a hub for technological innovation and entrepreneurship. They hosted two roundtables, each attended by individuals prominent in the local tech sector, and held several private meetings, all designed to understand Madison’s success as a tech hub and to identify the potential challenges which could undermine the city’s continued growth in the future.

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  • Engelke: Earth Day: Are We at the Beginning of a New Geological Era?


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