An exceptional team of researchers has come together to make Europe strong for the Future. The project “FutuRes: Towards a Resilient Future of Europe” had its kick-off meeting in Milan, Italy on the 6th and 7th March. The project, funded by the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, brings together a transdisciplinary task force of economists, demographers, mathematicians, tech experts and social scientists to identify policies for the resilience of Europe’s ageing population. Population Europe is one of the partners and leads the Work Packages Dissemination and Communication.
“What does it mean to design a policy which makes people more resilient?”, asked Prof. Arnstein Aassve, Research Coordinator of “FutuRes”. Prof. Aassve hosted the multinational project consortium at the futuristic new campus of Bocconi University in Milan. The oval shapes of the buildings – both strong and flexible – were the perfect setting to focus on questions regarding future resilience.
FutuRes will provide a policy-oriented theoretical framework on “resilience” in the context of ageing; it will identify factors promoting resilience in the contexts of social inequalities, fertility and migration behaviours across interconnected research packages. These factors then feed into economic models that will build scenarios for societal resilience several decades ahead. From the scenarios, the project team will generate policy recommendations.
FutuRes also uses an innovative science-policy dialogue format: the Policy Lab. “Behind us are the days when researchers simply presented their findings to stakeholders at the very end of a project”, explained Prof. Aassve. From the beginning, the FutuRes Policy Lab will engage stakeholders from politics, civil society and media to help shape the specific research priorities. Rather than being a place or a moment in time, the Policy Lab is a constant dialogue between stakeholders, research and the public. The constant flow of which will be ensured by Population Europe. Besides Population Europe, seven more European institutions from research and civil society make up the consortium.
At Bocconi’s campus, the consortium also welcomed the project’s Advisory Board, whose members will support FutuRes with their experience and knowledge. “The project is grand, ambitious, and fascinating”, said Board member Elsa Fornero, Professor Emeritus at Turin University and the former Italian Minister of Labour.
The FutuRes team will gather inputs from a wider group of stakeholders through several larger and smaller events until the end of the year. For more information, you can subscribe to the Population Europe newsletter here, which is sent out four times per year.