Eradicating poverty, advancing education, improving health, building global infrastructure, strengthening governance, all while protecting sustainable interactions with our environment-these are among the most critical issues challenging humanity this century. Each of these issues interacts spatially, causally, and temporarily with the rest. Yet, most models and analysis approaches do not fully take into account the global, causal, and temporal connections among these challenges.
This book extensively covers one of the most advanced systems for integrated, long-term, global and large-scale forecasting analysis available today, the International Futures (IFs) system.
Key elements of a strong long-term global forecasting system are described, i.e. the formulations for the driving variables in separate major models and the manner in which these separate models are integrated. The heavy use of algorithmic and rule-based elements as well as the use of elements of control theory is explained.
Furthermore, the IFs system is compared and contrasted with all other major modelling efforts, also outlining the major benefits of the IFs system such as integration of analyses of more 'issue areas' than other forecasting systems, more extensive treatment of countries, the longer time horizon, and the extensive data foundations of the system.
The book further provides suggestions on how the development of forecasting systems might most productively proceed in the coming years.
- Understanding of the IFs system, not at a detailed equation and technical level, but in terms of the important decisions made that dominate the structure and long-term behaviour, including the integrative structures that tie together the models that make up the system (essential information for users of the IFs system)
- Understanding of the universe of long-term global forecasting systems, the key decisions made that shape systems other than IFs and the range of similarities and differences in the systems (essential information for users or developers of any forecasting system)
- Understanding the relationship between the long-term forecasts in a variety of global issues areas and the forecasting systems and assumptions that underly them (essential information for forecast consumers)
1. Introduction 2. Building a Global Model: The Toolkit 3. The Evolution of Global Modeling 4. Introducing International Futures 5. The Future of Human Development 6. The Future of Socioeconomic Development 7. The Future of Sustainable Development 8. Feedbacks and Disruption: Sources of Uncertainty 9. Looking Ahead: Global Models and the IFs System