Invitation to ISC Members and their networks to second experts on horizon scanning and foresight

Interested candidates are invited to apply by 20 March 2023.

Richtersveld National Park, South Africa, Quiver tree and low hills in the semi desert of the Richtersveld National Park in South-Africa

The ISC is partnering with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to advance science-based foresight to inform decision-making on environmental issues and support a more anticipatory and future-oriented approach to tackling rapid and unprecedented environmental changes. This activity is part of the Memorandum of Understanding that the ISC and UNEP signed in 2022 and aims at delivering a joint megatrends and foresight report to be published in 2024. A call for nominations of experts has been published to invite ISC Members and the UNEP expert communities to nominate experts for the Foresight Panel that UNEP and the ISC are establishing to guide the work.

The Foresight exercise will be steered by a Foresight Expert Panel which will comprise of approximately 20 distinguished scholars and specialists across the scientific community representing a wide spectrum of disciplines, training and cognitive diversity, recruited from all world regions, and will involve consultations with a wide range of experts across disciplines, sectors and regions.

In addition, the ISC is seeking virtual secondments of experts in foresight methods, tools and practice from ISC Members to be part of the joint project team across the Office of the UNEP Chief Scientist and the ISC Secretariat that will support the delivery of the process and related report.

This is an exciting and competitive opportunity for two to three early career scientists to take part in an international, interdisciplinary, forward-looking exercise to address many of the most pressing challenges of our time and deliver a high-profile output aimed at all UN member states, and other scientific outputs.

🖊 Staff members and representatives of ISC Member organizations as well as interested experts working for or affiliated to an ISC Member organization are invited to apply by 20 March 2023.

 👉 Download the full call for applications

Qualifications and experience

💡 In-depth knowledge of the scientific literature on horizon-scanning and foresight methods, process and techniques employed for the elicitation of expert inputs.

🌡 Good understanding of key environmental issues and their drivers.

🧭 Strong interest in applying future-oriented scientific insights to support decision-making and action.

🔀 Strong interest to work in an inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary manner.

✅ Ability to work across disciplines and cultures.

🌍 Ability to work as part of decentralized team, across multiple time zones and locations.

Activities

The seconded experts will work with the ISC and UNEP staff as part of the project delivery team and assist with the following activities:

  • Literature review and synthesis of academic and grey literature on foresight methods and tools and on new and emerging issues related to the achievement of global environmental outcomes.
  • Support stakeholder mapping, design and preparation of surveys and consultations with experts.
  • Drafting technical papers and support the report writing.

Timeline

The horizon-scanning and foresight exercise is expected to be initiated in March 2023, deliver early insights and recommendations to inform the deliberations of the sixth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) in February-March 2024 and culminate in a report to be published in September 2024 to inform the UN Summit of the Future.

Time commitment, practical arrangements and compensation

The proposed arrangement is a virtual secondment of a staff member or representative of an ISC Member organization or an interested expert working for or affiliated to an ISC Member organization to provide technical support to the ISC secretariat for a fixed period between March 2023 and September 2024 on a pro bono basis. The seconded experts will not be formally employed by the ISC. All costs related to attending meetings will be covered by the ISC. The seconded experts are expected to be able to dedicate approximately 2 days a week to the project.

The seconded experts will be expected to work as part of the ISC project team remotely. International travel to a few meetings is expected, the costs of which will be covered by the project.

Application

To apply, the interested candidate should send a CV with a cover letter to secondment@council.science by 20 March 2023. The selected experts will be expected to provide a letter from the institution which currently employs them to confirm the agreement to second the person as an in-kind contribution to the project and state explicitly the secondment period as mutually defined by the expert and the ISC Secretariat.

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Call for nominations: Experts to UNEP-ISC Foresight Expert Panel

Deadline for nominations is 3 March 2023

Contact

For any query, please contact Anne-Sophie Stevance (anne-sophie.stevance@council.science).

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