Identifying future security needs and their implications for policy design

In order to deal with future threats to civil security it is important to get an idea of possible future developments in relevant areas as early as possible. In the EU project ETTIS the Fraunhofer Institute for Innovation and Systems Research ISI has developed scenarios which focus on future societal needs concerning questions of security related to the environment, nuclear materials and cyber infrastructure. A short film provides insights into the scenario process and presents exemplary project results.

The scenarios developed within ETTIS (European Trends and Threats in Society) show alternative future developments in the fields environment, nuclear material and cyber infrastructure and thus raise awareness for uncertainties and risk factors but also for opportunities for civil security. For each of the considered areas four scenarios were developed and various security needs which might arise in society were identified.  

One of the scenarios for cyber infrastructure describes an interconnected world which is characterized by economic and political stability. In this world great efforts are made to maintain the resilience of IT systems, among others through international co operations to prevent and combat cyber crime. The global situation in another scenario is characterized by competing political systems and a strong security industry. International co operations against cyber crime and terrorism are only possible to a limited extent. In this scenario  society completely trusts in technical solutions for security issues and therefore becomes largely dependent on security technologies and companies.

Project leader Dr. Ewa Dönitz of the Fraunhofer ISI says, “On the basis of these scenarios the involved actors identified security-related societal needs. Establishing a culture of security in the form of education and training as well as the reflected handling of security issues in politics, industry and society are among the most important needs. Subsequently the identified needs should feed into European security policy making and research and innovation policies“.

During the further course of the project the scientists developed a methodology which can integrate foresight findings into prioritizing the security agenda yet at the same time pay attention to societal needs. This interdisciplinary research approach also comprises the consistent involvement of users, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, recognizes normative and ethical issues and observes short and long-term developments.

You can watch the ETTIS film at

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.

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