Exploring different futures in an uncertain world - The role of strategic foresight in Public Health

Wednesday, 27 September 2023 | 16:00-18:00 | Conference Centre

Organised by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Major developments, such as climate change, economic crises, geopolitical shifts and social exclusion, are ever more part of the reality in which health systems operate. In this increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, there is a vital need to anticipate changes and explore possible futures to prepare for the unknown. As learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, actors in health systems need to look more widely outside their direct area of work and further ahead in time to better prepare for future threats.

The aim of this ECDC organised interactive session is to demonstrate to participants through a hands-on exercise the usefulness and importance of strategic foresight in public health. Following a ‘crash-course’ in foresight, participants will break into smaller groups to explore different future scenarios for infectious disease threats, based on global trends and underlying drivers of change. The outcomes of these discussions will then be jointly considered, including possible actions and options for policy and preparedness planning. Concrete examples of foresight applied by ECDC and other health systems´ actors will be presented for further inspiration.

Session Recording

Speakers & panellists


  • Aaron Rosa, Competence Center Foresight, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI
  • Henk Hilderink, Topexpert Public Health Foresight, Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
  • Margaux Mathis, Technical Officer, Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention, World Health Organization
  • Maria Guevara, International Medical Secretary, Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Gerjon Ikink, Principal Expert Public Health Foresight and Determinants, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control


  • Andrea Ammon, Director, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

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