- May 15, 2017
- May 17, 2017
The Aspen Institute Germany hosted its third Aspen Transatlantic Workshop in Berlin from May 15-17, 2017. The workshop brought together 26 experts and decision makers from Europe and the US from politics, business, think tanks, and media. It explored the future of the liberal international order that has been serving as framework for peace, stability, and prosperity for so long – not only in Europe and the US but also in (and for) many other world regions. The liberal international order gained legitimacy largely because of two facts: It was morally superior to oppressive systems and, probably more importantly, it delivered better results. With the rise of new powers (and cultures), normative hegemony is fading. The workshop employed methods of strategic foresight analysis and scenario thinking. Workshop participants generated four to five scenarios that captured the range of plausible alternative futures. Foresight analysis is most useful when a situation is complex and the outcomes too uncertain to trust a single prediction. It has proven highly effective in helping analysts, decision makers, and policymakers contemplate multiple futures, challenge their assumptions, and anticipate surprise developments by identifying “unknown unknowns” – i.e. factors, forces, or players that one did not realize were important or influential before commencing the exercise.