Futures Initiatives

Established in 2014, the IIASA futures initiatives are cross-sectoral projects designed to explore plausible futures for a number of the world’s rapidly transitioning regions or resources. Current futures initiatives cover a spectrum of issues encompassing the Arctic, tropical regions, economic integration in Eurasia, and water management around the world.

© Rfischia | Dreamstime

© Rfischia | Dreamstime

The Arctic Futures Initiative works collaboratively to bring together affiliated stakeholders to support an integrated, “end to end” science to decision-making framework. This will provide an integrative assessment of plausible futures for the Arctic.

The Challenges and Opportunities of Economic Integration within a Wider European and Eurasian Space Futures initiative deals with the complex issues of economic cooperation on the Eurasian continent. Increasing integration creates opportunities for better economic development in the countries involved, but it also poses many challenges for sharing the associated costs and benefits.

The Tropical Futures Initiative aims to provide scientific analysis to policymakers in the tropical region to understand the dynamics of transitions and their main driving forces, enabling factors, barriers, as well as their consequences for human wellbeing and sustainability. The initiative will also create a bridge between science and policy through capacity-building activities.

Water Futures and Solutions is a collaborative initiative which helps to identify water-related policies that are consistent across scales and sectors. A stakeholder informed, scenario-based assessment of water resources and demand will test the feasibility and sustainability of policy options.

Finally, the Global Energy Assessment—involving specialists from a range of disciplines, industry groups, and policy areas— defined a new global energy policy agenda aimed at facilitating equitable and sustainable energy services for all.

Challenges and Opportunities of Economic Integration within a Wider European and Eurasian Space

The international research project “Challenges and Opportunities of Economic Integration within a Wider European and Eurasian Space” focuses on plausible futures of economic cooperation in the Greater Eurasian space and interplay between different integration processes in the region. A particular specific aim of the project is to analyze the potential and conditions for the creation of a common economic space between the European Union (EU) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). More

Arctic Futures Initiative

The Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI) brings a systems analysis perspective to the future of the Arctic. More

Tropical Futures Initiative

IIASA’s Tropical Futures Initiative represents a novel approach to tackling tropical deforestation through policy assessment and capacity building. More

Water Futures and Solutions: World Water Scenarios

Water resources are central to development and poverty alleviation. Yet decision makers face many challenges to ensuring their sustainable and equitable use.  More

Global Energy Assessment

The Global Energy Assessment (GEA), launched in 2012, defines a new global energy policy agenda –  one that transforms the way society thinks about, uses, and delivers energy.  Involving specialists from a range of disciplines, industry groups, and policy areas, GEA research aims to facilitate equitable and sustainable energy services for all, in particular the two billion people who currently lack access to clean, modern energy. More

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Last edited: 20 February 2017


Nebojsa Nakicenovic

Acting Deputy Director General/CEO

Directorate - DG

Program Director

Transitions To New Technologies

Senior Research Scholar


T +43(0) 2236 807 411


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