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JIIS Bulletin - May 2013
Thinking ahead
The whole of Outlook 2030 was designed a priori to offer something new in Israel. The team members developed indexes and built a range of possible scenarios, created a realistic vision, and formulated policy packages. In the course of their work, they identified a series of robust, long-term strategies that can facilitate the realization of the 2030 vision.

The whole of Outlook 2030 was designed a priori to offer something new in Israel. “It is a pioneering attempt to delineate a framework for long-term thinking,” says project leader Valerie Brachya. “It was born out of an understanding that today’s environmental policies and agendas, national and global, are not capable of confronting anticipated challenges. We cannot go on with the ‘business as usual’ approach.” The team members developed indexes and built a range of possible  scenarios, created a realistic vision,  and formulated policy packages. In the course of their work, they identified a series of robust, long-term strategies that can facilitate the realization of the 2030 vision. 

Sustainability was defined in the Outlook as the interrelationship between three goals – the environment, wellbeing and resilience. This definition is a little different from the usual sustainability triad that includes environment, society and economy. The Outlook  team decided to put wellbeing at the center of the discussion, while economic activity was defined as being the most significant element that influences the achievement of sustainability but is not its main goal. Other driving forces affecting sustainability are social, geopolitical, cultural and behavioral, and issues relating to governance. 
The detailed vision outlined in the Outlook addresses diverse aspects including: population, economy, society, urbanism, infrastructure, water, energy, ecology, governance and international relations.
 
The team urges that public administration develop “a long-term integrated vision  that takes into account the economy, environment and society. This goes hand in hand with “development of a joint lexicon of terminology and language and training of a leadership with a sense of responsibility for future generations” that will lead society to the vision of sustainability. It would also require the “adoption of evaluation methods and systems” to measure and monitor sustainability.

The goal of strengthening social and environmental resilience was added to the sustainability triangle because it constitutes a necessary and complementary variable in a world of high levels of risk and uncertainty. It would be characterized by boosting the capacity to contend with crisis situations, identifying the extent of risk distribution, reducing the intensity of anticipated damages, increasing the capacity of a community to cope with risk and crisis situations, some of which cannot be mitigated, and use them as opportunities for change.

This approach to risk links up with another of the strategies, which proposes “expanding the concept of security to include  environment, society and economy,” the premise here being that it is just as important to prepare for social and environmental crises as it is to plan for terrorist attacks or conflicts with hostile countries. 

Another new direction of policy proposes to “cultivate values beyond material consumption,” which calls for a modification in consumer behavior away from the consumption of material resources.

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