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perceptions of forestry and the forest-based bioeconomy in the European
sector's contribution to a bioeconomy depends on policymakers, citizens
and consumers, and how they perceive, accept and promote the forest-based
value chain and its products and services.
In the past decade, several surveys looking at perceptions and attitudes
towards forests, forestry and the forest-based sector have been carried
out in different European countries. A new meta-study from the European
Forest Institute now reviews and summarises current knowledge, providing
a European-level perspective on public attitudes to four topic areas:
forest ecosystem services, forestry and forest management, forest-based
industry and wood and wood-based products.
The study team carried out a systematic literature review, focusing
on peer-reviewed studies based on primary data. Analysis of those studies
Primarily, European citizens
perceive forests to be beneficial for the climate, as a place of biodiversity
and to experience nature and recreation in the forest.
Mixed forests and diversity
of stands are preferred and perceived as being "more natural".
The economic role of forests,
specifically as provider of raw materials and for generating regional
income - central aspects in bioeconomy - was less recognised.
Forest management activities,
especially clear cuts, the use of exotic tree species and the application
of chemicals for productivity or pest measurement, receive little acceptance.
The public has a limited
understanding of the activities related to forestry and the forest-based
Wood and wood products
have a positive image. Yet the positive impact of wood and wood-based
products on climate change mitigation is questioned.
Sustainable wood sourcing
(country and legal origin) is an important piece of product information.
Yet consumers assign similar or even more importance to product quality
and prices and little is known about the actual purchasing decisions
European citizens are
fond of forest-based sector innovation, despite having little awareness
of them and few studies being available.
such as socio-demographics and psychographics (e.g. values, beliefs,
attitudes), influence their perceptions of forestry and the forest-based
The review further shows
that there are no transnational studies that monitor public perception
of forests in the European Union on a regular basis. The only exceptions
are the Eurobarometer studies, which sometimes contain forestry related
questions. As forests and their use is a very emotional topic for
the general public, surveying these perceptions is recommended in
the future to develop socially accepted forest policy and forest-based
Lea Ranacher, Anna Sedmik, Peter Schwarzbauer (2020).
Public perceptions of forestry and the forest-based bioeconomy in
the European Union. Knowledge to Action 3. European Forest Institute. https://doi.org/10.36333/k2a03
The study is published on 27 October and is freely downloadable.
bioeconomy circular: How far can circular economy principles be applied
to the bioeconomy?
The European Commission has adopted an ambitious new
Circular Economy Package to help European businesses andconsumers make the transition
to a stronger and more circular economy where resources are used in
a more sustainable way. At the same time, the bioeconomy has become
a policy priority in Europe.
The concepts of circular economy and bioeconomy have similar targets,
but none is fully part of the other nor embedded in the other. The
Circular Economy proposal can be seen as an opportunity to link the
circular and the bio-based economies.
The bioeconomy encompasses the production of renewable biological
resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams
into value added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products
and bioenergy. And the circular economy is presented as the economic
space where the value of products, materials and resources is
maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation
of waste minimised. It is clear that the bioeconomy and circular
economy have a common target and both concepts are crucial for a more
sustainable and resource efficient world with a low carbon footprint.
EURACTIV organised this workshop to examine where the bioeconomy and
circular economy connect, and how synergies can be further developed.
How can the bioeconomy contribute to the circular economy?
How does circularity contribute to the bioeconomy?
Will the bioeconomy promote further investment in environmental
research, innovation and skills?
What should be in the Commission communication on the update
of the Bioeconomy Strategy?
Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and
rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil
regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing
ecosystem services, supporting biosequestration, increasing resilience
to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm
soil. Practices include recycling as much farm waste as possible and
adding composted material from sources outside the farm.
on small farms and gardens is often based on philosophies like permaculture,
agroecology, agroforestry, restoration ecology, keyline design, and
holistic management. Large farms tend to be less philosophy driven and
often use "no-till" and/or "reduced till" practices.
On a regenerative farm,
yield should increase over time. As the topsoil deepens, production
may increase and fewer external compost inputs are required. Actual
output is dependent on the nutritional value of the composting materials
and the structure and content of the soil. Wikipedia
Agriculture Reverse Climate Change? | One Small Step by NowThis
During the months of lockdown
and self-isolation, we have been, in fact, writing a new future.
This has important implications for marketers trying to build lasting
relationships with customers. In depth monitoring of data and trends
in consumer behaviour has always been fundamental to support innovations.
Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and the profound changes
it is causing, we believe that harnessing imagination will be just as
Right now, there's a great
opportunity to revolutionize visibility, reach, and trust. Social media
that is based on community and intimacy between brand and consumer communities
generate a higher degree of trust. The exact same is true in terms of
marketing strategies and within the grand scheme of the omnichannel.
New technologies have made a new level of connectedness and intimacy
possible, and it's time to start.
Shape the future
now, where near-future impact counts and visions and strategies for
preferred futures start.
Do we rise above global challenges? Or do we succumb to them? The
Future Now Show explores how we can shape our future now
- where near-future impact counts. We showcase strategies and solutions
that create futures that work.
Every month we roam through current events, discoveries, and challenges
- sparking discussion about the connection between today and the futures
we're making - and what we need, from strategy to vision - to make the
Why don't we
all just use Geothermal Energy?
by Just Have a Think
Science tells us there's enough energy in the first 10
kilometres below our planet's surface to provide all our energy needs
for millions of years. The Romans tapped into it for their hot water
spas. Today, we all know it as Geothermal Energy. There's no carbon
dioxide emissions and no air pollution with geothermal, and it's literally
right there beneath our feet. So why isn't our entire planet powered
> A vast new
ocean sanctuary >
Food Outlook Biannual Report on Global Food Markets
vast new ocean sanctuary Currently less
than 3% of the world's ocean area is fully protected from human activity,
compared to 13% of the world's much smaller land mass. With the oceans
coming under increasing pressure from fishing, pollution and climate
change, expanding true marine sanctuaries is more important than ever.
The waters around
the remote inhabited island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic
are set to become the world's fourth-largest marine sanctuary.
The new marine sanctuary
will encompass 265,437 square miles, making it almost three times larger
than the entire United Kingdom.The four-island archipelago of Tristan
da Cunha is a British territory that is more than 2,000 miles east of
South America and a week-long boat trip from South Africa. 90% of the waters around
the island chain will become a full "no-take" sanctuary, meaning
that fishing, mining, and any other kind of extractive activity will
Outlook Biannual Report on Global Food Markets by FAO As it was
projected earlier in the year, while most markets were braced for a
major global economic downturn, the food sector, including markets for
bananas and tropical fruits, continued to display more resilience to
the Covid-19 pandemic than other sectors.
This report provides supply
and demand forecasts for basic foodstuffs, fish and fishery products
along with price analysis, policy information and a preliminary assessment
of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on trade in bananas and tropical
fruits. The reports special feature reviews recent trends in food
imports bills and export earnings.
Food Outlook is published
by the Markets and Trade Division of FAO as part of the Global Information
and Early Warning System (GIEWS). It is a biannual publication (November
and June) focusing on developments in global food markets. Food Outlook
maintains a close synergy with another major GIEWS publication, Crop
Prospects and Food Situation, especially with regard to the coverage
of cereals. Food Outlook is available in English. The summary section
is also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.
The Future of
Jobs report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace
of change. It aims to shed light on the pandemic-related disruptions
in 2020, contextualized within a longer history of economic cycles and
the expected outlook for technology adoption, jobs and skills in the
next five years.
The workforce is automating
faster than expected, displacing 85 million jobs in next five years
The robot revolution
will create 97 million new jobs, but communities most at risk from
disruption will need support from businesses and governments
In 2025, analytical
thinking, creativity and flexibility are among the top skills needed;
with data and artificial intelligence, content creation and cloud
computing the top emerging professions
The most competitive
businesses will be those that choose to reskill and upskill current
The Future of Jobs 2020
report has found that COVID-19 has caused the labour market to
change faster than expected. The research released today by the World
Economic Forum indicates that what used to be considered the future
of work has already arrived.
By 2025, automation and
a new division of labour between humans and machines will disrupt 85
million jobs globally in medium and large businesses across 15 industries
and 26 economies. Roles in areas such as data entry, accounting and
administrative support are decreasing in demand as automation and digitization
in the workplace increases. More than 80% of business executives are
accelerating plans to digitize work processes and deploy new technologies;
and 50% of employers are expecting to accelerate the automation of some
roles in their companies. In contrast to previous years, job creation
is now slowing while job destruction is accelerating.
COVID-19 has accelerated
the arrival of the future of work, said Saadia Zahidi,
Manging Director, World Economic Forum. Accelerating automation
and the fallout from the COVID-19 recession has deepened existing inequalities
across labour markets and reversed gains in employment made since the
global financial crisis in 2007-2008. Its a double disruption
scenario that presents another hurdle for workers in this difficult
time. The window of opportunity for proactive management of this change
is closing fast. Businesses, governments and workers must plan to urgently
work together to implement a new vision for the global workforce.
Some 43% of businesses
surveyed indicate that they are set to reduce their workforce due to
technology integration, 41% plan to expand their use of contractors
for task-specialized work, and 34% plan to expand their workforce due
to technology integration.
By 2025, employers will
divide work between human and machines equally. Roles that leverage
human skills will rise in demand. Machines will be primarily focused
on information and data processing, administrative tasks and routine
manual jobs for white- and blue-collar positions.
New sense of urgency
for the reskilling revolution
As the economy and job
markets evolve, 97 million new roles will emerge across the care economy,
in fourth industrial revolution technology industries like artificial
intelligence, and in content creation fields. The tasks where humans
are set to retain their comparative advantage include managing, advising,
decision-making, reasoning, communicating and interacting. There will
be a surge in demand for workers who can fill green economy jobs, roles
at the forefront of the data and artificial intelligence economy, as
well as new roles in engineering, cloud computing and product development.
For those workers set to
remain in their roles in the next five years, nearly 50% will need reskilling
for their core skills.
Despite the current economic
downturn, most employers recognize the value of reskilling their workforce.
An average of 66% of employers surveyed expect to see a return on investment
in upskilling and reskilling of current employees within one year. They
also expect to successfully redeploy 46% of workers within their own
organization. In the future, we will see the most competitive
businesses are the ones that have invested heavily in their human capital
the skills and competencies of their employees, Zahidi
Building a more inclusive
future of work
The individuals and communities
most negatively affected by the unprecedented changes brought about
by COVID-19 are likely to be those that are already most disadvantaged.
In the absence of proactive efforts, inequality is likely to be exacerbated
by the dual impact of technology and the pandemic recession.
The Future of Jobs 2020
report partner ADP Research Institute tracked the impact of COVID-19
on the United States labour market. Between February and May 2020, data
showed that displaced workers were, on average, mostly female, younger
and had a lower wage. Comparing the impact of the global financial crisis
of 2008 on individuals with lower education levels to the impact of
the COVID-19 crisis, the impact today is far more significant and more
likely to deepen existing inequalities.
"In the wake of COVID-19,
the US workforce experienced immense change, and we were able to track
this impact on the labour market in near real time," said Ahu
Yildirmaz, Head of ADP Research Institute Labour Market Research.
"While the swift and staggering job loss in the initial months
was significant, it is only one anomaly of this 'recession.' Industry
distribution, business size and worker demographics were all disrupted
due to labour market changes brought about by COVID-19, signalling that
this downturn is unlike any other in modern US history."
The pandemic has
disproportionately impacted millions of low-skilled workers, said
Jeff Maggioncalda, Chief Executive Officer of Coursera, another
report partner. The recovery must include a coordinated reskilling
effort by institutions to provide accessible and job-relevant learning
that individuals can take from anywhere in order to return to the workforce.
Currently, only 21% of
businesses worldwide are able to make use of public funds for reskilling
and upskilling programmes. The public sector will need a three-tiered
approach to help workers. This includes providing stronger safety nets
for displaced workers, improving the education and training systems
and creating incentives for investments in markets and the jobs of tomorrow.
Companies can measure and
disclose their treatment of employees by adopting environmental, social
and governance (ESG) metrics. This will help benchmark success, provide
support where it is needed and ensure new gaps that arise are quickly
identified and closed.
Remote working is here
to stay but requires adaptation
Some 84% of employers are
set to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant
expansion of remote working. Employers say there is the potential to
move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely.
According to the report,
78% of business leaders expect some negative impact on worker productivity.
This suggests that some industries and companies are struggling to adapt
quickly enough to the shift to remote working caused by the COVID-19
To address concerns about
productivity and well-being, about one-third of all employers said they
will take steps to create a sense of community, connection and belonging
among their employees.
Career pivots become
the new normal
The research also indicated
that a growing number of people are making career changes to entirely
new occupations. According to LinkedIn data gathered over the past five
years, some 50% of career shifts into data and artificial intelligence
are from different fields. That figure is much higher for sales roles
(75%), content creation and production positions, such as social media
managers and content writers (72%), and engineering roles (67%).
"As we think about
ways to upskill or transition large populations of the workforce who
are out of work as a result of COVID-19 into new, more future-proofed
jobs, these new insights into career transitions and the skills required
to make them have huge potential for leaders in the public and the private
sector alike, said Karin Kimbrough, Chief Economist at LinkedIn.
Our research reveals
the majority of transitions into jobs of tomorrow come from non-emerging
jobs, proving that many of these jobs are more accessible than workers
might think, Kimbrough continued. If we can help individuals,
and the leaders who are directing workforce funding and investment,
identify the small clusters of skills that would have an outsized impact
on opening up more sustainable career paths, we can make a real difference
in addressing the unprecedented levels of unemployment that we're seeing
Data shows how long
According to The Future
of Jobs Survey, core skills such as critical thinking, analysis
and problem-solving are consistently top of the reskilling and upskilling
priorities for educators and businesses. Newly emerging in 2020 are
skills in self-management such as resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
Data from Coursera suggests
that individuals could start gaining the top 10 skills for each emerging
profession in people and culture, content writing, sales and marketing
in one to two months. Those wishing to expand their skills in product
development and data and artificial intelligence could do so in two
to three months, and those switching into cloud computing and engineering
could make headway in the new skillset through a four to five-month
There has been a fourfold
increase in the number of people seeking opportunities for online learning
under their own initiative, a fivefold increase in employers offering
their workers online learning opportunities and a ninefold enrolment
increase in people accessing online learning through government programmes.
Those in employment are
placing larger emphasis on personal development courses; those unemployed
have placed greater emphasis on learning digital skills such as data
analysis, computer science and information technology.
"The pandemic has
accelerated many of the trends around the future of work, dramatically
shrinking the window of opportunity to reskill and transition workers
into future-fit jobs, said Hamoon Ekhtiari, CEO of FutureFit
AI. No matter what prediction you believe about jobs and skills,
what is bound to be true is heightened intensity and higher frequency
of career transitions especially for those already most vulnerable and
The Future of Jobs
Report is a critical source of insights in supporting companies and
government through these workforce transitions, and FutureFit AI is
honoured to share our data and insights in the Report, Ekhtiari continued.
We look forward to continuing to contribute to a just, worker-first,
and data-powered recovery as a partner of the World Economic Forum's
New Economy & Society community and its Reskilling Revolutions Platform."
The Future of Jobs
Now in its third edition,
The Future of Jobs report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking
the pace of change. It aims to shed light on the pandemic-related disruptions
in 2020, contextualized within a longer history of economic cycles and
the expected outlook for technology adoption, jobs and skills in the
next five years. The Future of Jobs survey informs the report. It is
based on the projections of senior business leaders (typically Chief
Human Resource Officers and Chief Strategy Officers) representing nearly
300 global companies, which collectively employ 8 million workers.
It presents the workforce
planning and quantitative projections of chief human resource and strategy
officers through to 2025, while also drawing on the expertise of a wide
range of World Economic Forum executive and expert communities. The
report features data from LinkedIn, Coursera, ADP and FutureFit.AI,
which have provided innovative new metrics to shed light on one of the
most important challenges of our time.
As a result of the COVID-19
pandemic there have been unprecedented impacts on business, the economy,
and society. But what comes next? In The Future After COVID top-ranked
forecaster and Chairman of The Futurist Institute, Jason Schenker, offers
a futurist perspective into the potential long-term changes, challenges,
and opportunities that the experience of COVID-19 is likely to mean
for over a dozen different critical fields and industries, including
the future of work, education, healthcare, supply chain, and more. CONTENT
fastest drummer in the world is a cyborg by Big
Think x Freethink
Around 40% of
EU energy consumption and 36 % of its CO2 emissions come from buildings.
EU-funded researchers have developed easy-to-install eco-panels to place
on the outside of the buildings to dramatically cut both.
Making Europe carbon-neutral
by 2050 is no easy task, especially when its ageing buildings, many
of them poorly insulated, waste massive amounts of energy. By some estimates,
up to 110 million buildings in Europe need renovation when it comes
To address this enormous
challenge, the EU-funded GELCLAD project has created cost-effective,
easy-to-install eco-panels that can fit on the outside of buildings.
While the EUs
building stock is quite old, averaging 35 % over 50 years old, it is
also quite energy inefficient, meaning that buildings should be regarded
as a critical pathway towards the decarbonisation goals set for 2050,
says GELCLAD project coordinator Jorge Corker of the Instituto Pedro
Nunes in Portugal.
The Aerogel handshake
The deep renovation of
even 3 % of the building stock would generate energy savings of approximately
100 terawatt hours per year (TWh/y). Increase it to 20 % by 2030 and
it could save some 750 TWh/y, a European Parliament report shows. To
put that into perspective, Frances yearly nuclear energy production
is approximately 400 TWh/y.
In an effort to help meet
the EU climate objectives, GELCLAD researchers designed a smart modular
cladding panel made of advanced nano-insulation materials, weatherproofed
recycled polymers, plastic foams and wood biopolymer composites.
The product is intended
to be a ready-to-use and easy-to-install one, while superiorly capable
of complying with the latest and strictest building energy-efficiency
requirements, says Corker, noting it will last for more than 30
years. The facade panel includes an aerogel material that surpasses
the performance of conventional insulations by around 45 %.
Some 100 tests were needed
before the project team came up with a successful skin frame system.
And it took more than 70 formulations processed by a ground-breaking
extrusion technique at industrial-pilot scale before GELCLAD found its
foamable and extrudable aerogel nanomaterial.
The result is a panel that
can be applied to old buildings as well as new ones, with the advantage
of being a modular all-in-one superior insulation.
Better insulation, more jobs
Given the scale of the
challenge, the project also sought to cut the production cost of the
nanotechnology-driven aerogel foam material by a third and maintenance
and installation expenses by 65 % over typical systems.
Reducing such costs is
key to rolling out a system in an energy renovation market that was
worth some EUR 109 billion in 2015, providing almost 900 000 jobs.
Three different pilots
in the UK, Slovenia and Germany have been successfully set up representing
various industrial solutions accomplished at a full scale, towards future
market demand, says Corker.
He adds, citing a conservative
assumption, that should GELCLAD penetrate just 0.5 % of the exterior
insulation facade systems market in the first years of commercialisation,
it might represent a 60 000 m2/year market share. It is one step, among
many, towards greening the future.
aims at creating a novel cost-effective, durable, industrialised and
easy to install composite insulation cladding system, based on a single
structured panel with excellent insulation properties. The GELCLAD
panels shall be made from a functional bio-polymer composite and an
advanced foamable extrudable aerogel, produced using a co-extrusion/injection
procedure, in which both the framing skin and the aerogel core will
be simultaneously formed in a single product. Complementary, the novel
cladding system can be set with passive pre-programed materials, able
to respond dynamically to ambient stimuli and control the air flow
in the building facade system. The foreseen main impacts of the novel
GELCLAD system will be 20% lower embodied energy than traditional
oil based panels and attain an improvement of more than 40% on energy
savings in building refurbishment actions, while combining reduced
installation and maintenance costs with a life span of 50 years. Full
scale demonstration of the GELCLAD solution will be performed in demo
and real size buildings for ready uptake and spreading of the new
Williams is a Trend Translator and Future
Finance Specialist for
Flux Trends. Bronwyn has over a decades experience
in marketing management and trend research, working predominantly with
brands in the financial and B2B industries. Bronwyn managed the largest
circulation of South African financial newsletters and worked closely
with a network of local and international financial thought leaders,
giving her access to a wealth of insider insights on how
the world of money really works. In this talk Bronwyn shares her ideas
on Big Data and how Big Brother companies are shaping the society and
Bronwyn has over a decades
experience in strategic management, trend research and foresight; consulting
to clients in the public and private sector across the African continent.
Her educational credentials include tertiary qualifications in Marketing
Management (University of Johannesburg), Economics (University of London),
Foresight (University of Manchester), and Future Studies (University
of Stellenbosch). She is currently completing a Masters in Applied Economics
from the University of Bath.
Today, as a partner at Flux Trends, Bronwyns research focuses
on how macro socio-economic trends and emerging technologies will impact
businesses, industries, and nations in the near and long term future.
Part economist, part strategist, Bronwyns particular areas of
expertise include fintech trends, alternative economic models, and sustainable
include Top 40 JSE listed companies, The South African Reserve Bank,
African government departments, and global business leaders. She also
guest lectures for leading business schools, such as Duke, GIBS, UCT,
and the University of Johannesburg. Bronwyn is also a published writer
and a well- known media commentator on future trends and economic trajectories
for network channels including CNBC Africa and ENCA News.
Bronwyn Ruth Williams:
How Big Brother Companies Are Shaping Society