The GCSP went “Back to the Future” last Thursday, 28 April 2016. Four out of the six participants of the 1st International Training Course in Security Policy (ITC) in 1986 joined the 24 participants of the 1st Leadership in International Security Course (LISC) 2016 for an interactive workshop on the changes and continuities in the international security landscape throughout the past 30 years.
The very first ITC was composed of six Swiss participants. Four made their way back to the GCSP: Mr Alexander Hoffet, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai, Ambassador Ulrich Lehner, Head of the Swiss Delegation to the OECD, former Ambassador Raimund Kunz, retired from the Swiss MFA and Mr Jürg E. Bartlome, owner and CEO of a small enterprise for public affairs and communication in national and international policy matters.
Throughout the past 29 years, the ITC developed a global reputation for learning and expertise on current and future security challenges, including the opportunity for a MAS degree. Harnessing these strengths, the GCSP announced its regeneration as the Leadership in International Security Course for its 30th edition in 2015-16.
This transformation reflects the evolution and changes in security policy, for security policy professionals, and their institutions. The LISC, currently in session, is now a truly international course with 24 participants from 24 states across five continents, and coming from governmental, IO, Private Sector and academic backgrounds.
Over lunch, the four alumni all shared their thoughts on the issues that defined their ITC experience in 1986 and how the long-term future was seen back then. In the afternoon, the same 30-year time perspective was shifted from the past towards the future. In a foresight exercise, the ITC alumni and the current LISC participants joined forces in small groups to map the most important trends and drivers likely to shape the world in 2046. The groups were also tasked to provide ideas for the next UN Secretary General on how to start preparing the UN for entering its second century in three decades.
The exchange was a fascinating learning opportunity for the alumni and the current participants alike. Revisiting past projections of the future was helpful in addressing the complexity and unpredictability of challenges ahead in the next thirty years.
LISC course participant
“It was an exciting experience, I never had such an encounter from previous alumni. We were able to reflect on the Gorbachev-Reagan, Putin-Obama, Typewriter-Computer eras. Excellent!”
ITC 1986 alumnus
“I was impressed to see how participants of the LISC coming from all over the world, work together on serious issues of International Security. They do it in the spirit of the "Maison de la Paix". International Security will evolve in the next thirty years as it evolved in the past thirty years, what changes are the issues. What really matters, however, is the way how leaders will cope with these issues. To teach this is the mission of LISC and to realize it in the future, will be the challenge of its participants.”
Making better use of historical awareness to inform decision-making in the present is also the focus of an upcoming three-day course at the GCSP from 31 May to 2 June 2016. Sign up for the course “History and Policy-Making: Understanding the Past and Shaping the Future” to learn more. The course will help you to :