school for Science IN Diplomacy



Today’s historical context of multiple and interrelated challenges underpins a widespread concern, curiosity, interest about the future. The complexity of the socio-economic system and its interaction with the environment is characterized by the difficulty to make accurate predictions on their evolution, which can result in abrupt changes, unprecedented crises and geo-political shocks.

Option assessments and predictions for the impacts of decisions ask therefore for a renewed approach to the role of science in supporting policy-makers. On the other hand, scientists struggle in providing salient and responsible advice for the adoption of effective action.

The introduction of a scientific approach in the negotiation and comprehension of fundamentals in the interaction between information and context dependency, can impact in a cultural transformation of negotiation and decision processes, in a sort of Science Diplomacy 2.0, where science and diplomacy can be entangled towards a knowledge-based support to policy.

building the next generation of diplomats and decision makers


The Pilot School aims at testing a new approach to “Science in Diplomacy”, where fundamentals of hard sciences and humanities will be analyzed in order

  1. to identify what messages are salient in scientific advice to policy decisions,
  2. to identify how science can operationally support negotiation processes,
  3. to promote the introduction of a scientific method in diplomacy and to pave the way for a effective communication between the scientific and diplomatic communities.

The Pilot School will address the complexity of the systems as a whole (not only environmental, economic, industrial, technological, cultural, but also socio-relational), the limitations and opportunities that a scientific approach can offer, the ability to discern between lobbies, facts, predictions and perceptions, the evaluation between consensus, impact and feasibility of the actions to be adopted.

Participants will be asked to co-design and evaluate a training portfolio for diplomats and personnel involved in decision processes. The ultimate goal is at increasing the capacity building of a next generation of diplomats and personnel involved in decision processes: it will not provide solutions but will enable to ask the appropriate questions for option assessments.

How and When

A group of approximately 20 top-scientist in different disciplines have prepared a training offer for the different aspects which are considered salient to increase the capacity building of a next generation of diplomats and personnel involved in decision processes.

The scientist will present their offer to approximately 20 diplomats during a three days workshop, to debate pros and cons of the specific proposals.

The workshop will start with few examples on scientific advice to decisions for long-term and short term interventions. Then, fundamentals of complex systems, modeling, cognitive systems, artificial intelligence and different approaches to support to policy will be addressed. Some aspects will be focused on the Mediterranean Sea’s challenges, as one of the examples of complexity in terms of socio-economic-environmental system and governance.

The language of the school will be English.

The workshop will be held from 5 to 7 June 2019, in Gaeta, a small historical town on coastline between Rome and Naples.