Pilot School

Co-design a school4SID

Gaeta, 5th-7th June 2019

Co-design a school4SID

The Pilot School tested a new approach to “Science in Diplomacy”, analyzing fundamentals of hard sciences and humanities to identify what messages are salient in scientific advice to policy decisions, how science can operationally support negotiation processes, and 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 addressed 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 were asked to co-design and evaluate a training portfolio for diplomats and personnel involved in decision processes. The ultimate goal is in 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.

sailing with science


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.

The Pilot school

A group of 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 scientists presented their offer to approximately 20 diplomats during a three days workshop, to debate pros and cons of the specific proposals.

The workshop started with few examples on scientific advice to decisions for long-term and short term interventions. Then where addressede, fundamentals of complex systems, modeling, cognitive systems, artificial intelligence and different approaches to support to policy. Last day, a focus on the Mediterranean Sea’s challenges, as one of the examples of complexity in terms of socio-economic-environmental system and governance.

The workshop was held from 5 to 7 June 2019, in Gaeta, a small historical town on coastline between Rome and Naples, on locations such as the Signora del Vento vessel, the training ship belonging to the Nautical Institute Giovanni Caboto, and the ITS Fondazione G. Caboto.



Coordinator: Pier Francesco Moretti

Scientific Committee: Fabio Trincardi, Emilio Fortunato Campana,Gilberto Corbellini, Corrado Spinella

Organizing Committee: Erasmo Coccoluto, Paolo Braico

Toolkit and graphics: Luigi Mazari Villanova

Evaluation: Margherita Cappelletto

Photos and Videos: Roberto Bellucci

Web page: Luigi Mazari Villanova

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Dipartimento Scienze del Sistema Terra e Tecnologie per l'Ambiente