fbpx NATO's Future Seminar | Atlantic-Forum

NATO's Future Seminar

In order to foster the understanding of security politics, to establish an international dialogue among the younger generation, and to connect emerging leaders from NATO member and partner countries with senior decision-makers, Deutsche Atlantische Gesellschaft will host a seminar from November 13–16, 2020, focusing on key issues of transatlantic security.

We are delighted to invite you to apply to discuss the following topics in-depth:

1. Great Power Competition – How Does it Impact NATO? 
2. Towards an Outer Space Strategy – The NATO Perspective
3. Security Policy: Strategy Change through Climate Change?

At the beginning of the seminar a general session will provide an introduction to the methods and tools of foresight. The term usually describes activities within strategic planning, used in both business and politics. To use the words of Dr. phil. Kerstin Cuhls (Fraunhofer ISI): “Foresight goes further than forecasting, including aspects of networking and the preparation of decisions concerning the future”.

In security politics, the Delphi Method as well as various scenario methods are common practices. The former describes an approach developed by the RAND Corporation in the 1950s, to forecast the impact of technology on warfare. The procedure encompasses a group of experts that – in two rounds – provide their input to a set of questions. After the first round, the experts receive statistics that reflect the input given by the group as a whole. In the second round, the experts once again provide their input. Like that, this research method aims to discover an eventual expert consensus within certain fields.

Scenario methodology encompasses a set of approaches to develop scenarios, both exploratory and normative. Depending on the purpose, both can be of great use within strategic planning; an exploratory approach can help evaluating possible futures, whereas a normative approach – where a certain, desired scenario is drawn up – can be helpful when developing roadmaps.

However, practitioners of foresight may use a variety of methods, and it is not uncommon for futurists to use concepts such as utopias or wild cards in order to encourage the conversation on alternative futures, and on crises that no one saw coming.

Senior political and military experts will be invited to each session to discuss ideas and recommendations developed by the participants of the seminar (for details, see the agenda).

All NATO’s Future attendees will also participate in the NATO Talk-Conference 2020 on November 16, an international conference co-hosted by the German Atlantic Association and the Federal Academy for Security Policy. The conference, taking place shortly after the U.S. presidential elections, starts with a high-level discussion on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. NATO’s Future participants have the unique opportunity to present and discuss their recommendations – the seminar output – with a high level NATO representative at the main stage.

Important notice to the current situation of restriction due to Corona virus As the situation can change until November, we would like the applicants to take into consideration that the seminar might also take place in digital form only. Right now, we plan to organize a smaller seminar with 21 international participants (7 participants per working group) to abide by the COVID safety restrictions set by the German government. All selected participants will have to declare they do not have symptoms prior to the seminar and have not visited any of the international risk areas defined by Robert-Koch-Institute in the last 14 days, unless they can present with a negative corona test not older than 48 hours prior to the start of the seminar.

- Students or young professionals with a background in International Relations and Security Studies
- Between 18 and 35 years of age
- NATO or PfP country citizenship
- Past experience and/or studies relating to: security or defense policy; democratic transitions; international law; humanitarian issues; or any other fields of relevance to the transatlantic partnership
- Working knowledge of English (German is not mandatory)

Re-applications of NATO’s Future alumni participants cannot be accepted (however, we are glad to provide a limited number of speakers positions for NATO’s Future alumnis, please contact us directly)

There is no participation fee for the seminar. Deutsche Atlantische Gesellschaft will offer travel reimbursements of up to €100/€200 (national/international), provided that participants will choose affordable travel options. We will also provide accommodation in a single room in central Berlin from November 13 to 16.

Candidates are asked to fill out the online form by Saturday, October 3
- a short CV (in English)
- a cover letter indicating the candidates’ motivation of participation and a preference for one of the three working groups (max 500 words)
- an abstract (140 character long [Tweet]) outlining the main arguments of the participant’s essay.

Selected participants are expected to submit their original essays until October 15, reflecting their views on one of the three policy questions outlined above as well as three to five specific policy recommendations for NATO, member states, and partners (5,000 characters), which will be published in a special booklet for the seminar and conference. Successful applicants for the seminar will be informed on October, 6.



13 Nov 2020 to 16 Nov 2020


Berlin, Germany




Veronika Fucela