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ERIC Number: ED506396
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 105
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 105
Shaping Tomorrow Today: Near-Term Steps Towards Long-Term Goals. Conference Proceedings
Lempert, Robert J., Ed.; Popper, Steven W., Ed.; Min, Endy Y., Ed.; Dewar, James A., Ed.; Light, Paul C.; Pritchett, Lant; Treverton, Gregory F.
RAND Corporation
In March 2009, the RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition hosted a workshop called "Shaping Tomorrow Today: Near-Term Steps Towards Long-Term Goals." The workshop gave policymakers and analysts an opportunity to explore new methods and tools that can help improve long-term decisionmaking. The intent was to conduct this exploration collaboratively, drawing from many countries a mixed group of tool builders, analysts, planners, decisionmakers and interested lay observers. Their task was to consider how analysts and policymakers can determine when it is important to make long-term (as opposed to short-term) decisions, how to make better long-term decisions, and how best to support policymakers in thinking long term, using as case studies the areas of education, international policy, and climate change. These conference proceedings summarize the main discussions and presentations that took place during the two days of the workshop and include the papers written for workshop participants. They will be of interest to anyone engaged in the study and practice of thinking and acting meaningfully over the long term, with particular reference to problems faced by planners and policymakers in public institutions of governance. The first chapter defines our concept of long-term decisions and summarizes the contents and conclusions of each of the sessions. The remaining chapters present four white papers prepared for the event. The first of these, by Robert Lempert and Paul Light, describes the Pardee Center's innovative work in new methods for longer-term policy analysis--in particular, robust decisionmaking (RDM)--that assess near-term policies' ability to achieve long-term goals over a wide range of future scenarios. The essay then describes how the U.S. government might use the concepts underlying these RDM methods to improve its ability to conduct effective long-term policy analysis. The remaining three papers seek to identify long-term policy decisions in each of three different policy areas. Lant Pritchett examines long-term challenges in education in the developing world. Gregory Treverton examines priority long-term decisions facing U.S. foreign policy. Robert Lempert addresses how long-term thinking might affect the debate over near-term climate policy. Appended is the Workshop Agenda. (Contains 7 figures, 6 tables, and a bibliography. Each paper contains references.) [The conference proceedings described in this report were sponsored by the RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition.]
RAND Corporation. P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138. Tel: 877-584-8642; Tel: 310-451-7002; Fax: 412-802-4981; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: RAND Corporation