Daily Brief logo

Good morning, this is Pip. Today, we’re covering the UN’s latest appeal for aid urgently needed in Afghanistan, where over half the population are in need of humanitarian assistance following the Taliban takeover in August.

We’re also getting to know Helga Schmid, the persistent European negotiator leading talks between US and Russia this week. Plus, environmental, social, and health threats collide in the WEF's latest global risks report.

photo journaliste

Pip Cook


On our radar

Photo article

UN emergency aid coordinator Martin Griffiths announced the appeal for a record $5bn to support Afghanistan. (Credit: UN Photo)

💰UN calls for record aid increase to avert ‘catastrophe’ in Afghanistan. The United Nations made an urgent appeal to international donors on Tuesday for more than $5 billion to fend off a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover last August. More than half of the country’s 40 million population is in need of humanitarian aid, and around three-quarters have been plunged into acute poverty, according to the UN.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here’s what else is happening

Graphic of the day

Photo article

🗺️ The world is unfortunately never short of humanitarian crises, and 2021 was no exception. According to UN data, the extreme deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan has pushed record numbers into dire need of humanitarian assistance. Elsewhere, the ongoing situation in Yemen had left over 24 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection by the end of 2021. Ethiopia saw the largest increase of people in need to more than 21 million people, due largely to the conflict in the Tigray region.

Statista (EN)

Anticipatory reads by GESDA

Photo article

(Credit: Jake Aerts / Pixabay)

As 2022 is now in full swing, let me first address to you my best wishes for the year to come. And let me invite you to dive into what some major media think 2022 will bring in terms of science, technology and innovation!

It is however interesting, if not funny, to mirror these articles with one in WIRED, dated to the end of December 2021, It explains that humans have always had a hard time – if they don’t fully fail – to predict the future. Oh, they tried with a lot of tools and techniques, like polling experts or public opinions, or – mainly – “understanding previous events as indicators of what’s to come” and, that way, try to find some patterns, as WIRED puts it. They even used algorithms for that, to run simulations.

But, as Enrico Letta, former Prime Minister of Italy and former Dean of the School of International Affairs at Science Po-Paris, now Secretary of the Italian Democratic Party, told the audience of the recent 2021 GESDA Summit, “when I see everything that has happened in the last few years, I have the impression that knowing everything that happened in the past is not enough to understand the Brexit, Donald Trump in the United States, the financial crises, the pandemic, climate change”, etc. Therefore, “anticipation is essential, because it is the ability to imagine the world of tomorrow”.

Another great article to read, in The Economist, also explains that, “In 2021 people have been yearning for something like stability. Even those who accepted that they would never get their old lives back hoped for a ‘new normal’. Yet as 2022 draws near, it is time to face the world’s predictable unpredictability. [...] The desire to return to a more stable, predictable world is too nostalgic. Once a system has crossed some threshold, every nudge tends to shift it further from the old equilibrium. Many of the institutions and attitudes that brought stability in the old world look ill-suited to the new. The pandemic is like a doorway. Once you pass through, there is no going back.”

That is why, if anticipation already is very complex, prediction is even more. “The central message sent from the history of the future is that it’s not helpful to think about “The Future.” A much more productive strategy is to think about futures; rather than “prediction,” it pays to think probabilistically about a range of potential outcomes and evaluate them against a range of different sources”, concludes WIRED. So, make your futures with the ones below!

- Olivier Dessibourg, GESDA


Quantum technology predictions for 2022. Here are the top ten.

The Quantum Insider (EN)

10 AI predictions for 2022. Including how language AI will take centre stage.

Forbes (EN)

The Tech Revolution has reached warp speed: what lies in store for 2022.

Vanity Fair (EN)

What next? 22 emerging technologies to watch in 2022.

The Economist (EN)

Climate change action: six trends to watch in 2022.

Thomson Reuters Foundation News (EN)

Research and development policy: Six things to look out for in 2022.

Science Business (EN)

logo gesda

This selection is proposed by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator GESDA, working on anticipating cutting-edge science and technological advances to develop innovative and inclusive solutions for the benefit of the planet and its inhabitants.

GS news is a new media project covering the world of international cooperation and development. Don’t hesitate to forward our newsletter!

Have a good day!

Avenue du Bouchet 2
1209 Genève