Take for example the Overseas Development Institute and its Humanitarian Policy Group. They are both outstanding breakthrough organisations. But they don’t do things that we do and vice versa.
We do partner development for example. We go into organisations to assess their anticipatory, adaptive and collaborative capacities. We go in and say, “Are you ready for the future? Let’s take a look at you.” We also play in the world of the future. For instance we try to determine what might be the consequences of melt-water and lower recharge rates in The Third Pole – the Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region. Playing, if you like with the what might bes. Why do we do this? Because if we work with plausible scenarios this gets organisations to think about the ‘what might bes’. This is not done by normal research organisations. They do very effective research using evidence-based material which shows what’s going on now. We however take greater liberties. Let me just emphasise that the dialogue which has been stimulated between scientists and humanitarian policy makers is something which we, in particular, have done. It’s important in trying to help people think how they might interact in a world in which this ‘boffin’ stuff is all a bit too complicated for us to understand. We’ve done this through our Futures Group where we have exchange initiatives between scientists and humanitarian policy-makers. We have a wide range of partners which is a very significant start in gaining a breakthrough in communication between the two sides.