In an era marked by unprecedented challenges, the role of research and innovation stands central in supporting evidence-based policies for societal resilience. As the world faces interconnected crises ranging from financial shocks, floods and heatwaves, to cyberthreats, the ability of societies to cope, adapt, and transform in the face of shocks becomes increasingly vital.

The FUTURESILIENCE project, led by EFIS Centre, supports the idea that evidence-based insights and tested solutions can inform the policymaking process and create additional value for societies, increasing future preparedness. The formula lies in supporting co-creation spaces that gather relevant stakeholders to design solutions that match local needs. Through evidence-based insights and future-oriented solutions, researchers and innovators inform policymaking processes, identify vulnerabilities, and devise strategies to build resilience across diverse sectors. By fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and leveraging emerging technologies, policymakers can craft adaptive frameworks.

Societal resilience today

But what does societal resilience mean? One can easily spot the word ‘resilience’ in multiple policy and research documents, adopting a variety of meanings and often presenting itself as the grand saviour of complex challenges. But if we look closer at what academic debates propose and the evolution of the concept, there is enough substance to think of the powerful impact this concept can bring to Europe and beyond.

Societal resilience encompasses the capacity of communities, institutions, and systems to withstand shocks, recover swiftly, and adapt proactively to changing circumstances. We are talking about governing uncertain contexts, and we should think about how to be prepared to tackle even future and unknown challenges. Thus, societal resilience implies reinforcing the “societal fabric” (all that has to do with our daily lives such as going to work, sending kids to school, running businesses, providing health services, etc.) in a flexible way that can navigate pressing challenges with enough capacity for manoeuvre. Societal resilience entails bolstering economic, social, and environmental dimensions while nurturing inclusive governance structures that prioritise equity and justice. It entails collaborative approaches and requires all stakeholders to engage in understanding local risks, vulnerabilities, and strengths to create future-ready capacities.


2024 marks a key milestone for the project with the kick-off of its experimentation phase – the consortium proposed approach for policy testing. The 10 FUTURESILIENCE  labs will focus multiple topics that touches upon one or more challenges linked to societal resilience:

  • Migration (Chios Lab, Greece)
  • Climate change (Murcia Lab, Spain)
  • Healthcare system (BAPEMED Lab, Bulgaria)
  • Floods and use of ICT to coordinate volunteer work during emergencies (TIMES Lab, Italy)
  • Labour market and skills gap (FICTIONS Lab, Portugal)
  • Cybersecurity (SCRL Lab, Slovenia)
  • Governance of land planning (MULTILOCAL Lab, Estonia)
  • Social conflicts (COSIGHT Lab, Germany)
  • Mobility and energy (IMMER Lab, Germany and France)
  • Access to housing market (LiquidHousing Lab, Spain)

The Labs will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of policymaking for resilience, by working with Foresight and testing policies from the Knowledge Base to address pressing challenges and implementing agent-based modelling to analyse barriers for policy uptake and implementation. Labs will be mentored by experts from the consortium, including both thematic and foresight partners to guide the implementation process.

On 10th April 2024, the public presentation of the 10 FUTURESILIENCE labs will take place. Join us for a groundbreaking webinar as we delve into the heart of societal resilience in Europe! Save your seat by registering here and follow us on social media to receive the latest news on the project.