Pardee Center

Developing Our Future

By Karine Abalyan

The great problems of our time—like poverty, disease, and climate change—share a common thread, according to international relations and environment expert Adil Najam: they are interdisciplinary, global, and long-term. The challenge, he says, is to view these issues not as isolated studies in economics, medicine, science, or other fields, but to place them in the larger context of human well-being, and, thus, at the crossroads of multiple disciplines, places, and time frames.

We are in the business of anticipating the trends, of looking at scenarios now that might affect the future.

Director of Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future since November 2007, Najam hopes to apply this broad, interdisciplinary approach to researching an array of subjects related to human progress and global development. From space exploration to world trade and problems of governance, the Pardee Center gives scholars an opportunity to engage in a novel way of looking at and shaping the world.