The first workshop of a series of third workshops on "Futuristic Policy for the Population” was held at NRISP on Sunday, August 26, 2018, as a joint project of NRISP and National Population Studies & Comprehensive Management Institute to formulate policies for the future of Iran’s population using the ideas and suggestions of experts from the related fields.

Experts in the fields of population, futures studies, politics, philosophy and representatives of governmental organizations like Plan and Budget Organization, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Health, Islamic Parliament Research Center and Expediency Council are present at these workshops. At the first workshop, the various scenarios for the future of the population, at the second workshop, layer analysis of the scenarios and at the third workshop, the future policy of the population are being explored.

At the first workshop which was held on last sunday, Dr. Amir Nazemi, the Manager of Future Studies Research Group at NRISP welcomed the audiences and introduced the workshop and said: “this joint program, more than anything, is the representative of the scientific dialogue between the two different disciplines that could possibly affect on the minds of each of the members and could help to look and frame this issue from a different point of view and to identify other factors”. He pointed to the main purpose of holding these workshops and said; sharing different views require to know from which point of view this issue is looked. For this reason, in these workshops we discuss the different perspectives based on the futuristic research tools in the field of population by brief presentations and discussing their effectiveness or inefficiency.

 Dr. Vahid Ahmadi, Advisor to the Minister of Science and NRISP President also welcomed the audiences and expressed his satisfaction for carrying out this joint project and said; apart from the importance of addressing the population issues of the country, the answer to this question is also important; whether our attitude to demography and population management will be in the traditional way, or with scientific methods with foresight and policy research? Certainly, in today's world of science, given the changes and uncertainties, it is necessary to use a set of theories that can predict the future along with scientific attitudes. In fact, the uncertainty principle defined in quantum mechanics exists in the world of economics and social phenomena. I believe that we are involved with this issue even in demography, and we cannot predict the future of population with traditional methods. Therefore, an innovative approach along with scientific models are needed to address this issue.

Dr. Ahmadi emphasized: "we need to benchmark global models in our society, maybe not all of them are accountable, and with debate we must find the best model that can be constructive and influential in creating the desired society coordinated with the goals of the society, and compatible with the Islamic values. He pointed out; "It should be honored that we are able to move towards interdisciplinary discussions and the removal of traditional boundaries between different sciences."

 Then, Dr. Mohammad Jalal Abbasi Shwazi, Head of National Population Studies & Comprehensive Management Institute thanked the efforts made to hold the meeting and said; the workshop is a turning point in considering the expertise and interdisciplinary nature of the subject.

Expressing that the subject of the population is one of the strategic issues of any country, he said; focusing on population issues and planning is primarily a task of governments and governance. This issue has many dimensions, such as population growth, age structure changes, fertility, mortality, health, education, well-being, poverty and challenges in the society.

Dr. Abbasi emphasized on the importance of applying expertise and said; although many activities have been carried out in the direction of compassion for the development of the country, but unfortunately, because of the lack of expertise, the same activities have caused challenges in the country. And, if traditional methods continue to be used, these challenges may increase. At the end, he pointed out the multi-dimensionality of demographic issues require us to have different perspectives together.

The workshop continued by presentations and sharing views on the population’s  futuristic policy.

It is worth noting that the model used in this project is based on the doctoral dissertation of the NRISP student, Ms. Maryam Ardebili.

By: Niksiar