In 2014 BASIC launched the Next Generation project in order to inspire the next generation to think differently about nuclear weapons by injecting fresh thinking into the nuclear weapons discussion.
Decisions over nuclear weapons are still being made behind closed doors by a community of security experts coached in 20th century theories of nuclear deterrence and force postures in the service of national security.
Attempts to engage this debate from outside of official circles tend to fall either in the oppositional campaigning mode, or a technical, specialized focus that fails to properly account for the complex political forces involved. What little debate exists has become elite, cyclical and politically divisive.
Cross-issue and cross-generational engagement
We believe that the younger people of this generation — for whom globalization has played a major role in deepening their connection to the complex world around them — should be at the forefront of shaping policy, and shaping change.
Only by bringing new voices into the nuclear debate and inspiring the next generation of policy shapers to develop and apply their experience and forward-thinking beyond the nuclear field to create new approaches to progress can we ensure sustainable global security.
We believe that we need to think differently about the barriers to progress on global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and infuse innovation and creativity to resolve these complex issues. The level of systematic change necessary to move forward on nuclear disarmament requires the involvement of cross-generational and cross-stem perspectives.
Through a series of focus groups, events, workshops, and expert dialogues, the Next Generation project has sought to:
analyse the interconnections between the nuclear weapons agenda and other challenges,
bring new voices into the disussion, and
test out the means to inspire the next generation of policy shapers to engage on this issue.
We hope our work will contribute to a more holistic, strategic, and creative debate about the core issues and how to address them.
Throughout 2016 we will be continuing the work of the Next Generation through systems mapping workshops and events in order to identify and tackle problem themes related to nuclear security and non-proliferation.
Visit the Next Generation Shapers Website for more information: www.nextgenerationshapers.com