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IMI is very pleased to announce the award of a grant of $200,000 from the Boeing’s Global Corporate Citizenship Program to begin work on the research project Global Migration Futures: Towards a comprehensive perspective

The Global Migration Futures project will develop scenarios for global migration trends in the 21stcentury. This project aims to expand the understanding of the past and current dynamics of migration in order to gain a sense of how it will evolve in future decades. This will be achieved through the elaboration of scenarios, taking simultaneously into account future social, cultural, economic, political, demographic and environmental changes in origin, transit and destination countries.

Recent shifts in global migration patterns and their underlying drivers raise new intellectual and practical challenges, and will have profound consequences for both destination and origin countries. Both policy makers and researchers are often ill-prepared to meet these challenges as there is still a limited understanding of the forces driving international migration. A key problem is the lack of insight into the ways in which future social, economic, political, demographic and environmental change are likely to affect future migration trends.

The aim of this project is to fill these gaps in current research by:

Providing a comprehensive, evidence based conceptual framework on the forces driving international migration and elaborating a scenario approach on which other research can continue to build and improve;

Initiating a debate among policy makers, business, academics and other stakeholders about future migration patterns and their consequences for sending and receiving countries;

Informing policy makers in Europe of the implications of migration policies through the elaboration of long term perspectives.

The approach taken by the Global Migration Futures project consists of four research and development components:

Elaboration of a conceptual framework of the social, cultural, economic, political, demographic, and environmental factors driving international migration and the linkages between them; and the formulation of basic hypotheses on migration scenarios.

Develop case-studies to test and refine the framework, to be carried out in selected European countries and important countries of origin located in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Preparation of long-term future migration scenarios, mapping out a range of possible outcomes and their consequences for origin and destination countries.

Dissemination through the media, academic journals, conferences, informal networks and Internet communities, and organisation of information with stakeholders from politics, business, big cities, academia and wider civil society as well as national, EU, and international institutions involved in migration policy.

The Boeing grant will be used to develop a comprehensive, evidence-based conceptual framework on the forces driving international migration and to elaborate a scenario approach on which future research can continue to build and improve through case-studies of specific regions and migration systems.

This project has been developed in collaboration with the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford and the Dutch Foundation ‘The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration’ (THP).

The project will be implemented by the team at IMI and is scheduled to start in April 2009.