ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s first ‘Foresight Lab’ focusing on the country’s challenges and opportunities will be established soon through the collaborative efforts of AGAHI and the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in this regard by AGAHI which is a non-profit organisation and the IPS at a ceremony held here on Monday. The lab aims to check and test assumptions about Pakistan’s future among the leadership and wider society, explore perceptions of Pakistanis from both inside and outside the country and identify future risks and opportunities. On the occasion, Puruesh Chaudhary, the Founder and President of AGAHI said: “AGAHI and the IPS working together is a big step forward for the betterment of Pakistan. With their knowledge, we are on a better course of action and will be focusing on strengthening the industry on creating informed foresight perspectives in Pakistan”. She added, “This relationship will bring together experts from varied backgrounds road mapping their professional opinions on Pakistan State of Future Index (PK-SOFI) envisioning broader range of alternative futures”. Speaking on the occasion, Director General Dr. Khalid Rahman said the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) was striving, since its inception in 1979, to promote policy-oriented, futuristic applied research in Pakistan. The initiative by AGAHI for developing Pakistan State of Future Index (PK-SOFI) is a welcome step, which is aligned with the IPS’ objectives. “We are excited to be part of it and look forward to play our role in its success and hope it will contribute towards a positive, brighter tomorrow for the country and our generations to come”, he said. The knowledge collaboration will help strengthen the industry-policy linkages. AGAHI and the IPS endeavour is based upon the premise that increased linkages between industry and academic institutes can improve quality of life and foster innovation within the pedagogy and practice of futures research. Dr. Shahid Mahmud, CEO, Interactive Group of Companies stressed the need for collaboration to meet the challenges of a fast evolving world that make the times we live in both exciting and frightening; sharing ideas and furthering innovations like never before. It’s time for a new way of thinking that’s driven by data. Foresight Lab primarily aims to accomplish this goal. In adding to the said endeavour by AGAHI, Dr. Khalid Rahman, Director General, IPS, emphasised that the significance of AGAHI and IPS collaboration through the signing of MoU would enhance interaction between academic researchers, practitioners and the policy architects to create a hybrid pool of resources for knowledge sharing whilst reaffirming how the IPS would engage to ensure successful implementation of this MOU. AGAHI with its local partners Interactive Group of Companies and Eikon7 along with other academic institutions are creating a model that will have the ability to track expected state of the future over time at national, provincial and district levels.