On 8–11 November, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) will convene the sixth annual Stockholm Security Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Battlefields of the Future: Trends of Conflict and Warfare in the 21st Century’. The conference will be held in a virtual format.
Wars have been fought in many ways. Although evolutions and revolutions in military affairs continuously occur, current developments have opened cyberspace, outer space, and the mental space as potential new battlefields of the future. Rapid developments in technology add to the sense of uncertainty and urgency to understand, act upon and manage them. This sense of urgency is reinforced by the increasing level of distrust among great powers. These advances and the resulting disruption and destruction could have profound human costs. A key objective of the 2021 Stockholm Security Conference is to explore means to prevent and mitigate these risks.
Additionally, the conference will explore trends in several parts of the world where more traditional types of warfare are continuing or re-emerging. In doing so, the conference will examine to what extent the more traditional types of warfare are adapting to newly available means or providing non-traditional actors with new opportunities to have a bigger role.
The conference will provide an informal setting for in-depth discussion between leading experts, practitioners and policymakers. Gathering different perspectives will enable a better understanding of the challenges to international security and the role of governments, multilateral organizations, humanitarian actors, researchers and civil society in dealing with the challenges of the battlefields of the future.
SIPRI produced a short film that summarizes key findings from the virtual 2020 Stockholm Security Conference on ‘International Cooperation: Navigating the Way Ahead:
Footage of the discussions from last year’s conference is available on SIPRI’s YouTube channel.