Global Affairs Canada – NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence


AOD is proud to support the Government of Canada’s efforts in establishing the new NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence (CCASCOE), leveraging our expertise in expert facilitation and consultation to help inform the design and strategic vision, in keeping with Canada’s and other NATO countries’ security and defence goals.


Our workshop utilized a variety of methods and tools from foresight, design, and risk management to gather expert advice and diverse points of view from a range of participants to understand the changing landscape, challenges and strategic opportunities moving into the future. The workshop facilitators encouraged participants to consider diverse perspectives including those of women and girls, Indigenous peoples, as well as marginalized and vulnerable populations. 


Our workshop series was held over two half-day sessions to capture insights across international experts in climate change and security issues. Information from this workshop was analyzed and synthesized according to core thematic areas of awareness, adaptation and mitigation, and the four pillars of work of NATO COEs. Findings were presented in a final report to Global Affairs Canada to help inform the drafting of the CCASCOE Program of Work, and to provide innovative ideas to support the Centre’s future development.


In a rapidly changing global security environment, NATO must continue to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt to the security impacts of climate change. NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security and defence policy, and is central to transatlantic security and international stability. Canada is supporting this initiative as concrete actions to address future threats and challenges affecting transatlantic security and to strengthen collective security commitments that will keep our people safe.

Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time, with global impacts affecting all countries. A Canada-hosted Centre of Excellence on Climate Change and Security would respond to an identified priority to better understand, adapt to and mitigate the security implications of climate change. The CCASCOE would also facilitate the exchange of expertise, build capacity to address the security implications of climate change, and help advance our ongoing efforts to reduce the climate impact of our military activities.

The response to climate change threats requires collaboration across many sectors and must consider diverse perspectives, including those of women, Indigenous peoples, youth, as well as marginalized and vulnerable populations. The Government of Canada plans to include, consult and integrate such perspectives as they pursue the establishment of the CCASCOE.


The climate and security landscape was framed through discussions on trends, future threats, challenges, and security implications of climate change. The intent of discussions was to better understand the changing landscape and shifting dynamics in order to uncover opportunities to inform policy to address the strategic issues. The landscape was framed using a STEEP framework to define the following broad categories of different challenge themes, categories include: social, technology, economic, environment, political and governance. Data was organized into a horizon scan and radar map. This organization and the STEEP categorization informed the key challenge cards that were used in the workshops to prompt participants.

The first workshop sought expert advice and diverse points of view in order to frame the problem of climate and security and understanding the landscape using a global community lens; explore what role the CCASCOE could play in helping NATO, its Allies, and partners to address this global security concern; and capture information that integrates expert perspectives towards the establishment of the CCASCOE.

The second workshop sought to generate ideas which may assist to support CCASCOE Steering Committee decisions. Discussions were framed to address the following themes and pillars with respect to their relevance in military and defence settings. The three core thematic streams were awareness, adaptation, and mitigation. The four pillars focused on analysis and lessons learned; doctrine development and standardization; education, training, exercise, and evaluation; and concept development and experimentation. These themes and pillars were addressed through the lens of their relevance to military and defence setting and to the NATO Alliance.


The key findings from both workshops were presented in the final report. The report also covered identified barriers and resistance to change, and concluded with potential next steps for the CCASCOE. Next steps were summarized into the key short-term opportunities as a starting point for CASCOE over the next 1-2 year horizon, as well as the narrative visions of the COE’s potential over a 10+ year time horizon.

The AOD team produced a video series highlighting workshop activities and post-workshop reflection interviews from expert participants. To access please visit our AOD YouTube channel: 

What Should the NATO Climate and Security COE Prioritize? A First Tour d’Horizon With 30+ Experts 

NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence Video Playlist

Through this project, AOD sought expert advice and diverse points of view to frame the problem of climate and security using a global community lens and facilitated discussions to explore the role of CCASCOE in helping NATO, its Allies, and partners to address this global security concern. AOD hopes that our facilitation and innovation support has leveraged key insights to help align the strategic vision of the CCASCOE with Canada’s and other NATO countries’ security and defence goals. 

Prof. Michele Mastroeni is the Co-Executive President of the Archipelago of Design (AOD) and Director of AOD’s research team. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and is Associate Professor at OCAD University in Strategic Foresight and Innovation. His research is focused on exploring innovation systems, innovation policy.

Before his time at OCAD U, he was a Senior Policy Advisor with the Ontario Public Service, Senior Analyst at the Conference Board of Canada and before that at RAND Europe, as well as Research Fellow at the Innogen Institute at the University of Edinburgh.

He has worked closely with government clients such as the UK Ministry of Defence, as well as industry and civil society stakeholders, to improve the innovation systems they operated in.