(workshop at FTA 2014 - 27 NOV 2014)

short summary workshop “New approaches in FTA / foresight” at the EU FTA conference, November 2014 (based on notes from Cornelia Daheim)

New Approaches


FoAM on flickr

4 major clusters:

  1. IT-based / “automated” foresight (in early stages, to be used with a “disclaimer” because of the current hype, experiences still have to be evaluated and sense-making still not generated;) Relies strongly on having had a precise “question” / task before starting
  2. Integrated qualitative-quantitative approaches. Few examples, debated how far foresight should go - should never succumb to the traditional numbers dominance
  3. Open and Crowdsourced
    • Lots of potential also in terms of who funds foresight and how - crowdfunding possibilities e.g. for regional / community foresight
    • Quite widespread in terms of open approaches
  4. New forms of communication: Storytelling / Visualization / Gaming:
    • Here, we had the most real “new” examples, e.g. from overlaps / working with Design Fiction, Experiential Foresight (Roleplaying), “Tangible Foresight” (“Exhibitions” / Futures Windows; Objects from the future, …)
    • Major potential for improving the impact / establishing new routes to engagement
  • Further Trends / Tendencies: Impacts Assessment; Focus on Pre-Foresight-Phase (Conceptualization); Tailor-Made Foresight / Test-driving and then adapting approaches / Stochastic tinkering for finding best approach; Cluster / cross-sectoral foresight; Open Innovation Foresight ; Meta-Trend = towards hybrid / combined approaches
  • new application fields also emerging, e.g. society-wide foresight, e.g. with kids; or foresight for therapy, …

New or Unmet Needs in Foresight

Where are new needs?

  • Needs in Innovation Field are expanding
  • Also in corporate foresight
  • Health / social systems
  • “Political” Foresight

Need for Shared Theoretical Background / Futures Literacy / practical principles

  • Shared language / vocabulary
  • Prove / exemplify impacts
  • Practitioners being clear about values
  • Need for more value-based approaches

Tools and Skills Needs


FoAM on flickr

  • Open Toolkits / Prototypes
  • Take into account emotions and experience
  • Use of narratives / storytelling; stimulating the imagination
  • Integrate diversity of input (“overflow” effect)
  • Selling power needed
  • Bridge need for reflecting complexity and smart / emotional communication means
  • Speed - can we provide instant gratification in foresight?
  • Need for skills in change management / changing of cultures (in organizations)

Lots of room for improvement in realm of implementing results / link to decision-making

  • Improve impacts by analysing power / timing issues (right person / right time)
  • Clarify objectives; Increase acceptance of outputs; give meaning to results
  • Create link to implementation / strategy (top-down or bottom-up?); internalization needed
  • Create demand for citizens

Foresight 2030


FoAM on flickr

  • Many alternative scenarios possible
  • Threat of “automation” / takeover from other disciplines / actors
  • Opportunity for larger-scale roll-out if being clear on what it can and can't do, relies on clearly demonstrated benefits
  • Foresight as an everyday tool: low cost and easily accessible tools for the everyday user - personal fore-sighting
  • Professional foresight becomes more about framing, sense making and narrative - as scanning becomes more automated

Who pays for foresight in 2030? Alongside a traditional commissioning model by corporations and governments, crowd funded foresight occurs when groups of individuals involved in communities/advocacy come together to co-fund the foresight projects they really want to see

  • Foresight becomes part of developing resilience, adapting to change and facilitating behavioral shifts and changing culture

Overall insight, across all 3 groups / topics: New approaches are developing rapidly, especially from working with / overlaps with approaches from other disciplines. The (partly normative) discussion in the community is still missing on which new approaches to push where and for what specific purpose, or where / how to also “counteract” trends and safeguard foresight depth and quality levels.

  • future_fabulators/new_approaches_and_needs_in_foresight.txt
  • Last modified: 2014-12-10 18:57
  • by nik