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​Decision-makers at all levels are being confronted with novel complexities and uncertainties and face long-term challenges which require foresight about long-term future prospects, assumptions, and strategies. This book explores how foresight studies can be systematically undertaken and used in this context. It explicates why and how methods like horizon scanning, scenario planning, and roadmapping should be applied when dealing with high levels of uncertainty. The scope of the book moves beyond “narrow” technology foresight, towards addressing systemic interrelations between social, technological, economic, environmental, and political systems. Applications of foresight tools to such fields as energy, cities, health, transportation, education, and sustainability are considered as well as enabling technologies including nano-, bio-, and information technologies and cognitive sciences. The approaches will be illustrated with specific actual cases.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Abstract
Not long ago, many serious people would dismiss studies of the long-term future. This is not altogether surprising, given that many popular books and films that claim to tell us about what will happen are indeed easy to dismiss. Those that are not simply establishing an environment for adventure stories, almost always represent partial and one-sided views. They are aimed mainly at arguing for a particular goal—or arguing for the credibility of one futures guru or another. More serious pieces of work are often thrown out with the bathwater, dismissed as not really worth much attention for one or more reason.
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

2. Foresight for STI: What and Why

Abstract
The term Foresight has long been applied to futures work, not least in H.G. Wells’ call for “Professor of Foresight” in the 1930s, and in studies for the US government (involving Joseph Coates among others). But as the previous chapter noted, “Foresight” has become prevalent as a description of futures-related activities only in the last couple of decades. Consultancies, University courses, research programmes, and all kinds of institutional activities are now badged as being Foresight activities. The rise of “Foresight” to prominence stems from the pioneering studies of John Irvine and Ben Martin in the 1980s.
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

3. Initiation: Scoping and Managing ForSTI

Abstract
Given the pervasiveness of STI in most aspects of our lives, our cultures and societies, ForSTI of one sort or another may be relevant to many policymakers, and many decision-makers in business and third sector bodies. ForSTI may be undertaken at almost any level of decision-making, though it has been most prominent to date at the national level. It has been used by international organisations, such as the European Commission (EC) and UNIDO (e.g. in support of TF activities in Latin America). More recently, regional authorities and governments in many countries have carried out ForSTI exercises. However non-governmental actors, such as professional associations and industry federations, have also been active in ForSTI, with exercises on topics such as agriculture, the automotive and aerospace industries, and higher education, having taken place since the late-1990s.
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

4. Interaction: Participation and Recruitment

Abstract
ForSTI typically uses participative approaches that engage wider ranges of stakeholders and experts in appraising future prospects than was typical for many classical futures studies and technology forecasting exercises. The increasing interest in participation has been prompted by a mixture of reasons, including political trends towards greater transparency and inclusivity in policy making, recognition of the limits of “official” knowledge and of governments to dictate the behaviour of private citizens and firms, and the learning of lessons “from the corporate sector regarding the benefits of stakeholder inclusion” (Loveridge and Street 2003, p. 7).
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

5. Intelligence: Environmental and Horizon Scanning

Abstract
The Intelligence phase of ForSTI begins with a comprehensive understanding and scanning exercise, which provides input for the overall activity. The aim is to attain a reasonably comprehensive view of situations involved in the STEEPV systems and their future directions of development. This provides a shared understanding and mutual appreciation of situations, issues, and influencing factors as systems within their own contexts by uncovering uncertainties about the values and preferences of actors and stakeholders, and clarifying the goals of the entire ForSTI activity. In this way, the Intelligence phase offers a mind-set for understanding how systems work and behave, and what their emerging characteristics are. The goal is not necessarily to bring about a convergence of views, but, at least a partial convergence is likely to emerge from this process in practice.
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

6. Intelligence: Delphi

Abstract
Delphi approaches are often seen as the main tool in ForSTI studies. Though many major exercises have been mounted without any use of these at all, the variety of forms and applications means that they can then prove valuable. Given their prominence, and their particular features, a chapter devoted to Delphi approaches makes sense in this book. Another reason is that there are many misunderstandings about why and how to conduct Delphis.
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

7. Imagination: Scenarios and Alternative Futures

Abstract
In ForSTI, scenarios are systematic accounts of particular configurations of future possibilities—a scenario is a systematic account (we might say “appraisal”, and people often talk of “vision”) of a possible future state of affairs and the paths of development leading to it. There are many uses for scenarios in ForSTI, for example, to:
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

8. Integration: Modelling

Abstract
The integration phase in ForSTI involves examining the models underpinning the alternative futures and their appraisals. This follows the construction of alternative scenarios in the Imagination phase, mainly with the use of future scenarios (Chap. 7). Models used at the Integration phase depict how things are related together—or, more accurately, how we think they are related together. Thus, models illustrate how components of future systems are seen to be interlinked and interdependent, and to examine what kind of synergies they may create through their interaction. The relationships between components may be derived from logical or theoretical analysis, or using statistical estimation techniques; the results of interactions, however, may be quite unexpected, especially in complex systems.
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

9. From Integration to Interpretation: Translating ForSTI into Strategies

Abstract
One of the key features of ForSTI is that it is a policy and action-oriented activity. Therefore, the process does not simply end with the description of preferable futures, but goes to the next levels on the ways of formulating and implementing strategies and policies, and planning and allocating resources for successful implementation.
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

10. Intervention and Impact: Outcomes, Action and Evaluation

Abstract
The overall purpose of ForSTI is to provide input into policy and strategy planning and to mobilise collective strategic actions. In the Intervention phase we move on from the issue of formulating recommendations, to experience in following these through in the form of concrete action to implement structural and behavioural transformations. Actions suggested at this phase aim to give messages on the first and most immediate interventions to the existing systems. Operational level questions are asked for actions such as: ‘what and how’, ‘where and how’ and ‘who and how’. The actions for change are determined by considering the following capabilities of the system under investigation: (1) Adapting; (2) Influencing and shaping its context; (3) Finding a new milieu or modelling itself virtuously in its context; and (4) Adding value to the viability and development of wider wholes in which it is embedded. Action plans, Operational plans, Priority lists can be among the outputs produced at this phase, in addition to the outcomes achieved through ForSTI, such as networking, mutual learning and collective visioning, which are key enablers for follow up actions upon the completion of the exercise.
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

11. Conclusions

Abstract
There have been many publications dealing with ForSTI, especially since the turn of the twenty first century. Much of this literature (including many web resources) presents the results of particular projects; and unfortunately it is quite often rather unclear about just what data and which methods have led to what conclusions. Despite the apparent prevalence of airport bookshop paperbacks—ones where some expert conjures their vision of the future out of a magic hat—there is a great deal more material available that attempts to be systematic and transparent as to methods than was the case a few years ago.
Ian Miles, Ozcan Saritas, Alexander Sokolov

Backmatter

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