Foresight (future studies)

In future studies , especially in Europe, the term ” foresight ” has become widely used to describe

    • critical thinking concerning long-term
    • debate and for Some futurists Who are normative and focus is driven by Action Their Values Who May be Concerned with ‘wider efforts to create participatory democracy . Foresight is a set of competencies and not a value system, however.
    • shaping the future, especially by influencing public policy .

In the last decade, scenario methods, for example, have become widely used in some European countries in policy-making. [1] The FORSOCIETY network brings together national Foresight teams from most European countries, and the European Foresight Monitoring Project is collating material on Foresight activities around the world. In addition, forest methods are being used in regional planning and decision-making (“regional foresight”). Several non-European think-tanks like the Strategic Foresight Group are also involved in foresight studies.

The foresight of future studies is also known as strategic foresight. This Foresight is a study of the future of the future of the future. Foresight includes understanding the recent past; scanning to collect insight about present; environment research to explore possible future trends; visioning to define preferred future states; designing strategies to craft this future; and adapting the present forces to implement this plan. There is significant overlap between foresight and strategic planning, change management, forecasting,

At the same time, the use of foresight for companies (” corporate foresight “) is becoming more professional and widespread [2] [3] [4] [5] Corporate foresight is used to support strategic management, identify new business fields [6] ] [7] and increase the innovation capacity of a firm. [8]

Foresight is not the same as future research or strategic planning . It encompasses a range of approaches that combines the three components mentioned above, which may be recast as:

  • futures (forecasting, forward thinking, prospective),
  • planning (strategic analysis, priority setting), and
  • networking (participatory, dialogic) tools and orientations.

Future Much research has-beens Rather ivory tower work, goal Were Foresight programs designed to impact policy – Often R & D policy. Much technology policy had been very elitist; Foresight attempts to go beyond the “usual suspects” and get together distributed intelligence. These three lines of work Were already common in Francophone future studies going by the name foresight . But in the 1990s we began to see what has become of an explosion of systematic organization of these methods in large scale TECHNOLOGY FORESIGHT programs in Europe and more widely.

Foresight and draws on the traditions of work in the field of long-range planning and strategic planning, horizontal policymaking and democratic planning, and participatory future studies, and the analysis of critical technologies. “.

Many of the methods that are commonly associated with Foresight – Delphi surveys, scenario workshops, etc. – derive from the future field. So does the fact that Foresight is concerned with:

  • The longer-term – futures are usually at least 10 years away (though there are some exceptions to this, especially in its use in private business). Since Foresight is action oriented (the schedule link) it will Rarely be oriented to prospects beyond A Few decades out (though Where decisions like aircraft design , power station or building other major infrastructural decisions are Concerned, Then The schedule horizon May well be half a century).
  • Alternative futures: it is helpful to examine alternative paths of development, Often Foresight will construct multiple scenarios. These may be an interim step on the way to creating what can be known positive visions, success scenarios, future aspirational. Sometimes alternative scenarios will be a major part of the output of Foresight work, with the decision on what future to be.

See also

  • Strategic Foresight Group
  • Accelerating change
  • Foresight Institute
  • Forecasting
  • Optimism bias
  • Emerging technologies
  • Reference class forecasting
  • Scenario planning
  • Strategic foresight
  • Technology forecasting
  • Technology Scouting


  1. Jump up^ van Steenbergen, Bart: Scenarios As a Powerful Tool for Public Policy. As presented at the Prague Workshop on Futures Studies Methodology, October 2005, To be published in the proceedings.
  2. Jump up^ Ratcliffe, John: Challenges for Corporate Foresight: Towards Strategic Foresight ThroughScenario Thinking(presented at the conference “Foresight Management in Corporations and Public Organizations”,, Helsinki 2005
  3. Jump up^ C. Daheim and G. Uerz, “Corporate Foresight in Europe: From Trend Based Logics to Open Foresight,” Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, vol. 20, pp. 321-336, 2008)
  4. Jump up^ Schwarz, J.-O. (2008)Assessing the Future of Future Studies in Management, Futures, Vol. 40, Iss. 3, 237-246.
  5. Jump up^ A. Hines & J. Gold, “An organizational futurist role for integrating foresight into corporations,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Available online 2 May 2014.
  6. Jump up^ Rohrbeck, Rene (2010)Corporate Foresight: Towards a Maturity Model for the Future Orientation of a Firm, Springer Series: Contributions to Management Science, Heidelberg and New York,ISBN 978-3-7908-2625-8
  7. Jump up^ Rohrbeck, R., S. Mahdjour, S. Knab, T. Frese (2009)Benchmarking Report – Strategic Foresight in Multinational CompaniesReport of the European Corporate Foresight Group:Berlin, Germany
  8. Jump up^ Rohrbeck, RHG Gemuenden (2011)Corporate Foresight: Its Three Roles in Enhancing the Innovation Capacity of a Firm ” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 78 (2), 231-243.

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