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Mapping Futures Studies

December 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Popper_2012_Mapping_Futures_Studies_Foresight-RussiaPopper, R. (2012) ‘Mapping Futures Studies’, Foresight-Russia, 6(2), pp. 56–75.

In recent decades Foresight and other forward-looking activities (FLA) gained ground as a tool of science, technology and innovation (STI) policy. The number of FLA studies is globally rising. To some extent, foresight is governed by context-depended issues; however there are also common features in the objectives, methodology, and recommendations made. Mapping allows codifying and analyzing a bulk of FLA experiences gained worldwide. This in turn will contribute to enhancing performance of such activities and therefore of STI policy as a whole.

The paper provides rationales for Futures Studies mapping, considers related opportunities and challenges, reviews lessons learned from early mapping efforts. It focuses on the large-scale EU-funded mapping project “European Foresight Platform” (EFP). Using this project as illustration, the paper describes mapping routines, the selected indicators of mapped Foresight initiatives, including their objectives, participants, target groups, methodologies, outcomes and recommendations. It discusses the potential and the limitations of particular mapping tools as well as possible applications of gained knowledge. Basing on mapping results, policy-makers, for example, are able to identify gaps to be addressed with relevant policy tools, Mapping also allows Foresight practitioners to develop strategies for further research and shape expert networks for their implementation.

Final publication of the European Foresight Platform project

September 1, 2012 Leave a comment

EFP-final-publication

The role of forward-looking activities for the governance of Grand Challenges: Insights from the European Foresight Platform.


Preface

(by Ron Johnston)

FLAs and new Patterns of Governance of Research and Innovation
(by Matthias Weber)

Reach and Impact of Forward Looking Activities: Case Study Analysis of follow-up briefs
(by Susanne Giesecke and Dirk Johann)

The Value of FLA for Strategic Policy Making
(by Annelieke van der Gießen and Elisabetta Marinelli)

Reach and Impact of Forward Looking Activities (FLA) Mapping: Towards a Fully-Fledged Futures Mapping Environment
(by Rafael Popper/Effie Amanatidou/Thomas A. Teichler)

FLA as a Means of Participation in Modern Democratic Decison Making
(by Susanne Giesecke)

Grand Challenges and Foresight in EFP: Healthy Ageing – Urban Europe – Smart Mobility 
(Bas van Schoonhoven)

FLA Anticipate Sustainable Development Challenges for Better Policy Support
(by Vicente Carabias, Cristiano Cagnin, Karel Haegeman, Totti Könnölä)

FLA Orienting Innovation Systems towards Grand Challenges and Increased Governance
(by Cristiano Cagnin)

Manual de Prospectiva Technológica (2011)

February 14, 2011 Comments off
Manual de Prospectiva Technológica (2011)

Manual de Prospectiva Technológica (2011)

Editores:

Luke Georghiou, Jennifer Cassingena Harper, Michael Keenan, Ian Miles y Rafael Popper (eds.)

Año: 2011
Páginas: 560
Flacso México
ISBN: 978-607-7629-39-9
MN $500/US $38

LA PROSPECTIVA ES UN INSTRUMENTO PARA FORMULAR, Y LLEVAR A LA PRÁCTICA, POLÍTICAS DE INVESTIGACIÓN E INNOVACIÓN. POR ESO LAS ACTIVIDADES SE HAN CONCENTRADO EN LA ESCALA NACIONAL: LOS GOBIERNOS BUSCAN DEFINIR PRIORIDADES, CREAR REDES ENTRE LA CIENCIA Y LA INDUSTRIA, Y MODIFICAR SU SISTEMA DE INVESTIGACIÓN Y CULTURA ADMINISTRATIVA. LA PROSPECTIVA SE HA EMPLEADO COMO UN CONJUNTO DE HERRAMIENTAS TÉCNICAS CON MIRAS A UNA VISIÓN COMÚN PARA ATENDER PROBLEMÁTICAS DE LARGO PLAZO.

EL MANUAL DE PROSPECTIVA TECNOLÓGICA ES UNA OBRA CRÍTICA Y EXHAUSTIVA QUE COMPENDIA CAPÍTULOS DE ANÁLISIS TRANSVERSAL QUE BORDAN EL SURGIMIENTO Y POSICIONAMIENTO DE LA PROSPECTIVA, ENFOQUES Y MÉTODOS COMUNES, CUESTIONES RELATIVAS A SU ORGANIZACIÓN Y EL MARGEN PARA LA TRANSFERENCIA Y LA EVALUACIÓN DE POLÍTICAS. EXPERTOS Y PROFESIONALES EN EL TEMA ANALIZAN LAS EXPERIENCIAS DE LA PROSPECTIVA EN AMÉRICA, ASIA Y EUROPA.

SE TRATA DE UNA LECTURA OBLIGADA PARA RESPONSABLES DE LA FORMULACIÓN DE POLÍTICAS QUE NECESITEN PONDERAR LA PERTINENCIA DE LA PROSPECTIVA, ENCARGAR UN EJERCICIO DE PROSPECTIVA O ESTÉN INVOLUCRADOS EN SU APLICACIÓN PRÁCTICA; ES UN LIBRO PARA EMPRESAS ÁVIDAS DE PRACTICAR LA PROSPECTIVA PÚBLICA, Y PARA ACADÉMICOS E INVESTIGADORES INMERSOS EN LOS ESTUDIOS DE FUTUROS, Y LAS POLÍTICAS Y GESTIÓN DE LA CIENCIA, LA TECNOLOGÍA Y LA INNOVACIÓN.

Categories: featured publications

Evaluating Foresight: Fully-Fledged Evaluation of CTFP

February 13, 2011 Comments off
Popper et al. (2010) Evaluating Foresight

A Fully-Fledged Evaluation

Evaluating Foresight (Popper et al., 2010)

The Foresight wave is growing. Interest in using Foresight exercises to inform policy-making in science, technology, and innovation (STI) is continuing to extend around the world. It now seems safe to say that this is no mere fashion.

The Foresight approach combines three elements:  prospective (long-term) studies; planning (and priority-setting) inputs; and participative processes (engaging stakeholders and knowledge sources).

This combination of elements is well matched to the challenges currently confronting STI policy. These include increased emphasis on innovation as a tool for competitiveness and sustainability, alongside pressure on government and university budgets, uncertainty about environmental risks and ethical dimensions of new technologies, and a proliferation of opportunities for strategic R&D.

Foresight is liable to be needed more, rather than less, in years to come. If we need Foresight, then we need to learn about Foresight. This means going beyond merely the formal results of Foresight exercises, in terms of what forecasts and analyses of future opportunities and risks have been developed, or what plans have been proposed and priorities targeted. We also need to learn how best to design and deploy Foresight.

Foresight activities are demanding of time and resources, and it is important to ensure that these are well used. We are confronting big challenges, and the quality of Foresight will affect our readiness to address them. One lesson from the last decade or so of Foresight practice is that “one size does not fit all”. Different problems and contexts require different configurations of Foresight approaches. It is necessary to draw lessons not about “the” Foresight method, but about how Foresight approaches and techniques can be tailored to particular countries and circumstances. This means that evaluation of Foresight efforts is not just a matter of examining the efficiency of the activities. Evaluation must also consider their effectiveness in promoting change to meet the challenges confronting us, and it must take into account the creativity exercised in their design. Foresight must be fit for purpose. Simplistic benchmarking, that matches each feature of the programme against similar features in other countries, is not enough. It is important to relate the complex of activities pursued to the specific objectives of the programme. With such an approach to evaluation, the Colombian Technology Foresight Programme (CTFP) provides an excellent opportunity to draw lessons about how Foresight can be introduced and implemented, and what sorts of design challenges need to be tackled if Foresight is to meet the STI challenges.

For this reason, this study proposes the methodological framework and concept of fully-fledged evaluation of a (Foresight) programme as:

…a systematic process aimed at assessing the appropriateness and level of achievement of the programme’s objectives, its performance (using cost-benefit analysis), efficiency of organisational structure (i.e. approaches and methods) and effectiveness of implementation and aftercare. The process should assess the level of capacities and Foresight culture achieved; its national, sub-national and international reach; level of commitment of participants; and novelty and impact of its internal activities (i.e. studies and projects). In addition, with the aim of aligning a Foresight with the implementation environment, the evaluation should try to measure the impact on public and private policies and strategies; agendas of science, technology and innovation (STI) programmes and institutions; consolidation of research groups; consolidation of S&T capacities; and internationalisation of R&D. Finally, a fully-fledged evaluation of Foresight should also identify new products and services; new policy recommendations and research agendas; new processes and skills; new paradigms and visions; and new players.

Categories: featured publications

The Future Internet Delphi

March 22, 2010 Comments off
Future Internet Delphi

Future Internet Delphi: Round 1

Here we present the results of the first round of the Delphi Survey on the Future Internet.

A total of 235 experts took part in the study. These results have been used for main goal of the EU-funded Toward a Future Internet project: the creation of scenarios about a future internet. Two other major sources were also used to form the scenarios as well as the results of this Delphi Survey First Round: (1) Research on the many trends at a socio-economic level that will influence a future internet and also other projects looking at this subject, such as the Stanford ‘Clean Slate’ project; and (2) A major two-day workshop in September 2009 in Brussels with some 20 external experts, which produced strong debate and helped us to reshape our ideas, in some ways completely.

All of this work has been to put together in an initial analysis, an Interim Report, soon to be released, whose core is a set of early scenarios.

Which is the most important role of the internet TODAY and in the future?

Which is the most important role of the internet TODAY and in the future?

In the second round of this Delphi survey we wish to analyse a series of early scenarios, based on the first round’s results plus the extra socio-economic research and the September 2010 Brussels workshop.

So the Second Round presents five scenarios for you to consider and critique. These may seem to be extensions in particular directions but this is to make them identifiably different so that particular characteristics can be clearly seen, although overlaps may exist while combinations of several scenarios may be preferred.

The second round of the Delphi survey and the report are available at:
Towards a Future Internet project website

Mapping Foresight

November 5, 2009 Comments off
Mapping Foresight
Mapping Foresight (2009)

The “Mapping Foresight” report is part of a series of publications produced by the European Foresight Monitoring Network (EFMN project, 2004-2008). The mapping activity was one of the main activities of the network. Over 2000 initiatives were mapped between 2004 and 2008 in Europe and other world regions, including Latin America, North America, Asia and Oceania. The report is the result of the first large international effort aimed at understanding the nature of foresight practices. Foresight has become more than just a tool to support policy or strategy development in Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI). Foresight practice is the result of a systematic work to promote effective processes to proactively think about the future. These processes can be applied to a variety of research areas or knowledge domains, such as natural sciences, medical sciences, engineering and technology, agricultural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.

Click here to read more.

How are foresight methods selected?

November 11, 2008 Comments off
Outstanding Paper Award

Award for Excellence

Purpose – This paper addresses a challenging topic, which in both academic and professional literatures has been widely discussed but mainly from one single angle – that is, how to select foresight methods. From that point of view researchers and consultants promote (even if unintentionally) the use of particular methods. Here the question of selection is raised from a different perspective: how are foresight methods selected?

Design/methodology/approach – The guiding ‘‘theory’’ is that a better understanding of the fundamental attributes of foresight methods and their linkages to the core phases of a foresight process, together with the identification of possible patterns in the selection of methods, will provide useful insights as to how the selection of methods is carried out.

Findings – So far the selection of foresight methods has been dominated by the intuition, insight, impulsiveness and – sometimes – inexperience or irresponsibility of practitioners and organisers. This paper reveals that the selection of foresight methods (even if not always coherent or systematic) is a multi-factor process, and needs to be considered as such.

 
Using Social Network Analysis (SNA) to analyse foresight methods

Using Social Network Analysis (SNA) to analyse foresight methods

Practical implications – The results can be utilised by lecturers and students to describe and understand better the use of foresight methods, and by organisers of foresight (including practitioners) to better inform decisions during the design of (hopefully) more coherent methodological frameworks.

Originality/value – The paper combines practical concepts and frameworks (such as the Foresight Process and the Foresight Diamond) with innovative analyses to represent and visualise better the combination of methods in 886 case studies, for example introducing the Methods Combination Matrix (MCM) to examine the dynamics of a mix of methods.

Keywords – Research methods, Design, Forward planning, Strategic planning, Creative thinking, Decision making

Type – Research paper

If you wish to receive an electronic copy of this paper, please contact me at rafael.popper@manchester.ac.uk or rafael_popper@yahoo.com