Archive for the ‘keynotes & lectures’ Category

2018 Course on The ART of Foresight & Sustainable Futures

February 27, 2018 Leave a comment

Interested in shaping the future? Join our 5-day course (2-6 July) on ‘The ART of Foresight & Sustainable Futures’ in the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR). Since 2018 the course runs in partnership with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, a leading global research & technology development organization.

  • To download the 2018 course brochure, please click here
  • To visit the webpage of the 2018 course, please click here

Anticipating, Recommending and Transforming Research and Innovation Futures

The world is experiencing great uncertainties about the unfolding economic crisis and its aftershocks. Many countries, industries and public services face challenging futures where the quest for opportunities is increasingly competitive. Economic discontent has combined with existing political stresses to catch many institutions – and countries – wrong-footed. Meanwhile, globalisation, migration, environmental, political and technological trends are reshaping the rules of the game. This calls for critical reflections on existing assumptions, plans and strategies for the long-term future. Our foresight course explores ways in which decision-makers can address uncertainties. How to produce sound and forward looking results that are useful for decision-makers?

The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research has been running an annual foresight training course since 1999. Building on over twenty years of foresight experience, we are able to call upon a wealth of expertise, from staff with know-how of the practice of foresight, as well as from sponsors and practitioners. The course now runs in partnership with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, a leading global research and technology development organisation. Future-oriented innovation policy research is a key focus for VTT, supported by the Centre’s competencies in qualitative and quantitative methods.

Course staff and invited experts/speakers


Horizon scanning: why and how to launch it in Lithuania?

February 22, 2018 Leave a comment


The Healthcare Innovation Forum in Vilnius (Lithuania) provides an excellent opportunity to share how VTT‘s Lighthouses research and innovation activities can help to promote ‘Good Life’ in Finland and the World through ‘citizen-centric care’ solutions. In the panel discussion and short keynote I showcased good practices, as well as recent experiences and lessons learned from the UK Horizon Scanning on Healthcare. To download the slides please click here  


The first panel debate at the LAWG’s Healthcare Innovation Forum 2018 on “Horizon scanning: why & how to launch it in Lithuania?” featured the following speakers:

  • Dr. Alvydas Česas, Chief of Oncology & Chemotherapy Clinic at Klaipeda University Hospital. Dr. Česas is a certified physician and medical oncologist with over 20 yrs of experience in the field of oncology. He is also the President of Lithuanian Society for Medical Oncology.
  • Per Troein from VP Strategic Partners, IQVIA, UK. Mr. Troein has been with QI for 19 years and is responsible for the relationship with suppliers and associations. He has deep insight around pharmaceutical pricing and how this issue is handled in different markets.
  • Prof. Dr. Rafael Popper from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Finland/Venezuela/UK. His main areas of work include: ‘foresight’ as an instrument of innovation policy, the development of foresight and horizon scanning methodology, the design of forward-looking activities and their evaluation with a focus on technological and social innovation policies, and the assessment and management of sustainable innovations.


To see the full programme, please click here.

PS. In case you don’t know where Vilnius is, you may find the following controvertial and cheeky, yet impactful, campaign/news interesting 😉


Foresight and the future of science

January 18, 2018 Leave a comment

Keynote at the 275th Anniversary Symposium of the 
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Foresight has emerged as a key instrument for the development and implementation of research and innovation policy. Foresight is a systematic, participatory, prospective and policy-oriented process which, with the support of environmental/horizon scanning approaches, is aimed to actively engage key stakeholders into a wide range of activities anticipating, recommending and transforming (ART) technological, economic, environmental, political, social and ethical (TEEPSE) futures.

In Georghiou et al. (2008) Foresight is characterised by long-term orientation, use of a range of formal tools and techniques for long-term analyses, involvement of a wide pool of expertise and stakeholders and crossing disciplinary boundaries and professional compartments. Five non-exclusive generations of foresight have influenced practices over the last decades: 1st Generation (focused on dynamics of technology), 2nd Generation (focused on technology and markets), 3rd Generation (focused on technology and markets + social dimension), 4th Generation (focused on distributed role in the STI system) and 5th Generation (focused combined with other strategic fora).

Overall, there are top five rationales to argue the case for, and inform the design and use of, foresight: directing or prioritising investment in STI; building new networks & linkages around a common vision; extending the breadth of knowledge and visions of the future; bringing new actors into the strategic debate; and improving policy-making and strategy formation. This presentation illustrates through five cases (Irish Technology Futures; Media Weak Signals; VTT Lighthouses; CASI-F; and VERA case) how these rationales have shaped foresight and the future of science.

See PDF slides: Popper_2018_Keynote-on-Foresight-and-the-future-of-science

VTT team shows how the GTAP model will be used in the forest-based bioeconomy foresight project in Uruguay

August 16, 2017 Leave a comment

IMG_2181The forest-based (or wood-based) bioeconomy is an important sub-sector of the overall bioeconomy. In countries with an abundant forest resources the economic magnitude of forests in bioeconomy is high, for example in Finland, roughly half of total bioeconomy output. The countries with substantial forest resources and related advanced scientific and technological competences have good opportunities to play a role of forerunner in the modern future oriented bioeconomy.

In the context of the Forest-based Bioeconomy Areas in Uruguay by 2050 project VTT is leading with the support of the Office of Planning and Budgeting (OPP) of Uruguay and several representatives from government, business, research and civil society actors, Dr. Juha Honkatukia and Dr. Rafael Popper showed how the GTAP model can be used to identify future bioeconomy policy options for Uruguay.

Finnish experience on using modelling to support strategic planning

The session gives several examples on the use of economic modelling in the analyses of policies to boost the development of bioeconomy in Finland, ranging from the national energy and climate strategies to assessment of the viability and regional consequences of biorefineries.

GTAP model

The session on the GTAP model will cover the structure of the model and its core databases with emphasis on the applicability of the model on single-country analyses. As the GTAP data base covers bilateral trade on dozens of commodities and over a hundred countries, the session will also facilitate a discussion on the necessary aggregation of the basic data.


Paying respect to Tomasz Kośmider at his official farewell

August 3, 2017 Leave a comment


Thanks to the Kośmider family for letting me and my wife share our feelings about a great human being who will always be remembered in Poland, Europe and the world

Dear family members, friends and colleagues of very much loved and respected Tomasz Kośmider,

We are speaking here today, because we were fortunate to have spent quality time (professionally and personally) with Tomasz, his son Przemek and friends from Technology Partners. For this reason, we were asked to be the voice of many European colleagues who are with us in spirit; especially those from Knowledge4Innovation, of which Tomasz was Vice President.

Without any doubts, we can say that Tomasz transformed many lives.
The extent of his legacy is yet to be written and told in years to come.
We will always remember him as a warm man full of vitality and wisdom.
Someone who was equally determined and successful in building bridges.
Bridges enabling cross-sector and cross-border innovations and aspirations.

His positive attitude helped him find opportunities in barriers and challenges.
His dynamism, enthusiasm and humour were equally addictive and contagious.
His creativity, leadership and determination often translated into shared visions.
His kindness and compassion allowed him to make a difference and in a kind way. Tomasz could see bright and promising futures for Poland and Europe in many ways.

Science may never explain why humans exist and whether there is life after life.
For this reason, we would like to share our own, yet transferable philosophy of life. We do not consider physical departure from our body as ‘death’ or the end of a journey. People’s wonderful and unique spirit shall be relaunched into new dimensions fuelled by our energy. Therefore, we invite you to empower Tomasz with your best thoughts, memories and lessons learned.



International Seminar on Foresight and Sustainable Innovation at UNIVALLE (Cali, Colombia)

July 13, 2017 Leave a comment

In the context of Universidad del Valle (UNIVALLE)’s efforts to further improve its research excellence (currently Top 3 in the country according to U-Sapiens ranking),  an International Seminar on Foresight and Sustainable Innovation took place in Cali on 13-14 July 2017.

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 13.36.32

The seminar was organised by Dr. Javier Medina Vásquez (Vice-Rector for Research of UNIVALLE) and attended by some 30 senior researchers, academics and postgraduate students. The main purpose of the seminar was twofold:

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Lecture based on EU-SPRI Vienna Conference paper by Hyytinen, Kallio & Popper (2017)

As the CASI project ended in June 2017, the seminar was fully funded by UNIVALLE in the spirit of strengthening linkages with VTT´s Business, Innovation and Foresight (BIF) Research Area and the scientific coordinators of the CASI Tutorial.

The success of the seminar can be measured by the fact that practically all participants completed the full course with a score of 80% or above in the self-assessment tasks, which resulted in most of them receiving a certificate of outstanding completion.


Certificate of Outstanding Completion

Furthermore, the news about the online course spread throughout Colombia with the participation of researchers and students from other universities such as Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá), Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá), Universidad Antonio Nariño (Bogotá), Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia (Medellín), Universidad del Rosario (Bogotá), among others. As a result, Colombia now stands in 1st position in terms number of participants and certificates on ‘Sustainable Innovation Assessment and Management’.

See list of course participants (as of 4 September 2017)

Colombia 86
Bulgaria 43
Portugal 22
Poland 19
Czech Republic 18
Peru 15
Austria 12
Italy 10
United Kingdom 10
Germany 6
Finland 5
Mexico 3
Belgium 2
France 2
Korea South 2
Slovenia 2
Spain 2
Tanzania 2
Argentina 1
Burkina Faso 1
Cyprus 1
Denmark 1
Ecuador 1
Egypt 1
Greece 1
Japan 1
Kyrgyzstan 1
Luxembourg 1
Panama 1
Romania 1
Singapore 1
Tajikistan 1
Venezuela 1
Total 276
Completed 107

Seminar on Foresight and Sustainable Innovation at La Molina (Peru)

July 7, 2017 Leave a comment

In the context of an intense knowledge transfer and networking agenda in Peru, the National Agrarian University La Molina organised a Seminar on the ART of Foresight and Sustainable Innovation (7 July 2017).

The seminar was attended by around 300 participants interested in European Commission efforts to address the societal challenge of ‘climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials’. To this end, the seminar focused on the recently published report on CASI-F: Common Framework for the Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation (Popper et al., 2017) and ways in which foresight fundamentals and processes can be systematically applied to anticipate, recommend, transform and evaluate sustainable futures.

The closing remarks from Dr. Victor Guevara (Professor at La Molina) highlighted several areas in which VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the National Agrarian University La Molina could collaborate in the near future.