Thanks to one of the Czech experts participating in the Security Group of the iKNOW workshop in the Czech Republic (Dr Vivienne Soyková), I had the opportunity to meet with the Ambassador of Venezuela in Czech Republic (H.E. Mr. Victor Julian Hernandez).
During our 90-minutes meeting, we discussed about historical linkages and cultural similarities between Venezuela and Eastern Europe (e.g. the traditional role of the family as the most important institution driving societal change). We also talked about the need to promote participatory and prospective policy-making processes in Latin America, such as the Venezuelan Technology Foresight Programme. In particular, we exchanged ideas about strategies for science, technology and innovation (STI) knowledge and know-how repatriation.
On the 19th of March 2010, the Institute of Management and Public Administration of the State of Mexico (IAPEM) opened a new Centre for Foresight Studies (CEP). The ceremony began with welcoming remarks from the President of IAPEN, Isidro Muñoz Rivera, who introduced some of the rationales and specific objectives of the Centre of Foresight Studies (CEP), for example: to undertake foresight studies in a context characterised by constant paradigm transformation; to visualise scenarios for better management and public administration practices; and to achieve desirable and possible futures through effective governance and participative policy-making.
This was followed by a few words from the Head of the National Advisory Board of the Centre, Yuri Serbolov Palos, who briefly introduced the Mexican activities and major players in foresight. Subsequently, the Director of CEP, Christian Alvarado, introduced the two international speakers: Rafael Popper (keynote on Global Foresight Practices and Trends) and Javier Medina (keynote on Foresight in Latin America).
After the keynotes, a commemorative plaque was unveiled. The English translation reads:
A space of reflection for good governance
On the Nineteenth of March of 2010 was the inauguration of the
CENTRE FOR FORESIGHT STUDIES
With the presence of the distinguished foresighters:
University of Manchester, England
Universidad del Valle, Colombia
Toluca, State of Mexico
Authors – Michael Keenan and Rafael Popper
Purpose – The paper sets out to explore the nature and degree of variation in foresight ‘‘style’’ across six world regions. The underlying hypothesis is that differences in regional context – in terms of political, socio-economic, and cultural conditions – will affect foresight ‘‘style’’. At the same time, a secondary hypothesis acknowledges that policy tool transfer and international learning might soften the influence of contextual conditions.
Design/methodology/approach – Using the data collected for more than 800 foresight exercises in six world regions, the paper considers eight different dimensions of foresight ‘‘style’’, including domain coverage, time horizon, target groups, and methods used. It interprets regional differences (and similarities) with reference to dominant political and economic traditions in each region. In so doing, it tests the hypothesis that foresight ‘‘style’’ is influenced by regional context.
Findings – The analysis suggests that some foresight ‘‘style’’ dimensions vary between regions more than others. For example, there is marked variation in the domain areas covered by foresight across the world, while some regions appear to prefer particular methods over others. Time horizons also vary. For other dimensions, such as participation levels and the identity of target groups, there is a good deal of similarity. Thus, some dimensions of ‘‘style’’, at least at the aggregate level, seem to be more influenced by regional context than others.
Originality/value – The paper is unique in being the first publication to survey such a large sample of foresight activity across a wide part of the globe.
Keywords – Politics, Political science, Delphi method, Democracy, Governance, International organizations
Type – Research paper
In this comprehensive and critical Handbook, cross-cutting analytical chapters explore the emergence and positioning of foresight, common approaches and methods, organisational issues, and the scope for policy transfer and evaluation. Leading experts and practitioners contribute chapters analysing experiences in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA, Japan, China, Latin America, small European nations, Nordic countries and selected developing countries. The book concludes with consideration of the future of foresight itself.
To read more, please click here.
The Handbook of Technology Foresight was selected by Edward Elgar as the Book of the Month in April 2008. To purchase, go to: http://www.e-elgar.co.uk/Bookentry_Main.lasso?id=3977
SCOPE 2015 was a European Commission funded initiative aimed at producing scenarios for research and technology development cooperation with Europe. The project had three major objectives: (1) To produce scenarios for the year 2015 focused on contextualised scientific and technological developments in selected regions of emerging economies; (2) To analyse the consequences of the scenarios for Europe and European RTD policy; and (3) To provide advice to the European Union in the field of RTD policies in relation to emerging economies.
The specific focus of the SCOPE 2015 project has been on RTDI cooperation with countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Maghreb and Mashreq (MEDA), and Latin America (LA). All four regions are important strategic partners for the EU and for a variety of different reasons, including trade, investment, the protection of habitats and the global environment, international security and migration. RTDI can make important contributions to all of these policy areas.
To download the SCOPE report, please click here.
If you wish to use the information provided in this report, please quote as follows:
Georghiou, L., Keenan, M., Popper, R., Clar, G., Cassingena Harper, J., and Crehan, P. (2006) Scenarios for future scientific and technological developments in developing countries 2005-2015, European Commission.