Foresight often encompasses participative approaches for decision making. This paper aims to give a first overview of the authors’ research on immediate learning and networking in the context of foresight. The paper seeks to introduce a practical concept for an accompanying social research of a participatory foresight process for empirically identifying and mapping impacts; and to present empirical results from the study of a specific foresight process.
The authors apply three approaches to analyze impacts. Accordingly data were gathered in moderated workshops for process analysis; structured telephone interviews for qualitative analysis; and surveys for social network analysis.
The accompanying social research produced direct insights on experiences and knowledge acquisition of participants in a large, complex foresight process, as well as a measurable increase of personal ties in this process. This research shows that the perception of the wider spectrum of actors in a social system, as well as their rationales and approaches, are one identifiable and crucial achievement of participative foresight processes.
This research focuses on immediate learning impacts, while additional impacts of mid‐ or longer‐term scales were not captured in this study. Accompanying social research (e.g. longitudinal studies) of broader scale would be beneficial to foresight research and process design.
The authors use a specific foresight process to analyze its immediate impacts. They introduce and demonstrate ways forward to use practical concepts for impact description, empirical data acquisition, and how it relates to underlying process design. The results are relevant for foresight project managers, process counselors and accompanying social research.
Schartinger, D., Wilhelmer, D., Holste, D. and Kubeczko, K. (2012), "Assessing immediate learning impacts of large foresight processes", Foresight, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 41-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636681211210350Download as .RIS
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