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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2009

Richard Slaughter and Chris Riedy

This paper draws on research undertaken for the State of Play in the Futures Field (SoPiFF) project and aims to explore the contribution of futures work to understanding

Abstract

Purpose

This paper draws on research undertaken for the State of Play in the Futures Field (SoPiFF) project and aims to explore the contribution of futures work to understanding and resolving aspects of the global problematique and to examine the social interests evident in futures work.

Design/methodology/approach

The project used an integral meta‐scanning framework to review publicly available futures material. The framework categorizes futures work according to organizational type, social interests, methods, domains and geographic location (details of the methodology are outlined in the accompanying introductory paper as well as on the web site created for the project).

Findings

The futures field has made a series of significant contributions to understanding the global problematique and has contributed to the pre‐conditions for its resolution. However, the bulk of mainstream futures work does little to improve the preparedness of humanity for looming future crises. More innovative futures work remains marginalized and largely ignored by the powerful and the wider public. There is a strong case for more effective political engagement than has occurred hitherto.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed on shared definitions for the field, interactions with the media, public and other fields of enquiry and action, measurement of individual foresight capacity, strategies for achieving influence – particularly in the political sphere, the role of subcultures within the futures field and suitable publishing strategies.

Practical implications

The paper recommends specific actions to promote and publicize good work, provide annual digests of futures‐related information, develop and use focused briefings, provide support for “cutting‐edge” futures work, further develop advanced futures methods, create new alliances, build the social capacity for foresight and strengthen the nexus between foresight and philanthropy.

Originality/value

The paper uses an integral meta‐scanning framework to provide a novel analysis of the futures field. The findings will be of value to all futures and foresight practitioners that are interested in the future success of the field.

Details

Foresight, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Jan Erik Karlsen, Erik F. Øverland and Hanne Karlsen

This article aims to contribute to futures theory building by assessing the inherent ontological and epistemological presumptions in foresight studies. Such premises

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to contribute to futures theory building by assessing the inherent ontological and epistemological presumptions in foresight studies. Such premises, which are usually embedded in foresight studies, are contrasted with sociological imagination and contemporary social science discourse.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a conceptual analysis of theoretical assumptions embedded in foresight studies.

Findings

Sociological lenses, including concepts like anticipation, latency, time, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, change and plurality of images, offer clarity in terms of both futures studies and foresights.

Research limitations/implications

Explicating presumptions embedded in foresight methods helps recognition of how such methods shape the concepts of future and time. This is vital for assessment of the analytical products of foresights studies.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the ambition of linking the theoretical world of futures research and the practical world of foresights closer together by explicating key concepts and implicit assumptions in both fields.

Details

Foresight, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Eva Hideg, Erzsébet Nováky and Péter Alács

The aim of this study is to present a concept of interactive foresight process, its theoretical and methodological considerations and a foresight exercise concerning the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to present a concept of interactive foresight process, its theoretical and methodological considerations and a foresight exercise concerning the development of knowledge economy in the Central Hungarian Region.

Design/methodology/approach

A methodology of interactive foresight process for creating regional future concepts is developed, which is based on a specific meaning of integral futures and uses online solutions, too.

Findings

Personal meetings with small and medium enterprise (SME) stakeholders and the works of interactive communications with feedbacks within and among stakeholder groups was organized around the research homepage. The networking created the interconnection and the feedbacks between the stakeholders and the futurist group in the process of shaping regional future ideas. The online networking is running.

Research limitations/implications

The low number of stakeholders can limit the validity and acceptance of futures ideas created by this process.

Practical implications

The developed interactive foresight process can also be applicable at different organizational levels and in different fields for shaping shared future ideas.

Social implications

Application of interactive foresight process can contribute to the development of anticipatory democracy.

Originality/value

A theoretically based interactive foresight process has been developed in which stakeholders can participate not only interactively in the foresight process but they can implement the achievements in their enterprising activity as well. The participants were interested in foresight and cooperative during the whole process because they learned the use of foresight tools through collective solution of practical tasks which were important for them.

Details

Foresight, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

Éva Hideg

The paper aims to explore the gap between theory and practice in foresight and to give some suggestions on how to reduce it.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore the gap between theory and practice in foresight and to give some suggestions on how to reduce it.

Design/methodology/approach

Analysis of practical foresight activities and suggestions are based on a literature review, the author's own research and practice in the field of foresight and futures studies, and her participation in the work of a European project (COST A22).

Findings

Two different types of practical foresight activities have developed. One of them, the practice of foresight of critical futures studies (FCFS) is an application of a theory of futures studies. The other, termed here as praxis foresight (PF), has no theoretical basis and responds directly to practical needs. At present a gap can be perceived between theory and practice. PF distinguishes itself from the practice and theory of FCFS and narrows the construction space of futures. Neither FCFS nor PF deals with content issues of the outer world. Reducing the gap depends on renewal of joint discourses and research about experience of different practical foresight activities and manageability of complex dynamics in foresight. Production and feedback of self‐reflective and reflective foresight knowledge could improve theory and practice.

Originality/value

Contemporary practical foresight activities are analysed and suggestions to reduce the gap are developed in the context of the linkage between theory and practice. This paper is thought provoking for futurists, foresight managers and university researchers.

Details

Foresight, vol. 9 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Ludmila Kováříková, Stanislava Grosová and Dušan Baran

The presented study aims to provide an understanding of the mechanism whereby foresight is accepted by Czech companies. The results of the study can offer insights into…

Abstract

Purpose

The presented study aims to provide an understanding of the mechanism whereby foresight is accepted by Czech companies. The results of the study can offer insights into how to design an optimized corporate foresight tool.

Design/methodology/approach

The well-established framework of unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT2) served as a baseline for research into key determinants of the behavioral intention to use the foresight. The proposed research model included independent variables of UTAUT2 relevant in the context of foresight. The additional variable of personal innovativeness was introduced as a potential predictor. Structural equation modeling (SmartPLS 2.0 software) was used to evaluate the data.

Findings

Performance expectancy regarding foresight was identified as the most substantial predictor of behavioral intention in line with the scientific literature. Surprisingly, the second strongest predictor was the construct of personal innovativeness, and social influence was also proven to affect behavioral intention. The results show that traditional determinants of effort expectancy, facilitating conditions, hedonic motivation and habit did not play a significant role in relation to behavioral intention to adopt the foresight.

Research limitations/implications

The attributes of cost and intention to use could not be included in the research model, as the corporate foresight is not commonly implemented. Second, the tested sample included 103 interviewed organizations but only from Czech Republic.

Originality/value

The study primarily aims to enhance the corporate foresight theory. Secondarily, it extends the UTAUT2 theoretical framework by testing personal innovativeness as a variable explaining behavioral intention. The authors provide statistical evidence of factors impacting the adoption of corporate foresight by companies.

Details

foresight, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2009

Richard Slaughter

The paper aims to introduce the first iteration of an international research project into the “state of play” in the futures field (SoPiFF) using methodology developed at

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to introduce the first iteration of an international research project into the “state of play” in the futures field (SoPiFF) using methodology developed at the Australian Foresight Institute (AFI).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper outlines the overall approach and the methods it employed, along with some implications and emerging themes from this first iteration.

Findings

The paper casts new light on patterns of activity in the futures/foresight arena that, in turn, lead to policy questions, including those of purpose and effectiveness.

Originality/value

The SoPiFF project is of interest not only for its early results, but also for the use of the metascanning methodology outlined here. At one level it draws attention to the nature of the foresight practitioner's toolkit. At another it may also help to guide decisions about future resourcing options and the nature of training that is offered within the domain.

Details

Foresight, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Kalle Artturi Piirainen, Allan Dahl Andersen and Per Dannemand Andersen

This paper aims to argue that innovation system foresight (ISF) can significantly contribute to the third mission of universities by creating an active dialogue between…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to argue that innovation system foresight (ISF) can significantly contribute to the third mission of universities by creating an active dialogue between universities, industry and society.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper’s approach is conceptual. The authors analyse the third mission and relevant literature on innovation systems and foresight to explain how and why foresight contributes to the third mission.

Findings

The authors propose that foresight contributes to the third mission of universities, particularly to the research and development and innovation dimensions through the development of joint understanding of the agendas and future needs of stakeholders. In addition, foresight enables education to be designed to address identified needs.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are both conceptual and exploratory in nature. Thus, the argument needs further examination through a broader study on foresight in the university–industry context and/or longitudinal research on the outcomes and impact of foresight in this context.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the importance of understanding the systemic nature of innovation and its role in economic development. Universities must understand their role within the larger innovation system to fulfil the potential of economic development and by extension, their third mission.

Originality/value

The paper outlines a novel approach of using ISF to promote university–industry partnerships and the growth of innovation systems. The paper also contributes to the discussion of the third mission by outlining that mission in practical terms.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

James P. Gavigan and Fabiana Scapolo

This paper discusses recent trends in public‐administration‐led foresight exercises from the perspective of how the choice of objectives and scope is reflected in the…

Abstract

This paper discusses recent trends in public‐administration‐led foresight exercises from the perspective of how the choice of objectives and scope is reflected in the methods used. In countries where successive projects have been carried out, one can observe how the evolution in methods employed, aims to increase the impact and effectiveness of foresight. Organizing the discussion in terms of objectives departs from previous approaches in the literature which mostly distinguish between different foresight exercises according to the principal methodology used.

Details

Foresight, vol. 1 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2009

Richard Slaughter

Abstract

Details

Foresight, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Riel Miller

The purpose of this paper is to put the paper by Jay Ogilvy in the context of current debates around the philosophical foundations of future studies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to put the paper by Jay Ogilvy in the context of current debates around the philosophical foundations of future studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a review and analyzes the current literature on foresight and philosophy of the future.

Findings

The paper finds that the practical challenge of taking a “scenaric stance”, as articulated in “Facing the fold”, cannot be addressed without going beyond the typically epistemological solutions proposed by most futurists.

Research limitations/implications

The challenge is not finding ways to “know” the future, rather to find ways to live and act with not‐knowing the future.

Practical implications

The “scenaric stance” points to a way of embracing what Henri Bergson calls “the continuous creation of unforeseeable novelty.”

Social implications

The “scenaric stance” offers one way of addressing the difficult, often deeply painful challenge of reconciling the desire for certainty with the desire to “be free” – in the Senian sense of capacity – by providing a way to embrace ambiguity and spontaneity.

Originality/value

The emergence of new solutions to how people think about the future rather than what kind of future reflects a confluence of events in the realms of theory and practice. The reason why one needs to and can rethink how one thinks about the future is original to the present conjuncture.

Details

Foresight, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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