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Competence Centre on Foresight

We foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory culture in the EU policymaking process.

Topic / Tool | 19 Jun 2020

ForLearn: Online Foresight Guide

A guide to provide practitioners, policy makers and beginners the means to understand and practice foresight.

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Our Online Foresight Guide gives practitioners, policy makers, as well as beginners, the means to understand, participate and practice foresight.

ForLearn provides the community with Foresight related knowledge, which shows the impacts of foresight and how to attain it.

The guide addresses 3 main questions

What is foresight?

A systematic, participatory, future-intelligence-gathering and medium-to-long-term vision-building process aimed at enabling present-day decisions and mobilizing joint actions.

It can be envisaged as a triangle combining “Thinking the Future”, “Debating the Future” and “Shaping the Future”.

Foresight is neither prophecy nor prediction. It does not aim to predict the future – to unveil it as if it were predetermined – but to help us build it. It invites us to consider the future as something that we can create or shape, rather than as something already decided.

Foresight is

  • Action-oriented
  • Open to alternative futures
  • Participatory
  • Multidisciplinary

ForLearn guide: What is foresight?

Why do foresight?

Foresight is undertaken when a country, region or organisation faces a specific challenge.

It implements a process of systematic reasoning to develop “visions”, understood as possible future states of affairs that can be reached (or avoided) through action in the present.

Each foresight exercise will be based on its own specific premises and will have specific objectives, functions, limitations, outcomes, impacts, benefits

ForLearn guide: Why do foresight?

How to do foresight

Foresight exercises are complex and highly interactive processes.

There is no “one-single” way to organise an exercise. However, they should all start with a deep understanding of the context in which it is embedded and a clear set of objectives.

This will lead to an adequate selection of the methods in an iterative foresight approach.

ForLearn guide: How to do foresight?