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Introduction to foresight
 

Introduction to foresight

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  • Quote from the GCARD Roadmap. This quote and the next one have shaped the structure of the Foresight breakout session. Please keep in mind the words that are highlighted, because this is what we will focus on during the foresight session
  • Quote from the GCARD Roadmap.
  • I will first present some elements to be shared here so that we can work together during these foresight sessions with a common understanding and language about foresight Then I will present the result of an inventory on the state of foresight in agriculture. This will be followed by a short introduction of the framework of the foresight session.
  • As defined by the European Union one of the most important provider of foresight studies, THE EU conducted comprehensive assessment of foresight works in all sectors in Europe and worldwide.
  • Why do people/organization engage in foresight? It is possible to define three types of objectives when engaging in foresight. (Talk about them briefly). This diversity of objectives shows that it is impossible to establish a normative way for doing foresight.   How and what kind of foresight work we conduct is determined by the way those who engage in foresight, users and practitioners, see the world, by the type of question they intend to answer and the scale at which they look at these questions.
  • This is about what foresight practitioners say about foresight methods (common position) . Diversity is the key word. Here for example the European Union has identified more than 30 different tools that can be used and combined in order to do foresight works. Some of them are specific to foresight others are more universal. But methodological advances are still needed.
  • There are two big families of approaches in foresight. The « likely » area is the domain of quantitative foresight methods (we know and can measure) The « unlikely » is the domain of the qualitative foresight method (what we know and cannot measure and what we don’t know and can imagine) Together they form the domain of plausible futures, this is why they are complementary and why improved foresight is about marrying so as to make the best of each, getting something more than just the sum of their specific virtues.
  • Let’s see now the result of an inventory on the state of foresight in agriculture that was undertaken with the objective of facilitating in-depth discussion during these sessions at GCARD. After this presentation you will see five examples of foresight, which will illustrate what we found in the inventory.
  • The inventory started with contacting more than 5000 people and resulted in more than 40 cases. Then explain Briefs and the report Criteria of selection: 1. long term (more than 10 years). This excluded all the purely planning exercises 2. recent (less than 5 years when it started in 2012) in order to provide feedback on the latest activities 3. focused on agriculture and/or rural development issues so as to keep concentrate on challenges for AR4D Screening was done by a group of 10 foresight practitioners who volunteered from the Global Foresight Hub.
  • First bullet: A lot of work has been done in foresight about the future of food security, concentrating on global food needs and production. Most foresight works indicate that more than availability, access to food is the future key challenge for food insecurity. They indicate that access is not just a problem of logistics, moving products from surplus areas to deficit areas, that can be solved by market mechanisms, it is an issue related with he capacity for people to acquire the quality they need, either producing it or purchasing it. Second bullet: What could be the future of those (smallholders) working on agriculture: who would be farming; what would happen with employment and more generally with the future of (rural) societies, how to achieve ecologically sustainable societies; conservation of local culture; what would be the impact of increasing urbanization on agriculture. Third bullet: The challenge for future foresight work is to integrate more systematically these new drivers in the analysis, rather than considering them as external factors. This means working on understanding how and why policies and societal values could evolve;
  • First bullet: this is a challenge to general views and a call to think out of the box. To think about alternative options to productivity increase Second bullet: More knowledge about consumer behaviour in the future is needed in order to understand the link between “people, profit, and planet” as mentioned in one of the Briefs Third bullet: ... taking into consideration variations at local/national level as different and multiple drivers do lead to different situations in different context: link global dimensions to regional, national and local level and reciprocally (see Indonesia, can Brazil feed the world)
  • The first controversy is due to the fact that the exploration of alternative scenarios lead to contrasted future situations to which different types of farms are more or less adapted. The second controversy is due to the facts that the potential of family small scale agriculture has not been realized yet, and that food security can be considered at various scales from global to local.
  • The first controversy is due to the fact that the divergent and opposite effect of different drivers of land use changes, such as expansion of urban area and non food land use versus need to produce more food, or intensification freeing more land versus demand for non food products. The second controversy is due to the uncertainty related to potential opposite effects of policy orientation and economic forces The third controversy by the uncertainties about the future states of the drivers of population migration toward urban area, such as services, quality of life, employment. Here again policies are important potential drivers which could shape the current trends in different ways
  • This controversy is due to the combination of uncertainties related to the possible evolutions of the dietary patterns and the capacity of different farming patterns to respond to these evolutions. The local dimension is adding to uncertainty.
  • First bullet: These works are developed by experts or scientists from international organizations or national organizations from advanced countries in the North/West. What is striking in our inventory is the absence of the LDC in foresigth, and the absence of FO and CSO when we look at who initiated or conducted the foresight works.
  • First bullet point: … is witnessed by the numerous cases which have raised awareness and/or provoked debates based on their result; Second bullet point: the type pf impact depends on the aim : producing knowledge (influence) or producing priorities and informing choices (change) Third bullet point: … is very much linked with the demand for foresight from a decision-maker, and the ability of foresight leaders to directly interact with decision makers in the policy setting process; Fourth bullet point: … and needs to be strengthened in future foresight works
  • Let’s see now the framework of the foresight session and how it relates to possible commitments from the participants here and the wider audience outside the GCARD2.

Introduction to foresight Introduction to foresight Presentation Transcript

  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement An introduction to foresight Robin Bourgeois GFAR Secretariat Thefuturesustainabilityof ruralareas andimplications forAfricaFeedingAfrica Pre-plenary foresight event Accra, 15-16 July , 2013 6TH AFRICA AGRICULTURE SCIENCE WEEK & FARA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Background: improved foresight “Forward-looking, anticipatory research and analysis needs to integrate a range of perspectives on key issues, making use of the best available data and interpretations from different sources and directly integrating the diverse views of farmers and other stakeholders on specific problems, so that important issues are examined through multiple ‘lenses’.”
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Background: improved foresight “The need for improved foresight must be addressed by mobilizing expert analyses within countries ... and bringing together, via GFAR and the regional fora and on a coherent and regular basis, the diverse national and international initiatives ..., learning from the outcomes of the different models and perspectives employed.”
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Content Defining foresight What do we know? What can we do together?
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Defining foresight • “A process which combines three fundamental elements: prospective approaches: long-term or forward-looking, planning approaches: including policy-making and priority-setting, participative approaches: engaging stakeholders and knowledge sources”. A working definition for the GCARD2: Foresight = “forward-looking, anticipatory research and analysis”
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Defining foresight: engaging in foresight Knowledge (how the future could be, why) – Understanding the futures Interaction (where we want to go together) – Choosing our future Change (what can we do, how) – Creating our future “We cannot predict the future, we can create it” scientists, governments, companies, donors, …
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Defining foresight: methods Qualitative to Quantitative Context dependent No single/best approach Fits objective and resources Allows participatory approaches
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Defining foresight: methods Projections and simulations based on quantitative methods 2 1 Likely Wanted Plausible Unwanted Toda y 2025 2040 6 5 3 4Ruptur e Scenarios and visioning based on qualitative methods Both are needed…
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Content Defining foresight What do we know? What can we do together?
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What do we know? The current state of foresight in agriculture The inventory New challenges/priorities Controversies Current practices Impact
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Contacts: 5000 + Answers: 1000 + Positive: 400 + Selected: 43 36 State of Foresight Report 3 Write workshops Analysis and synthesis 38 Briefs The Futures of Agriculture Synthesis What do we know : the foresight inventory
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What do we know? The current state of foresight in agriculture The inventory New challenges/priorities Controversies Current practices Impact
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What do we know: new challenges/priorities  More focus on food insecurity  The “Farming World” questions  Policies and societal values as drivers of changes
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What do we know: new challenges/priorities  Explore alternatives to technology-based farm productivity  How consumers may change attitudes and behaviours  Account more for diversity
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What do we know? The current state of foresight in agriculture The inventory New challenges/priorities Controversies Current practices Impact
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What do we know: controversies –Larger more concentrated farms –Smaller more diversified farms –Something else? –Food security ensured by: –Family agriculture –Large industrial farms –Something else? Evolution of farming patterns
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Future agricultural land uses Agricultural land expansion • Agricultural land reduction Multifunctional use • Specialized use Rural area abandonment • Rural area revitalization What do we know: controversies
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Future links between production and consumption • Standardization of consumption patterns and food supplied by international market versus • Regional and diversified consumption patterns supplied by local/proximity production systems What do we know: controversies
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What did we learn? The current state of foresight in agriculture The inventory New challenges/priorities Controversies Current practices Impact
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What do we know: current practices  Global/regional works more quantitative, less inclusive  National works more qualitative, more inclusive  Absence of LDC  Absence of FO/CSO
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What did we learn? The current state of foresight in agriculture The inventory New challenges/priorities Controversies Current practices Impact
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What do we know: impact  Capacity to affect stakeholders  Influence or change  Capacity to change policy and orient actions  Impact evaluation is still insufficient
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Content Defining foresight What do we know? What can we do together?
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Issues • Reaching the limits of the planet (water, land, energy, biodiversity) • The future of civilization: End, Clash, Polarity, Positive chaos • The consciousness of humankind: Fatalism, Fundamentalism, Scientism, Pragmatism • Difficulty of the global community to address sustainability
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Questions Who can design a new planet? How? What new planet?
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Who: Answer 1 YOU.
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Who: Answer 2 ME.
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Who: Answer 3 WE. TOGETHER
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What new planet?
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Rural poles Rural continuums Rural stations Rural ghettos Today Revitalisation of rural areas Abandonment of rural areas Smaller numerous multifunctional farms linked to local markets of diversified products Fewer large agro- industrial farms linked to global markets of standardised products Rural oases
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement How? Change leadership: evolutionary co-leadership conscious followership Take advantage of critical junctures to promote new options every hour, day, week, month, year Built and connect networks for empowering citizens Reflect on our own thinking habits and attitudes: are we agents of change? And what change? What else?
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement Thank you
  • The state of foresight in food and agriculture and the roads toward improvement What new planet? What else? People before product Sustainability before productivity Happiness before profit Equity before growth && & &