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Building FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations: New FTA systems For anticipatory action in a fast-changing world
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Building FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations: New FTA systems For anticipatory action in a fast-changing world

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Transformations linked to disruptive events are causing a shift in Future-oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) activities from individual large-scale foresight actions to smaller in-house exercises and …

Transformations linked to disruptive events are causing a shift in Future-oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) activities from individual large-scale foresight actions to smaller in-house exercises and capacity-building. The reasons are manifold relating to the need for an even tighter embedding of FTA in policy-making in a fast-changing, complex environment as well as to internal drivers for novel forms of future intelligence to support coordinated and coherent decisions within and across organisations. The paper identifies three ideal types; external FTA services, the institutionalisation of FTA, and FTA networks, whilst recognising that in practice these types are complementary. In empirical terms this requires further investigation, in order to understand how different combinations of activities in effect operate in their respective decision-making context. It is important to improve our understanding of how far institutionalised FTA can form part of the solution for building capacity to handle disruptions. Many sorts of combinations of elements from different organisational models are needed to enable learning, experimentation and capability development appropriate for the wider decision making context in which FTA is embedded. This paper explores the extent to which FTA can provide enhanced support to decision-making through customised organisational models and corresponding capability thus enabling them to anticipate and address disruptive change and associated challenges.

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • 1. The 4th International Seville Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) 12 & 13 May 2011 Building FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations: New FTA systems For anticipatory action in a fast-changing world Matthias Weber 1 , Jennifer Cassingena Harper 2 , Totti Könnölä 3 , Vicente Carabias Barceló 4 1 AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria; 2 Malta Council for Science and Technology, Malta; 3 Impetu Solutions, Spain 4 Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS), Spain;
  • 2. FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations Outline
    • Guiding Questions
    • Drivers of FTA
    • Towards a Conceptual Framework for FTA systems
      • Types of Transformations
      • Types of governance modes in FTA systems
      • Types of organisational models of FTA
    • Mapping of FTA systems in practice
    • Conclusions
  • 3. FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations Guiding Questions What areas and types of transformations will we need to be prepared to handle? And what kinds of requirements for FTA result from these? What kinds of models for FTA systems do exist? How can they be systematized in conceptual terms? What kinds of models do work in practice? Which ones are suitable to meet which requirements? What are the experiences? What do these findings suggest with regard to the future direction to take for organising FTA?
  • 4. FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations Introduction
    • Transformations are driving governments and businesses;
      • to shift FTA activities from individual large-scale foresight programmes and projects,
      • to invest in developing in-house competencies for coping with sudden change
    • Advantages and disadvantages of emerging models of FTA systems
      • This is leading to combinations of elements from different systems
  • 5. FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations Paper title] Drivers of change in FTA External
    • The fast-changing, turbulent and complex environment is leading to a tighter embedding of FTA in support of decision making.
      • This is rendering the interpretation of contextual developments very difficult and challenging.
    • Internal
    • There are also internal drivers for the emergence of novel forms of future intelligence which are linked to the need to achieve coordinated and coherent decisions within and across organisations.
      • As a consequence, there is a growing need for the capacity to anticipate change to be centrally embedded in policy and decision making, and to achieve this embedding quickly and strategically.
  • 6. FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations Our frame of analysis of FTA systems builds on
    • the different types of transformations
      • taking into account the speed of change and types of responses they generate
    • the types of wider institutional context
      • governance modes based on density of group ties and influence of external rules
    • the different organisational models for FTA
      • three main types of models
    Towards a Conceptual Framework
  • 7. Types of Transformation
  • 8.  
  • 9. FTA systems and modes of governance
  • 10. Modes of Governance
  • 11. FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations Ideal-type models of FTA
    • individual FTA projects or programmes of limited duration and with targeted objectives
    • dedicated FTA units providing continuous input to their embedding or mother organisations
    • FTA networks as informal yet stable settings allowing the bundling or coordination of resources and competencies
  • 12.  
  • 13. FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations Conclusions
    • New kinds of FTA and associated rationales for FTA are emerging in response to a highly dynamic environment (disruptive events) and to societal challenges
      • robustness and adaptability of the R&I ecology
      • new missions in response to societal challenges
      • customisation to particular local, national, global contexts
      • preparation of new forms of joint action (e.g. Joint Programming)
    • FTA facility tending towards more embedded, internationally networked and multifunctional setups addressing various needs reactively and proactively.
    • FTA practice indicates considerable diversity of FTA approaches and systems; experimenting with combinations of types of transformations, modes of governance and organisational models
  • 14. FTA capacities for systemic and structural transformations Conclusions
    • The complementarity between the models of FTA is apparent with service providers and FTA units, thus blurring the divide between the two, with both drawing extensively on networks, and dedicated units being involved in projects/programmes.
    • The shift from projects and programmes of short duration to institutionalised forms of FTA is nevertheless apparent due to a more demanding policy environment and the need for more proactive approaches.
    • Changing mindsets are needed within firms, government organisations and society in order to sensitize individuals to use FTA to prepare for structural changes