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Joining Horizon Scans Thinking, debating and shaping the Future Victor van Rij Towards Knowledge Democracy 25-27 August, 2009, Leiden
Foresight and Horizon scanning Brief explanation horizon scanning Joint Horizon scan project (ERA Net For society) Theory on Horizon scanning Relation of Horizon scanning with Knowledge Democracy, Problems , Ideas for solutions
Some remarks about foresight and horizon scanning
Foresight is not about forecasting nor fortune telling. Some issues can be predicted (and will happen), others can be foreseen (and may happen) , others we cannot foresee.
If we foresee things that may happen we can just allow these to happen or not to happen (let history take its course) and deal with the consequences, but we might also think of ways (actions, strategies policies) to accelerate things to happen or to slow them down alter them or to prevent them to happen at all.
Already, by debating things that will happen in combination with things that may happen we may already have changed the way of history, because actors involved in a foresight process will think and probably act differently (than without the foresight)
So foresight is about shaping and creating future more to our will
and to activate and align people and to coordinate there actions
Joint Horizon scan / comparison Three national Horizon scans : UK: Horizon Scanning Centre GOS NE : Netherlands Horizon Scan COS / Ministry of Education, Culture and Science DK : Danish Horizon Scan / OECD-Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation (DASTI) Joint Horizon scan
Foresight and Horizon scanning Joint Horizon scan
Comparison Main aims of the National Horizon Scans Feeding the (evidence) base of policies(UK) Feeding the foresight agenda (NE), foster the future thinking culture of policymakers (UK) Feeding the knowledge and research agenda (DK , NE) (implicit targets more resilient policies, sustainable solutions) Joint Horizon scan
Joint Horizon Scan comparison Joint Horizon scan Distribution of the selected issues over the main domains Category United Kingdom Denmark Netherlands total Society 18,5 22,4 7,5 15,6 Science & technology 16,4 8,8 15,1 13,7 Economy/Finance 21,2 21,6 18,9 20,5 Environment/Ecology 13,7 15,2 23,3 17,7 Politics/Public services 30,1 32,0 35,2 32,6 total number of issues 146 125 159 430
Comparison Different aims , slightly different methods , potential multi functionality of the instrument Wide scopes (all STEEP areas are covered – although different distribution of issues) , opening up new ideas on relations between issues Large overlap of issues, level of granulation comparable, attempts to characterise the issues on impact, probability etc Embedded (UK, NE?, DK??) Joint Horizon scan
Common problems How to be effective? Client orientation? Who selects and prioritises the issues (values, criteria, value conflicts) – connections to other scans (on different levels, on different policy domains, worldwide) ? Facts, proven facts and desires (scientific quality) ? Complexity (non linearity, issue interaction, unknown effects of interference, conflicting values) The unknowns , weak signals, evaluation of the method Joint Horizon scan
Foresight and Horizon scanning Theory on Horizon scanning
IMPACT : Issues that may have great or less great impact on what we see as important (seize of impact)
PROBABILITY & PLAUSIBILITY : Issues that are certain or less certain but still plausible (probability and plausibility)
DESIRABILITY : Issues that are desirable or not desirable for society (desirability, common or opposed values)
CHANGEABILITY : Issues that are not changeable or changeable by human action (changeability)
TIME : moment of observation , interaction, dynamics
+ Issues with Potential high Impact on what we consider to be important certainty desirability changeability Climate Change Nuclear War NBIC convergence The Internet Migration Ageing society Some theory