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While the private sector has already discovered the wide set of benefits of web 2.0 technologies (McKinsey, 2009), the public sector is only beginning to use these tools. Especially the use of interactive and collaborative tools in FTA for priority setting has been rather limited until today. Examples in both a public and private sector environment suggest great potential for web 2.0 foresight in public organisations and policy-making, both in terms of advancing foresight methodologies and in terms of increasing transparency. This paper develops a framework for designing a web 2.0 foresight exercise, building on the For-Learn Foresight Cycle, experiences from other disciplines such as market research with web 2.0 research, and hands-on project experience from JRC-IPTS. It applies the framework to the design and implementation of a foresight case of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), where a web 2.0 ideation platform was used to collect ideas from research and development communities across the globe for world leading innovation that integrate education, business and research with a specific thematic focus. It is concluded that key elements in the design are clarity about process and outcome objectives, a systematic approach to tool selection, the organisation of a pilot before the launch, a clear view on sense-making from the data collected, and a certain degree of autonomy in the management of the foresight process.

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  1. 1. The 4th International Seville Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA) 12 & 13 May 2011 Web 2.0 for foresight 1 Karel Haegeman, 1 Cristiano Cagnin, 2 Totti Könnölä, 3 Georgi Dimitrov and 4 Doug Collins European Commission ( 1 JRC-IPTS, 3 DG EAC), 2 Impetu Solutions, 4 Spigit inc. Experiences on an Innovation Platform in European Agenda Setting
  2. 2. Web 2.0 for Foresight organiser: Security and Defence Agenda Global brainstorm How to respond to 21st century security challenges? 4,000 participants 124 countries 5 days 10 recommendations 2 examples of web 2.0 foresight in agenda setting creating a new generation of public servants 2017: 150th anniversary of Canada 150 early-career public servants How can Public Service meet the challenges in 2017? one year participants were taught new skills for each new phase mutual learning about holistic views on challenges
  3. 3. Web 2.0 for Foresight <ul><ul><li>For now mainly private sector use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public sector web 2.0 foresight examples limited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some authors studied the topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at related fields: Web 2.0 in (market) research, mixing data of all types and sources (triangulation) </li></ul></ul>Schillewaert et al (2009) Two types of social networking platforms: Primary research platform and Secondary research platforms Da Costa et al (2008) Online social networks from the perspective of the Foresight Diamond (Popper, 2008): creativity, expertise, evidence and interaction. Gheorghiou et al (2009) Framework for a Delphi 2.0 platform for future oriented communities State of play Rahti and Given (2010) Framework for quantitative and qualitative research in web 2.0 environments Cooke and Buckley (2008) Trends facilitating the development of new approaches in market research
  4. 4. Web 2.0 for Foresight Figure 1: Connected research (Schillewaert et al, 2009). <ul><ul><li>From respondents to participants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From 1-to-1 learning to mutual learning and co-creation </li></ul></ul>From traditional to connected research
  5. 5. Web 2.0 for Foresight A framework for primary web 2.0 foresight platforms based on the For-Learn Foresight Cycle Figure 2: Web 2.0 foresight cycle (based on the For-Learn foresight cycle) Development of each step of the cycle Applied to a practical foresight experience for EIT (performed by JRC-IPTS with support of DG EAC)
  6. 6. Web 2.0 for Foresight The case study: EIT-IPTS foresight platform <ul><li>Context : What is a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main instrument of the EIT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly integrated, creative and excellence-driven innovation partnership bringing together education, research and business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives: increase competitiveness in Europe and tackle societal challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Until now three KICs: Climate KIC, KIC ICTLabs, KIC InnoEnergy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As part of the Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) the EIT will propose priority areas for future KICs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Foresight case : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aim: assist EIT to collect, assess and analyse ideas for &quot;world-leading innovation, integrating education, business and research with a focus on specific thematic areas” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on research communities (university researchers, PRO´s and private research) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential to serve as input for the SIA together with other inputs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 foresight approach </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Web 2.0 for Foresight The case study: EIT-IPTS foresight platform Project roadmap
  8. 8. Web 2.0 for Foresight Step 1: Rationales for using a web 2.0 foresight approach <ul><li>Reasons for using a web 2.0 approach to foresight </li></ul><ul><li>- allow stakeholders to learn more than they give and not just to extract information </li></ul><ul><li>- when seeking to co-create more added value than with traditional surveys </li></ul><ul><li>when community building is targeted </li></ul><ul><li>- if the project client seeks to increase transparency of its organisation or the way it takes decisions </li></ul><ul><li>- when the client seeks to get wider support from stakeholders in shaping decisions and actions </li></ul>Reasons for NOT using a web 2.0 approach to foresight 1 - unwillingness to give control to participants - aversion to accept and handle critique or provide concrete solutions - the belief that it will solve all the problems - lack of resources and skills - lack of fit between tools and research objectives - if the sole purpose is to be fashionable - resistance towards unknown and fuzzy outcomes at the outset 1 Schillewaert et al, 2009 The framework
  9. 9. Web 2.0 for Foresight <ul><li>Reasons for using a web 2.0 approach to foresight </li></ul><ul><li>bring creativity to the debate on priority setting </li></ul><ul><li>explicit use of a bottom-up participatory process (themes for first wave were decided top-down) </li></ul><ul><li>less relevant: community building </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons learned </li></ul><ul><li>Need to stress the focus all along the project, and manage expectations (novel approach, lack of concrete examples, difficulties to describe outcomes in concrete terms) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased transparency but without loosing much control over the process </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions on the role of community building </li></ul>Step 1: Rationales for using a web 2.0 foresight approach The case
  10. 10. Web 2.0 for Foresight Step 2: conditions to analyse Need for support and ownership from policy-makers, not only in running the foresight exercise, but also in using a collaborative methodological approach and its consequences. Possible consequences: - may involve a greater degree of loss of control - a certain degree of flexibility to adapt the plan, and a good framework tolerating this - the form the outcomes will take may not be so clear from the outset - expectations about stakeholder involvement in other steps of the process The framework The case Possible consequences only partially discussed at the outset. Control played an important role in scoping the exercise (see step 3), but full impact not clear from the outset. Good flexibility to adapt the process, but no framework (thus discussions on changes were time consuming) Form of the outcomes was not very clear from the outset.
  11. 11. Web 2.0 for Foresight Step 3: scoping a web 2.0 foresight exercise <ul><li>Stakeholders: </li></ul><ul><li>Define way of recruitment - Possible channels: </li></ul><ul><li>Use of existing databases (or construction of new ones) </li></ul><ul><li>Snowball </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion at existing online platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Wider online and offline communication plan: press release, post news items on portals, banners on related websites </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives : Outcome related and process related (see step 1) </li></ul><ul><li>Motivations to participate : </li></ul><ul><li>Translate objectives into outcomes for each user group: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>learning about the content and about working in a web 2.0 environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contributing to shaping future decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>build their own reputation as experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>market own ideas to the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>build new networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>seek fame or fun (Bughin, 2008) </li></ul></ul>The framework The case <ul><li>Recruitment channels: databases and snowball </li></ul><ul><li>Platform activity: 80/20 rule </li></ul><ul><li>Motivations to participate: possibility of attendance to validation workshop </li></ul>
  12. 12. Web 2.0 for Foresight Attributes for the design of web 2.0 foresight exercises Step 3: scoping a web 2.0 foresight exercise The framework Attribute 1: Degree of representation: What ? Balance between user groups, sectoral balance, or other profile elements (age, geographic location, expertise) When ? Depends on the objectives How ? - During recruitment : use channels with a high degree of control (e.g. databases, focused user groups on social networking sites). - During implementation : use of moderation and techniques for enhancement of activity - During analysis : analyse results according to profile variables <ul><li>The case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An element of discussion all along the process (due to unclarity in the focus?) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Web 2.0 for Foresight Step 3: scoping a web 2.0 foresight exercise The framework Attribute 2: Degree of steering of platform activity: What ? Indirect steering of platform content Why ? - increasing the activity on the platform - improving existing proposals or issues - steer the content towards the objectives or expected outcomes - increase representation of different stakeholder groups - increase creativity How ? - Moderation on the platform: asking questions, adding comments, flagging topics, move topics to a next stage - Targeted messaging to platform members based on their individual behaviour: ´Send your idea/topic to people you know and invite them to comment/rate it´ - Tools for drawing attention to highlights: rankings, flagging, tagging, summaries of discussions by platform ´journalists´. <ul><li>The case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fairly low steering of the platform. Also an element of discussion all along the process. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Web 2.0 for Foresight Step 3: scoping a web 2.0 foresight exercise Attribute 3: Degree of openness of the platform: - Completely closed : Accessible for a predefined set of participants (FTA preconference platform) - Completely open : Accessibility for any member of the relevant stakeholder groups (E.g. security Jam) - Mixed approaches combining personal invitations e.g. with a snowball or with targeted advertising. Attribute 4: Degree of freedom to engage Related to the degree of steering, although not contradictory to it How ? - platform members can add new topics for discussion - they are engaged in shaping the next stage(s), in the analysis, in the dissemination - summarised information on members´ behaviour is available The framework The case Openness: ´fairly closed´ <ul><ul><li>Engagement possibilities: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>post, vote and comment ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>add new categories of ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- engagement in the workshop </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Web 2.0 for Foresight Step 4: web 2.0 methods and tools The framework The case
  16. 16. Web 2.0 for Foresight Step 5: running a web 2.0 foresight exercise Pilot before launch : - add some first contributions - approaching leading names - collect oral and written feedback on content, functionalities, user-friendliness Issues of design : - Registration : members´ profile, compulsory and not compulsory fields, which fields will be displayed? - Differentiation between roles: visitor, member, expert, moderator, administrator - Customisation of information displayed to participants, depending on their profile and interests: ´follow´ discussions, ideas, or other members; alternative ways to display content (e.g. latest discussions, topics by theme, most viewed, best rated, most discussed). - Simple design - Duration of the platform : days or years? The framework The case Pilot before launch: - 4 initial ideas uploaded by JRC-IPTS, pre-invitation to 35 researchers and 26 Commission staff, 2 additional ideas added during the pilot - oral and written feedback - many improvements needed on functionalities and clarity of understanding - some more changes introduced after the launch <ul><li>Functionalities that did not work well: </li></ul><ul><li>- social networking </li></ul><ul><li>- discussion forum by idea or category </li></ul><ul><li>multi-criteria voting </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons: design and motivations? </li></ul><ul><li>Duration : 7 weeks </li></ul>Functionalities that did work: - posting ideas (around 100 posts) - commenting ideas
  17. 17. Web 2.0 for Foresight Posts per day Sign-ups per day Views per day Communication plan: relates to all the steps of the cycle Privacy and ethics: - use of a privacy statement and rules. - Anonymity: are anonymous postings desirable? - Suicide functionality - IPR (Participants as co-authors of final products? - What data will be public (beyond the platform)?) Step 5: running a web 2.0 foresight exercise The framework The case High fluctuation of platform activity based on communication activity
  18. 18. Web 2.0 for Foresight Step 5: running a web 2.0 exercise The framework The case <ul><li>Data sense-making: </li></ul><ul><li>- Two types of data: supplied by participants (text, votes, pictures,…) or stemming from their behaviour (viewing activity, networking data,…) </li></ul><ul><li>- Aspects facilitating sense-making: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- platform design based on a clear view on the types of analysis targeted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- use of tools that allow for both data collection and data analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- use of tools that allow the extraction of data in formats that are suited for analysis and that include links between different types of data. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- use of the platform community for data sense-making </li></ul></ul>Instead critical success factors were identified to connect data in proposing new priority areas A first attempt in grouping data: by category
  19. 19. Web 2.0 for Foresight Dissemination of results: - Part of communication plan (see 2.5) - Use of the platform to disseminate results to the wider network of the platform members - Take into account ownership and authorship issues Evaluation of web 2.0 foresight exercises: - See For-Learn eight-step framework for conducting an evaluation process Lifetime of the platform: - What will happen with the platform after the end of the project? - How to deal with stakeholders´ loss of information about their contributions and their new contacts? - Use of the platform in a more permanent way: for follow-up stages of the project, during implementation of actions, or as an ongoing discussion platform (e.g. Atlantic Community) Step 6: follow-up The framework The case To be determined
  20. 20. Web 2.0 for Foresight Conclusions 2. Key design issues clarity about process and outcome objectives a systematic approach to tool selection pilot before the launch a clear view on data sense-making certain degree of autonomy in the management of the foresight process. simple platform design communication 3. Barriers to increased application resistance to increased transparency and loss of control cultural issues 1. High potential for advancing transparency and the foresight toolbox 2006 IBM Innovation Jam: 150.000 participants in two times three days lack of understanding