Foresight is a participatory approach to strategic forward thinking to increase the requisite variety to cope with alternative futures in a world to come. Foresight applies different time frames. The FOCUS project for example has a 2035 time frame for its foresight work. Foresight does neither predict future, nor does it state normative desirable futures or "wishful thinking". Foresight is about describing different possible futures. It is calibrated to diversity, not to delimitation.
Results and insights of foresight can be presented in different ways. One common way is to present foresight results in the form of scenarios. As foresight itself, those scenarios include solicited thinking in extremes, low probability/high impact aspects, etc.) and are not master plans, policy recommendations, or suggested normative trends.
However, scenarios derived from foresight may be developed into planning scenarios that may represent "future intelligence gathering and medium-to-long-term vision-building process that systematically attempts to look into the future of science, the economy and society in order to support present-day decision-making and to mobilise joint forces to realise them." (Becker 2002: 7)
- Becker, P.: Corporate Foresight in Europe: A First Overview.. Brussels: European Commission, Working Paper, 2002.
- Georghiou, L., Harper, J.C., Keenan, M., Miles, I. & Popper, R.: The Handbook of Technology Foresight. Concepts and Practice. Northampton, MA: Elgar, 2008.
- Introduction to scenario planning
- http://forera.jrc.ec.europa.eu (JRC European Commission, European Foresight)
- http://www.bis.gov.uk/foresight/our-work/policy-futures/disasters (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, UK)