The term Creative Methods in Foresight entails a very wide and diverse spectrum of Methods. The fact that Foresight is meant to go further and beyond familiar categories and notions make creativity play an essential part in all processes. Therefore the line between Creative Methods and other Foresight Methods are not always clear without ambiguity.
Nevertheless the common factor between all methods categorized under Creative Methods is the conjuncture of the same objectives. They are meant to ease participants and experts into an imagined future and a mode of thinking outside the box. It helps leaving comfort zones and is especially useful to break up the dogma of linear developments in a long-term future. It gives space to uncertainties and unexpected events as well as new, creative and alternative ideas for complex problems. Therefore a Foresight Exercise often steps into the process with a Creative Method.
Due to the extent of different Creative Methods the following can only stand as a selection of a whole range of methods.
Brainstorming is a method of eliciting ideas without judgement or filtering. It involves encouraging wild and unconstrained suggestions and listing ideas as they emerge.
Gaming deals with human issues, making it a good way to help people understand the planning process and other people’s viewpoints. They are particularly useful at an early stage of any community planning activity or to prepare people for a specific future challenge.
Mindmapping allows a group’s ideas to be charted in logical groupings fairly quickly, even when ideas are given in a non-sequential manner. This technique allows efficient brainstorming for ideas and at the same time creates a skeletal framework for later categorisation of the information generated.
The World Café crates small conversation clusters to explore a question or issue that matters to their community or organization in a effective and dense setting. It also eintails the arranged traveling of participants from one table to another, mixing ideas and spreading them.