Foresight for Policy Makers

In a world of rising complexity the decision-making process of policy makers has to face new challenges. Most of the decisions taken today affect system variables in a long term fashion or in a global context and are often hard to anticipate. Nevertheless this makes it essential to address them today and to ensure that their possible long term outcomes are taken into close consideration.

We are used to look at time in a linear way, without being aware of the potential range of alternatives or the so called wild cards – highly unlikely but with great systemic impact. But these new requirements of our time call for a systematic and scientifically grounded approach on how to deal with interdependencies and rising alternatives in a highly complex world which is moving at an increasing speed.

One of the key goals of foresight is to improve the quality and the effectiveness of policy making, by providing a better understanding of change, future risks and uncertainties. The transdisciplinary foresight approach helps to strengthen the links between decision-making and relevant stakeholder communities as well as look at new and emerging issues from an integrated and multi-layered perspective.
It is therefore critical for policy makers to fully understand the breadth of impacts that foresight can have, and how to attain them. The ForLearn guide gives insights on both respects by elaborating in depth on why foresight is necessary and how it is done.