The world economy relies on access to industrial metals, oil and gas for maintaining its critical industrial infrastructure. Although demand is likely to remain high, the most accessible deposits have been depleted. Future capacity growth will be facilitated through further technological developments. Therefore, Russia as a leading producer, is paying great attention to strengthening its competitive edge in global markets. This paper reports on a large-scale technology foresight study of the Russian extractive sector (including oil and gas), which combined expert-based foresight activities with statistical analyses and text-mining techniques based on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. The presented methodology helped to link the technologies to dominant discussions (e.g. climate change vs rural development) and to flag most suitable partner organisations. Furthermore, quantitative estimates could be quickly identified. The study’s methodology should function as an example for similar studies to support policy planning and investment decisions based on textmining techniques.
Anticipation operates under abductive modes of reasoning. Anticipatory abduction is normative and appeals to principles of the economy of research. As a defeasible mode of reasoning, abduction copes with fundamental uncertainty of the future in rational, logical and anticipatory manners. Abduction arises from the mind's ability to perceive logical and counterfactual relationships. This perceptual experience (i) happens on an interval, (ii) is linked to the past and (iii) is proactively and continually future-oriented. Since anticipation refers not only to reasoning about future but also to exploiting future in our present action, abduction alone would only partially explain anticipation. For this reason, we integrate it with normative facets that derive from the theory of the economy of research and the pragmatistic interpretation of abduction, as a relation between a hope that hypotheses materialize in a certain way and our decisions to act upon those hypotheses. This proposed unification of abduction, economy of research and pragmatism provides a complete Peircean methodology that can recover anticipation from its logical and pragmatistic roots.
We set out to establish the place of Weak Signals at the conceptual intersection between the fields of futures and complexity studies as a qualitative counterpart to the so-called Early Warning Signals (of regime shift). After briefly presenting the scope of the Weak Signal concept and associated problems with positioning such a controversial construct against the complexity field, we investigate how theoretical and practical implications of studying qualitative changes in a complex system’s state allow for particular classes of phenomena to announce impactful events in advance. Finally, we reflect on the prospective ways of augmenting the Weak Signals concept by fusing it with the notion of Early Warning Signals and the consequent opportunities provided by bridging the fields of complexity and futures studies.
Strategic foresight as a derived outcome of corporate foresight exercises has led to the dominant discourse on strategic foresight as an episodic intervention encompassing a proliferation of organizational foresight methodologies. We argue that such an approach is flawed, consigning strategic foresight to a narrow function in a planning perspective. To move the field into more fertile pastures for research, we draw on the practice theoretical lens to provide an alternative viewpoint on strategic foresight as a bundle of everyday organizing practices. In keeping with the practice approach to strategic foresight, we delineate strategic foresight as a continuous and contextual practice of ‘wayfinding’, that manifest in everyday situated organizing. We offer an integrating framework that contributes to the ongoing discussions about alternative approaches to theorizing strategic foresight.
Under the transition to a market economy Russian science, technology and innovation (STI) has changed dramatically. After the crisis of late 1990s, the government declared science and technology (S&T) as one of national priorities and started increasingly investing in this sector but it has not led to the tangible output like a bigger volume of high-tech exports or a higher share of international publications. A number of policy instruments have been introduced to increase the efficiency of STI policies. One of them is S&T Foresight.
The activities aimed at identification of national S&T priorities and series of Foresight studies have helped to understand which areas are most promising for sustaining existing competitive advantages and building new ones via gradual shift from the resource-based economy towards the technology-oriented one.
The paper presents the design and organisation of a large-scale Russian S&T Foresight exercise as a fully-fledged instrument of the national STI policy and discusses the achieved results and their use for policies at different levels.
Conducting national Foresight studies has become common in many countries. However the impact of such studies on the performance of the national innovation system remains unclear. The paper therefore assesses the impact of national Foresight studies conducted in member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Research Area (ERA).
This paper provides an empirical analysis of a particular social anticipatory system emergence. Considering the anticipation phenomenon on a macro level as an intrinsic property of a social system, the authors exemplify its embodiment in interrelated constructs. The anticipation naturally spans various managerial domains of socio-economic space, bringing to it the time as a constructive element. How is the a posteriori anticipatory system empirically constructed? The study looks for evidence-based answers to this research question on the ground of the social constructionism. Following the attributive feature of any anticipatory system, the suggested approach highlights the contextual and performative aspects of the linkage between an image of the future and present social action. The model case under consideration is the Russian system for Skill Needs Anticipation and Matching (SNAM). We divide the system emergence into five distinct periods. Each period added a substantive new quality to the anticipatory function deployment, which ultimately led to the formation of a current modular structure of SNAM. The vulnerability of such structure appears at the junctures of the modules, where the conversion of SNAM constructs accompanies the shifts of the skill needs encoding layers.
In this paper, we argue that the arts in its various forms have a genuine epistemological relevance to the theory and practice of foresight. To this end, we draw on the work of Ernst Bloch to advance the ‘disclosive’ role of graffiti art in contributing to futures becoming and the understanding of peoples’ subjective experiences and shared social theories about inarticulate social currents that may bring to life possibilities and potentialities in the realisation of some modest utopian visions.
This paper discusses the need for a shift towards more Foresight-based inclusive innovation processes and introduces the concept of ‘‘Innovation Foresight’’ (IF) in this respect. IF represents an approach for bringing the future into holistic innovation processes, in which users and other stakeholders are systematically involved to detect future opportunities and risks. This could allow for a better integration of inclusive, longterm visions in decision-making and strategic thinking in the context of innovation. To be effective and enable mutual learning, the IF process calls for future-oriented, continuous interaction with current/anticipated users and a better integration of methods and approaches from different fields, including Foresight, user/market research and humancentred product design. This paper discusses two empirical studies that closely involved users in the exploration, imagination and creation of future TV experiences. Study 1 aimed to identify users’ specific (future) needs and possible Lead User ideas concerning digital TV (DTV) in Flanders through an online survey (N = 11.802 digital TV users). 13 unique ideas representing important unfulfilled needs were identified and evaluated. Study 2, which focused on ‘Future TV experiences’, consisted of a multi-method research approach in three phases, resulting in six persona profiles, that help to provide an understanding of users’ daily practices and futures aspirations. It is argued that a better introduction of future anticipation in inclusive innovation processes could enhance the input of users in innovation and contribute to the detection of potential user/societal needs and possible unexpected forms of use.