Strategic Foresight Primer

Strategic Foresight Primer
21 November 2017
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by Angela Wilkinson

The idea for this Strategic Foresight Primer was born out of necessity. The European Political Strategy Centre has a mandate to engage in anticipatory governance and identify potential future challenges and opportunities for the European Union. Yet, we soon realised that there was no readily accessible and 'easy-to-use' guide on strategic foresight — a ‘foresight for dummies’ — explaining the nuts and bolts of the process. What is strategic foresight and what is it not? When and how to use it? What are the advantages and limitations of the different methodologies?

Angela Wilkinson was most definitely the right person to help answer these questions. Angela has an international career spanning more than 30 years in strategy, forward assessment and public policy. Her work in the private, public and non-forprofit sectors has helped policy- and decision-makers, business leaders, civil society organisations, and individuals to be more prepared for the future and to shape better decisions.

This Primer is a substitute neither to the existing (and emerging) literature in the field of strategic foresight nor to the relevant work being done by so many practitioners around the globe. Also, it does not replace the foresight interventions and the conversations that Angela so eloquently explains in the next pages.

This brief guide can be used as a first port of call for those navigating today’s ‘TUNA’ conditions – Turbulence, unpredictable Uncertainty, Novelty and Ambiguity. It is also a contribution to make strategic foresight more accessible to a larger community of policy-makers and to make anticipation a new literacy so that everyone – from public institutions to citizens – can be better prepared for the future.

As the European Union finds fresh wind to sail after almost a decade of ‘polycrisis’, this Primer can help us to continue fulfilling the 'shared vision' and the 'common goals' of the European project with an eye on the horizon.

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