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Foresight with an impact

How do Foresight projects create impact? A new article ponders this question, using the project „Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030“, that Z_punkt conducted in 2015 for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, as an example.

14.12.2016

Here's the abstract:

Several factors have been identified as important in generating policy-related impact from foresight work, including an effective communications strategy, engagement with relevant stakeholders, creating partnerships, and alignment with the policy-making agenda. The aim of this paper is to explore the use and impact of a scenarios project on the future of work in the UK, undertaken by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030). The paper presents the results of a post-project study, where data from UKCES has been collected in two rounds in the first two years after the conclusion of the project. The evidence indicates that it has been an impactful project on many levels. Eight factors linked to foresight impact have been identified. The two most critical of these factors are the role of the ‘foresight frontman’, a high-profile and esteemed individual who is able to engage audiences widely and effectively; and a multi-channel communications strategy that encompasses diverse aspects such as professional design, visualisation and social media. Foresight impact is considered as a key design issue for projects ab initio; dynamic and iterative engagement processes support co-production and facilitate impact prospects.

The article can be accessed via ScienceDirect (paid subscription). A preprint is available (for free) on ResearchGate. Also have a look at the report "Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030".

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