Foresight Tools look to strengthen futures thinking capacity and share best practice within and across government so those responsible for developing policy and strategy in government understand how the decisions they make today might affect the future. In this way, Foresight can help policy makers to reach more stable decisions that are more likely to survive the uncertainties of the future.
The Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre provides tools and support to spread good practice in departmental horizon scanning, including coaching, providing advice, brokering agreements and creating synergies that make the best use of resources and facilitate capacity-building.
Strategic Horizon Scans
The Sigma Scan is a set of 271 research papers that look up to 50 years into the future. The scan considers emerging trends, potential new issues and their associated opportunities, threats and possible implications for society.
Information for the scans comes from more than 2000 document sources and interviews with 300 leading thinkers, condensed into papers designed to challenge assumptions and spark ideas.
The papers can be accessed at www.sigmascan.org
The HSC publishes and regularly updates a toolkit based on the work of the Foresight programme. This toolkit has been updated and is based on many years' experience of the Government Office for Science's futures programme, Foresight. It contains information not only on horizon scanning but also on many other useful futures techniques. It is conceived as a resource to dip into at various stages in a piece of futures work. Its simple navigation system enables you to consult it at different levels of detail.
An introduction to strategic futures analysis
- What it is.
- Why do it.
- What it involves.
Scoping the work
- How to pick an area.
- How to decide your approach.
- testing and development
- engagement & communication
What the Toolkit provides
- an outline of the process and what you will need to do at each stage
- suggestions for success
- guidance on the techniques you might use at each stage
- It has something for everyone involved in futures work from the novice to the expert
The toolkit is available here.