Foresight's role is to help government think systematically about the future. It does this by combining the latest scientific and other evidence with futures analysis to help policy makers tackle complex issues.
Foresight brings different government departments together to stimulate and inform the development of strategies, policies and priorities, which are more resilient and robust across a range of possible futures.
Foresight achieves impact in three ways:
Foresight projects are in-depth studies looking at major issues 20-80 years in the future. Recent examples of these are Tackling Obesity, Future Flooding and Mental Capital and Wellbeing
- The Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre, which does short projects looking at more discrete issues. Recent examples include International Futures, Wider Implications of Science and Technology and UK Futures
- Foresight Toolkits and Networks look to strengthen futures thinking capacity and share best practice within and across government.
Foresight’s strength lies in its ability to influence and inform policy, through evidence-based, peer reviewed strategic insights.
Foresight’s activities are described on their dedicated website at www.bis.gov.uk/foresight.
Some examples of Foresight projects
Global Food and Farming Futures - "How can a future global population of 9 billion people all be fed healthily and sustainably?"
Global Environmental Migration - This project examines how future environmental change could affect human migration in the long-term around the world.
International Dimensions of Climate Change - This project aims to improve our understanding of how climate change impacts overseas will affect the UK. This new style Foresight project is a hybrid between classic landmark Foresight studies and more discrete projects carried out by the Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre, combining peer-reviewed evidence with future analysis expertise.
To see how the Foresight programme has influenced not only UK government policy but policy on a global scale, visit the "Our impact" section of the Foresight website.