Diversity in foresight: Insights from the fostering of innovation ideas

Totti Könnölä, Ville Brummer, Ahti Salo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Foresight activities have often provided support for objectives such as priority-setting, networking and consensual vision-building. In this paper, we draw upon complementary evolutionary perspectives and discuss these objectives from the viewpoint of diversity which may be vital in contexts characterized by technological discontinuities and high uncertainties. We also argue that although the scanning of weak signals has been widely advocated in such contexts, the solicitation of ideas for prospective innovations may provide more focused, action-oriented, and comparable reflections of future developments. For the analysis of such ideas, we develop a collaborative foresight method RPM Screening which consists of phases for the generation, revision, multi-criteria evaluation, and portfolio analysis of innovation ideas. We also report experiences from a pilot project where this method was employed to enhance the work of the Foresight Forum of the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Finland. Encouraging results from this project and other recent applications suggest that RPM Screening can be helpful in foresight processes and the development of shared research agendas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-626
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • foresight
  • innovation processes
  • internet-based consultation
  • multi-criteria decision analysis
  • portfolio modeling
  • path dependence


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