Elements in the construction of future-orientation: a systems view to foresight

Mikko Dufva, Toni Ahlqvist

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific

Abstract

Foresight is currently perceived as a critical activity in the development of innovation policies and corporate strategies. While there are many descriptions of the benefits of foresight, there is little research on how these benefits are created. In addition, although the view about innovations has shifted towards a systems understanding, the same has not happened in foresight, which is largely seen as a process. The process view and focus on the outcomes has created a situation where the dynamics between agents involved in foresight is still not well understood. One emerging approach to improve the understanding of the dynamics of foresight, and to embed foresight more closely with innovation management and policy, is the systems view. In this paper, we build on the systems view of foresight, and study what are the elements in foresight as a system and how they contribute to the creation of futures knowledge. Based on literature we propose six elements that are useful for understanding a foresight system: agents, cognitive schemes, strategic objects, scaffolding structures, memory objects and embodied metaphors. We illustrate the elements and their interaction with a case example focused on creating future-orientation in a research and technology organisation. Based on the elements and the case study we argue that the strategic objects and scaffolding structures are important leverage points when steering the foresight as a system.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis: Engage today to shape tomorrow: FTA 2014 - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 27 Nov 201428 Nov 2014

Conference

Conference5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis
Abbreviated titleFTA 2014
CountryBelgium
CityBrussels
Period27/11/1428/11/14

Fingerprint

Foresight
Future orientation
Innovation policy
Interaction
Corporate strategy
Innovation management
Leverage
Innovation

Keywords

  • foresight system
  • complex adaptive systems
  • innovation systems
  • future-orientation

Cite this

Dufva, M., & Ahlqvist, T. (2014). Elements in the construction of future-orientation: a systems view to foresight. Paper presented at 5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis, Brussels, Belgium.
Dufva, Mikko ; Ahlqvist, Toni. / Elements in the construction of future-orientation : a systems view to foresight. Paper presented at 5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis, Brussels, Belgium.12 p.
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Dufva, M & Ahlqvist, T 2014, 'Elements in the construction of future-orientation: a systems view to foresight' Paper presented at 5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis, Brussels, Belgium, 27/11/14 - 28/11/14, .

Elements in the construction of future-orientation : a systems view to foresight. / Dufva, Mikko; Ahlqvist, Toni.

2014. Paper presented at 5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis, Brussels, Belgium.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific

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PY - 2014

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Dufva M, Ahlqvist T. Elements in the construction of future-orientation: a systems view to foresight. 2014. Paper presented at 5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis, Brussels, Belgium.